New England Dining Reviews>>> Nicky's, Wrentham, MA
Nicky's in Wrentham, MA, Serves Up Old-School Family-Style Dining
Article and photo by Eric H.
Reminding us of the 1960s/1970s-family-style restaurants that operated on unpretentious simplicity and friendliness, Nicky's wears its old-fashioned heart on its sleeve by refusing to abandon the classic tenets of an old-time family restaurant.
Upon entering the parking lot, it's easy to spot some old-school family-style dining giveaways. There are the catch phrases "Fine Food" and "Family Dining" on the exterior red awning. To the left of the awning, you'll find the words "Seafood" and "Breakfast," gently letting you know that Nicky's is open from breakfast to dinner. To the right of the word "Breakfast" is a huge, 1950s-style huge, plastic ice cream cone, just to let you know that Nicky's is much more than a breakfast, lunch and dinner place. The exterior stone design that was quite familiar in 1960s and 1970s restaurants have remained intact at Nicky's. Looking into the front windows, it's not unusual to see families, truckers and "townies" eating at the counter or plain tables through the bright morning sunshine or late-day, cozy nighttime lighting, thus further validating that this is a welcoming restaurant for all ages. It's also a nice place to go in the summer after a morning or afternoon at Lake Pearl Beach -- just a minute or two away.
Inside, the initial diner-like front room leads to a very long partitioned dining room with slightly worn green rugs, wood paneling and more familiar-looking booths and tables (there's even outdoor dining in the warmer weather). The paper placemats are the real giveaway that things haven't changed much at Nicky's: ads for a Baptist church, lawyers, transmission specialists and other local businesses are small in size compared to the big Nicky's ad that states, "The Scouras family welcomes you." They certainly do, with long-time waitresses that make you feel right at home, and some polite, personable young adults working efficiently and respectfully as hostesses and waitresses.
Nicky's continues the family-style dining theme with some really good food that families have always taken comfort in: omelets, pancakes, steak tips, meatloaf, burgers, hot dogs, club sandwiches (try the cheeseburger club!), Greek salads, fried clams, clam chowder, baked haddock, and pasta dishes. The tender steak tips have a surprisingly good kick in the marinade, while the succulent and largely portioned meatloaf brings you back to the days of visiting Grandma. The red sauces are tangy, fresh and enhance the correctly-cooked pasta, while the burgers rate with the best of the local bars and pubs. With Greek heritage, Nicky's also knows how to make a very tasty Greek salad with plenty of feta cheese. Our only complaint is the iceberg dinner salad that is anemic in taste. But then again, iceberg salads were a way of life in the 1960s and 1970s.
Nicky's also features a limited selection of wines and beers, although it seems like most adults here prefer a root beer, coffee shake or float.
The breakfasts are some of the best in this southwest suburban Boston region, especially the hearty, plentiful pancakes and the well-prepared omelets.
What would a family-style restaurant be without desserts? Nicky's does not disappoint with a large selection of ice cream, sundaes, pies, and cakes. We especially love the blueberry pie with a scoop of flavorful vanilla ice cream. The Boston creme pie is fine, too, as well as the ample hot fudge sundae.
For all its modest, old-time dining presence, you couldn't ask for much more than Nicky's in a family-style restaurant -- even in this demanding, fast-moving 21st century. If it's excellent food, plenty of desserts and a homey atmosphere that you are looking for, then Nicky's might have you saying, "Gee, Wally, this is a really neat place." A quality business is indeed timeless.
460 Franklin St. (Route 140)
Wrentham, MA 02093
Tel. (508) 384-8283
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