Sunday, January 17, 2016

Nico Ristorante in the North End

We decided on an early pre-show dinner at Nico Ristorate in the North End because there was a Groupon special, pay $35.00 for $60.00 worth of food.  Since our show was at 6:30 PM, we tried to reserve our group for 4:00 PM but the only available slot on Opentable was at 3:30 PM.  On the bright side, there's free street parking in the North End on Sundays before 6 PM (then it turns into residential permit parking only) After driving in torrential rain and running down Hanover street wet, we arrived at the restaurant to find out we were the only patrons there.

The server was not welcoming, he told us to remove our Starbucks coffee off the table. I didn't even think of that and I totally forgot. We were trying to warm ourselves up.  I didn't mind putting it away but he could have asked us nicer.

We didn't have much time to settle in when he came back with bread and ask us for our drink order. What's the rush? We were the only ones there at 3:30 PM!!!

Complimentary bread basket at NICO

We proceeded with our appetizer order and got a fried calamari and meatball.  The calamari was very good and the huge meatball was tasty and tender.

Fritto Di Calamari $13.95

Polpetta DiMamma Rosetta $9.95
(Meatball made with ground veal, beef, mushrooms and served with ricotta)

I couldn't decide on what to eat. My heart wanted gnocchi but I wanted to try something different.
We each ordered separate things and took bites of each other's plates.

There were 3 seafood dishes. They seem to have all the same pink sauce base.  The lobster ravioli was great. Each piece had generous lobster filling.

Ravioli All'aragosta (Lobster Ravioli) $19.95
I didn't want plain gnocchi so I asked the server if the chef can add shrimp or scallop. He replied annoyed, "IT WILL BE A LOT OF MONEY!" No Shit, I know there will be an adder, can it be done? The chef was able to do it and the dish was amazing! The scallops were colossal and the gnocchi paired well with the sauce and sweet seafood delicacy.

Gnocchi and Scallops
The most creative dish was the "Crespelle all'aragosta" which was a homemade Italian crepe stuffed with lobster meat with a pink sauce.  It was so rich and delicious. There were generous portions of lobster meat. I loved the contrast of the sweet crepe and the tangy pink sauce.

Crespelle all'aragosta

Two of the other girls got the fettuccine carbonara and the fettuccine alfredo con pollo. Both dishes were similar except one had bacon and peas.

Nico Fettuccine alfredo con pollo $17.95
Overall, food wise, this is the best out of all the Varano Group brands but worst in service.  (I've been to them all) The food was wonderful but service was temperamental and lacking.  I'd give it another shot.

Now, we're off to see Beauty and the Beast at the Boston Opera House.

417 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-0404