Years ago, Selimaj a humble immigrant started his first job as a busboy and worked his way up to the rank of manager. He then ventured into the restaurants and grasped all he could as a dishwasher before earning the title of a chef. Over a span of 13 years, he mastered the skills and knowledge required for his business and opened his first restaurant, Nino’s Restaurant.
His expertise did not go unnoticed, with his chain of successful eateries — seven at one point, and currently three in New York City.
Nino’s Restaurant is an upscale restaurant with elegant décor and an intimate setting that creates a charming ambiance. Dim lights, chandeliers, candles and artistic paintings with classical live music in the background complements the exquisite cuisine served by Nino’s team of professional chefs.
Selimaj dedicates most of his time to his second home—the restaurant and therefore, majority of his guests are greeted and welcomed by none other than Nino Selimaj. Accompanying him is his entourage of well presented staff who always have a smile and recommendations to offer their customers.
The Restaurant accommodates parties of 20 to 140 guests, and cater to all types of events including seasonal celebrations, social occasions and business gatherings. They also offer a vast selection of dishes from their specially prepared party menu starting at USD 55 and reaching USD 95.
Their speciality being Northern Italian cuisine, Nino’s habitué seem to particularly favour their Fresh Dover Sole, Banana Flambé, Prime Aged Porterhouse Steak For Two, Lobster Fra Diavolo, Caesar Salad and Chicken Jeter.
Nino’s Serves Their Own Handmade Pasta And Presents Live Music Five Days A Week Featuring Danny Nye, Al Deleon And Irving Fields (Who Just Turned 99 Years Young)
The wine list available at Nino’s is extensive and has quite a lot of options to be offered to all wine enthusiasts. Nino’s Restaurant has received a lot of attention due to its USD 1,000 Pizza, among other aspects. Though it is home to other outstanding and unique dishes, like the seasonal Risotto with white truffles, the Caviar pizza manages to catch the eye of many.
Nino’s Caviar Pizza, counted among the most exclusive pizzas in the world, originated years ago, when he had an opportunity to diversify and expand one of his restaurants and include a partial pizzeria, now known as Nino’s Bellissima Pizza. With the vision to create something remarkable and special, Selimaj incorporated the universal love for caviar into his menu and created an exceptional dish that people have fallen in love with since then.
The extravagant pizza, composed of four different caviars and lobster comes in a selection of flavours to choose from; Imperial Reserve Persicus, Royal Sevruga, Caviar Alverta President and Royal Transmontanous USA along with Fresh Lobster Tails, Trout Roe and Wasabi Tobiko.
Another trait that stands out is their presentation of table side cooking, a concept not practiced by many, but one that is applauded at Nino’s. Table side cooking includes deboning of fish, preparation of dishes such as Caesar salad for two made from scratch, lobster fra diavolo, and desserts like banana flambé and zabaglione.
The stature of the restaurant is further elevated due to frequent appearances by celebrities and public figures. Among recent diners are Don Zimmer, Joe Torry, Cindy Crawford, Hillary Duff, Carol Burnett, Tony Bennett, Clint Eastwood, Angela Lansbury, Chelsea Clinton, Tom Jones and members of the Sopranos. It is also worthy of note that Governor Pataki used to dine at Nino’s every week and that Stevie Wonder performed on Mother’s Day at Nino’s as a guest, for all the mothers present.
The talk show host and actor, Regis Philbin declared, “if it was not for Nino’s restaurants, NYC would not be the same.”
After the 1996 World Series, the whole cast of Yankees chose to celebrate at Nino’s Restaurant. There is also a dish at Nino’s that is named after Derek Jeter. Interestingly, the dish—Chicken Jeter, was aided in creation by the former baseball star himself.
After the long journey of following his dreams, the chef/businessman still believes in going above and beyond for his guests, and it is his resolve paired with his proficiency that has brought his empire far.
Nino Selimaj combines his passion for culinary arts with his aspiration to serve his clientele in an inviting atmosphere, and the outcome is his legacy—Nino’s Restaurant.