I was in Queens last Friday with my friend, Steve. Steve is a Pizza fanatic and was dying to impress me with a place he has been going to for years called Nick's. Of course, before I went I had to do some due diligence and I found out that Nick's is famous for their pies, house salad, and cappuccino and espresso. I went ready to try all three and see how it stood up to my recent experience at Motorino which I thought was the best I had ever had. Pie that is. Anyway, we got there at about 12:30. The place has an open kitchen and a clean, nice ambiance.
I started with the salad which is Arugula, sun dried tomatoes, and roasted peppers. Generally, I don't like sun dried tomatoes but they worked on this salad. The dressing was a slightly sweet vinaigrette which reminded me of those raspberry vinaigrette you get offered from time to time. While the salad was good I did not think it lived up to the hype. I would not order it again primarily because I prefer a dressing that is simpler. I usually go for a dressing on this type of salad which is just extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper. I think the salad could have used a little cheese as well.
The next step in the process is the pie. When you order a pie in a new pizza joint I believe you should stick to the basic pie unless told otherwise. At Motorino, I went for the white pie with brussel sprouts and had no regrets. The problem is, when you dine with others, most people I know like more stuff on their pizza. I feel to judge you have to go to the essential crust, sauce, and cheese. If that is outstanding the extras will only detract. Steve and I compromised on half mushroom and half plain after the waiter assured us the mushrooms would not affect my plain half in cooking time or preparation. The pie that emerged was gorgeous in its presentation and simplicity. A thin crust, a thick layer of sauce, slabs of handmade fresh mozzarella, and fresh basic liberally sprinkled on top.
My opinion? A very good pie. At this time, better than anything I have had in Jersey. This statement may not hold for long however since I am going to try two place that were written up recently in NJ. Steve and I devoured the pie in about 2 minutes each consuming 4 slices. Something I never do. I usually stop at two. The last step was the cappuccino.
The cappuccino was good. Not great, but a nice finish to an excellent pizza. So if you find yourself lost in Forest Hills, try Nicks.