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Dallas Morning News
Fearless Critic restaurant review
Upmarket restaurant

Sun–Thu 11:00am–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 11:00am–11:00pm

Features Good wines, outdoor dining
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted


Preston Hollow
8111 Preston Rd
Dallas, Texas
(214) 379-1111
Ristorante Nicola
The Rocky Balboa of Dal-Ital Dining

Look up. The lighting is from Venice—hand-blown black Murano glass chandeliers. Look down. The floor is scraped mesquite wood arranged in herringbone patterns. Gaze ahead: the walls flaunt hand block-patterns. The 7,000 square-foot Ristorante Nicola dining room leaches a warm stream of golds and earth tones. It’s flush with cozy, lurid corners, plush high-backed banquettes, and a slinky U-shaped granite bar.

Ground zero: an exhibition kitchen at the heart of the restaurant. Peer at the meticulous and exacting craft employed to spin an array of genuine Italian dishes—featuring the freshness and simple clarity that marks the best of this ilk—from scratch. Sup: silky carpaccio; veal chop stuffed with prosciutto, sage, and mushrooms; pappardelle with wild boar ragout and fresh herbs; and gnocchi in roasted cherry tomato sauce with fresh basil and diced mozzarella. Share: plates are heaped with more than ample goodness.

Feast on the luxurious signature focaccia baked in the wood-burning oven. Glare at the antipasto display case heaped with Italian cheeses, salumi, marinated vegetables, and sweet fruits. Sip: relish the taut, exquisitely chosen wine list highlighting Italy’s prime winegrowing regions plus Sardinia. Toto, we have a feeling we’re not in Dallas anymore.

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