Sunday, February 24, 2008
Nizza means Nice in Italian and having traveled to Nice, and sampled the cuisine some years back the restaurant reflects a marriage of French and Italian mediterranian influences. At Nizza restauarant which is down the block on Ninth Ave. and 44th Street from Marseille the French influenced Meditteranean. Unlike the posher Marseille, Nizza can do almost no wrong foodwise. Nizza is owned by the owner of the popular Upper West Side French restaurant Nice Matin. It is a weirdly configured space with comfortable chairs although some a little close together and close to the door for comfort. I have eaten here for both brunch and dinner and both meals have been flawless as well as every other meal around me looks like I can't wait to eat it the next time. For brunch there are many interesting menu options including salads like a giant Ligurian tuna salad, kind of like a tuna nicoise, eggs and rustic style pancakes as well as slammin' pizza selections. The bread here is a light focaccia and though must be requested at brunch is wonderful. You can also order a delish cranberry scone served warm with butter and orange marmelade. My meal was a skillet steak with carmelized cippolini onions with a chimichurri like sauce and was perfectly cooked. For dessert although many at brunch eat them first, I ordered housemade beignets with homemade raspberry preserves. These are light and willowy with powdered sugar, they are fried dough heaven. An accompanying hot chocolate arrived looking like a dark cappucino and was a standout hot chocolate. Pizzas and pastas here are firstrate, like a pizza san remo with tomato and anchovy sauce. My meal last night included the pizza hot coppa with cured meat, arugula, a thin layer of mozzeralla on a superb crust. Deliciouso. The desserts of a chocolate and orange crostata and semifreddo and expresso were also killer. This is a standout out New York City kitchen, with very reasonable prices. Oh and a bathroom shoutout- two bathrooms, the one on the left is slightly larger with a sink inside and the one on the right is sinkless. Nizza is on 9th. Ave. between 44th. and 45th. Street.