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Dining at Nicholas next week any suggestions.....?

Tapas52 May 6, 2009 12:42 PM

I've heard so many great things...now is my chance to try it for dinner next week.
Any suggestions please?....

Thank you

  1. MGZ May 6, 2009 01:17 PM

    Overdress! :)

    1. bgut1 May 6, 2009 01:33 PM

      Tapas - Favorites of mine on the current menu include: (apps) hen egg ravioli, parisienne gnocchi, and seared scallops; (entrees) butter poached lobster and suckling pig; (dessert) warm vahlrona chocolate cake, souflee or creme brulee. Enjoy your meal. It's a fantastic experience.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bgut1
        seal May 6, 2009 01:39 PM

        Have to agree with my friend bgut about almost everything he wrote. I never care for creme brulee, even when properly prepared so I cannot vouch for it, but if you are going with at least one other person, then you must get different dishes and share.

        Whatever else you try, at least get one plate of gnocchi.

        Enjoy.

        1. re: seal
          bgut1 May 6, 2009 07:29 PM

          Seal - I rarely if ever order creme brulee as I find it so pedestrian. However, I normally make two exceptions: the foie gras brulee at Eleven Madison Park and the CB Trio @ Nicholas (assuming the flavors are of interest). At Nicholas, the custards are so well made it's worth the dessert investment. Now, if Nicholas decides to put the beignets with chicory coffee ice cream back on the menu, all bets are off. In fact, I was shocked to learn that he did take that dessert off the menu as so many people demanded it. Now, the only two stalwarts are the suckling pig and the warm vahlrona chocolate cake (both of which I recall being on the menu since day one or thereabouts).

          1. re: bgut1
            r
            RGR May 7, 2009 08:59 AM

            bgut,

            The foie brulée at EMP was an accompaniment to the foie gras torchon, not a separate course unto itself. Several months ago, Chef Humm began serving flavored espumas instead of the brulée.

            The foie brulée at Jean Georges -- one of J.G.'s signatures -- is a course on its own. Perhaps, that's what you were thinking of?

            1. re: RGR
              bgut1 May 7, 2009 09:20 AM

              RGR - Thanks for the clarification but I didn't mean to imply that I ordered the foie as a seperate course (only that it was one of two occassions I relished eating a creme brulee). However, I would order the torchon at EMP just to get at the brulee and some more of the chocolate laced brioche Chef Humm used to serve with it. I guess my only option now is to get some at JG. Thanks.

              1. re: bgut1
                r
                RGR May 7, 2009 09:28 AM

                b.,

                I know just what you mean about Chef Humm's brulée. Died-and-gone-to-heaven delicious!! :-)) I finally got to sample J.G.'s brulée a few weeks ago, and while it is very good, it didn't wow me the way Chef Humm's did.

      2. q
        quizkiddonniesmith May 6, 2009 01:36 PM

        The suckling pig is one of the signature dishes here and its fantastic.

        1. fershore May 6, 2009 01:38 PM

          Do the tasting menu with wine.

          1. shabbystorm May 6, 2009 03:19 PM

            Shine Your Shoes
            Try some Zyr Vodka!

            1. j
              joonjoon May 6, 2009 05:04 PM

              I'm going with my mom this Sunday. I usually go for the bar but we're sitting down since it's momma's day. :)

              Most likely we'll just split the tasting menu so we can try everything, and share the wine pairing.

              5 Replies
              1. re: joonjoon
                Tapas52 May 6, 2009 08:28 PM

                Thank you everyione it sounds wonderful.....are jackets a requirement?

                1. re: Tapas52
                  bgut1 May 6, 2009 08:36 PM

                  Not that I recall. However, I would recommend it. I usually eat at the bar to avoid that part as well having to make a reservation. Again, have a great time and don't forget to report back.

                  1. re: Tapas52
                    shabbystorm May 7, 2009 04:17 AM

                    Monsieur, Jacket Suggested, you do know clothes make the man, LOL, NOT!
                    Have Fun!
                    Each bite is magical!

                    1. re: Tapas52
                      r
                      RGR May 7, 2009 08:53 AM

                      When we eat in the formal dining room, Mr. R. prefers to wear a jacket. But I always notice that many men do not. I'd say, do whatever makes you more comfortable.

                      Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

                      1. re: RGR
                        bgut1 May 7, 2009 09:20 AM

                        sound advice

                  2. MGZ Jul 30, 2009 10:12 AM

                    Suffering through the arduous peak of the season, we decided that it was finally time. I realized it meant that I would have to search the closet for a jacket, dust off real shoes, hell, maybe even buy socks, but we knew the moment was upon us. We have eaten at the bar before, but the time had come for us to put Restaurant Nicholas though its paces. I called and made reservations for an early dinner Sunday night.

