Nico Kitchen & Bar - Newark
Nico Kitchen & Bar - Newark

Nico Kitchen & Bar - Newark

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.nicokitchenbar.com/
  • Phone: 9736421226x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday through Friday

    Dinner: Monday - Friday

    Monday through Thursday until 9pm

    Friday until 11pm

    Saturdays and Sundays in conjunction with the performances only
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Ryan DePersio
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Smoking Area, Wine
  • Catering: We can cater any event from office breakfasts, lunches or dinners, private parties, corporate events, weddings or Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Mulberry Street
  • Public Transit: Newark Light Rail - NJPAC
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: NICO offers free parking with validation (although not in conjunction with any NJPAC performance)
A word from Nico Kitchen & Bar - Newark
NICO Kitchen + Bar, the “Italian without Borders” restaurant concept from celebrated New Jersey Chef Ryan DePersio of Fascino and Bar Cara fame, is located in downtown Newark at NJPAC. Known for its power lunch week days, sophisticated happy hour, and contemporary, “shared plates” offerings, it also provides a delicious prelude to guests attending performances by offering a value-priced prix fixe menu before every curtain.
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Nico Kitchen & Bar - Newark reviews from OpenTable diners
43 reviews since June 22, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.8
    Service3.3
  • Ambiance3.6
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
good for groups (15)special occasion (14)fit for foodies (11)great for lunch (10)neighborhood gem (10)vibrant bar scene (6)hot spot (6)notable wine list (5)romantic (3)late-night find (2)great for outdoor dining (1)great for brunch (1)Show More
  • Steer away from Pre Fixe menu.
    FOODIE
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    We went pre-show and the only option preshow is a prefix menu, which seemed to have been prepared before we ordered. The food is great if you can go when there isn't a show about to start and you can order from the regular dinner menu. Our waitress was very accommodating when they didn't have the drink I ordered. She gave me other option I wanted no charge.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Before the Show
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    If you are in a rush before the show, Nico has an affordable white table cloth meal with drinks
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Concert Convenient
    Lettucelover
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    If you are a subscriber to the NJSO at NJPAC, you arelucky to have Nico Kitchen and Bar in the same building. With parking across the street, this is a perfect dinner and concert evening. four of us met for dinner, all enjoyed our meals.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • service, service, service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2001VIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    There must be a large turnover of employees because you never see the same faces. The place is usually empty, but they have trouble getting us all out in time for the performance. Our desserts were served first! When we requested more bread it came without butter. The cesear salad was bland as were the arancini crab balls. The bronzini was very tasty. It annoys me to have to order dessert with my meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Need to improve speed of service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    It took an hour for the first course and we missed dessert to get Into the show on time. Good was excellent but needs improvement on time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch with Easy Parking
    NJRealtor
    Dined on 10/9/2014
    I was looking for a place (in Newark) to take a client for lunch. I had a few ideas for smaller spots but parking would have been questionable. I chose Nico's and had not only easy parking, but a fresh, well done meal with an attractive atmosphere and good service.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner & Play
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    From bartender to waitress very professional and food was great
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall a fun night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/28/2014
    We had tickets for a show and we gave ourselves an hour and a half to enjoy a meal before the show. Unfortunately, it seems the staff forgot us and we did not get our entrées until 20 minutes before the show started. We did make it to the show and they did give us a small discount on the bill, but the meal would have been better if we didn't have to rush.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just the right place
    Dannyboy
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    My second visit to Nico. This restaurant is the reason we go to the NJPAC. Always have a wonderful time, and the service is great
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Good Food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    The food was awesome, waiters very good, but the entree took way too long to arrive. Had 5:15 pm reservations, arrived on time & everything was moving along nicely & then we had to wait until a few minutes past 6:30 for our entree. Our show started at 7 pm so we had to eat our delicious dinner & dessert very fast, not good. We were given a free round of drinks & a small discount, but I would have preferred more time to eat!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Special Experience
    MaryB
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Food was great -- tasty and innovative. Service was impeccable. We have eaten here several times and all were lovely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place before and after a show
    Visitor1957xxxxxxxxxxx
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Went there before a show, service by STEVE was great, very attentive but not overly smothering. Prefix menu had great choices. (The lump crab appetizer could be a little bigger). But with dessert included, plenty to eat in the end. To wait out traffic we went back in for an after show drink. It was a Sunday night... went to bar, bar full, then eventually seats opened up.... TVs for sports, a few of them along bar, but not huge so it looked like a sports bar. Will go back again before or after a show.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointed
    toobad
