Plainview’s Delicious Little Secret
While at The Marriott’s Residence Inn Plainview we uncovered an elegant little restaurant named Baldino’s. Because this cozy restaurant is tucked away from view in a hotel, it even comes as a surprise to the local residents. Being a part of Marriott, naturally this place has the upscale look and feel the hotel is famous for. However, Baldino’s is no typical hotel eatery.
The dining area features soft, subdued lighting that creates an environment that is ideal for business or pleasure. The main dining area has a piano and a private Winery Room to host intimate parties, but what really catches your eye upon walking into the restaurant is the large aquarium filled with colorful, tropical fish that lights up the entire room. The beautiful aquarium, with fish that match Baldino’s blue napery, provides a wonderfully soothing focal point.
We started off our meal with a breadbasket of hot, fresh rolls, breadsticks, flatbreads and a variety of marinated olives (below left). Then we sampled three of their specialty drinks beginning with The Blue Point Pumpkin Ale (below right). This seasonal beer was beautifully presented, topped with a fresh orange and rimmed with cinnamon, which complimented the ales smooth finish.
Baldino’s also offers a nice variety of handcrafted Martini’s from Apple to Chocolate that are perfect starters for any meal. The first signature martini we enjoyed was their fruity Mermaid Martini (below left) made with Absolut Vodka, Malibu Coconut Rum, Pineapple Juice and Grenadine, topped with a slice of pineapple. We also tried their fruit garnished Apple Martini (below right) which is ideal for someone who craves a festive cocktail with a hint of sweetness.
The Szechuan Calamari (below) was the first dish to come from the kitchen. The nicely caramelized calamari were tender and crunchy served with a sweet chili glace and coated with crushed peanuts. The chili glace is very mild and doesn’t hit your palate immediately. This delicate dish had a good balance of heat and sweetness with subtle peanut flavor.
Their Fall Special; Root Beer braised Short Ribs (below left) with toasted sesame seeds, sweet potatoes and garnished with rosemary was a favorite amongst the table. This delightfully presented plate of fabulously tender Short Ribs was truly a mouthwatering dish.
Up next was the Linguine Rufino (above right), which featured linguine with butter sauce, vinegar, shallots and ricotta cheese garnished with fresh basil. This was another beautifully presented dish and featured a very generous portion. This simple pasta dish was cooked al dente with comforting notes from the ricotta. The crispy shallots atop were scrumptiously addicting and really tied the dish together well.
The Napa Valley Double Cut Pork Chop a.k.a. “The Showstopper" (below left) is one of their signature dishes and a favorite among patrons. The pork chop glazed with hoison, sweet mustard, tamarind and ginger was a perfectly cooked, extremely tender creation. The hoison gave it a slightly sweet taste, but nothing too overpowering. This dish offers a large portion for a very reasonable price.
Next came the Sesame Crusted Tuna (above right) served in lime, ginger, and garlic glace, with an abundance of Asian vegetables, steamed rice and wasabi crème. The presentation was fun and lively and an all around excellent dish. The tuna was fresh, nicely pan seared and cooked properly with just the appropriate amount of heat to bring out its black and blue quality. The gently scented rice was nicely prepared with a hint of lemon that made it the ideal accessory to the elegantly plated tuna.
The popular Chef’s Classic Salad (below left) is served with Mesclun greens, Gorgonzola cheese, sesame crusted walnuts, diced pears and dried cranberries, bathed in a hazelnut oil dressing. The fresh and colorful ingredients, which blended together nicely to provide a medley of flavor, were amply coated with dressing.
For dessert we had the tasty Cranberry Apple Pie (above right) drizzled with a mango and vanilla sauce. The rustic, homemade crust and the cranberry and apple filling was a nice combination of sweet and tart that delightfully rounded out our dining experience.
Baldino’s accommodating staff, creative cuisine and pleasant surroundings offers an unquestionably fine dining experience to hotel guests and local patrons alike. The added advantage of being located in a Residence Inn by Marriott gives you the availability of world-class accommodations as well.