[An Upper West Side discovery]
I came across this lovely, casual French restaurant on the Upper West Side while exploring the neighborhood back in February 2011. After a short bout of shopping, I was famished so I used my trusty Yelp mobile app on my phone to search for a restaurant to fend off my hunger. When my search found “French” in the results, the closest and most-rated Nice Matin appeared and immediately caught my attention. A few quick review reads, and I was sold! So, off I went.
I happened to dine in during “Stinky Cheese” month. It’s been several months already, so the names of the dishes I tried all had some type of cheese (stinky and non-stinky). Forgive me for not jotting down the names for this delayed post!
The first two photos are of the Fava Bean soup I had with some sort of stinky cheese (name I cannot recall). The beans in this clean tasting but slighty odorous soup were delicate and still crisp. It reminded me of a French Onion Soup since the cheese was baked over the soup and because of the bowl it was served in.
Following the soup are three photos of the Lobster Truffle Mac & Cheese. I can never deny any dish with truffle in it or lobster, and when together, it seems impossible to say no to a superb pairing of the two. The macaroni was cooked perfectly, and I was pleased with the generous chunks of lobster baked with it. This dish was rich, creamy yet not overpowering in taste of the cheese, and the addition of truffle added the appropriate zesty flavor.
Lastly, I was adventurous when it came to dessert. I wanted to complete my “Stinky Cheese” experience so I took the recommendation of my waiter to go for the honey-glazed, ricotta-filled crepes with almonds. Not an immediate fan as the crepe was sour and the honey did not balance the taste of the slightly bitter and sour after taste of the ricotta. It wasn’t terrible nor was it amazing at least according to my palette. It was different. Not the usual sweet dessert I’m used to selecting, but I’m glad I tried it!
Nice Matin is a lovely, cozy and bustling restaurant (depending on the time of day). I definitely would return for brunch and dinner as the menu offers many delicious treats and seasonal dishes. I highly recommend trying this quaint place if you’re ever in the Upper West Side or willing to trek uptown to check it out.
Whether it’s a bistro, cafe or restaurant, if it’s French, I’m always up for it!