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    I have tried many times to get a rez at Nico's so was very happy to get one for 6:15 the night of a 8:00 performance at NJ PAC. Well, they assured us that they can get us out on time for the show. Our waitress completely disappeared, we didn't get our drinks for almost 30 minutes, appetizers came at 7:15, entree 7:30 and they brought out dessert while we were wolfing down our food to make the show. It was prix fix only on performance night, I don't know why they didn't have it together if they get most of the business from show goers in hte same building. The food was very tasty - wish we could have enjoyed it.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Prefix Menu Needs Work
    Prefix
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    NJPAC is a one of my favorite places but Nico's is a different story. The prefix menu needs some help. At first glance, there seems to be some nice choices but if you are vegan or vegetarian you are out of luck. Our server would not accommodate anything that was not on the menu, offering for us to select items that were part of the regular entrees to create a vegetarian plate. What arrived was a plate full of items that did not look appetizing. Although we did not pay for this meal and the manager was very nice, it was a disappointment to the beginning of our evening. I had fish, which was good but barely warm. Dessert though was great! Nico's servers are less than properly trained and it needs upgrading to meet diners needs.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • WastingfoodisasinVIP
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    Taste of food was just ok to eat. However, service was horrible. Servers don't know how to serve. How can they expect us to dine without knives and forks? Ambience is casual and relaxing.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very Enjoyable
    Realtor
    Dined on 9/10/2014
    We arrived anhour late because of HORRIBLE traffic. We where seated as soon as we arrived and our server was FANTASTIC. We told her we where running late and had tickets to the Eagles concert at the Prudential center. Our food arrived on time and was DELICIOUS. Great meal and service and will diffidently go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for pre-concert event!
    Gypsy
    Dined on 9/3/2014
    We were in Newark for a show at the Prudential. Found Nico's on Open Table. Nicest place in the area, great bar, within easy walking distance from Prudential, Very welcoming, and friendly, efficient staff. Chef was well aware of gluten issues, and was honest about not feeling comfortable in altering a plate to suit my needs. I would rather hear that, than be unsure if my food was safe or not. Only problem, I did not receive points, as per Open Table policy? Now, why is that? Host said he would look into it. Highly recommended!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice Dining Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    This place is a Newark gem; only had the opportunity to go for lunch; have tried some foods I can't remember the names however everything was very tasty including salads and sandwiches. Service was friendly and timely. Overall it is a little pricey but food is excellent. Looking forward to trying out dinner there.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Needs some work
    LoshieVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We had a relatively poor experience at Nico. The staff was overwhelmed. We waiting 1/2 hour for our drink order and then too long for our food since we were attending an event. However, the manager was very concerned and comped our drinks. I think they just need some work - they'll get it right. Food was very good once it did arrive.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good and bad.
    AWF2014
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Nico is literally attached to NJPAC, making it THE dining choice before a show there. Or one would think. On the upside, the food was very good and the staff was pleasant. The service was awful, and if you scroll thru these reviews, you'll see this complaint often. We sat for 20 minutes before anyone came to take an order. The food arrived quickly - actually, too quickly - with the server trying to take away our half finished appetizers to make room for the entrees. Awkward. Entree was thoroughly enjoyable. Then, we sat. And sat. And sat. No one came to offer a drink, dessert, the check, anything. Had to flag down a bus boy to find our server. 20 minutes later, offered our expensive cocktails TO GO because it was showtime. Fail.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Trapped customer special
    GlobalVillager
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This is your standard trapped-customer business. It is the only restaurant/bar located within the NJPAC building, so they don't need to put forth an honest effort since their customers are stuck. The watermelon soup was the highlight of the meal. The calamari, pasta and bronzini were all bad. To make the restaurant a complete farce, they only had 1 copy of the wine list (simple 8.5x11 sheet of paper. Just print 100 copies) on a Friday evening before a concert, so when you order your drink, they hand you the drink menu, but once you have ordered they need it back immediately to hand to the next table. At one point, the service disintegrated to the point where the maitre d' had to stop seating and start clearing tables. Service is awful.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good spot for pre-show meal
    TGNJ
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Nico's could be a great place but you're really not sure what they're trying to be...its a cross between bar food and finer dining. They changed the room quite a bit from a few years ago and its no longer an upscale feel, rather, its a bit like eating in a cafeteria. That said, the food is quite good. The branzino entree is excellent. The service is friendly, polite and tries to be accomodating but they are VERY SLOW. You need to allow 2 hours prior to show time if you want a 3 course meal. The convenience of location right at NJPAC is great for a relaxing evening if you allow enough time. This is what this place had going for it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service worst I've ever experienced
    Besos43
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    If you think waiting 25 minutes for a bottle of sparkling water, 15 minutes for a drink, no one ever comes to check on if your meal was ok, never offered a 2nd round of drinks, never offered dessert, coffee, or tea is acceptable then Nico's is the place for you. I figure Nico's lost close to $100. on our tab because no one ever came to our table. We had to ask hostess to check on our drinks and give us our bill. The food we had was good but took way to long to come and way too long between courses. They were not busy and seemed to have plenty of staff, but I will never go again. The lack of service and attention to guests left a taste in my mouth I never want to repeat!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • What a surprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I went to Nico because it's next to NJPAC. It was surprisingly good food and service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 19 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 459 reviews are from the Nico Kitchen & Bar - Newark reviews archive.
