To understand the special charm of Nick’s you have to understand a bit about the neighborhood. Located off Kelly Square on Millbury St. in Worcester, it is tucked unobtrusively along a what can best be described as the drunken corpse of a once vibrant Polish-American neighborhood.
While inside lives a charming old world replica complete with small stiff wooden benches which feel almost akin to a church pew. The dark laquored wooden tables and low light contrast nicely with the bright and stunning copper ceilings.
With some outstanding homebrews and a killer spicy mustard to go with the authentic eastern European fare; The live music is interesting as is everything about this bar. Nick’s delivers on a dream, a step outside of time and place. Let’s hope the rest of Millbury St. follows Nick’s rather than Vice-Versa.
Not to rain on the parade of praise for this place but I do have to re-iterate the comments made by my wife. She took me here for my birthday and we expected great things as we’ve heard. To be honest we did have to ask to be re-seated so we could at least hold a conversation over the din of the other customers, the bar, and the music which seems to be amplified in such a small place.
The seaweed salad and Alaskan crab and avocado salads were fantastic and left me in anticipation of the main course. The menu was not quite clear about what was tempura and what was to be served chilled which did cause an unpleasant surprise when biting into warm sushi.
The lobster roll was again tempura and did have a heavy coating of a mayonnaise based crab topping which overpowered the dish. While my wife did not eat any of it I scrapped the top layer off and was able to eat a few bites. Again the sensation of warm sushi was unexpected and unwelcome.
It is true that the waitress spilled my beer while placing it on the table and did not attempt to clean it up until halfheartedly doing so when clearing our plates. It was almost comical when the waitress asked if we wanted to take the remainder of our meal home rather than offer us another option given that the plate was obviously not to our liking and actually had a pool of beer which she had spilt into it earlier.
Perhaps the experience would have been different sitting at the bar, but in my opinion service is as much a part of a good meal as the food, both of which left me feeling bad for my wife who had to pay close to a hundred dollars for unsatisfactory food and even worse service. It was a beautiful gesture on her part though for my birthday.
Worcester does have some wonderful restaurants, but it should leave the sushi to Boston where the prices are reasonable for the area, the quality is up to par, and the pretension of hippness is not needed.
The music is embarrassingly cliché as well. Sorry Baba but once is enough for me, thanks.