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“Very Good-Old Style Atmosphere”

Nick's Italian Restaurant
Ranked #352 of 569 Restaurants in Bellevue
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 7 December 2014

Second time that we have visited this restaurant. But it was the first time with the kids. The "real name" of the restaurant is, Nick's Italian Cuisine, for anyone who cares. The owner and his wife run it and are just grand. They are funny and will make your visit one to remember. All of the food is good. But the pizza for the kids (they insisted on just pepperoni and cheese) was kind of blah. Otherwise, I can't say enough good about them. They have Italian sodas which are delicious. Garlic & cheese fries are awesome for the kids as an appetizer. Lunch is fun to try there!

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Thank twinsmom070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 13 reviews

Reviewed 23 July 2014

I'm actually bumping up my rating by a star due to the wonderful hospitality of Nick's wife. What a nice lady! Unfortunately, I can't raise as much enthusiasm for the dish I was served recently for lunch. I ordered the combo plate with lasagne, cannoli, and something else that was somewhat nondescript. All three items were covered in a tomato sauce that was over-salted and heavily loaded with garlic. Is that the Greek influence? Actually, I think the sauce had been warming in the same pot for a few days. The lasagne had a generous portion of beef in it, however.

Actually, Mrs. Nick came by to to ask me how everything was, and, because she was so nice, I didn't have the heart to tell her that it fairly sucked. Having said that, I will be back to try this place again the next time I'm in Bellevue. Maybe by that time Nick will have a fresh pot of sauce brewed up.

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Thank HansvilleHugh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

Variety of Greek and Italian plates served throughout the day. Most probably you will be served by the owner or by his wife, so expect a welcoming atmosphere. The guy who owns this place, Nick, is a wonderful guy who will make you have fun throughout your time there. One of the best dishes is the Greek salad, which is fresh. I have to underline that whatever you eat will not let you down and if it happens that you don;t like something you say it and they are going to bring you a new one immediately. Do not expect a trendy restaurant, it looks more like a greek taverna. Ask for Greek wine. Just next to the restaurant is the sports bar, which is a traditional sports bar with multiple TV screens. Nice variety of beers and drinks (Greek Ouzo is served also). Try the Angry Orchard which is a mix of cider and beer. The place is cheap for what it offers. The only thing on the downside, the cleanliness of the place can be improved. Open 7 days a week.

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Thank Byron K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2013

Greek born Nick Lesko has lived the American 'dream', and as we all know, that evolves with time and experience. And YES, Nick's has been in Bellevue for several decades, evolving along with radical changes to the American economy, design tastes, 'gourmet' fashions and customer budgets.

One thing has prevailed . . . Nick's authenticity and tenacity for providing his customers with genuine Greek and Italian dishes.
Yes, the interior has evolved along the way, also, thanks in large measure to his charming and high energy wife, Pam, who joined him at the restaurant full time after retiring from her career at Boeing.
These are two extremely hard working and very caring people . . . and Nick's establishment is definitely NOT for many of today's pretentious and/or self-proclaimed 'foodie' types!

I confess upfront that I have known Nick and Pam from inception, and and have enjoyed more meals within those four walls than most people can count days in a year; mostly enjoyably. Indeed, there was the 'big hair waitress' era . . . and yes again, she was legendary . . . rather like Carla on the old Cheers series, eh?

Parking is FREE and magnificently abundant, thanks to the strip mall location. Very easy access for older guests, also. The restrooms are small, as with many structures in Bellevue, but I've always found them clean and well stocked.

TripAdvisor asks us to check whether this was one of the BEST meals ever had in a restaurant, and only because I have traveled and dined all over the world, I had to check 'no' . . . though want to qualify that here. Nick's food is wonderful in every respect, and as one terrific Yelp reviewer (a former chef) noted, it can vary, as does most fine home style cooking, regarding
serving temperatures and degree of doneness. However, that said, in the literally thousands of lunches and dinners I've enjoyed here over the decades, not one was ever poor or unsatisfactory. That's quite a statement, isn't it, for a commercial restaurant, yes? !!
Nick cares, and wants to know immediately if something is needed.

And yes, I enjoy 'fine dining' as well as comfort food, and/or family style cooking. One of my worst experiences was at Canlis in Seattle, when celebrating a birthday ~~
We left Canlis (see that review!) and thankfully, The Bookbindery down the hill from
Canlis was able to 'save' that evening for us.
I digress.

The prices at Nick's range from just under $10 to around $16 per entree on the Specials sheet.
The main menu features pizzas, sandwichs, burgers, fish/chips, chicken, veal, as well as eggplant to steaks and seafood . . . along with specialty Greek items and pasta. However,
the menu changes regularly and never becomes stale.

On several occasions I have overheard other diners asking to have their favourite specially prepared, and they were delighted when Nick produced it~~!!
What is amazing about this is that in slick Bellevue these days, requesting a simple substitution is often met with a resounding, "NO, we don't do that."
It is also possible to call and request gluten free pasta, which must be prepared close to the time of serving in order to avoid nasty clumping, so requires forewarning the kitchen. Nick tries to stay current with meeting special dietary restrictions.

The restaurant or Bistro side is comfortable and inviting, and indeed there are booths as well as table seating; you have your choice. Personally, the privacy of a booth is most welcome to me these days, as tables jammed so closely together that you cannot share a private conversation hold no allure . . . added to which, most venues now lack any sort of sound absorption. There is no 'din' in Nick's and the quiet elegance is dearly appreciated!

The Cantina or bar side features an outstanding Happy Hour (from 3:30PM) menu, with sliders for $2,
Nicky-tinis from 6.50 and a $5 mini burger and fries. Prawns, hot wings and salads are also featured at happy hour.
The bar/cantina has more televisions than most appliance stores, so viewing is easy, also.
Again, seating is uncrowded, which allows easy conversation.

The comfort and cordiality of an authentic venue such as Nick's reminds me of the many extraordinary bistros savoured when traveling in Europe over the decades; personally decorated with rare momentos and real feeling, which thankfully lacks totally in snob appeal or unwarranted pretension~~!!
If you're looking for chrome and glass, Nick's isn't for you!

Nick's bistro and cantina, (which he is now evolving toward), remains the same as ever, though continues to reward those who prize an eclectic drinking & gnoshing experience,
wonderfully comfortable atmosphere,
and prices which make returning often truly affordable~~
See you at Nick's!

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12  Thank ch00seyon3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2011

The people at Nick's treat you like family. Always a pleasure to eat there. They have a varied menu and the food is always great. Part Italian and part Greek. The glass of wine for $7.50 is huge. It is a small neighborhood restaurant that has been there for over 30 years. Very welcoming. The pizza is excellent as is everything we have tried. You could not ask for a more welcoming atmosphere. The prices are definitely very fair.

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Thank Blallis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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