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[Newark] Nico, a new restaurant from Ryan DePersio


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#1 Rail Paul

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 03:23 AM

Chef Ryan DePersio will be opening a restaurant at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center later this month. I hope to visit sometime in March. The name is Nico, after the chef's son.

Nico's website now has a lunch and dinner menu posted, as well as the wine list. It looks quite similar to Fascino, with the huge benefit of a wine list. The wonderful gnocchi, the Duroc pork tenderloin, the lobster mac and cheese, etc all appear.

The restaurant will be open for dinner and lunch, with a three course prix fixe menu on performance nights. If they continue the existing practice of offering dinner patrons preferred parking, that could be an advantage.

The wine list surprised me a little, with the beginner's mistake of not including vintages with wines. With prices over $300 for a few items, some customers may be interested in the vintage. I suppose they could ask.

The location offers some challenges. The downtown population of Newark has shriveled in recent years. The Mutual Benefit building is empty, the First National State building is partly empty, as is the 570 Broad office building. The old Blue Cross building is now classroom space for Rutgers. Prudential and PSE&G are a long three blocks away. On the plus side, there's lots of parking, and the light rail station is at the front door, as is the Homeland Security building. Other restaurants have failed in the NJPAC space. And, Maize restaurant in the Robert Treat hotel is between the Pru/PSEG and Nico.

A chef with the name recognition of Ryan DePersio may be able to make a success of this venture. I wish him the best, and look forward to trying Nico.


Nico dinner menu

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#2 Rail Paul

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 08:59 PM

Star Ledger offers a preview

In the kitchen before lunch Monday, DePersio sizzles some tomatoes, olives and capers for a deconstructed Livornese sauce that will accompany the bronzini filet ($15), and then turns his attention to the Greek-style lamb burger studded with mint, parsley and tarragon ($12). He rummages through five bins before lighting on the baseball-sized patties "Itís hard to remember the stations for three restaurants," he laughs.


Free parking will be a big advantage. The article mentions that "free parking" will be available after show time on performance evenings. I wonder how that will work? The area on the restaurant side doubles as VIP / chauffeur space, so maybe theyll hold some spaces open for the restaurant?

Nico

“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 30 June 2013 - 05:16 PM

NY Times likes it.  Three stars.

 

The lunch menu is very pleasant. There are always specials, drinks are well made and nicely priced. Free parking is available adjacent to the restaurant (except during evening events).

 

 

 

which features both Mr. DePersio’s signature favorites, like his mascarpone polenta fries, pizzas and sublime ricotta gnocchi, and an array of ambitious but well-priced fish and meat dishes. But the efficient kitchen also ensures consistency on busy show nights by offering just two smaller menus then: a $42 three-course prix fixe in the dining room and an à la carte option in the bar area.

From the main menu, the pan-roasted black cod with a crust of scallions and mascarpone was light and flavorful in its broth of riesling and tomatoes. The same was true of the roasted scallops, cooked through perfectly and offset by the crunch of the accompanying garlic-imbued red quinoa. And you really shouldn’t miss those feathery gnocchi, tossed in a spicy sausage Bolognese sauce with fresh parmigiana.

On the à la carte menu, the braised short ribs (also available on the main menu) were tender, tasty and deftly paired with a mild salsa verde. Eating alone at the bar, I was drawn into conversation with a vivacious couple who insisted I try their macaroni with English peas, bresaola and goat cheese; I, in turn, doled out some of my crab-stuffed zucchini flowers. I got the better of the exchange: the fresh peas added a sweet and snappy contrast to the creamy pasta, while the zucchini flowers in a Romesco sauce were a bit oily and underseasoned.

 

http://www.nytimes.c...ss&emc=rss&_r=0


“Jazz musicians just get better and better as the years go by. I think chefs are the same way. You know who you are.”

 

...Jonathan Waxman


#4 ngatti

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 12:31 AM

CDC Adam Rose, ex CDC from Anthony David in Hoboken.  Talented guy.


yer 'avin' a larf, mate