I can’t really tell you why it took my husband, Josh, and I so long to try dessert at one of our favorite restaurants, Nico and Vali. Maybe we were trying to save ourselves from eating even more delicious food at Nico and Vali in Plymouth, Michigan. We tend to make a trip there once a week already, for breakfast or lunch mostly. Well, regardless, we did finally succumb to the sweet endings recently, and I have to say we were not at all disappointed. Even served on adorable little flowered plates!
Josh opted for their Chocolate Tuxedo Cheesecake, with layers of various white and milk chocolate goodness which he devoured. I, being a non-traditional, non-chocolate fanatic female, decided on one of the lighter fruit based cakes, Boscaiola. Mmm… so good!
The buttery Boscaiola crust is imported directly from Italy and it topped with a light vanilla mousse layer, vanilla cake and a glazed deliciously tart mix of cranberries and currants. It’s not too heavy or rich, just the right balance to end one of the lovely Italian meals at Nico and Vali (I love their grilled zucchini sandwich for lunch!).
I suppose it’s a good thing that we go there most often for breakfast, which I admit would be a bit odd to end with dessert. But, if the need strikes us early in the day, we still have the option of taking a pre-cut slice from the deli case for later…
After having a both great lunch and breakfast experiences at Nico and Vali’s in Plymouth, I was excited to try dinner. The service was great as usual. For dinner we had a nice young man who was very familiar with the menu, enthusiastic and very attentive.
After looking over the specials I decided on the Chicken Marsala with roasted potatoes and sauteed zucchini for $8.95. I also added a half Caesar salad ($3.50). Apparently, the specials do not include a choice of soup or salad, but the traditional family plates do. The Caesar salad was nicely coated in dressing without going overboard. The romaine leaves were crisp and fresh and topped with croutons. I sampled a bit of my husband’s soup, la stracciatella, which had a chicken stock base with a touch of egg, small beads of pasta, chicken and vegetables. The slight egginess of the broth came through as a nice flavor. The soup could have used a touch more salt, but would make a great comfort food. I was rather disappointed with the Chicken Marsala. It arrived drenched in a rich, heavy cream based sauce. The sauce preparation I’m familiar with in this dish is much lighter and with ore emphasis on the wine with just a touch of cream. The very thin chicken cutlets were on the dry side as well. The roasted potatoes and zucchini were tasty, but needed more seasoning. My husband liked his gnocchi with meat sauce, but also felt it was under-seasoned.
I had originally planned on choosing from the “Family Traditions” section of the menu, but was enticed by the special; maybe that’s where I went wrong. Given the excellent lunch and breakfast food we had before this visit, we definitely plan on going back and assume that this was just an off night for the kitchen.I’ll have to try one of the everyday dishes next time.
After having such a great sandwich at Nico and Vali’s the other week, I had to go back for breakfast. I ordered a caramel latte ($3), their strawberry and marscapone crepe ($4.95) and a side of hash browns($1.50). Each place that serves espresso seems to have a different level of sweetness when it comes to flavored drinks. The caramel latte at Nico and Vali’s was a little weak in the sugar department for me, but it was still a quality coffee drink. The crepe was nicely presented dusted with powdered sugar, drizzled with chocolate sauce and served with a cup of seasonal fresh fruit. The creamy marscapone filling had a nice sweetness with a hint of lemon. The fruit cup was a mix of strawberries, grapes, honeydew and cantaloupe; each piece of fruit was extremely fresh. The hash browns were simple crispy squares of potato. They were not at all greasy or overcooked. I was a little disappointed that only one crepe came with my order after seeing the size of my husband’s personal frittata ($6.25) which also included toast and hash browns in the price, but the prices are still fairly reasonable for a more unique breakfast selection.
The server we had for breakfast was a had less personality than the friendly and knowledgeable waiter we had on the our previous visit for lunch, but service was still efficient.
Remembering their exceptional ciabatta bread I had on a great sandwich a few weeks ago I picked up a loaf ($3.50) on the way out. I made a simple garlic bread with it for dinner the next night and the texture and flavor of the bread was just as good as I had remembered.
We’ll have to make a trip back soon to try out their dinner menu!
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.