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Nicoletta: Casual Italian with American Influences
Hearing good reviews about Nicoletta and craving an Italian Pizza all week, I went straight to 2nd and 10th where Nicoletta is located. Arriving in front of the red logo it felt familiar, it’s actually the Bugatti redesigned taking you to Italy before you even set foot inside. A blend between American and Italian, the place serves Italian food but also displays a selection of draft beers and the latest sports news behind the bar: welcome to Nicoletta, the American sports bar, and the Italian pizzeria.
The restaurant can be spotted from a car in normal traffic due to its premium location and several tables decorating its entrance. Simple and neat, the decor is traditional - bricks, blackboards displaying the specials, a bar in the heart of the place, with spherical lamps dangling from the ceiling. Surrounded by wooden tables and wooden benches, in the center marble tables and metallic chairs, the restaurant can seat up to 60 guests.
On the menu, start with the snacks and appetizers, customize your pizza or order one of the specials, choose a refreshing salad, end it with pasta or an oven-cooked meal.
I enjoyed looking at the details. The big “N” printed on the glass of beer, the soft tablecloth, the wooden floor and wooden ceiling and the joke on the waiters' backs “Cut on carbs, eat Pizza”.
And the pizza arrived in record time! At Nicoletta they have a brilliant idea for the Pizza; it’s supported by a metallic stand that fits on one of the table’s sides. Now that the Pizza is hanging in the air, it doesn’t take too much space leaving more room for the other dishes. The dough is thick, firm, lightly chewy and most importantly not soggy. It’s light and soft, airy and tasty. Topped with the chosen ingredients, it offers a juicy finish made with fresh ingredients. Tartuffo cream, prosciutto, fresh mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. It’s an Italian Americanized Pizza and it’s good!
Now the parmigiana, a huge plate of four portions: very tender eggplant, ricotta and mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce and sautéed spinach. Big like the American restaurants do it and I love it! Very flavorful, beautifully textured, balanced and cooked to perfection. You feel every ingredient and together they create an amazing plate.
Pasta, a very good sauce mixed with spaghetti that is not al dente enough but still enjoyable. The big portion comes with four meatballs that add more excitement to the plate. I love it when the sauce is acidic and provides a strong kick in the mouth after every bite.
It speaks the American language, doesn’t have the Italian finesse but it’s good for what it is. A guaranteed enjoyable meal created with good products, plates that are filling and an ambiance that’s cool in a restaurant that oozes positive vibes.
- The love felt in the food and the clear touch of the chef working in the kitchen.
- The portions are great!
- The prices are very reasonable!
- The menu side is restrained and straight to the point.
- The speed of service is shockingly good!
- The pizza stand is an award-winning idea! I salute it.
The best thing ever:
- They have a LinkNYC booth in front of the restaurant so you stay connected to the fastest complimentary internet.
I would change a few things:
- I’m not sure if T-Shirts are the proper outfits for the staff.
- The Nicoletta logo could have a nice tag-line or slogan so people know what to expect: I was expecting an Italian pizzeria, I ended up enjoying my experience more than if it were simply that, and I’m sure people would love to know what to expect.
Nicoletta is one of my new favorite addresses in New York; I’ll surely come back for the pizza, the spaghetti, and parmigiana. Give this place a try!