                    I have had a gift card lingering in my wallet for the better part of the past year. Knowing it was not worth enough for a proper meal at the elite establishment, I figured it more like a 50% off coupon. Having spent most of the afternoon out in the nasty heat working on the yard, we boarded the train famished and excited. We could feel the odd stares of our bathing suit clad fellow travelers – “That woman’s wearing heels.” “The dude has on socks!”

                    We arrived at Nicholas and were seated in one of the cozy round banquettes. The place is rather sterile; however, we agreed that the Chihuly “chandelier” was pretty cool. A bit disappointed by the limited selection of gins, I settled on a Beefeater martini to savor. My wife enjoyed a glass of the house champagne. Together we contemplated our approach to the menu.

                    I also took time to appreciate the wine list. As you may be aware, although it is fun to simply ooh and ah over some of the appellations, one’s ultimate selection certainly deserves thought. I selected a French Chablis based partially upon what we intended to eat but also upon how rarely we are exposed to better versions of the varietal.

                    Now, one doesn’t go to Nicholas for the gin or to view interesting artwork and God knows no one goes for the dreadful music – no, one goes for the food! We were first presented with an exciting watermelon – lobster amuse. The taste was fresh and invigorating. The richness of the tiny lobster chunks countered by the soft sweetness of the watermelon displayed the renowned creativity of the kitchen. The concept is one I unabashedly intend to “borrow” at home (perhaps add some togarashi, hmm . . .).

                    Our first course selections were the soft shell crab for me and the scallops for the Mrs. The crab was my least favorite plate of the evening. Although good, the corn meal coating on the crab was a bit too heavy masking too much of the softy’s delicate flavor. The dish’s sauce and accompanying jicama - apple slaw was, on the other hand, quite appetizing. The scallops were very tasty, again the sauce, a peach barbecue variant, provided an excellent compliment.

                    My wife chose the halibut for her main course while I decided I had to find out what the pork chop would taste like. The halibut was undoubtedly the highlight of the meal. The fish was perfectly cooked, simultaneously flaky and juicy. Moreover, it was sauced in such a way as to enhance the sublime flavor of the fish. Scrumptious. It was also our first experience with Honshimejii mushrooms. I am not sure what precisely they added to the dish, but it’s always amusing to try a new food.

                    The pork chop was delicious. I was especially impressed by the accompanying mustard spaetzle. As for the chop, it was properly cooked so as to retain a moist, pink interior. My only objection is that it was plated for presentation not ingestion. By that, I mean by slicing the meat it looks pretty, but it cools faster. Perhaps it’s not an indictable offense, but nonetheless, it’s a pet peeve of mine.

                    For dessert, I opted for the cheese plate substitution while my wife selected the almond brioche with ice cream. The cheese selection was impressive. After some thought and discussion, we decided I should select the Gouda, a French ash veined cow’s milk variety, Monchego, and Montbriac, the delicately flavored, soft blue cheese. The Gouda was the best of its kind I have ever tasted and the Montbriac spread on a fig wedge was divine. Similarly, the almond dessert was plate-lickin’ good.

                    One of the younger servers repeatedly referred to me as “the gentleman.” Polite, albeit a stretch – I guess the socks fooled him! He addressed my wife inconsistently and I watched her face with each: “Miss” – “Aren’t you sweet.” “Ma’am” – “Ok.” “Madam” – “Do I look like I run a brothel?”

                    Regardless, the service at Nicholas deserves its reputation. The staff is well-trained, efficient, even, well-rehearsed. The volleys of “Thank you” - “You’re welcome” were relentless.

                    In all, I deemed it sock-worthy.

                    [In the interest of full disclosure, I made a nightcap of a pair of El Pastor tacos before boarding the train south!]

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: MGZ
                      bgut1 Jul 30, 2009 11:20 AM

                      MGZ - Thank you for the excellent review. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and I am happy that Nicholas hasn't lost a beat. Regrettably, I haven't dined in either the restaurant or the bar in quite some time. I must make an effort to get back soon.

                      1. re: bgut1
                        r
                        RGR Jul 30, 2009 02:01 PM

                        Agree that MGZ's review is excellent.

                        I can't recall the last time we ate in the bar room, but this past January, we were in the dining room where we enjoyed the superb truffle tasting. The summer menu looks wonderful. Definitely due for a re-visit.

                        1. re: RGR
                          r
                          RPMcMurphy Jul 30, 2009 02:48 PM

                          No worries everyone, myself and a gang of merry gentleman (and ladies) ...ok..there were only 3 of us, but we ordered almost everything off the bar menu a couple of weeks ago, and not a single thing was less than stellar, with the exception of the 'cocktails' but I don't fault them for that.

                          1. re: RPMcMurphy
                            MGZ Jul 31, 2009 06:51 AM

                            You should fault them for the lousy cocktail service - the liquor selection is well beneath the level of everything else about the place. I don't get it.

                            Also, did you try the soft shell crab? Did you honestly think that was "stellar?"

                            Almost forgot - thanks b & R for the kind words.

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