Explore thousands of places. Find exactly what you're looking for.
Arts & Entertainment Beauty & Grooming Chelsea Market Education & Community Fashion & Accessories Food & Beverage Health & Medical Home Decor LOST GEMS Meet the Streets Nightlife Parks & Gardens Pets & Animals Press Professional Services Retail & Products SideWalks Sideways Stories Sports & Fitness Travel & Lodging VACANT / FOR RENT Videos
3D Printing Acupuncture Adoption Services Adult Entertainment Adult Shops African Alcoholics Anonymous Allergists American Animal Rescue Antiques Appliances Appraisers Architects Archives Argentinian Armenian Aromatherapy Art & Photography Galleries Art Schools Artist Studios Arts & Crafts Asian Atriums Attorneys Auction Houses Audiologists Australian Austrian Automotive Services Bagels Bags Bakeries Balloons Banks Barbecue Barber Shops Bariatric Medicine Bars Baseball Basketball Bathrooms Beads Beauty School Beauty Supplies Beds & Bedding Beer Bars Beer Shops Belgian Belts Bike & Pedi Cab Tours Bike Shops Billiards Bookbinding Bookstores Bowling Boxing Boys & Girls Clubs Brasseries Brazilian Breakfast Bridal British Brunch Bubble Tea Buffets Building Supplies Burgers Bus Stations Business Consultants Butchers Buttons & Zippers Cabinetry Cafes Cambodian Canadian Car & Limousine Services Car Dealerships Car Rentals Car Wash Cardiologists Career Development Caribbean Caterers Cemeteries Cheese Childcare Centers Children's Classes Children's Classes Children's Clothing Children's Shoes China, Glass & Silver Chinese Chiropractors Chocolate, Candy & Sweets Churches Cigar Shops Clinics Clubs Coffee Shops Collectibles Colleges & Universities Comedy Clubs Comics Community Centers Community Services Computers Consignment Construction & Contractors Convenience Stores Cookies Cooking Schools Cosmetic Surgery & Plastic Surgeons Court Houses Courthouses Crepes CrossFit Cuban Cultural Centers Cupcakes Cycling Studios Czech Dance Dance Studios Dancewear Dancing Delis Dentists Department Stores Dermatologists Dessert Dialysis Centers Digital Strategy Agencies Dim Sum Diners Doctors Dog Rehabilitation Doggy Daycares Dolls & Doll Houses Dominican Doughnuts Driving Schools Drugstores Dry Cleaners DVDs E-Cigarettes Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) Eastern European Eateries Educational Therapists Electricians Electronics Embroidery Employment Providers Endocrinologists Endodontists Engraving Enrichment Programs Equipment Rentals Ethiopian European Event Planners Event Spaces Exercise Equipment Extended Stay Eyelashes Eyewear & Opticians Fabric Fabric & Upholstery Facials Farmers Market Fast Food Feathers Fertility Specialists Filipino Film Financial & Tax Services Fire Stations Fitness Centers & Gyms Fixtures & Display Cases Flags, Banners & Signs Flea Markets Flooring Florists Folk Art Food Banks & Pantries Food Co-Ops Food Supplies Foreign Exchanges Framing French Frozen Yogurt & Yogurt Funeral Homes Furniture & Home Furnishings Games Garden & Floral Supplies Gardens Gas Stations Gastroenterologists Gastropubs Gay Bars Gelato General Merchandise Georgian German Gift Shops Gloves Gluten-Free Golf Gourmet Food Shops Government Offices Graphic Design Greek Grocery Stores Guest Houses Gymnastics Gyrotonics Hair Accessories Hair Removal Hair Salons Hardware Stores Hats Hawaiian Head Shops Headquarters & Offices Headstart Health Facilities Health Food Health Institutes Health Products Heliports Hematologists Herbal Holistic Treatments Home Health Aides Hookah Bars Hospitals Hostels Hot Dogs Hotels HVAC Ice Cream Indian Industrial Infectious Diseases Inns Insurance Interior Design Internists Iranian Irish Israeli Italian Jamaican Japanese Jazz & Blues Jewelry Jewish Centers Judaica Juice Bars Karaoke Kickboxing Kiosks Kitchens & Kitchen Accessories Knives Korean Kosher Landscape Architects Latin American Laundromats Lawyers Leather Goods & Furs Lebanese Libraries Lighting Lighting Design Lingerie Liquor Stores Live Music Locksmiths Lounges Luggage Magazine Shops Magic Shops Mailing & Shipping Malaysian Mannequins Market Place Marketing & Public Relations Martial Arts Massage Maternity Medical Centers Medical Labs Medical Research Centers Medical Supplies Meditation Centers Mediterranean Meeting Centers Men's Accessories Men's Clothing Men's Shoes Men's Spas Mental Health Facilities Messenger Services Messianic Messianic Centers Mexican Middle Eastern Mini Markets Missions & Consulates Mobile Phones & Accessories Modeling Agencies Moroccan Mosques Movie Theaters Moving & Storage Museums Music & Instruments Music Managers Music Schools Music Venues Nail Salons Nephrologists Neurologists Neurosurgeons Non-Profit Organizations Nordic Notary Publics Novelty Nursing Services Nutritionists Obstetricians & Gynecologists Occupational Therapists Office Supplies Offices Oncologists Ophthalmologists Optometrists Oral Surgeons Orthodontists Orthopedic Surgeons Orthopedists Orthotics & Prosthetics Otolaryngologists Pain Management Paint & Wallpaper Pakistani Parking Parks Party Supplies Passport Services Pawn Shops Pediatricians Performing Arts Perfume & Fragrances Periodontists Persian Personal Trainers Peruvian Pest Control Pet Adoption Pet Clothing Pet Groomers Pet Stores Pet Training Pharmacies Photography & Film Equipment Photography & Film Services Photography Schools Physiatrists Physical Therapists Piercings Pilates Ping Pong Pizza Plants Plaques & Statues Plastic Surgeons Playgrounds Plumbing & Heating Podiatrists Pole Dancing Police Stations Pony Rides Portuguese Post Offices Pottery Prayer Centers Pregnancy Assistance Preschools Printing Printing & Copying Prison Private Clubs Private Residences Production Design Production Facilities Property Management Companies Psychiatrists Psychics Psychologists Psychotherapists Public Art Public Health Agencies Public Housing Pubs Puerto Rican Pulmonologists Radio Stations Radiologists Ramen Raw Real Estate & Realtors Record Shops Recording Studios Recreational Courts Rehabilitation Religious Items Research Centers Restoration & Repairs Rheumatologists Ribbon & Trim Rifle/Pistol Ranges Rocks & Minerals Rooftop Bars Rowing Rubber Stamps Rugs & Carpets Russian Sake Bars Sake Shops Salads Sandwiches Sauna Scarves Schools Scotch Bars Scottish Scrap Metal Scuba Diving Seafood Security Systems Senegalese Senior Centers & Assisted Living Sewing Sex Therapists Shelters Shopping Malls Showrooms Showrooms Skin Care & Makeup Sleep Centers Smoke Shops & Candy Stores Smoothies Snacks Sneakers & Sportswear Soaps Social Security Offices Social Services Social Workers Socks Soup Soup Kitchens South African South Pacific Southeast Asian Southern Souvenirs Spanish Spas Specialty Cakes Specialty Foods Speech & Language Sports Arenas Sports Bars Sports Equipment Sports Medicine Stables Stamps Stationery Steakhouses Steel Work Stereo Equipment Stone Studios Substance Abuse Services Sunglasses Surgeons Surgical Supplies Sushi Swedish Swimming Swiss Synagogues T-Shirts Tailors Takeout Only Tanning Tapas & Small Plates Tattoos Tea Shops Temples Tennis & Racquet Clubs Thai Theaters Thrift Shops Tibetan Ticket Centers Tile Tour Guides Tourist Attractions Toys Train Stations Translation Services Travel Agencies Treatment Centers Turkish Tutoring Ukrainian Umbrellas Uniforms Unions Upholsterers Urgent Care Urologists Vacuum Shops Vegan Vegetarian Venezuelan Veterans Services Veterinarians Video Production Vietnamese Vintage Vintage Furniture Visitor Centers Visual Arts Vitamins Watches Watches & Clocks Water & Ice Weight Loss Centers Wellness Centers West African Wheelchair & Scooter Rental Wigs Window Treatments Wine Bars Wine Shops Women's Accessories Women's Clothing Women's Shoes Workspaces Yarn Shops Yoga

