By Janee Law
The popular Nina’s Pizzeria in Northport has rebranded as Nina’s Restaurant Wine Bar & Tap Beers, and it’s also expanded its menu in the process.
Previously a New York City Police officer, owner Artie Berke was a 9/11 first responder and lost a friend that day. Having two daughters, Berke decided to make a career change and opened up Nina’s Pizzeria in 2002.
In opening the pizzeria, Berke brought with him years of experience as he previously worked at age 15 at what was then Junior’s Pizza in Huntington village.
“I like the art form and the rush of making pizzas on a busy night,” he said. “We were able to throw up pizzas in the air and create new things.”
Now, Berke is creating a new Nina’s.
Rebranded as Nina’s Restaurant, the restaurant offers high-end items, Berke, of Northport, said.
The menu took four years to craft, and has expanded, now featuring more Italian seafood dishes and others he’s created through the years. The new menu officially debuted last Friday.
For an appetizer, the Pazzo Mussels ($10) do not fall short in offering the best quality meat in each shell. With a spicy kick and salty bite, the dish offers a mix of mouthwatering flavors, complete with bacon, cherry hot pepper, red pepper flakes, onion and delectable cream sauce.
As for the main course, the Eggplant Paesano ($16) features sautéed eggplant, filetto sauce, onion, fresh mozzarella and homemade rigatoni. The light sauce is filled with flavor, making the perfect pairing with the soft texture of the eggplant.
For those craving a refreshing summer bite, the Grilled Salmon Salad ($20) is the perfect choice. Served with mesclun salad, sliced granny apples, panko crusted goat cheese, candied walnuts, grape tomatoes, dried cranberries and raspberry vinaigrette, the savory dish satisfies the taste buds.
To top it all off, try the sfingi doughnuts, which are moist and coated with cinnamon sugar, delivering sweet flavors in each bite.
Wine is available both by the glass and by the bottle. There will also be a variety of beers on tap, plus Brooklyn American Pale Ale ($8), Montauk Watermelon Session Ale ($8) and Schofferhofer Grapefruit ($6).
The pizza offerings at Nina’s have also been revamped. It now offers a variety of different pies, including personal pies like the Short Rib pizzetta ($18), Margherita pizzetta ($14), Buffalo pizzetta ($15) and more.
The 487 Main St. restaurant in Northport spans 1,700 square feet, including a beautiful patio for outdoor dining.
Regarding the new menu, Berke said, he hopes customers enjoy the new menu and creative dishes.
“I’m a people pleaser so seeing someone come up and saying, ‘it was the best meal I’ve ever had,’ that drives me,” he said. “I don’t like be stagnant doing the same thing over and over again. Being creative and being able to create new dishes, pushes me forward.”