Right in the heart of The Delmar Loop sits Nico, 6525 Delmar Blvd, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that took over the space where Brandt’s Café formerly resided. Those of you familiar with Franco, a French bistro in St. Louis, might have heard of Nico, which is considered Franco’s younger brother.
Having never dined at Franco, I didn’t know what to expect when I stopped in for brunch on a recent Sunday and found myself pleasantly blown away by every aspect of my meal.
First, it should be noted that any establishment offering brunch in University City is a win in my book. There’s Booster’s Café and several coffee shops that offer food in the first part of the day, but Nico undoubtedly offered the most inventive brunch menu. No scrambled eggs or pancakes here! Much as I love those things, it was wonderful to see a creative menu placed before me.
Nico’s space is gorgeous. It’s large, and definitely wasn’t full on the Sunday I stopped in, but the airy spaciousness of the restaurant works. Additionally, there are a number of tables outdoors offering diners the chance to people watch in the sunshine over their meal.
My friend and I hemmed and hawed over the menu, unable to narrow our choices. Our server patiently gave us plenty of time, answering each of our questions about the various dishes. Finally we settled on three items to share: the beet salad, the Italia frittata and the beignets.
First up, that beet salad…if you stop in and see it on the menu, it’s a must try. Not only was it beautifully plated, with various colored beets surrounding a thick filling of goat cheese cream topped with a pistachio pesto, but the flavors married perfectly. I’ve had a lot of beet and goat cheese salads, but this one sits at the top!
The frittata was one of several egg dishes offered on the menu, each a different country—Morocco, Spain, France and Italy. The Italia, which we ordered, included asparagus, mushrooms, asiago and truffle oil. Although the egg dish was good, it was the patatas bravas—fried potatoes in a spicy Harissa sauce—that stole the show. These aren’t your standard breakfast potatoes!
We concluded our meal with the beignets. The description mentioned a honey blackberry mousse and a blackberry balsamic drizzle, two flavor combinations we couldn’t resist. Although I didn’t think the balsamic flavor was particularly strong, the sweet treat was an excellent finish to our brunch. The blackberry mousse was light and a nice contrast to the sweet crunch of the beignets.
Has my raving convinced you that you need to head on over to Nico sometime soon? I try to offer fair reviews, sharing the good and the bad, but I don’t have a negative thing to say here. Our service was attentive, the prices were reasonable, and the food exceeded my expectations. I fully intend to stop in for dinner sometime soon!