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Nicaro in Silver Spring, big disappointment!

Went to Nicaro last weekend hoping to find a local gem as I've recently moved from DC to MD. Wow we were really disappointed. Shared sardine appetizer that was pretty good, for entree had the veal which, while the flavors were pretty good, tasted like second-rate meat. And also had the crab cake, which was awful. I adore crab cakes (and am not horribly picky) and I could not bring myself to finish it. It looked like a softball, was all breading with only a hint of crab. Perhaps my asking for more tartar sauce and lemon wasn't clue enough, but at the end our waitress asked how everything was and i had to say something. I rarely, rarely say anything but that dish should not be on the menu and I felt compelled.

For dessert we shared chocolate bread pudding, which was a good dish in theory but tasted as if it had sat around for a while.

So disappointed... still looking for good local spots. Next time we'll try Jackie's.

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  1. Thanks for the heads up. Maybe they'll shake out by the time they are reviewed by the Post. Hope you've tried Ray's the Classics in Silver Spring and Black's and Persimmon in Bethesda if you are looking for American classics/upscale.

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        1. I lust joined chowhound and thought I should reply--we loved Nicaros --finally a decent spot in SS--We've been there twice so far and always with a group and everyone came away happy--I can't quite now pinpoint exactly what we ate but I intend to revisit many, many times. As for Jackies--stay away--the most overrated restaurant thanks to Tom Sietsna's hype when it opened. I have never liked it and lately its gotten so bad that their wait staff often apologizes for the portion size. Their prices have increased. as well

          1. Took the beltway one exit from Bethesda to Georgia Avenenu hoping to avoid the crowds and get a taste of a talented chef's new digs. Probably should have stayed where we were. The place has a little bit of a "hip", "contemporary", "urban" feel. It could also be described as cold and bare. It was certainly LOUD. The dining room half seemed to be filled with middle aged Silver Spring couples who were happy to not have to travel downtown for a birthday or other special night out. They probably should. The bar/lounge/casual half had a good crowd watching sports on TV, having drinks and maybe sharing some plates.

            First, the menu reads beautifully. It is easy to find choices you'd like to try. When they appear at the table, however, you wish you had chosen something else. Fried calamari is dreadful. The worst I've ever had. Tuna tartar was small, salty, and mostly made up of capers. The sweet potato and green sauce accompaniments that the menu mentioned were indeed on the plate, but completely separate from the tartar. A Pipe Dream goat cheese salad suffered the same lack of integration, with a scoop of goat cheese on one side of the plate, and ok dressed greens on the other side of the plate.

            The Rockfish with corn/bacon/asparagus was a winner. My wife's scallops were ok, but again, they took half the plate, and the same greens that accompanied her goat cheese took the other half. Why wouldn't a waiter mention this? I would say my duck was fine, if one-dimensional, but is was really no-dimensional. There was just nothing here that I would ever order again.

            Service was sufficient. I wasn't keen on our waiter, but I can't point to any specifc ommissions. Bottles of red wine were served at a tepid 78 degrees.

            With apps at $7 - 14 and mains at $22 - $28, you are really much better off making the trip downtown, paying a few bucks more, and getting a choice of restaurants with better decor, better service, and better food.