Nick’s On 2nd: Great Drinks, Great Food, Great Service

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Belmont Shore’s 2nd Street is always the best place for a casual stroll or a little exercise when you need to break up your day. For months, I had walked up and down the street, window shopping, eating and discovering. I have eaten at Nick’s in the past, both in Laguna and San Clemente. Months ago, I saw that Nick’s on 2nd was going to be opening in the summer, and I waited, anxious for the day. And I waited. And I waited.

Didn’t it seem like an insufferable wait for Nick’s on 2nd?  By the time it had opened, I had too much on my plate (excuse the pun) to get there. And so…time passed. Summer turned to autumn. And finally, the day arrived…

The only problem, (because isn’t there always a problem?) was that I was out for a nice Saturday stroll. With my 2 year old. And a girlfriend who had her 2 year old in tow. So, as you can imagine, the staff of Nick’s on 2nd probably went into panic mode when they saw the two of us, stumbling in with strollers, spirited toddlers and all the accessories that go along with them. But, I knew I had come to the right place when no one even blinked an eye, as we bumbled through the completely remodeled and renovated indoor area to a lovely, remote area of the patio.  Perfect placement and it was quiet to boot. So, for the mommy’s amongst us, there is room for stroller parking in the back area, off the patio.

Nick’s on 2nd has a gorgeous bar area for those singletons, and nightlife lovers. It sits front and center and offers sexy drinks that are specialties of the house, such as a Strawberry & Basil Gimlet, or a White Sand Mojito. Don’t those sound gorgeous? We were walking that day, so I have to admit, I might have tried a little sip of the Salty Pear. I also might have tried the Joseph Phelps Sauvignon Blanc that they pour by glass there. Nick’s on 2nd has a nice variaty of wines by glass.

For lunch, I ordered the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, which was served with tortilla chips and fresh salsa. The dip was loaded with spinach, and delicious. Years ago, I worked at a restaurant that was related to this family of restaurants, and I am pretty sure this is an original family recipe. Nick’s holds their cards close to their chest about any relation to any other eatery, but there are echoes on the menu. This dip, the Shrimp Taquitos, the amazing specialty drinks, and I am sure there is more that I haven’t tried yet. The Asparagus Fries I ordered were fresh and crunchy in the right way. I loved the presentation, standing on their end, wrapped in paper,  served with ranch dressing.  The Blackened Halibut Sandwich on a Brioche Bun accompanied by Roasted Vegetables was delicious too. I have to admit, I am always sort of annoyed with brioche. The days of giant carb-loaded bread are sort of over and trying to get your mouth around a huge bun is tough and messy. The brioche in this case was soft, tasty and rich, but still…messy. Who cares, though because the Halibut was awesome!

Our service was effortless, graceful and the wait staff was attentive, kind, understanding of the wild toddlers we had with us and completely accommodating. The manager came up just to make sure everything was great. All was right this Saturday afternoon and they have obviously hit their stride. I envision myself eating here again….at night….sans children…and with many more Salty Pears in my future.

Nick’s on 2nd is located at 4901 East 2nd Street in Belmont Shore. For reservations call: (562)856-9000

About Chandra Clewley
A self-described Foodie, Chandra can’t wait to sink her teeth into Long Beach Restaurants. She is a native Southern Californian who loves and lives in Long Beach. Chandra has traveled the world tasting, serving and learning about fine food and wine. You can also find her writing on her blog www.DailyMischief.com and by following her on Twitter @ChandraClewley

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