We get inundated with press releases announcing new chefs on a daily basis and it’s tough for any single one to break through the clutter.
But when we saw the photo of Ristorante Nicola’s new super-handsome executive chef, Justin Melnick (above), let’s just say our curiosity was piqued. How could somebody so attractive possibly make bad food?
Let’s just say our instincts were correct. What he puts out is nothing short of classic Italian perfection. (Is our use of the phrase put out too subtle?)
One of our favorite things at Ristorante Nicola has always been its antipasti platter, one of the best in town with its variety of meats, cheeses and inspired accompaniments.
Because man cannot live on antipasti alone, though, there are several other dishes that are perfect for sharing. More is always merrier. In so many situations.
Half orders of pasta are available, too, so sampling favorites like Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese (studded with veal and pork) and Ravioli (stuffed with sun-dried tomato and goat cheese) is an easy decision.
Finally, for some truly inspired protein-centric main courses, the wild boar is elegant, plentiful and expertly prepared. And how often do you get to order wild boar without being on safari? (Or at McDonald’s getting their new Spicy McBoar Bites.)
Yet it was the wood oven roasted free-range chicken that won over the entire table. Yes, chicken. Hard to believe that the red-feathered step child of finer dining menus has actually been elevated to superstar status. Served with a medley of roasted mushrooms and fava beans, it’s succulent and flavorful beyond compare.
So hit Ristorante Nicola very soon and experience what inspired Italian dining should be all about.
Lusting after the chef notwithstanding.
8111 Preston Road, Dallas
Photo Credit: Kevin Marple