Having been on my list for quite some time, I finally made it to Nickel & Diner. I had heard great things from friends and food bloggers alike, so I have to say it was being greeted with somewhat high expectations.
The good news? They succeeded and maybe even exceeded.
We started out doing a little cocktail tasting. Now, I am not one to turn that down but I was also starving, so I told them if they didn’t want a Skinny Pig blacked out on the floor, I’d be needing SOME food. And good thing they don’t take me literally because they brought us basically ALL the food.
You know what else was great? They brought lots of fried things. Nothing goes better with a cocktail than fried things. The potato croquettes were lighter than some of the ones I’ve had in Barcelona. The fried chicken thigh was tempura battered and juicy – let it be known I typically hate chicken thighs (I find them slimy) – but not this time! It’s also a small portion, which gives you a way to enjoy fried chicken without going overboard.
The cocktails were carefully crafted with a unique twist on each one. My favorites were probably the Spicy Margarita (tequila, lime, orange bitters and serrano tincture) and the Chantilly Lace (vodka, chrysanthemum, lemon, sparkling wine). There was also one that looked like an Old Fashioned with a burnt orange slice right in the middle. Just delightful.
Last but not least, there was a sandwich. A giant eggplant parm sandwich that was so big I had to eat it twice. I ate some of it that day, and some of it the next night whilst trying to combat the rising levels of my blood alcohol content. But I digress. The tomato panzanella salad was amazing too – brioche croutons for the win.
If you find yourself in Chinatown/Little Italy area and aren’t in the mood to be harrassed by Italian restaurants craving some great food and cocktails in a diner-type setting, this is the spot for you.
Nickel & Diner
1 Howard Street
Website: Nickel & Diner