Unlike cinematic love scenes, food can be enjoyed in the company of parents without embarrassment. Dodge future moments of uneasiness with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of upscale American fare and drinks at Nicholas James Bistro in Merrick.
The Zagat-rated Nicholas James Bistro adorns its menu with imaginative culinary creations inspired by seasonal ingredients. Start by crunching into the almond-crusted crab-and-lobster cake with papaya slaw and chipotle rémoulade ($12) before replacing boring tongue-flavored vitamins with the nutritive punch of a green plate such as the pear-and-endive salad with crumbled goat cheese, candied pistachios, dried cranberries, and sherry dressing ($10). In the Rigatoni Bourbon Street, chorizo, shrimp, crawfish, vegetables, and brandy Cajun cream sauce ($26) lets a New Orleans jazz band of scatting savories jive in your stomach, and organic cuisine such as whole-wheat penne with shrimp, olives, capers, pomodoro sauce, and shaved romano ($25) keeps cybernetic noodle strands from infiltrating your rebel pasta base.
Each dish can be matched with Nicholas James Bistro's aromatic cascade of wines. The bistro’s modern yet cozy two-level dining room hosts a soothing roster of live musicians who welcome the accompaniment of diners’ greedy forks and clinking glasses.
Nicholas James Bistro
Kevin Liebov has labored in the kitchens of high-class restaurants throughout New York—from the Enoteca Toscana in Queens to Andiamo in Manhattan. In 1996, Kevin and his father, Charles, opened Nicholas James Bistro, where the chef continues to draw from years of study, experience, and experimentation to craft his inventive menu of contemporary American bistro fare. His cooking techniques eschew heavy creams and vegetables made out of frosting in favor of organic and whole-wheat ingredients.
Outside Liebov's kitchen, towering mirrors reflect the white-clothed tables of his elegant dining room. A bar stretches across the space—just as galaxies named after candy bars stretch across space—where bartenders dole out fine wines and martinis. Throughout the month, the restaurant hosts live music, featuring many local acoustic, jazz, and rock bands.