Monday, September 12, 2011

Nino's Family Restaurant: A Fine Option for Italian in Wildwood

I'm not going to lie: When we were recently in Wildwood, I was not very excited when my Mom told us that we were going to go to Nino's Family Restaurant for dinner. First of all, the idea of Italian food in a Shore town doesn't exactly thrill me. It seems like the sort of place where you would simply want to get a pizza or some steaks or something. And then there is the fact that we were down there out of season. With so few people down there (even on a Labor Day weekend; the weather had driven a lot of people home), I found it hard to believe that the ingredients could be up to snuff. All this being said, I am not one to argue, especially when my Mom was going to be paying (thanks, Mom!).

When we entered the establishment, it was pretty much our party and a gaggle of oldheads who had showed up to take advantage of the early-bird discounts. Could it be possible that these septuagenarians could be on to something and Nino's could actually be a meal worth savoring?

It's why they call it "wisdom," folks.

Nino's was not without hiccups. I was not a huge fan of the salad they provided as an opener. The actual lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and the like was certainly fine, but the Italian dressing was of the creamy variety and I found it to be a little rich. In retrospect, I should have just gotten the balsamic vinagrette or, more likely, asked them to bring out some oil and vinegar. The wife could have applied it for me and I'm sure it would have been perfect.

As for the main course, Nino's chef did not need Spicy's hand-holding. Delivered to my table by an incredibly effective and attentive waitress was a plate of penne and meat sauce that contained flavorful, al dente pasta, a slightly sugary sauce, and perfectly seasoned beef. I cleaned my plate and even tried some of the wife's chicken parmesan. This was an even better dish, with the chicken being not only tender and succulent, but ample as well. Leftovers. They're a good thing. This was a tremendously enjoyable Italian meal in a comfortable environment. It doesn't hurt that it is also a BYOB. We were able to wash down our delicacies with a significant portion of a Piccini Chianti big boy.

The season is up, I know. But next year, if you are in Wildwood and you want some tasty Italian at an afforable price, keep Nino's Italian Restaurant in mind. As for the next day, if you want to have funnel cake and chocolate fudge for dinner, that's between you and your priest.


Nino's Family Restaurant201 W. Walnut Ave
North Wildwood, NJ 08260

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