The Nicholas Family restaurant in Tullahoma, TN sits in a nondescript building along a main street. It is close to the local high school and does not serve wine or mixed drinks. No doubt, many local residents pass it by in favor of their favorite "all you can eat" buffet or local bar-b-que joint to fill up on pork sandwiches or chicken. Passing up this restaurant will be their loss and, perhaps, a demonstration of their lack of appreciation for an excellent restaurant with has low prices, excellent food prepared by a trained chef and an informal family atmosphere.
We travel frequently and also eat out on a daily basis. Finding a small, family-owned restaurant that demonstrates pride and expertise in preparing the food that is served and using fresh ingredients is always a pleasant surprise. The Nicholas Family restaurant is true to its name. It is a family restaurant. This is the only location. It will be a pleasant surprise to many people who appreciate these qualities.
While many restaurants that serve excellent food feature white linen table clothes and an extensive wine list, this restaurant that serves excellent food without the frills. It is neat and clean, the service is very good and, in the traditional European model, it is a chef-owned restaurant with family members all pitching in to help.
We have been to the restaurant many times and, since it is small and we usually visit during the off hours, we have had a chance to meet and talk with the family. On our most recent wedding anniversary, we decided to celebrate the special occasion with a meal there.
The owner and chef is Petros Pisinos. The restaurant caters to the preferences of local residents with its selection of food but my favorites on the menu are the Greek dishes which are always cooked with fresh ingredients and expertly prepared. We tried his latest addition to the menu, shrimp saganaki.
The dish had a taste of white wine, feta cheese, garlic and Greek seasoning and is served on a bed or rice. I also ordered a side dish of green beans which are cut and cooked daily as a side dish. We also ordered pita bread to accompany the shrimp.
The shrimp was outstanding with a taste of lemon and, of course, the wine and cheese accentuating the flavor of the shrimp. The green beans appear to be cooked with olive oil and bacon and were served hot. My wife ordered the Greek salad which comes with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, onion and green pepper with a Greek dressing. The salads and the beans are dishes we frequently get as a side dish and they have never disappointed us with the freshness of the vegetables and the lettuce.
I asked Chef Pisinos about the tomatoes in the salads (including the Greek tomato salad) and how he keeps the tomatoes fresh. His answer was that he does not store them but buys them fresh each day and the salads are also made up each day to ensure the lettuce is crisp and the vegetables are always fresh.
For dessert, we had the homemade baklava. It contained plenty of finely ground walnuts, honey and the usual thin crust which gives the baklava the exquisite taste one can only experience when it is made from scratch with fresh ingredients. A local restaurant that prepares baklava that is not opened from a box and put into a microwave to serve always deserves consideration as a great place to eat.
On previous occasions, I have tried the gyro plate, the pepper steak, the beef stroganoff, and the chicken souvlaki--all of which are excellent.
The prices are very reasonable. The shrimp saganaki was $14.00 and a pepper steak with a filet is about $14.00. The prices are comparable to a middle of the road chain restaurant. the taste and quality of the food is the equivalent of a high end restaurant.
In short, we have been to restaurants in large cities across the country, some of which are very expensive, that frequently do not compare to this small family restaurant. The taste and quality of the food is comparable to a restaurant with the ambiance imbued with a quiet bar, linen tablecloths, an impressive wine list and a maître d' in a nice suit.
For those who are impressed with the frills, this restaurant may not be impressive. For those who care about the taste and quality of the food, Nicholas' restaurant is a surprising find in a small city. It is well worth typing the address into your GPS system and giving it a try.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.