Please select one category

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th 16th 17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th 26th 27th 28th 29th 30th 31st 32nd 33rd 34th 35th 36th 37th 38th 39th 40th 41st 42nd 43rd 44th 45th 46th 47th 48th 49th 50th 51st 52nd 53rd 54th 55th 56th 57th 58th 59th 60th 61st 62nd 63rd 64th 65th 66th 67th 68th 69th 70th 71st 72nd 73rd 74th 75th 76th 77th 78th 79th 80th 81st 82nd 83rd 84th 85th 86th 87th 88th 89th 90th 91st 92nd 93rd 94th 95th 96th 97th 98th 99th 100th 101st 102nd 103rd 104th 105th 106th 107th 108th 109th 110th 111th 112th 113th 114th 115th 116th 117th 118th 119th 120th 121st 122nd 123rd 124th
Alphabet City Art Gallery District Carnegie Hill Central Harlem Chelsea Chelsea Market Columbus Circle Diamond District East Harlem East Village El Barrio Flatiron Flower District Garment District Gramercy Gramercy Park Greenwich Village Harlem Hell's Kitchen Hudson Yards Kips Bay Koreatown Lenox Hill Lincoln Square Little Brazil Little Germany Loisaida Madison Square Madison Square Park Meatpacking District Midtown Midtown East Midtown South Midtown West Morningside Heights Murray Hill Museum Mile NoHo NoMad Peter Cooper Village Rockefeller Center Rose Hill Spanish Harlem Stuyvesant Square Stuyvesant Town Sutton Place Tenderloin Theater District Times Square Tin Pan Alley Tudor City Turtle Bay Union Square Upper East Side Upper West Side Uptown East West Village Yorkville
ATM Available Closed Coming Soon For Kids Historic Site Outdoor Seating Side Pick WiFi Available

