When you want the flavors of the world presented in a new way, Nido is the place to go. Serving up smaller sized plates of traditional Mediterranean items in a lightly colored, cozy atmosphere that will make you feel right at home, Nido’s got plenty of dishes for both plant eaters and carnivores. The restaurant may not have gluten-free pasta, but there’s dozens of other items to choose from, ranging from small snacks to beautifully presented vegetables and hearty proteins…
The menu is divided up into sections by the dish’s main ingredient. Let’s start with the snacks. I love when restaurants have snacks – they are key when you arrive to the restaurant hangry and can’t seem to muster up enough brain activity to make a decision about anything else yet. Appetizers are great, but snacks are “now” food, and they’ll always come to the table fast. Flavor wise, Nido treats its snacks as if they were entrees – filled with spices, herbs, oils, and texture – and that’s what makes them so great. Some of them come with crostini, like the whole milk ricotta, but you can opt out of the bread by asking your server. The snacks are worth it – they’re the perfect size to keep you satisfied, and more importantly, prevent you from ripping anyone’s heads off while you wait for the other stuff. Amen.
Then it’s time to focus on the (larger) smaller plates. These are divvied up between four categories, three of which are made just for you: vegetables, meat, and seafood (sorry, pasta lovers). For the sincerest of carnivores, the word “vegetable” is enough to cause a massive mood swing and an intense craving for anything with legs. However, there are some restaurants, such as Nido, that present vegetables in a way that only a fool would pass up. They’re all composed with such different flavors that when you order a handful at a time, they’re nothing short of colorful, edible entertainment. All are gluten-free with the exception of the Baby Lettuce Salad, which contains spiced walnuts from the fryer. You can order the salad without the nuts, but it will definitely be missing something. If cross-contamination doesn’t scare you from ordering the salad as is, you definitely should go for it. Favorited was the Sauteed Baby Bok Choy and Turnips, which arrived searing hot with housemade pancetta and a sherry gastrique. You know those dishes where you keep licking your already very empty plate, despite the server trying to remove it from the table, and you’re repeatedly asking yourself, “WHAT. IS. THIS,”? Yeah. This is one of those.
For our non-vegetarians, let’s move on to the meat. Nido’s got it all: a beef, a duck, a chicken, and a pork dish. I had to head for the chicken thigh. The skin wasn’t as crispy as I would have liked it to be, (which is always a womp womp, because really, why else would we order chicken thighs?) but the flavor was on point. Pickled lemons are perfect in the right application, and that dish was no exception. Make sure to get a forkful with the juices from the bird. I’ll have to try the pork next time. The combo of pistachios, maple glazed carrots and a celeriac puree sounds like something I would want to live off of forever.
And for the pescetarians in the house, you must, I mean MUST, order the Pan-Roasted Striped Bass. Turn off your sixth stomach sense and don’t let the thought of pairing yogurt and fish together freak you out. In reality, they’re meant to be together, and this dish proves it. Picture your favorite Middle Eastern dips like labneh, hummus, and tahini. Now twist all of those flavors together and put a perfectly cooked, delicate piece of striped bass right on top. What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing. It was done so well I had to control myself from ordering a second.
And at the meal’s end, you’ll have to pass on dessert (although if you ask your server, they may have some sorbets and ice creams in house). But after about 5 or 6 of these little dishes, you won’t mind. In fact, you’ll be surprisingly satisfied. So get the best of mother Earth and order from all of the categories – you’ll be happy you did.