On a warm summer’s night in Beverly Hills people are sipping Happy Hour drinks (served 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.) at the sidewalk café outside Nic’s. Inside more tipplers are enjoying vodka cocktails and assorted adult beverages at the handsome bar, accompanied by contemporary music spun by a live DJ.
We walked past the action into an attractive room where our booth was waiting. It was easy to tell we were going to have a good time at Nic’s this night, especially when Pablo, our handsome, smiling waiter came over to greet us with a cool, refreshing Pisco So Soury, made with Barsol Pisco, lime, egg whites and chuncho bitters, one of many on a list of “iconic cocktails and other rocky drinks”.
The culinary fun continued from a succession of starters such as a tasty vodka cured salmon on raisin pumpernickel bread; duck and duck liver pate with crispy duck skin, apricot and pistachio cream cheese, and my favorite, a water cress salad with guacamole. Nic’s is a foodie’s delight known for its small bites or tastes menu, but the entrees proved just as exceptional.
Nic’s charming, effusive executive chef/owner and self-professed Vodkateur, Larry Nicola stopped by before the entrée to invite us into his VODBOX—a freezer filled with hundreds of bottles of the spirit, stored in white leather lockers, where guests can taste three vodkas of their choice for $21 and up. Since the temperature is kept at 28 degrees, faux fur coats and hats are provided. It’s a fun way to take a break between appetizers and entrees that refuels the appetite.
You can also order vodka or a vodka cocktail at your table, proffered with great flair by your waiter who serves your drink from a sexy Lucite two tier cart which is lit from below.
Back at our table and refreshed from our vodka tasting, we devoured our main courses. Mine was a butter-soft filet mignon. It was so tender I didn’t need the steak knife. Richard had the Alaskan halibut which he swooned over. We skipped the vodka for this course and headed to the wines by the glass selection.
The Diva rarely does dessert, relying on the good judgment of her dining companion who didn’t let her down when her ordered the delicious chocolate caramel torte with vanilla bean gelato (I took a bite and it really is to diet for).
Nic’s Beverly Hills Offers Top Quality Happy Hour From westsidetoday
Meanwhile the action continued to pulsate at the bar and tables as the DJ rocked and rolled and everyone seemed to be enjoying their Nic’s at night experience.
Nic’s Beverly Hills is located at 453 North Cañon Drive, 310-550-5707, www.NicsBeverlyHills.com. There is valet or on street parking (be sure to feed the meter with your credit card as tickets are written freely in this town).
Patti Pietschmann's been plugged into the LA scene for years as author of Harper Collins' best selling ACCESS travel, former contributing editor to LA Magazine and various radio gigs. She has traveled the world with her husband Richard, on assignments and for personal pleasure, has enjoyed hundreds of cruises (she and Richard started young), eaten in restaurants around the globe, spa hopped, trekked, hiked and hit the ground running. The former Teen Editor of Newsday in New York, Patti was also a co-west coast editor of Departures Magazine, and a frequent contributor to such diverse media as Cruisecritic.com, LA Times, Miami Herald, St. Petersburg Times, Virtuoso's Voyage, Luxurydomain.com, Bel-air Magazine, Priority Magazine, dozens of in-flight magazines, and more.