Colonial Heights, VA, 23834
There are probably more family owned Italian Restaurants in the Tri-Cities than any other type of restaurant so finding the one who serves the best food for the best price is quite a challenge. Everyone has their favorite and swears that it is the best around. I also have my favorite but I have tried to stay impartial until now. Before I started this blog, Pino’s was my favorite Italian Restaurant and still is but I promise to be impartial in my review.
A couple of weeks ago my parents and grandfather came over to look at Amanda and I’s Christmas decorations. Afterwards, we all went out for dinner at Pino’s. Right off of the Boulevard in Colonial Heights Pino’s does not look like anything special, there are at least three other Italian restaurants within half of a mile, but it is the best Italian Restaurant in the Tri-Cities. Notice I said Italian restaurant, Dante’s still have the best pizza but Pino’s has the best pasta, salads and calzones/Stromboli. While it has the best food, that’s all that really matters, it is quite possibly the worst decorated. The walls have a stucco look and are covered in sparkles. The pictures on the wall are the most cliché things I have ever seen. They are all framed posters of The Godfather, The Sopranos, Goodfellas and for some odd reason Scarface, Tony Montana was Cuban for crying out loud. There are also pictures of the family who owns the restaurant all over the place. The most annoying thing about the atmosphere though has to be the TVs in the corners blaring 24 hour news coverage of sports. But believe me the food is so good it more than makes up for these distractions.
Without fail, every time my family goes to Pino’s we split the large chef’s salad and each of us get our own container of dressing. The salad is the perfect size for four people so if we bring Amanda we usually order two. Along with the usual salad stuff the chef salad comes covered in shredded mozzarella cheese, ham, salami and pepperoni and an order of delicious bread knots, we usually double the order. The bread knots are covered in olive oil garlic and parsley and are to die for although they sometimes come out white a bit after the salad has.
It is usually a tossup in regards to what we order when we go to Pino’s. Sometimes we will split a pizza, these are always very good. Many times we will split a large calzone and add pepperoni. This is more than enough for four to share and is amazing with the added pepperoni. It comes loaded with mozzarella and ricotta cheese that is warm and gooey on the inside while the outside is nice and crispy. It comes with a whole saucer full of marinara sauce and I mean nice, chunky, marinara sauce not some watery pizza sauce. If we don’t split something I always get either the seafood alfredo or the penne ala gorgonzola. Both plates are huge and I always have enough left over for lunch the next day. The seafood alfredo comes with huge scallops, shrimp and clams in the homemade alfredo sauce over fettuccini and comes with a side of four garlic knots. It is extremely rich and creamy and the seafood is always cooked to perfection. This may be the best pasta I’ve ever eaten. If I’m not in the mood for seafood I order the penne ala Gorgonzola. This comes with chicken and mushrooms in a decadent gorgonzola cream sauce over penne pasta. The chicken is always cooked well and the gorgonzola cream sauce is downright heavenly. I do believe that Pino’s makes their own sauces because they do not taste like they came from a can like many other Italian restaurants.
This trip to Pino’s was like every other, the food, company and service was excellent. I would recommend Pino’s to anyone that is in the mood for Italian food because like I said before, in the sea of Italian restaurants in the Tri-Cities Pino’s is the best.