Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Slick Chef in a Tie? Food's still great.

I kid you not. Chef Nick Badovinus is the first chef I have EVER seen in a tie while on duty! There he was last Friday night, resplendent in his sartorial grandeur, expediting the kitchen line at his new, wholly owned eatery, Neighborhood Services. First off, Nick: Change the name. Please call it Nick's Neighborhood, or Nick's Goodtime Grill, or Nick's anything. Neighborhood Services reminds me of the free methadone clinics I used to hear about when I lived in San Francisco (I was not a patron). At any rate, I digress. The food and the vibe at Nick's (Neighborhood Services) is exactly what you want from one of our first-rate, first-class, all around good guy chefs. It's sensational grub. Ribs, to live for (we don't say the die thing). Great onion rings go with that. A fun mixed grill kinda thing with quail and a tenderloin. Oh, wait, I forgot the lobster fritter starters that inspired us oldsters to start singing a chorus from Perry Como's old TV show ("letters we get letters"....we get lots and lots of letters" substitute fritters for letters and you've got it). Now, I know most of you are asking "who the hell is Perry Como?". Google great crooners and you'll know. Bono could not pull that off on live television every week. More digression. Must be the holi-daze. Nick has a neat reservations policy. There is none. But, if you call ahead and tell them you are coming in, when you arrive, somehow, you are magically put at the head of the waitlist (which is considerable on weekends 'cause Neighborhood Services is cool, and hot and new now), and boom, you're seated. Actually, I thought it was better than a reservation. Well anyway, the menu has burgers, sandwiches, great fish dishes, real food for real people. The price is right and the wine list is easy on the pocketbook and the palate. I love this place. I love that Nick (formerly head pooh-bah chef extraordianaire at Consilient Restaurants--think Hibiscus-Fireside Pies-Cuba Libra-The Porch) has his own place. Please do yourself a favor and stop in. Nick's Place, er, Neighborhood Services is in the old Rouge spot (5027 W. Lovers Lane) two blocks west of Inwood. 214-350-5027 (for that step in line call ahead deal). We are trying to talk Nick out of his kitchen so he can bring the restaurant to Savor Dallas. If you can put in a good word for us, or if you want to start the groundswell here, please respond to this blog. I will pass along your sentiments to Nick. Please also ask him to change the name of the restaurant to Nick's Neighborhood (or other suggestions welcome). What do you think? Eat at Nick's has a nice ring to it. Ciao baby.

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