The Holy Trinity has come to Hamilton Ontario and its radiating all over Nique Restaurant. The newest eatery to come around 123 James St. North. Owners Harrison Hennick, Gabrielle Gwyn-Neumann & Ryan Tracey have opened Nique Restaurant and its hopping with its New York Vibe of excitement. Retro art of Hamilton Ont, hanging antique barrels from the ceiling, & pink electric lights that favor my favorite saying “WORK HARD STAY HUMBLE”. Nique Restaurant has a unique concept of having an open concept kitchen allowing patrons to interact with the chefs, as well as a full-service bar where you may get a lesson on bitters as we did. I had not even eaten yet and was so entertained. The owners of Nique want all the customers to see how a restaurant functions thus concentrating on a huge open room where anywhere you sit, you see something happening. With its odd name “Nique” has a back story, which involves Chef Hennick, some salty language, & a rock group from Montreal. It’s quite the story.
I have been noticing that the cocktails around town have some fancy names, and yes although I am not a big drinker I find myself quite curious to try them. So, with Winter in full force I started with a cocktail by the name of “Winter is Coming” with consisted of Mount Gay, Fernet Branca, Apple Cider, Lemon Juice, & Maple Syrup. It hit the spot to get my evening started with hints of lemon, apple & maple syrup, garnished with an apple slice it was a true Canadian Creative Cocktail.
Nique Restaurant has taken their travels from all the world and turned it into a menu of diverse & noteworthy dishes of Beef Tartare, Braised Beef Cheek, & Smoked Beef Rib to name a few. I started with Crispy Calamari with pickled chili & Sweet & Sour Sauce. Chef Harrison Hennick told me, this dish was inspired by his travels to Cambodia, and it was delectable, lightly battered tender calamari, with punches of onion, cilantro, sweet chili, and drizzled with a sweet & sour sauce. This dish was one word extraordinary!
Nique Restaurant takes pride in finding local ingredients, which made this next dish so unusual. Sushi Nacho’s which I admit I was sceptical, but hey you only live once so it was ordered. Homemade lightly fried Nacho chips, with a cornucopia of different flavors that even I could not name all of them. I just know that this dish was brilliant and the only way to describe it is, A Spicy Tuna Roll that has gone off like a firecracker in your mouth. The hints of tuna, avocado, shaved onion, caviar, & spicy sauce. I was quite fascinated by this dish it was so different and out of the box. To me that’s what being a Chef is all about having that wacky & wild way about them to create such wicked dishes.
My Heritage Pork with cooked to perfection with just the right amount of pink, which is something I rarely see in a pork chop cooked in restaurant’s. It just goes to show you that the chefs at Nique take prestige in each dish that goes out to the dining room. With a beautiful char on top my chop, sweet squash, with caramelized onions and it all came together with the of crunch of hazelnuts. The sweet & tart apple butter brought all the components of this dish together. Each bite was more inspired by the next.
My colleague ordered the Nique Burger, locally raised beef transformed into a juicy, thick seasoned beef Pattie. My critic on The Nique Burger is just this. I was told it was the best #%&*@* she has ever tasted. After I consumed a few bites I would have to agree. It was so good that the meat sweats were involved. Which means the Nique Burger has changed the game up, with a sizable portion of beef leaving the myth of meat to bun ratio obsolete at this restaurant.
Dessert was imaginative with the Nique bar. Peanut butter mousse, enrobed in chocolate, with Carmel, a cookie crumble & coffee ice cream. This dessert was delectable like a silky peanut butter cup in your mouth with a sweet and salty bite to it from the crunch of the garnish on top.
Carrot Cake is a favorite of mine, Nique served me a deconstructed carrot cake with a moist & spicy piece of carrot cake, cream cheese icing, ginger ice cream, & a graham crumble. The most intriguing part of my dessert was the carrot meringue. These creative chefs haven taken fresh carrot juice and transformed it into a carrot meringue. This dessert was delicious and innovative.
I’m impressed with everything Nique Restaurant has to offer. I love everything about this Restaurant, the interesting take on an open concept kitchen, the owners, the ingenious dishes coming out of the kitchen, and I love prestige they are providing to Hamilton Ont.
123 James Street North