After a year of living in Astoria we finally made around the corner to Nino's - an unassuming but very pleasant looking Istrian restaurant.
It was fantastic. Old fashioned friendly service in a darkish wood dining room, and reasonably priced delicious Italian fare - some of it quite interesting. Two wonderful ravioli dishes - one filled with butternut squash and served in sage butter, and the other filled with three cheeses (but surprisingly not too heavy - go figure!) and rum soaked raisins were standouts, as was the diamond shaped pasta with scallops, shrimp, and clams. A side of pureed swiss chard with potatoes and garlic was delicious - slightly bitter, not too salty or oily.
Desserts were good, if not off the map. A warm chocolate souflee cake with an oozing center was standard, but even standard is pretty good for that particular dish. The cheesecake was closer to New York style than Italian, but a little dryer and lighter than the standard version.
Prices were really reasonable, with starters around 5-10, pastas around 13-16, and meat and fish a bit higher.
Overall we were all extremely happy - and Alex (my fiance) and I felt pretty stupid for waiting so long to visit. I'm surprised with all the discussion of this block (on Steinway between 28th and 25th Aves.) on this site I've seen very little mention of this restaurant. Go there for a quiet, delicious, reasonably priced meal soon!
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