A little taste of Italy is only as far as Plymouth, MI if you head to Nico and Vali Italian Eatery! We stopped in for lunch this past weekend on my brother’s recommendation. The first time I drove by this Italian deli/eatery I saw its sophisticated high end exterior and misinterpreted it as an upscale restaurant I would go to on a special occasion. If it weren’t for my brother’s suggestion I would have thought it too rich for my blood, but am thrilled to find out I was mistaken!
You are initially greeted by the beautiful deli counter and market area. There are a variety of delicious looking Italian deli salads, including artichoke and pasta salads and some tempting traditional desserts. The menu board includes Italian entree staples like lasagna, gnocchi and eggplant parmigiana. Nico and Vali’s also has an extensive selection of espresso drinks.
When we stopped in for lunch on Saturday we were greeted warmly at the counter and seated promptly. The young men serving customers that day were very friendly and knowledgeable about the food.
I decided on the grilled zucchini panini with portabello mushrooms and provolone cheese on fresh ciabatta bread. The grilled vegetables were perfectly seasoned, the cheese gooey and delicious and bread was fabulous! The house-made ciabatta, recommended by the server, had a wonderfully crispy exterior, chewy interior and great flavor. The sandwich came with the deli’s signature chips that my husband claimed to be more addictive with every bite. I sampled a bite of his meatball panini with marinara sauce on Italian bread. You could really taste the herbs in the tomato sauce and the meatballs were nice and tender. The Italian bread was good, but I would still vote for the ciabatta myself.
The only small negative I have to note was the lack of fresh brewed iced tea. I’m only surprised because they brew fresh hot tea and even chai. I have to give a nod to the waiter though for letting me know when I ordered that the iced tea was from the tap. I always appreciate when people can appreciate the difference.
The owner stopped by our table to ask how lunch was when we finished. It’s always nice to see people taking pride in their business. Being able to put a face on a small business is one of the enjoyable experiences about eating at a place like Nico and Vali.
I’ll be back in soon to share on their breakfast and dinner entrees. Prices are very reasonable and the food and service are terrific.