Review: Six By Nico’s new Big Apple menu

Review: Six By Nico’s new Big Apple menu

I’VE always wanted to go to New York. 

Friends, Elf and Home Alone – all of which were watched on loop throughout this millennial’s youth – are almost entirely responsible for my ever-growing desire to visit NYC.

To my continued dismay, these plans are yet to come to fruition. But Chef Nico Simeone has answered my prayers meantime.

Over the next six weeks, he and his Six By Nico team will be serving a slice of the Big Apple in Scotland. Though my travel plans may be on hold for now, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek of their exciting new menu.

Chef Nico Simeone


For the uninitiated, Six By Nico revolves around a unique dining concept. Every six weeks, a new six-course tasting menu is launched, with each one centred around a theme, memory or idea.

Chef Nico and his executive chef team were inspired by New York City’s 25,000 plus restaurants during a recent work trip. Street food trucks, late-night hot dog stands, family-run pizzerias and fine dining experiences have all made their mark on the New York themed menu. But in typical Chef Nico style, there are a few surprises along the way.

We headed for Six by Nico’s Edinburgh branch on Hanover Street – one of three Scottish venues. It was a typical Spring evening – rain hammered my face and that of my dining companion, while the howling gale blew us sideways through the door of the restaurant.

Chicken Parm ‘doughnuts’ took Rosie on a trip down memory lane.

Snacks of Chicken Parm (£9) and sourdough with seasonal maple butter (£5) were ordered while we awaited the first course. The former was a total revelation. After one small morsel of the ‘chicken doughnut’ with mozzarella, tomato preserve and roast garlic aioli, I was immediately transported back to my childhood days in Newfoundland. The transatlantic flavours brought back some very happy memories.

While my mind wandered through the archives of pizza parties on snow days and ice skating down frozen rivers, the first course was upon us – the New Yorker Slice & Cookie with pepperoni ragu, panzanella and pecorino foam. The name was deceptively simple, and so too was the appearance of the dish. The flavours and textures that lay beneath, however, were far from it. We were instructed to crumble the cookie (which on its own was quite plain) into the cheesy dish of ragu (which on its own was incredibly rich). The combination of the two was quite astonishing – crunchy, smooth, unctuous and just like an American deep dish pizza in taste. Culinary genius? Sorcery? It was certainly a talking point.

New Yorker Slice & Cookie: Pepperoni Ragu, Panzanella, Pecorino Foam and Truffle NY Black & White Cookie.

The second dish was simply named Bacon, Egg & Cheese, and proved to be the star of the show. The smoky bacon belly had clearly been cooked for hours, and married beautifully with the silky confit egg yolk. It was devoured at an unholy pace.

The ‘hot sauce’ added a powerful savoury punch, meaning that our paired wine – a rounded Malepère: Domaine Girard – was enjoyed with gusto.

B. E. C., Bacon, Egg & Cheese: Smoked Bacon Belly, Confit Egg Yolk, Trapanese ‘Hot Sauce’ and Parmesan Beurre Blanc.

Of course, what would a New York menu be without pastrami?

The Pastrami Sandwich – with ox pastrami, choucroute, pickled kohlrabi, gherkin and Frenchies mustard – can only be described as a piece of edible art. The delicate dish was partly inspired by Katz Deli, Lower East Side, which remains one of NYC’s most famous diners. While it was reminiscent of a normal pastrami sandwich, Chef Nico’s dish had been cleverly elevated by the mixture of textures and the sour hits of kohlrabi.

Pastrami Sandwich: Ox ‘Pastrami Sandwich’, Choucroute, Pickled Kohlrabi, Battered Gherkin and Frenchies Emulsion.

The Everything Bagel, another ‘must’ on any menu inspired by the city that never sleeps, was a surprising delight. The fish course consisted of flaky, perfectly cooked coalfish, earthy, salt baked celeriac, wild garlic and caper and brown butter foam. (The latter was a stroke of genius and makes this dish a sure-fire crowd-pleaser).

The final savoury course was to be my plus one’s favourite – “Double Chicken Please” with buttermilk chicken, hot honey sauce, jalapeno ketchup, Thai basil and hazelnut pesto. If you can’t look past an oozing buttermilk chicken burger with all the trimmings when it features on a menu, this will be your kind of dish. The chicken was succulent and tender, the jalapeno provided just enough heat, and the hint of sweetness from the hot sauce led on beautifully to dessert, a Lower East Side Apple Pie.

Double Chicken Please: Buttermilk Chicken, Hot Honey Sauce, Jalapeno Ketchup and Thai & Basil Pesto.

I must say, I can get on board with Chef Nico’s approach here. Why have one dessert when you can have three? Essentially, it consisted of apple pie, cheesecake and cookies and cream. But while a few years ago my sweet tooth might have thanked you for this, nowadays it was one step too far for me. My sugar-loving plus one though? He thought he had died and gone to heaven.

Lower East Side Apple Pie: Baked Apple Creme, NY Cheesecake, Dulce De Leche and Cookies & Cream Anglaise.

Six By Nico is, by all counts, a wonderful fine dining experience. The food is a work of art, the wine pairings are exceedingly well thought out, and the flavours and textures test the mind and palate.

But what sets it apart is that it remains accessible – £42 per person (with an additional £30 for paired wines) for a memorable gastronomic experience is pretty good going.

Well, at least it’s less than my airfare to NYC…

Six By Nico’s ‘New York’ menu is available for six weeks from now until Sunday 19 May. It can be booked in all restaurant locations (Aberdeen, Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London Fitzrovia, London Canary Wharf, Leeds, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester). 

For more information, please visit the Six By Nico website

Chef Nico and his executive chef team doing some culinary research in the city that never sleeps.

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