NICO Kitchen + Bar at NJPAC

by Melody Kettle

Chef Ryan DePersio, Photo Credit: Amessé PhotographyOne of our favorite local chefs, Ryan DePersio, of Montclair’s Fascino, and Bloomfield’s Bar Cara, is bringing his acclaimed fare to Newark. 

On February 21st, Chef Ryan will be opening NICO Kitchen + Bar at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark.  NICO, affectionately named after the chef’s 6 year-old son, will replace the former Theater Square Grill.  Chef Ryan will be assisted in the kitchen by Chef de Cuisine Adam Rose.

The menu at NICO will feature food described as "Italian Without Borders: global influences and regional, seasonal ingredients.” 

NICO will feature a small plate dinner menu and an eclectic lunch menu.  Selections include Pomegranate-Chilli Wings with Gorgonzola Dipping Sauce, Trio of Tartares (Scottish Salmon, Truffled Beef, and Yellowfin Tuna), Lobster Mac n’ Cheese, Mache Salad with Beet Pinwheel & Goat Cheese “Snow,” Grilled Soy-Paprika Lamb Chops with Eggplant Puree, and a cheeseburger made with Filet Mignon, New York Cheddar and Grilled Red Onion. The menu at NICO will also include several signature dishes from Bar Cara and Fascino, like Mascarpone Polenta Fries and a Happy Hour with crafted cocktails and specialty “bites.” 

 “A value-priced, three-course, more traditional prix-fixe menu will also be offered on performance nights and matinees, designed to come out of the kitchen quickly so guests can make their curtain ~ if they arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the start of a performance.”    

NICO will serve lunch Monday through Friday and dinner nightly, except on Sunday.  For reservations call, 973-642-1226, or visit the website at