Stacey was out for a girls night so Julia and I headed out for a daddy daughter date night. We started by visiting the new office to check in on the renovations (Julia was confused at this point, because it didn’t really seem like a “date” activity), but then things picked up when we pulled up to Nina’s Ristorante, near the corner of Lead Mine Road and Harvest Oaks Drive in North Raleigh.

Nina's Location on Map

At 6:45, guests were seated at only a few of the 20 tables, so we warmed up with a Shirley Temple and a relaxing beverage for dad. Within 30 minutes most of the tables were filling up so we told the hostess we were ready and she brought us to a nice table along the far wall, from which we took this picture.

Ninas Ristorante

After the waitress explained the specials, Julia said, “This is so overwhelming, everything sounded SO GOOD!” She WAS super-hungry after a long (but fun) day at basketball camp. We ordered dinner, and I urged Julia not to eat too much bread while we waited, but she convinced me that she could still eat her dinner no matter what.

Julia Ninas 1

I ordered the Antipasta plate for an appetizer and it was good, with mozzerella and tomatos, salami, thin cut pruscuitto, olives, parmesan slices and peppers. The best part was vibrant green Spanish olives. I ate one and it was so good I saved the other three to share with Stacey at home.

Ninas Antipasta

Our entres arrived quickly (the waitress apologized for being so fast, but it was perfect for us). Julia had ordered the Lobster Ravioli with Sweet Peas. Her first move was to try a piece of MY dinner (!!) and her eyes rolled back in her head, saying “that is SO good!”. But three bites into her own dinner she said it was the best dinner she had ever had. She let me taste, and it WAS really good.


I got the Halibut with Orzo Pasta. It was very good. I love fish anyway, but this was cooked perfectly and I enjoyed it very much.

Julia said “We need to bring the whole family back here!” I agreed. No dessert at Nina’s this time. We had a Starbucks card thanks to my friend and fitness coach Kanon Burt over at Iron Tribe, so Julia got a Vanilla Frappacino with two squirts of raspberry and I got a Latte.

Starbucks After Ninas

Pretty darn good date night with the best daughter a dad could wish for!