Tino's in Columbia
We tried them tonight, on opening night, and enjoyed the meal. The service was a little rough, as to be expected for a new restaurant, but they were very friendly and interested in feedback. They make many things in-house, including a rockfish souffle appetizer which tasted of egg and butter with a hint of fish flavor. The pastas were decent and enjoyable and the salmon I had was perfectly cooked. The house salad dressing was memorable and worth ordering on salads that use a different dressing normally. Our waitress said that they make the olive oil in house that they use for dipping bread.
The desserts are home made, so we couldn't resist trying a couple. They have a chocolate-oreo truffle which come 3 golf-ball sized truffles to a plate. They are ganache+oreo inside a hard chocolate shell + oreo crumbs outside. It was excellent and even though I initially thought the serving size was small, they were so intense that the serving size turned out to be perfect. We also had a chocolate mousse which was just average and served so cold they were semi-frozen.
Went back a week later. Service is still a little uneven. He forgot our soft drinks and was not really paying attention to our table.
The food was good. The fettuccine Alfredo was excellent. We tried a pizza and I was happy with it, it had a good balance between the cheese and the tomato sauce and a decent crust. We also tried plain Penne Marinara, which my son liked, but I found the sauce a little sweet with bitter overtones.
The kids ordered what they thought was mozzarella sticks but turned out to be two wedges of breaded, fried mozzarella. Tasty, well fried, not greasy, though small for the price charged.
I think Tino's is a good replacement for Strapazza and better than the other Italian places in our neighborhood.