Nicholas Restaurant Lebanese and Mediterranean Cuisine
1109 SE Madison St, Portland, OR 97214
This last year had been hard on the restaurant industry. With many of our favorite spot temporarily having to stop service or worse yet close their doors for good. It was a grim time for foodies in Portland.
So that’s why we are ecstatic when we spot a restaurant not just making it through the pandemic year, and not just that but seeming to grow stronger. This is the joy we found in Nicholas Restaurant.
Once know as a bit of a hidden gem and hole in the wall, Nicholas had managed to open a new location just off of Madison and come bigger and better than ever before. Gone are the crowded tables and narrow aisles of before, making way for tall ceilings, classic wood beams and a festive atmosphere. Light brightly from inside and with large windows to let in the sun. Along with a good sized patio dining section for those summer days which we know are just around the corner.
And of course with a new location comes the same delicious meals. With a menu boasting Mediterranean Mezza platters for starters, with hummus, stuffed grape leaves, spinach pastries and more it’s easy to fill up on appetizers when you come here.
But what you will most fill up on is of course the free Flatbread! At every table they bring out a complimentary brick oven baked piece of flatbread. Roughly the size of a full pizza and served with herbed dipping oil. This is a fun way to share a snack while you wait for your main dishes and all around spoil your appetite.
Totally worth it.
If you are patient enough to not fill up on bread though you can also enjoy the a variety of kabob meals they have on offer. From ribeye, to chicken and even veggie (for those trying to avoid meat). We having no problem with meaty goodness went for the Lamb Kabob Skewer meal. This dinner dish comes with two good sized skewers of lamb marinated in oil, garlic, mint, lemon and stabbed with peppers and onions. Served with a side of saffron rice and garlic toum (fluffy garlic spread). At $18.50 a meal it is a bit on the pricy for some but given they also offer a smaller lunch portion you can try out and stay a foodie on a budget.
If you just didn’t get enough bready goodness from the starters they also offer a variety of brick oven cooked Lebanese inspired pizzas and pies. We personally went for the Spinach Pie. A Mediterranean style calzone of sorts.
Stuffed full of Spinach, Feta, and onions. Marinated with olive oil and lemon and wrapped up in the signature pita bread. It is a simple but enjoyable dish at only $11 a pie it is a easy choice for a sharing dish.
Looks like with the with the new location, the same good food and the addition of a few signature cocktails with this meal. Nicholas has moved from a favorite hole in the wall to a delightful brunch and dinner spot. The perfect place to take someone on a date or enjoy the sunshine with your friends.
That being said the food here is still good, but not improved from the original location. Given the new look and style they excelled at, it is a bit of a shame they haven’t tried to elevate the menu itself. Maybe with time some new special may come out but for now we will just stick without old favorites and enjoy the ambience.
We give Nicholas restaurant six and a half fresh baked pitas out of ten