2010-06-02 / Restaurant of the Week

Nick's Bistro...A Taste of Greece

Nick’s Bistro brings a taste of Greece to this quiet section of Forest Hills, on Metropolitan Avenue. Perched on a corner at 72nd Avenue, Nick’s Bistro opened just six months ago but is already a regular spot for those craving fresh fish and seafood, meat, salads and Greek specialties.

 

The sleek, modern interior combines fabric and leather banquettes, leather chairs, distressed tile floors and a unique wood ceiling. The cool, comfortable dining room holds about 28 people, affording diners an intimate dining experience with great food and wine. Owners Mario Savvas and Rob Sarris welcome all of you to try their delicious cuisine.

While we reviewed the simple, yet ample menu, we sipped on glasses of wine and enjoyed their complementary house made hummus spread on warm pita bread. There is a petite bar, backlit with pretty colored lighting that makes refreshing cocktails and serves imported and domestic beers and vintages from various countries, including Greece. One of their best appetizers is the grilled octopus, tender and tasty with a nice charring on the outside. Maryland crab cakes are another specialty, full of sweet crabmeat and seasonings, served with citrus remoulade sauce ($10). Gigandes are giant fava beans, cooked slowly with tomato, herbs and spices for an addictive starter or side dish. Loukaniko are handmade Greek country sausages mildly spiced and grilled until crisp on the outside and juicy in the center ($8). Saganaki is a decadent treat of sautéed kefalograviera cheese, finished with a splash of brandy that is outstanding, especially with a squeeze of fresh lemon ($9). Seared Ahi Tuna served over arugula and avocado with mango sauce is something I’ll try on my next visit. Nick’s will even put together a combo of appetizers where you choose three for just $18.

You may choose to start your meal with one of their homemade soups such as traditional avgolemono (chicken rice) soup or the day’s special lentil soup. Salads are very fresh and offer plenty to share with kudos for the beet salad, prepared with both red and golden beets, arugula, onions, walnuts and creamy goat cheese with red wine vinaigrette ($10).

Whether you feel like eating meat or something from the sea, Nick’s Bistro has something wonderful for you to try. Succulent kebabs, laced with either chicken, pork or the evening’s special lamb, are grilled to order and served with rice pilaf, potato or fresh veggies ($15). Colorado lamb chops are juicy and tender as is the cowboy cut rib-eye steak. Treat yourself to buttery filet mignon kebabs too. Fresh from the sea come the makings for the seafood kebab, laced with plump shrimp, juicy scallops, chunks of fillet of sole served scampi style with rice. Enjoy these delicious shrimp simply grilled with lemon and olive oil or have them stuffed with crabmeat ($21). Savory shrimp saganaki is broiled with tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh herbs for a unique flavor that will make you soak up every last drop. Bethany, our polite wait person, told us about the special chicken of the day, stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. She’ll also tell you about the fresh catches of the day which may include black sea bass or Chilean sea bass, served whole, filleted or butterflied, upon your request. My dining companion loved the salmon fillet, stuffed with crabmeat, bread crumbs and seasonings. The generous portion left plenty for lunch the next day.

There are six pasta dishes on the menu so there’s something for everyone at the table. Lobster ravioli are topped with a light pink cream sauce while another pasta, called strozzapreti, are topped with feta cheese, kalamata olives, zucchini and tomato ($16). Even the finickiest eaters will love Nick’s juicy hamburger, served with special sauce.

For dessert, just try and choose among creamy, homemade rice pudding, flaky baklava dripping with honey, galaktoborekia pastry, rich Black Forest cake or creamy cheesecake. Nick’s Bistro is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner from 11:30am until 10:00pm on weeknights and 11:00pm on weekends. There are lunch specials for just $7.50 and a fabulous brunch served on Saturdays and Sundays until 4:00pm. Visit Nick’s Bistro, as they say, for a taste of Greece in every bite.
NICK’S BISTRO
104-20 Metropolitan Avenue
Forest Hills • 718.544-NICK (6425)
www.nicksbistro.com

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