A couple of my gal pals, Cindy and Denise, and I decided to give Nicolinni's new restaurant on Restaurant Hill in Montrose a try. It's located at 85 Montrose W. Ave. in a former Bennigan's, but you'd never know it. It's made a beautiful transformation from Irish to Italian. They can be reached at (330) 664-080.
It's so pretty and welcoming on the inside with a menu chock full of things I wanted to try. We started off with a family style salad. One salad for the table, dressed before it arrives. To be honest, this was a little too Olive Gardeny to me, but I went with it. I didn't realize this was how it was served so when we were asked what dressing we wanted, I just said Italian, thinking I was ordering for me. Had I realized it was family style, we could have gotten an undress salad with an array of dressing brought to the table. But it was fine.
We also got a basket of delicious crusty bread, served with an herbed dipping oil. For me, the oil was too mild. An extra virgin would have made this perfect. But the fresh baked bread was wonderful all on it's own anyway.
Now it's time to chose and appetizer. Sautéed 'scarole, Wedding soup, calamari oh my! So much to chose, so little time! We opted for an appetizer of Fried Zucchini with Marinara. This proved to be a pretty excellent choice.
Large planks of beautifully fried zucchini were doused in a flavorful rich marinara. It was just the right amount to share and not spoil lunch. Quite frankly, I could have made a meal of a few of Nicolinni's Primi offerings. But I did decide on a lunch. It was a toss up between Pasta with Chicken and Greens, or Pizza with Potato and Greens. Dammit, I was having those greens somewhere, somehow during this meal! And the pizza won out. It just sounded too good to pass up. What do you think?
This my friends, is a thing of beauty and it tastes just as good as it looks. Incredible homemade crust, 'scarole that absolutely melts in your mouth, crispy and creamy potatoes and bubbly cheese. I want some right now please. Seriously amazing.
And if that weren't enough, we were celebrating Cindy's new job at this lunch so we just had to get dessert and what better dessert when you're in an Italian restaurant? Why Tiramisu of course! Nicolinni's has a pastry chef on premises who makes all the desserts from scratch. This is something I love and admire. The desserts are not institutional. They are fresh. They aren't bought in bulk at GFS or somewhere else. They are handmade, with love. You could taste it, you could see it. It's a thing of beauty.
Yum. It's wonderful to see a locally owned restaurant in an area dominated by chains. I will definitely be making a return trip to Nicolinni's.
Buon Cibo mia Amici.