What’s better than bacon-wrapped scallops? Nothing- that’s what. Actually, while I can think of a few things that might bring me slightly more enjoyment, the contrast of the lush, translucent seafood against crisp, salty bacon is pretty high up there. The scallops at Niche, however are enclosed within an even crispier pork product; a strip of thinly sliced prosciutto that crackles in your mouth while your teeth cut through the smooth scallop.
I had heard mixed reviews about Niche; some friends make it a ritual place to end their week, while others say that it’s the worst restaurant food they’ve had in the city. With such conflicting reports, I felt the need to check this place out and form my own opinion. Truth? I liked it- a lot. The food was great, as was the atmosphere as my friend and I perched on our bar stools sipping on wine and taking in the scene. Happy Hour at Niche is from 4:30-7, and Friday also features 1/2 priced appetizers, meaning you can get a filling meal for cheap – at least it filled us up!
We decided to go for two appys; the aforementioned Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops drizzled in butter, and a hearty BBQ Chicken Quesadilla. I swept my foodie fears aside when our server brought us two large plates of tasty delights.
This was a pretty great flavor combo. The mouthwatering scallops, dripping with golden butter were indulgent, to be sure, and a nice pairing to the smokey, cheese filled quesadilla. It’s bright, rustic flavors of cumin and piquant Cayenne pepper played off of the black bean’s earthy base, while the cheeses – sharp cheddar, buttery Asiago (an odd choice here, but whatev…) and creamy mozza melded together to create a irresistible backdrop for the juicy chunks of chicken.
BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
Cheddar, Asiago & Mozza, onions & peppers
w/ black bean BBQ sauce
Prosciutto wrapped Scallops, baked in garlic butter,
topped w/ Parmesan Cheese
So, I guess I’ve made up my own mind about Niche. I like it, and I’ll go again…and bring friends. I’m also looking forward to their patio being open this summer. Combined with HH drinks and Friday’s inexpensive 1/2 priced appy deal, there is also the entertainment factor of a smooth jazz ensemble to pleasure your other senses.