Upon entrance, we were greeted with a smile, which always lifts the spirits. The quaint, clean restaurant has a cozy warm atmosphere with a fireplace to boot!
My neighbor, who wishes to remain anonymous, ordered us the Utica Greens as an appetizer. I was excited to try something new (which is my goal these days - to try as many new things as I can), but I had no idea what a treat I had been missing out on all these years. I know different restaurants have their own take on what us Central New Yorker's call "Utica Greens" but I am so glad I tried them for the first time, here at Nestico's because it was freakin awesome! I could have just eaten that whole bowl for my meal and been completely satisfied. The escarole is sautéed with cherry peppers, olive oil, bacon, grated cheese, and bread crumbs. We later learned that this has been one of their most popular dishes in the past couple years. I asked for the recipe and the kitchen reported back that if they told me, they would have to kill me. Well, it is an Italian restaurant after all. I wouldn't expect anything less.
So, how can I say that Nestico's offers the best Utica Greens when I haven't tried any others? Because this is my blog and I can write what I want. And yes, now I am on a mission to try them everywhere! I will soon report back with some comparisons!
The chicken parm was good and was delivered with penne pasta. Personally, I prefer angel hair or spaghetti with my chicken, but I wouldn't criticize for that since it's just a personal opinion. After the bread, salad, appetizer and 2 glasses of wine, I was no longer hungry and took most of my dinner home.
Our server was friendly and laughed at my jokes, which is always a plus. The owner visited our table and we talked about how he prefers to offer a selection of not-so-typical choices of wine - which I appreciate very much. If I wanted "same-old, same-old" I would have visited a chain restaurant. Tonight was about a local experience, enjoying the company of a friend, and watching the snow fall over a glass of wine, in a warm setting with great Italian food! What could be better?