Chris and Nina Psarros of Nina's Ristorante warmly opened its doors
to the ever-growing Raleigh area September of 1999 to an overwhelming
and highly praised reception that hasn't stopped. They continue to
receive high praise from not only local restaurant critics but from
the people who are most important to them, the guests that happily
line the bar to experience for the first or tenth time the magic of
food and wine.
eighty-five-seat restaurant is elegant and expansive. Vibrant flowers,
paintings, and handcrafted sculptures are arranged throughout the
terra cotta walls of the restaurant. Beautiful brass chandeliers hang
from the high ceiling and softly light a 15 x 10-foot faux arbor mural
depicting the countryside of Tuscany along the restaurants back wall.
An 18 x 10 foot, handcrafted mahogany wine rack brimming with Italy's
finest selections rests in subtle view for the customers to see and
choose just what bottle to drink. The expansive wine rack separates
the dinning room and bar area, revealing another handcrafted mahogany
bar with a seating capacity of twenty-five people. And behind the
bar, yet another mahogany wine rack is filled with wine and liquor.
These are the surroundings that Chris and Nina believe set the scene
for a memorable dinning experience.
Psarros loves to be in the kitchen. In fact, she came into this world
in her mother's kitchen in Palermo, Sicily. In 1987, Nina opened her
first restaurant in Suffren, New York called Da Nina's. It quickly
became a four-star restaurant, culling remarks like "you'll never
taste cuisine like this in this country" to "extraordinary
restaurant at an ordinary price." Nina's passion for food, friends,
and family extends to her restaurant guests. Although Nina is a self-taught
chef, she hones her skills and techniques by studying under chefs
such as Jacques Pepein, voraciously reading cookbooks, and spending
hours in the kitchen creating signature dishes to serve in her restaurant.
She also teaches her craft to chefs and novices from around the world
at the acclaimed cooking school "Capazzina" located in Tuscany.
Nina is an active participant and guest chef of the English-speaking
magazine for Italian cuisine lovers, La Cucina Italiana.
In 1999, the Psarros' moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to open Nina's.
The restaurant provides the ever-growing area with Tuscan cuisine
that is heavy on flavor and light on the ingredients. The exclusively
Italian wine list allows them to further the education of Italian
wine and its grape varietals while offering something new and wonderful
for their guests to experience.
A sincere commitment to service the guests is the corner stone of
their operating philosophy. Chris and Nina believe that they have
to match every dollar that comes in with a dollar's worth of service.
Taking care of the guest is what they do, and they expect their employees
to share this commitment. A sincere desire to help their guests enjoy
their dinning experience is absolutely necessary. For opening night
they had the following quote printed on the top of each menu, which
serves as a reminder for every night they are open: “An
invitation to sample our menu...An invitation to become part of our