Nicola’s: A Family Tradition

Family Legacy continues Nicola’s Tradition.

Started in 1994 in a converted auto parts store, Nicola’s was the first modern Italian restaurant north of Manhattan to feature wood-fired pizza.

Prior to opening his restaurant, chef/owner Michael Nicola traveled extensively to Rome, Florence, Bologna, and Naples Italy, New York City, and San Francisco. He visited vineyards, olive groves, farmers’ markets, and cheese plants in each region, eating in local restaurants and immersing himself in the local culture. He learned first-hand the Italian cooking principle that: a few quality ingredients cooked properly, are the secret to authentic Italian taste.

Returning to Lake Placid he opened Nicola’s Over Main – it was an immediate success. Ten years later, having outgrown their original location, the Nicola’s built their current facility situated directly across the street from the Olympic Center.

The Nicola’s philosophy combines old world hospitality and lifestyle with the love of good food. They are at the restaurant selecting ingredients, making pizza and bread dough, and pastas. The wood fired oven is heated to the optimal temperature to insure that the crust is always thin and crispy. Our marinara sauce exemplifies the Italian cooking principle that simpler is better. A combination of ground pork, veal, beef, and hand crushed plum tomatoes, are the basis of our famous Bolognese sauce. Chef Nicola starts with the soffrito, adds each ingredient, one by one, and slow simmers the tomatoes to intensify the rich flavors. 

To ensure the next generation of Nicola’s restaurant, Michael’s daughter, Maggie, has donned the apron. After spending three winter seasons skiing and cooking in Lake Tahoe, Maggie made the life decision to commit to the family business. She is now the chef and works side by side everyday with her father, honoring her skills and carrying on the family tradition. Together they create a unique item, one that is not on the menu. Taste the difference.  


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