June 6th was my
twenty-something, birthday, and unlike last year’s shenanigans…the theme was Greek! I spent my bday in Greece, swimming in the Mediterranean, feasting on vineleaves and drinking homemade wine with some of my oldest friends (and former AmericANNE Idol winners 🙂 Not too shabby.
Not one to let a birthday go unnoticed; the beau had a beautiful birthday planned for me when I got home, including dinner out a Nicola’s; an upscale Italian restaurant here in Cincinnati. I had heard wonderful things about Nicola’s from co-workers and was excited to try it for myself.
The atmosphere is definitely fine dining, and the design inside was gorgeous. Nicola’s is housed in a renovated train station and I loved the high ceilings and exposed pipework.
After perusing the menu, the beau and I opted for the four-course tasting menu with wine pairings (Nicola’s offers other tastings and pairing options as well).
As we sipped our pre-dinner drinks (martini for him, champagne for me); we were brought an amuse bouche of Tuna Pate on Crostini.
……but not as much as we loved the BREAD BASKET.
Oh my carbs. This was a sight to behold. Individual tomato, onion or potato tartlets, truffle focaccia, honey wheat rolls, little baby garlic knots, chewy, crunchy bread sticks…I mean this was the pinnacle of bread baskets. We exercised SERIOUS restraint by not diving headfirst into this Valhalla of semolina love. We did sample most things in the basket, and agreed that we wanted to snuggle up with the truffle focaccia and watch a movie with it, it was so tasty.
Although we had ordered a four-course tasting menu; we both wanted a salad with dinner, so we shared a simple arugula, parmesan and prosciutto salad to start.
And now on to our actual meals! (yes, this was decadence; but hey, it was my
The first course was Seared diver scallops with fennel puree, grapefruit, and frisee paired with Sauvignon Blanc/Chardonnay Fumaio, 09, Toscana
Divine. I loved the acidity of the grapefruit with the creaminess of the fennel. More grapefruit in dinner, I say!
The next course was Cavatelli with crushed San Marzano tomatoes, and house made Italian sausage paired with Riecine Riserva 2007, Toscana
Our third course Crusted yellowfin tuna with cannellini beans, basil pesto, and sundried tomatoes paired with Primitivo del Salento 2008, Abruzzo
Finally (yes, we finally stopped eating); we were brought the dessert course.
Fresh Strawberries With Prosecco zabaione, chocolate and olive oil cookie paired with a glass of Moscato
By the time the (wonderfully attentive and kind) server cleared our plates, I was full to the brim with all the deliciousness. Nicola’s was a gorgeous experience; and a perfect way to celebrate my