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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Peachy Picks Nino's Restaurant by Nino Selimaj Our Coverage Sponsored by Fresh Origins

The superlative Linguine with fresh Clams, above and the big guy who would live happily ever after in Peachy's stomach, below, as Lobster Fra Diavolo

Owner Nino Selimaj

Fresh Origins is America’s leading producer of Microgreens and Edible Flowers. Combining the benefits of an ideal climate with a deep passion for quality and innovation, Fresh Origins products are sought after by the finest restaurants and top chefs. The farm is located in the picturesque rolling hills of San Diego County, where the near perfect weather allows for production and harvest all year. Fresh Origins produces almost 400 Microgreens, Petitegreens, Edible Flowers, Shoots, Tiny Veggies™ and related items. Many are not available anywhere else, with new introductions nearly every month. Fresh Origins products are on top of the finest cuisine in the world! Fresh Origins supplies distributors of specialty produce who serve fine dining restaurants and resorts nationwide. There are also a few online sources of their products available to private chefs and home cooks. Read our first Culinary Queen interview with Kelly Sasuga:

For more information about Fresh Origins, visit their website at 

It's not who you know, it's WHOM YOU KNOW, and we know Nino!
Nino Selimaj arrived on the shores of America in 1978, and this is his first formal review in Peachy's Picks, a feat few have achieved this year.  Nino's was first featured in an initial review earlier this year:
In 1991, Nino's Restaurant opened on First Avenue and it is the original his restaurants.  The mural was created in 2003 that you see in the video.  
There are many Nino's peppered throughout the mural because Nino is everywhere!
Included are two guests who ran against each other in a campaign last year you might have heard about.
Nino is personally at his restaurant attending to every detail, and it's evident he truly does care about his guests.  He warmly greeted us and was well-prepared in the realm of Italian wines that were vibrant, rich and well-suited for what we'd order to eat.

The appetizer that called out Peachy Deegan's name the most convincingly was the imported Buffalo Mozzarella.  It's imported from Baresa, Italy twice a week and organic peppers are roasted at Nino's fresh to join the party on fresh tomatoes and basil.  The freshness was exuberant on our palate and this was a terrific commencement to the meal.
For the pasta selection, the Linguine with Fresh Clams was a perfect celebration of summer.  Sourced from Long Island via Slavin and Sons or Rossa six days a week, these succulent little beauties are sauteed in garlic, olive oil and parsley to culminate in a highly notable combination of seafood and linguine.  The taste, the texture and the overall quality confirm you will be glad you ordered this dish.
We absolutely adore lobster, and dinner is even more exciting when you can pick out the one you want to eat.  If you've seen our instagram, you know we have always liked playing with the claws.  Watch Nino create Lobster Fra Diavolo, tableside, a rare luxury in Manhattan today:

Nino in action:
The shining star of a result:
Tableside service such as this where they make exact items right in front of you is an aspect of fine dining that few practice today, and it is a real luxury when you can find it.  The lobster is sourced from the state of Maine, and we were told our lobster weighed in at 2.5 pounds, and the taste was superb.  Linguine and the fra diavolo accent added to the truly memorable experience, and fireworks of delight will emanate from this dish to your palate.

The tableside Strawberry Zabaglione was quintessential New York, and you have to order it; it is as delicious as it is stunning:

Nino surprised us with more dessert: gorgeously sliced fruit on ice, perfect for the season and it hit the high note.

Another aspect of Nino Selimaj that we commend is that not only does he do great work himself but also he inspires others to open restaurants; 10% of past Nino's employees now own their own restaurant, like our friend Benny at Greenwich Steakhouse, which opened this year and we've reviewed initially.  Nino says, "Benny started very young.  I'm very proud of him and his many achievements."
Our esteemed panelist adds:
When I first walked into Nino’s, I felt it was a warm traditional establishment that combined upmarket and everyday dining. It is certainly the type of place where you would take someone on a special occasion for a surprise or a treat but not out of reach to also go regularly. On meeting owner Nino, who is a smart, classy and imposing man who said that he wants his customers to feel as though they are part of his family, which combined with the warm ambiance I felt a sense of belonging, comfortable and full of anticipation for the evening ahead.

For the appetizer, I went for “Nino’s Homemade Meatballs”, which was a combination of Beef, Veal and Pork with pine nuts, raisins, roasted tomato sauce and grated parmigiano reggiano. The meatballs were scrumptiously divine, capturing mouthwatering flavors of the tripartite meats and the sauce provided a contrast which combined to add succulence to this exquisite dish.
I never thought that I would ever get excited by Caesar Salad but at Nino’s it is prepared in front of you, so you see the fresh salad being chopped with the added croutons and fresh grated parmesan. This was quite simply the best Caesar Salad I have ever had, it was so tasty and fresh and usually I have plenty left and I never take leftovers home with me – why? Well it’s only salad. But this was different, I had very little left and I insisted on taking it home!

In the Pasta section I chose the “Penne with Braised Veal”, with roasted peppers, scallions, olive oil and garlic. The braised veal quite literally melted in my mouth and the Penne along with the other ingredients added flavor and harmonized perfectly with the truly wonderful veal.

For the main course, I opted for the “Quail Stuffed with Shredded Duck” accompanied by corn-crusted polenta cake and black currant sauce. 

I chose this dish mainly out of curiosity as I was intrigued to find out how the Quail would combine with the duck and how they would both work with the polenta cake and particularly the black currant sauce. Well I wasn’t disappointed as the contrasting fusion of tastes was simply amazing, the Quail and Duck blended naturally and perfectly and the sweet polenta cake with the black currant sauce, full of whole blackcurrants was as credible as Turkey and Cranberry sauce! Not only intriguing but absolutely delightful!
Please, please go to Nino’s restaurant, it is wonderful. I would recommend Nino’s to anyone who wants delicious food in traditional and unpretentious warm surroundings with amazing service with a host that will make you feel at home as though you are “Part of the family”!

Peachy Picks Nino's!

Nino's is Highly Recommended by Whom You Know.

Some of Nino's many pictures:

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