The place was narrow and homey, somewhat reminiscent of Hummus Kitchen, and as we entered we were seated immediately at a small two-top along the wall. The manager came by to recite the specials (which were also inscribed on chalkboards posted on the wall). Many of them sounded good, particularly a mushroom and fontina ravioli that piqued my interest. We made some quick decisions and placed our order with the fast-talking but exuberent and friendly waiter.
As we waited, a bread basket arrived bearing chunky wedges of white bread. The bread itself was nothing special-- pretty much the definition of standard, with a little twist due to the wedge shape. But it came with a ramekin of olive oil packed with tender eggplant and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes for flavor. This condiment was truly delicious, the sort of nibble most restaurants would charge for ("eggplant caponata, $5").
AV's appetizer, an order of meatballs in sauce, came while we were working on the bread. AV had had this dish before-- it was part of the reason why he brought us back to Nina's. So while they weren't the best meatballs he's ever had (a title he explains rests securely with his father), they were some good meatballs. As for my own thoughts on the matter, see previous paragraph (bread basket).
After a quick bit of mid-dinner blackberrying, we had located our (my) dessert destination, Emack and Bolio's, a short postprandial walk away. So we declined any offer of dessert, paid the bill, and headed out into the night. Nina's isn't haute cuisine, but it gets a lot of things right: the service is fast and friendly, the food is solid, and the price is incredibly reasonable. It's also worth noting that neither of us tried the pizzas, which looked incredible, so I have a feeling we skirted Nina's true forte in our ordering decisions (the place does label itself an "Argentinian Pizzeria Restaurant," after all). Nonetheless, Nina's earns a yeoman's three Offset Spatulas as a great neighborhood place for fast carbs at an easy price.