My brother and his girlfriend decided a few months ago they were going to quit their jobs and open a restaurant, and they committed to doing just that. I've been spending weekends helping renovate the space and clean it up, and finally today we fired up the pizza ovens and cooked our first batch of pies.
(not me in the pictures)
They hired a guy with 20 years experience making pizza, and he hit it out of the park first shot. Super thin crust, great sauce, the right amount of cheese. We gave away at least 10 pizzas worth of slices today to people passing by. A family from out of state happened to walk in thinking we were open just as the very first pie came out, and they ate the whole thing, and came back later for another one to take with them. I think that's a pretty good sign.
The other part of the restaurant is an Italian grill, with a wonderful chef who put together a great menu... the traditional dishes like spaghetti and meatballs, with some other tasty dishes thrown in like salmon piccata, pork saltimbocca, a cioppino, some ridiculously good cheese ravioli in a brandy gorgonzola cream sauce with pistachios and shallots.
We've been working very hard for weeks to put it together, and proud of what's been accomplished so far. Doing a soft opening middle of the week this week, and while I'm not down there I'm working on the website and social media to get a buzz going. I'm going to be working weekends making pizza and chicken wings (learning how to toss a pie, it isn't anywhere as easy as it looks), and I couldn't be more excited. Had to share!
It's called Nina's, in downtown Oneonta, NY. If you're in the area, please stop by!