We started off with a lunch reception held by 2 of my good friends. They recently got married in Taiwan (Congrats!!) and wanted to do a small reception for family and some friends that didn't make it overseas for the wedding... They chose Nicola's in Shops at Legacy. I've been there a couple times and have always enjoyed it.
Nicola's Ristorante Italiano
5800 Legacy Dr
Plano, TX 75024
Our group had the upstairs area which overlooks the main dining room below. It was nice and bright, a very nice setting for a small gathering.
They had preselected the menu. We started with appetizers then our choice of soup or salad and entree, and concluding with dessert. Nice BIG lunch! haha.
We had 2 dishes for appetizers...
Focaccia Siciliana (savory baked flat bread with sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, dice tomatoes and basil).
Calamari Fritti (lightly floured calamari with garlic aioli and tomato sauce).
I've had their calamari before and I had forgotten how good it was. The batter was great and the squid was cooked perfectly. The texture was just right.
Zuppa del Giorno (Chef's soup of the day - butternut squash soup).
Now, I normally opt for salad over soup, but as soon as I heard butternut squash... OMG. Gotta have it! And I'm so glad I got the soup because it was awesome! It was rich and creamy and had chunks of the squash in there instead of a fine puree (which obviously I liked! hehe). I scraped that bowl clean! It was my favorite course of the day.
Insalata Mista (mixed greens with tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette). Pretty good size for the salad. Looked fresh...
All the entrees sounded good...
Cappellacci di Zucca (handmade pumpkin ravioli finished in a marscarpone cream).
As soon as I saw "pumpkin" I knew I had to get this. I love pumpkin!! It was a very filling dish. I liked how the raviolis were huge and filled full with pumpkin! It's quite sweet since you have the pumpkin and I think some nutmeg and cinnamon in there. Love me some sweet and savory so it's totally up my alley. The pasta was cooked al dente too which is preferred. YUM!!
Salmone al Pistacchio (dijon and pistachio crusted salmon with roasted brussels sprouts, carrots, artichokes, pancetta and red bell pepper sauce).
Seeing "brussels sprouts" almost made me change my mind from the ravioli to this. haha. So my bf got it and I got to try it. Heck yea! It seemed like a really healthy dish! The salmon was cooked well. He totally loved it! So we both made the right choices. The brussels sprouts wasn't roasted enough... I like that char on the outside and it didn't have it. All the flavors and elements worked well together though. The pancetta was the icing on the cake! I enjoyed the dish overall. But I still liked my ravioli better. hehehe.
Orecchiette con Salsiccia ("little ears" pasta with roasted Italian sausage, broccolini, garlic, anchovies and pecorino cheese).
Initially they brought out the wrong dish. It was orecchiette pasta but in a tomato sauce and nothing else in it... We all looked at it, confused and had the waiter take it back. haha. The sausage and broccolini was the main reason my friend ordered it! When they finally brought out the correct dish, it looked sooo much better. The pasta was cooked well and flavors were yummy. Another winner!
What was initially served...
On to the desserts...
Tiramisu (traditional lady finger cookies soaked in espresso, layered with mascarpone, coffee liqueur and cocoa).
This was my choice. It was pretty good. Standard. The mascarpone was creamy and rich. I wish the lady fingers could've been more soaked though. My piece seems slightly dry. But still good. I liked the fresh berries on the side.
Cannolo Siciliano (classic Sicilian cannoli filled with sweet ricotta cheese, honey, chocolate chips and pistachios).
I'm not a fan of cannolis (if you read my Boston review on them...) Too much cream and usually too sweet for my taste. This was ok. But I don't think I'd eat the whole thing. My bf loved it BECAUSE it was sugary cream. hahaha. Guess it all works out!
It was a great lunch. I got to see some good friends I don't see often and eat some fabulous food. Also, our waiter was really good. He noticed little things and anticipated what we wanted. :)
Kudos to my friends for picking a great place. And CONGRATS again to them on their wedding!!!
Quality of Food:
~~ CHOMP CHOMP ~~