Tables at fine-dining restaurants are known for their fancy white-linen outfits, unlike tables in home kitchens, which are notorious for going nude. Dress up for a nice meal with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $55 worth of upscale American fare at Nicholas James Bistro in Merrick.
Wielding expertise honed in high-class Manhattan restaurants, Kevin Liebov, Nicholas James Bistro's executive chef, tickles Long Island tonsils with his menu of gourmet fodder that favors a light touch by avoiding heavy cream sauces, instead featuring many organic and whole-wheat ingredients. Cloaked in merlot, the grilled Angus shell steak ($30) sits atop an overstuffed thrown of garlic mashed potatoes with a scepter of grilled asparagus. The braised beef short ribs ($27) mingle with root vegetables and a whipped concoction of granny smiths and sweet potatoes, and eggplant parmesan with linguini ($17) offers support to mozzarella that got too close to the sun. Other meat-free meals include a vegetarian "steak" ($19) of sliced portobellos, caramelized onions, and crumbled gorgonzola, served with charred asparagus and a heap of mashed potatoes, the perfect place to hide an engagement ring.
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.