Formerly the Nesbitt Inn, Rino’s Kitchen and Ale House is a small restaurant on the fringe of downtown Windsor that is big on character and flavor. Meals are served inside a one hundred year old stately brick home on Elliott Street at Pelissier. It’s far enough from the bar scene to have ample parking right next door.
Chef Rino Bortolin proudly uses local ingredients for his ever-changing menu, and he offers local craft beer and wine. His prices are fair and offerings range from burger to lamb shank. The atmosphere is cozy and casual. In the warmer weather tables are set up outside on the deck and sometimes in the back yard.
We started with a couple of craft beers, canned for Cathryn and a draft for me. We ordered the eggplant tower for our first appetizer – our plan was to sample the menu and share our offerings. The eggplant was breaded and baked and stacked and layered with mozzarella cheese and a diced tomato salsa. Two thumbs up for our starter.
We’d asked the waitress to space out our orders while we finished our beers and ordered round two, fish cakes, made from Lake Erie Pickerel. Three plump and large cakes came garnished and with a home made tartar sauce. With our thumbs up again, we ordered a bottle of Cooper’s Hawk Cabernet Franc, 2011. We usually shy away from local reds with heavy tannin, but the aging smoothed the wine perfectly.
For our entree we split the linguine carbonara that’s pictured above. We couldn’t give the dish our thumbs up because we were busy shoveling it into our cake holes. The dish was topped with a crispy panchetta-type bacon that put the meal over the top and made it the best carbonara either of us has ever had.
I overheard our server explaining the pumpkin cheesecake to another diner and I decided we’d finish our meal with that. We were not disappointed, another piece of perfection in a complete feast that was second to none. Cathryn can’t wait to bring her dining divas to Rino’s. We rate it a 12 out of 10!