With no signage, it took me foreverto figure out the name of the new wine bar in my neighborhood. I finally learned it was called Pino when I got close enough to pick up a menu from one of the tables. I put my bag down while I was reading what they had to offer and by that point there was no turning back. When the big work tote hits the floor, I’ve settled in for the evening.
It was a long day. The kind where the emails didn’t stop til after my bedtime. I wanted wine. I deserved wine. That’s their jam at Pino so I had plenty to choose from. My only critique is that no glass was less than $11. I would have loved a nice $9 glass…then I would have probably ordered three instead of two. The only other downside was the meat and cheese plate. Just not up to snuff. I was a little concerned about how the rest of the meal would be, but my complaints end here. I felt like I had to order the shrimp after the bartender said “the sauce is fucking unbelievable.” He was right, thought I wouldn’t call it a sauce so much as a slightly spicy tomato broth filled with corn and heart of palm. I also loved the turkey meatballs in red wine sauce. I tried to see if I could get the chef to admit to putting pork or veal in there because I thought there was no way that could just be turkey.
I love how intimate this place is. You can’t get away without having a conversation with the chef and bartenter because everything is kind of on top of each other. The tables are spaced out enough but the bar feeds right into the kitchen area and everybody seems to pitch in where needed. The ease of striking up a conversation is what makes it a neighborhood spot. The guy next to us at the bar was all too eager to chat about our common ‘hood and when the bartender was disappointed not to get a girl’s number before she left he responded “no big, they’re here every week.” People want our Murray Hill to become a place where people want to stay instead of the transient area it has a reputation of being and Pino is doing its part to help.