Ninos Bistro

★★★★☆
  • 1801 Market St

    Camp Hill, PA 17011

    Map & Directions
  • 717-503-6681

4.0 2
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I took my girlfriend for dinner the day after she returned from--Italy! I??ve been there a few times myself, just not on this trip. We dine out for Italian quite a bit, so I??m pretty serious about my Italian food and wine.

We had a reservation for 6:30 p.m. We arrived at precisely 6:30 p.m. We caused a stir, and had to wait to be seated. The chef/owner quickly appeared from the kitchen to check on us and to apologize for the ??stir.? She offered that someone called off, and put them behind. No problem; we understand. So far so good.

The atmosphere: Mediocre, at best. Not a place for St. Valentine??s Day, for sure. The wall paint was a little dingy. The furniture was purely functional??nothing to look at. The dcor was a meager attempt at Italian ??spirit?.

Our appetizer: Mozzarella Caprese
It was decent. The mozzarella was interesting. It was soft (even for mozzarella), like firm ricotta, not stringy like mozzarella should be, but still a good taste (better than some house mozzarella I??ve had). Ricottazzarella? I like it. The tomatoes were bland. The basil appeared to be dried by the chef. It was okay, but not enough of it, and not nearly enough basil punch. Fresh basil would have been perfect. The balsamic vinegar was good. The pepper flakes were a nice addition, but it just needed a touch more.

Dinner side salad: Sub-mediocre. Iceberg lettuce. Seriously? It had some sizable stem parts that were unappetizing. A tiny bit of tasty red onion. One slice of bland tomato. No croutons. Good house dressing (with minced capers!). No fresh ground black pepper, just a shaker full of dust that was quite difficult to get on my salad.

The bread: It was okay. Actually, a little under-baked (the center had a lyer of translucent rubbery dough/bread). The olive oil on the table had tinge of green color to it (that??s a good thing), but the bottle was just a little unappetizing looking (a little grimey), so we did not try it. I mopped up some balsamic vinegar, from the appetizer, with it.

My entre: Linguine Pescatore??the most expensive item on the menu. The shrimp were just a bit overcooked. Nearly every single muscle, clam, and scallop had ??grit?. Ugh. That is the worst. All had decent to good flavor, and, yes, I endured the grit??again, and again, and again. Truly, nearly every muscle, clam, and scallop had grit. :( The linguine was p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y al dente! My arribbiata sauce was okay. Not nearly ??angry? enough; it needed more garlic and red chili. The dish had a generous amount of seafood; the sauce was okay, and the pasta was done perfectly, but there was not quite enough of it. I ran out of pasta and had plenty of everything else.

Dessert: They were out of tiramisu?! It??s Saturday, we had dessert at 7 p.m. (pretty early), and the place was about a third filled. Where did it go? Okay, I got a canollo (the singular of cannoli). It was decent, but overpriced. The filling was good, but the shell was a little ??fridge-stale.? Most desserts are pre-made?! I stuck to house made, which left two choices.

Coffee: It was okay.

Service: Strange. She was extremely polite, but not very good. She appeared to be unfamiliar with the menu. She offered no assistance, but checked on us adequately. We probably got five ??Is everything okay? queries, but nothing else. Not a word of help, advice, chit-chat, or anything.

Unfortunately, I doubt we??ll return anytime soon. However, with a few tweaks, it really could be good!

3
★★★☆☆

I took my girlfriend for dinner the day after she returned from--Italy! I??ve been there a few times myself, just not on this trip. We dine out for Italian quite a bit, so I??m pretty serious about my Italian food and wine.

We had a reservation for 6:30 p.m. We arrived at precisely 6:30 p.m. We caused a stir, and had to wait to be seated. The chef/owner quickly appeared from the kitchen to check on us and to apologize for the ??stir.? She offered that someone called off, and put them behind. No problem; we understand. So far so good.

The atmosphere: Mediocre, at best. Not a place for St. Valentine??s Day, for sure. The wall paint was a little dingy. The furniture was purely functional??nothing to look at. The dcor was a meager attempt at Italian ??spirit?.

Our appetizer: Mozzarella Caprese
It was decent. The mozzarella was interesting. It was soft (even for mozzarella), like firm ricotta, not stringy like mozzarella should be, but still a good taste (better than some house mozzarella I??ve had). Ricottazzarella? I like it. The tomatoes were bland. The basil appeared to be dried by the chef. It was okay, but not enough of it, and not nearly enough basil punch. Fresh basil would have been perfect. The balsamic vinegar was good. The pepper flakes were a nice addition, but it just needed a touch more.

Dinner side salad: Sub-mediocre. Iceberg lettuce. Seriously? It had some sizable stem parts that were unappetizing. A tiny bit of tasty red onion. One slice of bland tomato. No croutons. Good house dressing (with minced capers!). No fresh ground black pepper, just a shaker full of dust that was quite difficult to get on my salad.

The bread: It was okay. Actually, a little under-baked (the center had a lyer of translucent rubbery dough/bread). The olive oil on the table had tinge of green color to it (that??s a good thing), but the bottle was just a little unappetizing looking (a little grimey), so we did not try it. I mopped up some balsamic vinegar, from the appetizer, with it.

My entre: Linguine Pescatore??the most expensive item on the menu. The shrimp were just a bit overcooked. Nearly every single muscle, clam, and scallop had ??grit?. Ugh. That is the worst. All had decent to good flavor, and, yes, I endured the grit??again, and again, and again. Truly, nearly every muscle, clam, and scallop had grit. :( The linguine was p-e-r-f-e-c-t-l-y al dente! My arribbiata sauce was okay. Not nearly ??angry? enough; it needed more garlic and red chili. The dish had a generous amount of seafood; the sauce was okay, and the pasta was done perfectly, but there was not quite enough of it. I ran out of pasta and had plenty of everything else.

Dessert: They were out of tiramisu?! It??s Saturday, we had dessert at 7 p.m. (pretty early), and the place was about a third filled. Where did it go? Okay, I got a canollo (the singular of cannoli). It was decent, but overpriced. The filling was good, but the shell was a little ??fridge-stale.? Most desserts are pre-made?! I stuck to house made, which left two choices.

Coffee: It was okay.

Service: Strange. She was extremely polite, but not very good. She appeared to be unfamiliar with the menu. She offered no assistance, but checked on us adequately. We probably got five ??Is everything okay? queries, but nothing else. Not a word of help, advice, chit-chat, or anything.

Unfortunately, I doubt we??ll return anytime soon. However, with a few tweaks, it really could be good!

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We've been to Nino's twice now. We've been to many other restaurants many other times. Nino's is easily at the top of the list for our favorite The food is fantastic.

5
★★★★★

We've been to Nino's twice now. We've been to many other restaurants many other times. Nino's is easily at the top of the list for our favorite The food is fantastic.

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