The construction boom is hitting downtown Sarasota so hard it seems like you can’t take a stroll without getting your foot stuck in wet concrete or toppling into a ditch. For downtown restaurateurs, it’s a good problem to have. Once all those cranes stop cluttering the skyline and those condos are standing, the people living in them are going to need some sustenance.
Enter Nicky’s Bistro. In July, the former owners of Main Street’s Divino Restaurant & Lounge, which closed four years ago, opened Nicky’s on South Palm Avenue near Caragiulos. They’re positioning the bistro as a friendly, intimate, all-day hangout, where anyone who lives or works downtown can pop in at any time for a nosh. Divino specialized in Italian food; the menu at Nicky’s is more eclectic, with a pan-European reach that covers everything from a croque madame to panini, plus standard American fare like a burger and an eggs-potatoes-bacon breakfast combo.
The prices are exceptionally affordable, with few dishes rising higher than $10 during the morning and afternoon. At just $9, that croque madame is a substantial creation—the egg yolk runny and the bread toasted just right—and it comes with a small side salad. The portions aren’t huge, but that’s the point. This is a place where you can afford to be a regular customer, where the dishes fill you up but don’t overwhelm you. The kind of place you’d like to have in your neighborhood if, for example, you just moved into a new condo and haven’t yet unpacked your kitchen gear.
Nicky's Bistro is located at 49 S. Palm Ave., Sarasota. For more information, call (941) 330-1727.