Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Owner Sylvia Selimaj and the phenomenal Dover Sole of Nino's Tuscany Steak House. Sylvia is in it to win it.
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It's not who you know, it's Whom You Know and we are glad to know Nino Selimaj, whom we worked with for the first time earlier this year at Nino's Restaurant with his charming daughter Bessa. There are not too many newcomers to the Whom You Know culinary party that have outperformed Nino because he was THAT FANTASTIC, but one person was even more fabulous.
Normally we never allow for the delegation of relationships, but it's a good thing Nino had us work with his wife and co-owner.
After raising their five children, Sylvia Selimaj is Captain of the Ship Nino's Tuscany Steak House, which is absolutely incredible. Also she does not look old enough to have been married this long with five adult children, so we'll have what she's having. This was our first visit and not only the cuisine but also Sylvia's savoir faire and emotional intelligence was superlative. They knew we liked water with no ice and lemons quartered and they were perfect. We also are not a big fan of olives, however, we liked Sylvia's.
The appetizer we chose was the Scampi alla Piastra: jumbo shrimp with white Tuscan beans, sauteed in white wine, with a perfect accent of tomato sauce. Warm, comforting and flavorful, it set the stage for even better courses to come.
We noticed just like at Nino's on First, this location has live lobsters in a tank. We love this look and think more venues should feature them this way; we went to many restaurants growing up where live lobsters entertained us before they were delicately devoured (see our Instagram page with someone you know in a highchair with a lobster claw.)
Another convincing starter which we liked just as much was the "Petrossian" smoked Norwegian Salmon, which arrives in style with the perfect dusting of cucumber. The salmon was sliced thin to perfection and is entirely fresh. It's an attractive arrangement.
For our green salad, we chose Nino's Tuscany Steak House House Salad. The halved cherry tomatoes were particularly outstanding for being out of season this time of year. They happily joined red cabbage, arugula and red onion to form a nutritional quintessential classic. Balsamic vinaigrette was thoughtfully placed on the side.
We firmly believe that the entrees should be the focal point of the meal, and they should be the strongest. Sylvia had the strongest two entrees of anyone featured and published on so far in 2017, both new restaurants and old favorites. Meet the Dover Sole! The flavorful lemon caper sauce enhanced the natural essence of the elegant poisson and it's the best Dover Sole we've seen in quite awhile. Note this is what you should be eating on Good Friday to make it a Great Friday!
Look at how gorgeously it is presented:
The depth of their sides is to be applauded; we saw a dozen and chose two. Especially because of our Irish roots, we like to consider ourselves potato connoisseurs (hence our love for meat and potatoes, mostly what we ate before eating professionally and leading us to our love of steak houses). The mashed potatoes at Nino's Tuscany Steak House are in a word, phenomenal. The essence of simplicity, they are billowy clouds to accompany these amazing entrees with the perfect touch of cream. And speaking of cream, the creamed spinach will blow you away with its parmesean accent. This is definitely the way to get your greens in!
We always order Filet Mignon at a steak house the first time we go, and at eight ounces, this Filet Mignon confirmed the excellence of Nino's Tuscany Steak House. Ideally seared to the medium we asked for, this steak was tender, juicy pure deliciousness that you cannot find at too many places in Manhattan. Everyone thinks they can do a great steak, but Sylvia actually does it. Here it is smiling at you:
We just loved Sylvia's Tuscany Steak House!
And how is their pasta?
Of course the pasta course is a hallowed component of any Italian venue, and the Penne Strascicate did not disappoint one bit. Hearty Tuscan meat sauce composed equally of beef and veal (50/50) lounges gracefully upon a lovely bed of penne, achieving a delicate balance.
Nino's Tuscany Steak House was highly impressive in their first feature and we look forward to seeing what they do next.