A show of hands, who went to NJPAC’s previous on site restaurant/bar Theater Square Grill? Me either. Well fear not dear Newarkers the PAC has truly stepped its game up with it’s replacement restaurant! Allow me to introduce you to Nico! It’s more chic, more sleek, has more usable space, not to mention a great menu, and 21 wines by the glass! The best thing about Nico is, unlike TSG, it is open even when there’s no performances at the PAC. Guys, Nico is huge! It has 3 spaces: Outdoor patio (weather permitting), bar/lounge, and an extra large dining hall which can actually be divided into 2 spaces and is often used for special events and large groups for dinner.
The food is tasty with a few pleasant surprises on the menu, including the bar pies (margherita & sausage are my faves) and the crab cakes! The only item I tried and didn’t like was the pomegranate chili wings. I don’t like the fruity sweetness and there wasn’t much chili. The lobster mac “n” cheese was too light on the lobster but otherwise flavorful.
I’ve already been there 4 times! Twice after work and twice in the evening. Each time I was surprise by how light the crowd was, with the exception of the crowd which converged after the filming of AGT let out. I had polite servers who ranged from an experienced and attentive waitress to a new and shy. All were effective and worked hard. The summer hours are flexible due to the AGT filming and pre/post production schedules so call before you go if it’s on a Tues/Wed. They are closed on Saturday this season but open for brunch on Sundays which is a rare find in Newark! With happy hour Mon-Fri 4-7pm this is my newest go to spot!
Lunch: Monday – Friday 11:30am to 3pm
Happy Hour: Monday – Friday 4pm to 7pm
Dinner: Monday – Thursday until 10pm | Friday until 11pm
Sundays 11:30am to 3:00pm