Nica Trattoria

Nica Trattoria

354 East 84th Street
New York, NY 10028
212 472 5040
nica-nyc.com
Hours:
M-Sa 6pm-10:30pm

Some businesses fascinate me because of their history, while others inspire me because of the unique work that they do or the niche they fill in society. Nica Trattoria captured my immediate attention due to the infectious spirit and big personality of Giuseppe Nicolosi. He wears many hats at Nica Trattoria as he is the owner, chef, waiter, and host extraordinaire. Though the restaurant is named after his partner, Dominique “Nica” Liana Russo, whom he met while she was studying at Columbia University and he was working on the Upper West Side, it is Giuseppe who greets every guest who walks through the restaurant’s door. Along with referencing his partner, “Nica” means “small” in the Sicilian dialect, a perfect descriptor for a trattoria that seats about thirty guests. Giuseppe says that the name has allowed them to “with one stone, kill two pigeons.”

Though Giuseppe is Sicilian, he designed the menu to be a “big hug to all of Italy.” This was not difficult, since Sicilian cuisine combines many different flavors, thanks to its diverse past. Giuseppe explained that before “Sicily annexed Italy” in 1896, it was home to a variety of cultures, causing there to be eleven distinct styles of cooking on the small island, including French, Moroccan, and Spanish. Giuseppe is proud of the number of Sicilian dishes on the menu, calling the culturally diverse taste combinations “an explosion on your palate.”

Our conversation was interrupted when two families walked in to be seated for dinner. Giuseppe sprang into action, hugging the family that he knew well, clapping his hands, and addressing the entire room as “belli,” “bella,” and “bello.” One diner, who had clearly eaten at Nica Trattoria many times before, took out pictures of her children to show Giuseppe. He then proceeded to lower the lights for them and put on some light Italian classical music. He addressed both families at the same time by clinking a glass with a knife and opening the menu with a flourish and a whistle. It was like watching a thespian at work: Giuseppe creatively described the specials that included cauliflower tortino, French mussels, and fresh fava beans sauteed with sausage, while draping himself on people’s shoulders and engaging in amusing conversation. The specialty of the house is the “Clouds from the sky.” When Giuseppe asked his audience if anyone knew what “Clouds from the sky” were, a well-seasoned young boy yelled out, “Gnocchi!” Giuseppe beamed and nodded, adding, “We need to put a seatbelt on you; they are so white and fluffy!” Giuseppe continued describing other dishes (like his grandma’s style lasagna and buchetini with pine nuts and raisins) while waltzing around his personal stage. He then took everyone’s order, his energy remaining at 100% through the entire interaction. He treated people like family, jokingly scolding them for changing their minds and declaring, “I’m coming for your order in one minute! Start to count! 60…59…58…”

When Giuseppe returned from the kitchen, we spoke about his history. He would not reveal to Olivia, one of the Manhattan Sideways writers, exactly when he moved to New York, saying, “You wasn’t born!” He preferred to focus on his mother (who taught him to cook) and the fact that he managed many restaurants in New York before opening Nica Trattoria in 2006. Giuseppe has refused to ever stop learning. He has taken countless online courses, and the wall next to the bar is riddled with his graduation certificates. He is now certified in nutrition, wine, molecular engineering, and other varied subjects. He admitted that when I walked into the restaurant, he had been taking a practice test for his newest endeavor. He confessed that he is always thinking, “How can I improve myself?”

Giuseppe is extremely pleased with the reception that Nica Trattoria has received. He has many regular customers that consistently come from places outside of the city, as well as from around the world. He joked, “When an airplane lands, at least one person is thinking of Nica.” At this point, Angelo DiGangi, founder of the Community Advocacy Center and a regular at Nica, walked in and sat at his usual table. He turned to Giuseppe, not knowing I was there, and said, “This is the best spot in New York.” After I introduced myself, he said, “It’s really a little bit of Sicily.” Giuseppe beamed at the compliment and moved behind the bar, agreeing that he likes to promote the Sicilian way of life, especially when it comes to the wine. He stocks a lot of Sicilian wine and is very interested in food pairings. He then pointed out that since Italy has 4,000 years of history and the United States only 400, America has not quite had the time to figure out wine pairings. Italy is different: “Food and wine. That is Sicily.”

I continued speaking with Angelo, who gushed about Giuseppe. “He does it with love,” he said, referring to both the food and the service. We had already witnessed the service, but it was clear that Giuseppe also gives his all when it comes to the food. Everything is purchased fresh each day. Angelo said that he started coming to Nica Trattoria after work for an espresso. “I fell in love with the man,” he smiled. And as Manhattan Sideways witnessed, it was hard not to fall in love with Giuseppe. Everyone gets the personal attention of a family member. As Tom, our photographer, put it dreamily, “I feel like I’m at home.”