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Nick & Stef's or Zucca before an opera? HELP!!

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My husband and I are taking clients out to dinner and an opera. Both Patina and Cafe Pinot are closed for private parties. We need to go to a Patina Group restaurant (long story) so that leaves me with Zucca, Nick and Stef's or Kendall's. The clients are somewhat formal. I need both atmosphere and food--no concern for price. The Opera is at 7:30 end of May. Zucca has I nice patio (I think?) but across town. Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

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  1. Haven't been to Nick and Stef's but have been to Zucca maybe 10 times. In my opinion the food is pretty lame overall but the atmosphere is very pleasant, and appearances are everything in life. It is not as good as Patina and Pinot.

    1. Nic & Stef's is better for your purposes. Just know that the menu is limited as it is a steakhouse.

      1. i disagree. for an opera, the setting at zucca will really get you in an elegant mood. at worst the food is inconsistent, but by no means lame. it depends on what you'd like to eat, but i've had as many unmemorable meals, if not more at nik's.....except for the sweet potato fries....always outstanding! i'd go to zucca.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jay 1

          between the two...i would go with nick & stef's but if you are in the mood for pasta..

          1. re: rickym13

            I haven't eaten at Nick and Stef but Zucca would be a good choice for pre-Opera dinner. It is upscale without being stuffy. There is a patio but indoor seating may be nicer as the patio felt busy to me due to its configuration. Their pork shank with fagiole is excellent.

        2. You're seeing Tosca - set in Italy, sung in Italian. Zucca if you want to stay with the theme!

          We eat at Zucca quite a bit before any of the Music Center shows and have no problem getting up there in time. They have easy parking just behind the restaurant. The time you save at Zucca vs. getting in and our of the Nick/Stef building will more than make up the few extra blocks (I wouldn't say Zucca was across town at all). We like Nick/Stef's too.