Da Pino reopened in its new Ravenna location last week, so we wandered down for a late lunch on Saturday. The very casual cafe has four small tables, with Calabria maps and memorabilia hanging on the walls. We grabbed a couple of menus, found a seat, and looked over the specials board. Two other tables were occupied, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear people at both tables occasionally talking in Italian – to each other, and to the owner.
The menu includes a number of sandwiches that feature cured meats made by the owner, Pino Rogano. On this visit, the pasta specials appealed to us, so I ordered rigatoni with meatballs (tasty!), and Dawn had the fettuccine with wild boar meat sauce, blueberries (yes, blueberries) and tomatoes. Each pasta had Italian cheese crumbled on top; I think Parmigiano would have worked better since this cheese didn’t quite melt into the sauce. The dishes reminded me of growing up in NY and having dinner at my friend’s Italian grandmother’s house: al dente boxed pasta served with a hearty sauce. Good, basic Italian cooking.
We rounded out the meal with scoops of strawberry and stracciatella gelato, and ordered a few cured meats to-go from the deli case. Next time, I’ll have to try a sandwich, tiramisu, and an espresso. I think I could get used to having Da Pino in the neighborhood.
2205 NE 65th St