We understand that the full Washington and Washington Post reviews on Nicaro are coming out imminently (Wash Post perhaps this Sunday), so we just had to beat them to the punch and report on our dinner tonight at Nicaro, on Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring.
The dining room is typical modern, comfortable, and quite a shock of yuppydom after passing by the grungy storefronts. The experience is reminenscent of Persimmon (but more comfortable and conversation friendly at Nicaro) or Black's (but less high style) in Bethesda. And similar concept -- downtown food in the suburbs.
Hubby had kobe beef tartar appetizer. Small portion ($12) but delicious (according to him, I'm not up the rawness). Bread is fine and varied. I had the fried oysters ($10) with bits of bacon on the plate (and I'm not a bacon fan, but this was restrained) with delicious home made tartar sauce. Very good, fresh, no metallic taste, and hot (nothing worse than cold fried oysters).
Main course, based on waiter's help, I had the shrimp risotto. I'd say it was the best risotto ever -- creamy, but refreshed with lemon. Shrimp perfectly cooked. To say I was happy is an understatement. Hubby had the lamb, which came out with loin slices, and a couple of racks (pretty rare -- you may want to be specific about really meaning medium rare versus rare), and lamb sausage. Very good, and quite a sophisticated plate with veggies -- we did realize later what was missing -- a starch -- that would have made it perfect (and would have filled my husband up more, he claimed the portions were "chick sized.")
For dessert, again with blessing of the waiter (he was really good, clearly experienced, and a booster of the chef) we shared the chocolate pudding -- came out hot, with hot chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Suprisingly light in texture, with a bit of crunch. Very satisfying.
The kitchen was very efficient -- food came promptly, and came hot. Prices were just shy of downtown (I think my risotto was $25; dessert $7). The place has been discovered -- it filled up around 7:30. All in all, a welcome addition -- and well worth the walk away from the chains down the street.