Monday, June 3, 2013

Nico's



In preparation for my impending trip to Italia, I decided it most appropo to meet some friends at Nico’s, an authentic Sicilian restaurant in downtown Greensboro. It’s in a great location – right on the corner of Elm and Friendly. Walls are adorned with abstract art and photographs of beautiful Sicily, and the thoughtful server made suitable suggestions when wine choices and sides were not available. I was most impressed with the quality of ingredients and execution of dishes. They have a good thing going here.

One of my dining companions was a former employee at the restaurant, so upon her arrival, Nico sent over a plate of Bruschetta on their homemade, grilled Focaccia Bread. Topped with Fresh Tomatoes, Onions, Balsamic Vinegar, Microgreens and Parmesan Shreds, this makes for the perfect summer appetizer. Another basket of homemade Focaccia arrived, alongside Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. The bread is outstanding, with just enough of a salty bite. I went against the majority of my "wino" group and chose The Split as my beverage: an aperitif of Aperol and Prosecco with an Orange slice. Refreshing. Reminds me of my time in Germany.

We decided on an entrée as an appetizer - divided into four portions. When in Sicily! Capesante e piselli (roughly, Scallops and Peas) presents perfectly cooked plump Scallops atop a bed of creamy Cracked Risotto, with a Sweet Pea Puree underlying it all. The puree was a nice pop of color, a paint brush stroke, if you will. The salty crust on the scallop is to die for. Crisp Italian Green Beans are a nice crunchy addition.

Linguini al frutti di mare is essentially like eating the sea, in the best way possible. Notably homemade pasta swims alongside large Scallops, Shrimp, Mussels and Clams in a White Wine Sauce, with just a drop of Marinara (per the chef’s recommendation.) The portions are huge! This is spicier than I expected, but really tasty, fresh seafood.

Gnocchi Ricotta doesn’t disintegrate, like some I’ve had in the past. The tender homemade dumplings are nestled in a bed of Cured Tomatoes, Wilted Greens and Mushrooms in a deeply flavorful sauce. Vegetarians and carnivores alike will be pleased. Pollo Canzanese is a winner; the best of the evening. Braised Chicken (the most tender I can remember having) is topped with salty Prosciutto and paired with creamy Sage Polenta, which is like grits but more decadent. Sautéed Broccolini is a tasty side substitute, as they were out of Zucchini. Our gain.

Be prepared to drop some dollars, but it is so worth it. This was the best research I could have done for my trip. Come August, I will tell you all “Ciao!” briefly, but come back with fantastic stories and photos.

2 comments:

  1. I've been here several times and it has always been great but this was the first time for brunch. It was excellent the food was hot and fresh. Excellent service and the atmosphere was so nice and I can't wait to have brunch there again. you can sit inside or outside just depending on your mood.
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  2. Thanks so much for your comment, Helena! I haven't tried New Orleans Bar & Grill yet, but I'll definitely add it to the list! Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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