It’s a beautiful day in “The Neighborhood”

Jim and Nancy do not disclose the fact that they will review a restaurant before they attend, ensuring their reviews are unbiased and uninfluenced by their position with the Sun Day.

It was a beautiful day in our neighborhood, and we decided to pay a visit to the new Niko’s Tavern & Neighborhood Grill in Pingree Grove.

When we pulled up, we were shocked, as we’re sure you will be when you see the transformation Niko’s has done to this restaurant. It looks like a building from an Old West Town where you would tie up your horsie to the hitchin’ post and mosey on in. This western theme is continued on the inside with its beautiful wood floors, clapboard walls, and the restroom entrance looks like an old shanty. It is not very large on the inside, but they do have a beautiful stone patio for their outdoor seating. You feel like you’re in a standalone restaurant rather than part of a storefront complex.

Niko’s Tavern & Neighborhood Grill

2401 W. Route 20
Pingree Grove 60140
(847) 683-4980
gottahavenikos.com

Directions: Take Rte. 47 South to Route 20 West to restaurant.

Estimated Travel Time: 12 minutes

I noticed Jim hasn’t been a good boy lately since he is not eating enough veggies. I suggested we order the Green Bean Fries ($10) as an appetizer. He read how they were prepared and said they sounded good. If you batter and deep-fry anything, Jim will eat it. This was served with a chipotle ranch dip that had a little kick to it. These were really yummy and the dip put it over the edge!

Ever since Nancy became the Bocce Club President, she has been on an Italian beef kick. Today she just had to have the Italian Beef Wrap ($11). This was layers of Italian beef smothered with melted mozzarella cheese and giardiniera, all wrapped in a flour tortilla. It was served with au jus, fries, pickle, and coleslaw. This is now her favorite wrap. Unlike most wraps that are skimpy on ingredients, this was filled to capacity with beef, and it was delicious. Per her request, they even made her fries extra crispy just the way she likes them.

Jim was chomping at the bit today and saw the Skirt Steak Sandwich ($16) on the menu. This was a twelve ounce skirt steak served on French bread, with au jus, topped with grilled onions, and mozzarella cheese. It came with coleslaw and a pickle, and he chose the tater tots for a $1 up charge, instead of the fries. His steak proved to be a monster that hung over the bread by several inches and was impossible for him to finish. That’s saying something, since he can usually clean up his plate.

Nancy said I could have dessert since I ate all my veggies, but I was just too full. So no dessert review today. If you go and have dessert, write us and let us know how it was. Then when I go back, I’ll have to try your recommendation.

This sit-down restaurant is a welcome addition on the Route 47 corridor. It serves quality food, nice sized portions, and has a varied menu to satisfy every taste.

FYI: Handicap accessible and what we’ve heard from neighbors, there can be a long wait during peak times. Unfortunately, they are not open on weekdays for lunch. I tried taking some friends there and it was closed! Bummer…

The cost for our grub today was $44.66, giddy up pardner!

Jim’s take: My “well done” steak was tender and flavorful. My sandwich was so big I had to eat it with a knife and fork. I even took home a doggie bag.

Nancy’s take: This would be a good place to get together with friends, watch a game on the TVs around the bar, share a few appetizers, and enjoy some adult beverages. Their appetizer menu is extensive.

Have comments or restaurant suggestions for the Dining Duo? Send them an email at thediningduo@gmail.com

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