  • Ok…convenient.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Ok…convenient when you need to grab a bite pre show. Food fair, bar ok, overall relatively un inspiring.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great spot for dinner priorto show
    tomayVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    right next to the theatre- no fuss no muss service excellent, food as well- can't go wrong
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Surprisingly Disappointing
    Pickyeater
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    My wife and I dined at Nico's Thursday evening, prior to seeing Earth, Wind and Fire. When we arrived we were greeted by a lady who could not find our reservation, after mispronouncing our name several times. Thankfully, the rest of the staff was very professional and attentive. Our server, Sean, was very personable and timely, without being intrusive. Our main issue, other than the limited show night menu, was the food. The crab balls contained little, if any, crab. they were also lacking any flavor. The chicken breast was very dry and flavorless. My wife enjoyed the Flounder, and we enjoyed dessert. If we were to return there for any reason, it would be to have a couple of drinks at the bar.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • GREAT PRE THEATRE RESTAURANT
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    PARK THE CAR AND ENTER THE RESTAURANT FOR FABULOUS FOOD - IT IS SO CONVENIENT - THE PIX FIX MENU WAS REASONABLE WITH GREAT SELECTIONS -
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food But Terrible Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Would recommend because it is conveniently located if you're attending a performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Food was very good but service was terrible. Was forced to cut steak with a butter knife. Although a steak knife was requested it didn't arrive to our table until we were practically done our meal. We had to wait to eat our dessert because we had no cutlery. Couldn't even stir sugar in the expresso.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • could have been better
    BigB
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    Was going to see Il Volo @ NJPAC and decided to eat at Nico . We were seated immediately and we thought this is a nice place. The menu was strictly Pre-Fixe so we thought we would have plenty of time. We were excited that there was soft shell crabs on the menu. Unfortunately they were out of the crabs We were the first 20- 30 people in the restaurant and they're out of crabs?). The waiter assured us that our main course would be out shortly ( on three separate occasions ). The flounder was served on top of cold and under cooked vegetables and the steak was cool served over cold dry polenta. We told our server we were unhappy with the meal so the manager came by and paid for our two drinks from the bar and took 10% off the bill. NOT HAPPY
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    I was pleasantly suprised. Food and service were very good. Very noisy.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • just o.k.
    justok
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    bread was day old....drinks came after appetizer.....one of the three entrees was good....the others had little flavor.....quite overpriced for what it is.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Time
    Dannyboy
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Had tickets for Rain at NJPAC and saw this restaurant was actually part of the Art Center. Arrived around 5:30 and was very happy to see they had a happy hour going on. Both my wife and I ordered a nice cocktail at the Bar, enjoyed it and then were taken to our table in the large dinning room. Food, Service, etc was great. Next time and every time I am at NJPAC,I will be having dinner at Nico .
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great meal
    marianne
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    Ate there before seeing Rain at the PAC. Service and meal were excellent.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • On my Newark Short List
    KT2U
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    I have business in Newark three times a year, and besides the Spanish Tavern, Nico's is the only place I've been to that is worth repeating. This was my second time to Nico, and it was good. Fit enough for foodies, but not outstanding. Cocktails read well on the menu but disappoint upon arrival. Wines are very good. Service was very good. We each ordered different entrees, and the meats were all prepared properly. Tasty vegetables. Will I come back to Nico's and bring others from my business group? Yes, until I find someplace else in Newark to beat it on our reliable destination restaurant list, but so far, I'm not finding anything. So tough as a foodie to find epic meals in Newark with NYC (that is loaded with them) so close in proximity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Unwavering
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Nico is guaranteed to have good food and good service.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rushed
    judy
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    We had allowed over 1 1/2 to dine and we're rushed from the moment we entered the restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great food, service needs a boost
    Lettucelover
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    As NJSO concertgoers, we are happy to have Nico so convenientlly located at NJPAC. Being in the same complex makes pre concert dinner a huge plus for an evening's entertainment. The prix fixe dinner at $42 for three courses including a non alcoholic beverage is ideal.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Average food
    Lainey
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    This is the second time we ate here. The first time the food was excellent, this time it was fair. Had to select from the set menu before a show and the selection was not great. Food was only ok and the desserts were not tasty at all. Disappointed. Waiter was very pleasant and other staff were very nice. Did not rush us.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Dinner before concert
    GeriB
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Great food, however the bar gets pretty crazy and loud. Waitress was great. She made sure our food courses were timed right for the concert.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.