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Danbury Destination-Nick's Restaurant & Catering



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Danbury Destination—

Nick’s Restaurant & Catering

Nick’s Restaurant & Catering, “a gathering for family and friends,” has been tucked away on a Danbury side street for nearly 30 years, the last 16 under the ownership of brothers Frank and Victor DeGirlamo and their cousin Tony Gallucci, all of Newtown. Located on Starr Street, which connects Triangle Avenue and South Street (Route 53) near the new Motor Vehicle office, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday and dinner on Sunday.

The 92-seat restaurant also has a pizza pickup area and catering is a significant part of the eatery’s business. Mr Gallucci notes that Nick’s specializes in off-site catering, providing food and service for events ranging from graduation and private parties and business meeting to corporate picnics and weddings. The restaurant also caters picnics and clambakes and provides the catering for the former Ramada, now Wellesley Inn, and for the local Army barracks.

The décor and the atmosphere at Nick’s is casual and family friendly, the tables covered with burgundy cloths and glass tops. A large photo of Faeto, Italy, Mr Gallucci’s home town, graces one wall of the rear dining area. Mr Gallucci’s family came to the United States when he was 12; his cousins were born here. Many members of the staff were in place before the restaurant changed hands 16 years ago, and one server “has been here since day one.”

As with any successful restaurant, Nick’s has its regulars who come in two or three times a week — “Sometimes we know who is here by the orders that come into the kitchen,” Mr Gallucci comments — and newcomers are made to feel welcome.

Among the most popular dishes are eggplant a la Nick’s (thinly sliced, stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, and spinach with a choice of brown or marina sauce), $13.95; paglia e fieno primavera (zucchini, leeks, scallions, peppers, onions and mushrooms in a light sauce), $11.95, and spinach manicotti, $9.95.

The menu is predominately Italian, but does include Nick’s “own creamy version” of French onion soup ($3.25), a New York cut sirloin steak ($16.95) and four offerings for children, all $6.95.

The appetizers range from $5.95 for stuffed mushrooms to $10.95 for clams and mussels Posillipo (prepared in garlic, white wine, and marinara sauce), and include hot and cold choices. Diners can choose from three soups, all $3.25, and four salads — house, $3.25; seafood $7.95.

In addition to the house specialties and daily specials, entrees fall into four categories: seafood, veal, and chicken (all $12.95–$16.95), and pasta ($7.95–$12.95).

Seafood dishes include a broiled seafood platter with sole, scallops, stuffed clams, shrimp, and swordfish; calamari lugiana; and shrimp — scamp, fra diavolo, or bake stuffed. There are five veal selections and five chicken, including a breast of capon.

Diners can also choose from five pastas and nine sauces, as well as pasta dishes such as ravioli, gnocchi with peso sauce, and baked ziti. Salad is included with all pasta dishes.

Nick’s also offers pizza — regular and Sicilian — calzones and grinders. All menu selections are available for takeout as well.

To end a meal, Nick’s offers a temping, a reasonably priced, dessert selection — all less than $5 — that includes rum cake, tiramisu, chocolate mousse cake, and ice cream.

Nick’s Restaurant & Catering, 4 Starr Street, Danbury; 748-2400 or www.nicksdanbury.com. Open Monday–Thursday 11:30 am to 10 pm; Friday and Saturday 11:30 am to 10:30; Sunday, 4 to 9 pm. All major credit cards accepted.

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