Mexican Restaurant With an Italian Twist Coming to Jamaica

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on August 6, 2014 11:37am 

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 Don Nico's is slated to open this fall on 161st Street, the owner said.
Restaurant Serving Mexican Cuisine with Italian Twist Coming to Jamaica
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QUEENS — A new restaurant serving Mexican cuisine with an Italian twist is slated to open in Jamaica, giving residents a new option in an area currently dominated by fast-food chains.

Don Nico’s, which will also offer several Italian dishes, will be located on the ground floor of a new residential building at 90-14 161st St., between Jamaica and 90th avenues, the owner said.

The eatery, which will seat about 50 patrons, should be open for business by the end of October, according to the owner, Nicola Maurello.

Maurello, who ran Pasticcio, an Italian restaurant in Murray Hill, for about three decades, currently owns Don Nico's food kiosk in downtown Brooklyn which offers tacos, flautas, wraps, burritos and quesadillas.

Though the menu for the Jamaica restaurant is still being finalized, it will include several traditional Mexican dishes such as tortas with chipotle mayo and flautas — crispy corn tortillas served with pico de gallo and sour cream, Maurello said.

But it will also offer a Mexican variety of bruschetta, considered a typical Italian appetizer, which will be served with guacamole and pico de gallo, Maurello said.

The restaurant's menu will also include macaroni and cheese as well as homemade pastas.

The eatery will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and will feature a fresh juice and vegetable bar as well as a wine and sangria bar.

Maurello promises affordable prices, which he said will range from $2.50 for small breakfast dishes to $18 for main courses.

The decor, the owner said, will be "colorful and relaxed." Maurello said he also plans to use a lot of recycled materials, such as reused furniture.

“It will have a Brooklyn and European feel,” Maurello said.

The area, locals said, still suffers from a lack of sit-down restaurants, although it's slowly changing as new developments are planned for the neighborhood, they said.

Last year CityRib, a high-end barbecue restaurant, opened on Parsons Boulevard.

Prior to that, the only sit-down eatery in downtown Jamaica was Applebee's on Jamaica Avenue, which opened in 2010.

Carlisle Towery, president of the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, a local nonprofit development group, said that “the opening of Don Nico’s is one more sign Jamaica is on the upswing for people who live, work, visit or play here.”

He also noted that entrepreneurs realize the potential of downtown Jamaica and “are willing to invest to tap into our growing market.”

Sara Herbstman of the The Bluestone Organization, which developed the building, where the restaurant will be located, said that retail space on the ground floor will also include a dental office.

The building, which has about 100 apartments, should be fully occupied before the end of the year, she said.

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