Nice Matin is beautiful to look at, but the entrées need some work.
I ordered Sole “Milanese”. It came inundated in an arugula salad of fennel, oranges, onions and olives. The salad was mentioned on the menu, but there was no mention it would be piled so high that you wouldn’t know a fish was buried underneath. After some industrious digging I found the poor sole, which was not far removed from McDonald’s filet-o’-fish.
Another of my companions ordered the grilled sea bass, which she described as oily and over-cooked. My mother had a halibut dish that’s not shown on the online menu. She said it was fine, but not at all what the description led her to expect.
When we arrived, we were seated at a table so small and cramped that it would have been more at home at a cocktail bar. They agreed to move us, but we still ended up at one of the more claustrophobic tables for three that I’ve encountered at a legitimate restaurant.
Nice Matin has the same chef, Andy D’Amico, as the dearly departed Sign of the Dove. When it opened, the critics generally were enthusiastic. William Grimes, never easy to please, was sufficiently enchanted to award two stars, which would be unusual for such a casual restaurant, even if the food were better. We didn’t try one of the most praised dishes, the beef short ribs. However, on the strength of this performance, I don’t expect to be back anytime soon.
Nice Matin (201 W. 79th Street at Amsterdam Avenue, Upper West Side)