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
79 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating3.6
  • Food3.8
    Service3.7
  • Ambiance3.5
    Noise LevelModerate
80% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (23)good for groups (18)fit for foodies (16)vibrant bar scene (13)neighborhood gem (13)great for lunch (10)romantic (8)notable wine list (8)hot spot (6)great for brunch (5)late-night find (5)great for outdoor dining (4)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Boaring
    none
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    The menu never really changes. Food is ok, but expensive for what it is.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pre Show Dinner
    shercara
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    I took my Mom here for a pre-show dinner before seeing The Midtown Men. I had hoped to be able to order off the main menu, as the selections sounded interesting - but being a show night, we could only order off the price fixe menu. We had only wanted to have appetizers, and Nico's allowed us to order 1 price fixe meal and share it at no extra cost. The food was A M A Z I N G, and although the portions were on the small side - they were actually just enough and very satisfying. We will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • spud
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    The food is amazing at Nico's. I have eaten here many times and each time it is consistent. Nice menu, great service and wonderful for eating before a concert at NJPAC. Pleasant experience every time.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great new find at NJ PAC
    debbieNJ
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We made reservations before going to the show at NJ PAC. It worked out perfect, we got to the show in time to get great parking. Enjoyed a nice calm dinner, reasonably priced and great variety of food choices. Service was attentive, atomosphere sophisticated, overal a great place. After dinner, we were able to slip right from the restaurant into the NJ PAC thru a side entrance. It was a rainy night and this was greatly appreciated. In addition knew we were already at the show and could relax prior to enjoying the preformance.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Better than it needs to be
    Matt
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    We went, like everyone else, because we were headed to a show at NJPAC. We hoped only that it would be adequate, but it was genuinely good. I got the beets with st. germaine emulsion and the branzino. My wife got a salad and a pasta thing with chicken. The branzino was great, almost a 5 star dish. The beets and pasta were pretty good and the salad was more than adequate.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Please put a burger on dinner menu
    ericaklein
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    In order for my husband to have a hamburger, I had to call ahead in the afternoon and get the chef's explicit approval, as it was only on the lunch menu. When we arrived, another table of about 20 people had also wanted to order hamburgers, but they were turned down by the staff, so our table had to move away from their sightline so my husband could receive his pre-approved burger. Otherwise, that larger table would have been upset. We understood and politely moved without incident, but the best way to solve the keen desire for a cheeseburger at dinner by many diners is to put one on the menu! It was really delicious when received, but I've never had to jump through hoops like this just so that my husband could have a burger at dinnertime.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Small Portions
    JJandCA
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    The food was very good, but portions were on the small side considering the price. Waiter was attentive and friendly, but not as knowledgeable of the restaurant's offerings as he should have been. He did go out of his way to answer questions and get answers though. We would probably only eat here before a show at NJPAC as a matter of convenience.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Bar seating
    HawkeyeVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Be warned, only prix fixe at tables when a performance is scheduled. ONLY. Seating at the bar was very attentive and the short ribs were absolutely delicious and available a la carte.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The food was good but portions were small. The Price was reasonable.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mother's Day brunch
    njmom
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    First time at Nico, great space, earnest wait staff; food was ordinary and not festive enough for a holiday brunch. Great salads, nice omelet station, but most dishes were cold...hmmm, not enough sterno? Strawberry shortcake and salty, caramel brownies were outstanding...we'll be back for dinner and a show...which was our original plan!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Convenient But Mediocre
    Seniors
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    We were at the Mother's Day Brunch before attending the Ailey matinee, an ideal location before the performance. Salads and omelets were very good but turkey breast and steak filets were overcooked and tough. The dessert bar was inconveniently located and sparse. Service was fine for a buffet offering. Foods and salad dressings should have been labelled.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Birthday Celebration at NICO!
    Gdsunl
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I treated a college friend to dinner for her birthday, prior to seeing Alvin Ailey at NJPAC. It was a wonderful experience! The service was courteous and professional; the hostesses made us feel very welcome; the wait staff was efficient, knowledgeable and friendly; the food was tasty, nicely presented and served at the appropriate temperature! I personally compliment the waiter (Shawn) and commended him to the manager. It was clear that the manager sets the tone and standards for his Team. (Regrets that I do not have the manager's name to mention specifically.) It was an exceptionally pleasant evening!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding service
    Amazingfreshpasta
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    The food is wonderful and service is outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Convenient, but mediocre.
    StuSegal
    Dined on 5/8/2014
    Tremendously convenient when attending NJPAC, but the food is mediocre at best. Pricing is upscale, as is the environment of the restaurant itself, and the presentation of the food; sadly, the food is no better than what you you could get at any decent New Jersey diner at a fraction of the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good food, slow service
    healthyeaters
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    We booked Nico before a performance and were told the time of our reservation would leave us enough time to eat and see the show. It should have, but the bar area where they sat us was so crowded, it was 20 minutes before we even got a drink order in! Since we were forced to have a prix fixe 3 course meal, we had to bolt our dessert and coffee to make the performance. Not a pleasant experience. The food was fine... but be sure to leave plenty of time to enjoy it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great restaurant/great venue
    Janthek
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Nico was good enough to visit, even without attending a performance at the NJPAC! Reasonably priced interesting prix-fixe menu, excellent service. We will certainly return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not Just Pre Theater
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Nico provides an excellent prix fixe menu for the pre-theater crowd going to the NJPAC; lots of meals in a small window. Although crowded and noisy in the hour before show time with an expected "big hair" Jersey clientele (some of the outfits are priceless), they execute it well. Meal was so good, I'd go back on a night when there is no performance.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.