By Jeremy Piper
Once again, in search of good food at cheap prices, I ventured out from the comfortable bubble of St. Mary’s. At the intersection of Three Notch Road and Chancellor’s Run Road I found just the place: a little Italian place called Nicolletti’s: the perfect place to get some pizza, pasta, a calzone, or even a cheesesteak sub.
When first walking in to Nicolletti’s, you come face to face with a menu roughly the size of Rhode Island (it took me a few minutes just to read through the entire thing). Besides the veritable bevy of menu options, Nicolletti’s even offers a salad bar, just to complicate things further. Once you make your decision about what to eat, you pay a surprisingly small sum for the monstrous amount of food you get, and grab a seat. Nicolletti’s is a sit-down restaurant but you do not have a waiter or waitress; the food is brought to your table and that is the extent of interaction. Certainly a plus for those who are reclusive, shy, or are just plain tired of someone constantly bugging you throughout your dinner and conversation.
After much deliberation, I finally decided to opt for a cheesesteak sub. I chose this, not only because it is one of my favorite culinary companions, but also because it is a good test of a restaurant. There are several factors that can sway how it turns out, and after having bad subs in the past, I hoped for the best. What I ended up feasting on was a delicious medley of flavor that surprised even me. As many of you already know, a cheesesteak, once eaten, resembles something like a brick in your stomach. However, the Nicolletti’s cheesesteak was somehow light; extremely filling and satisfying, but not overwhelming. The bun had been broiled so it was crispy on the inside, the steak was perfectly cooked and not greasy, the lettuce was fresh and green, and the tomato was red and crisp. I can do nothing more than recommend it to you all (I have heard great things about their pizza too).
When I went, the place was pretty sleepy. Only a few people occupied the comfy booths and were talking quietly amongst themselves. However, the closer it gets to 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. the more crowded it becomes. Because of the cheap prices and hearty amount of food per serving, it is the target of parents for birthday parties and sports team meetings. It is a child-friendly environment so, depending on when you go, you may have to suffer a screaming 4-year-old in order to eat cheap. Don’t think of Nicolletti’s as the “coach” class of restaurants; if you plan your trip right you will have a lovely experience.
For taste, I gave Nicolletti’s 4 stars; for price, 4 stars; for atmosphere, 3 stars; and for service, 5 stars (they were extremely nice and wanted my business), for a total of 16/20 possible stars. Keep up the good work Nicolletti’s.