Sunday, September 3, 2017

Nick & G's

 Just a few short weeks ago, Rancho Santa Fe's Ponsaty's became Nick & G's.  The ownership did not change, so rest assured, that patrons of the fine dining restaurant can expect the same level of detail and superb service that they've always received at this establishment. The owners wanted to take things in a different direction, feeling that there was a need for something different in the community. 

Nick & G's is a bit different, combining a fine dining steakhouse and homemade Italian dishes. It's a completely new menu, but the same signature style of fresh ingredients and homemade sauces and condiments remains.  In fact, with the steaks and wine selection, it really embodies a fine dining Italian restaurant. I can't think of a culture that doesn't enjoy their beef! 
 The decor is slightly more Tuscan -- gone are the blues and silvers of the former Ponsaty's, replaced with oranges, olive greens, and bronze. The result is a relaxing, yet elegant, change. 

We started our meal with two of wines from their carefully curated list. Nick & G's offers a wide selection of wines by the glass or bottle, mostly of the Italian nature, but there are a few Napa and Spanish varietals. Mainly, they are picking the best! 
Keeping things Italian, we started with a sangiovese and pinot grigio.  Both were amazing, and I'm sure every wine on the list is just as fabulous. 

We started with the Wild Arugula salad, featuring candied walnuts, burrata, and wine-poached pears. We were recommended the addition of shrimp, and it was a good idea, because those were some of the best shrimp that I've had in quite some time. The salad overall was just a winner, with alternating salty, sweet, and the umami from the white vinaigrette. 
 I seriously love fried calamari -- it's such a staple of Italian American cuisine. A dish to share and munch on over an aperatif or glass of wine, it also makes a great start, or a meal for one!
Pork chops remind me of my childhood, because my mom sure made them a lot! It might seem overly homey to get one at a fancy restaurant, but trust me, you want the pork chop! This one was glazed with a fig compote, and served with broccolini and mascarpone polenta. 

The meat was so tender and juicy, characteristic of a good chop. Broccolini is my favorite for many reasons, it's like broccoli without any of the bitterness that occurs, and is fork tender. 

The polenta blew my mind. The cheese addition made it the most buttery, delicious polenta ever. I was concerned that it might be too plain, but it was so flavorful.

Traditional Italian meals are served as an appetizer, salad/soup, pasta course, then a main course (usually meat), then, of course, dessert. We were a bit out of order here, and had two pastas after the pork chop. 

Manicotti is my favorite pasta dish ever, mainly because the cheese ratio is very high.  This manicotti was absolutely extravagant. Created in the traditional way, with fresh ricotta cheese, mozzarella, and served with an amatriciana sauce. It was so creamy and cheesy -- I was in heaven. 

 The other pasta that allured us was the Diver scallops and asparagus served with capellini pasta and cherry tomatoes. Cooking seafood is its own art, and the scallops were cooked perfectly, not at all rubbery or overdone. The combination of the asparagus and tomatoes was a bit different, but it really worked. The tomatoes were incredibly bright, with sweet, juicy flavor. 

You really can't have a full Italian meal without getting at least some dessert, or dolce. The butterscotch pecan bread pudding sounded so good, as I'm a bread pudding fiend.  The dessert was served with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce, which I seriously could have licked from the plate! I settled on scraping it with my fork, since I'm polite like that. The bread pudding was more like a blondie, with an edged texture and crumb. It was the perfect sweet end to the meal. 

Nick & G's is open from 11:30 - 10 pm daily for lunch (11:30-3) and dinner (5-10), with a happy hour from 4-6 in the bar area, and Sunday brunch from 10:30 - 2. They are child friendly, with a full children's menu. 
September 03, 2017 / by / 2 Comments


Anonymous said...

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