Pin It

Burlington’s Three Tomatoes Trattoria to Reopen as Nika 

Side Dishes

click to enlarge food-nika.jpg

For 21 years, Three Tomatoes Trattoria was a Church Street institution. Now, on March 25, a new era will begin with the opening of Nika.

The new restaurant is the brainchild of the men behind Three Tomatoes, Robert Meyers and Jim Reiman, in collaboration with new partner and operations director Ryan Schmidtberger and chef Dennis Vieira.

Renovations began earlier this winter for a mashup of new and old that features stone and cork walls and a gleaming new bar. The wood-burning oven remains, seasoned with more than two decades of use, but has a new brick face.

Notable as the hip new basement space is, Nika’s biggest deviation from Three Tomatoes is in its cuisine. While the old restaurant focused on Italian flavors, Nika doesn’t stop with those but casts its net farther across the Mediterranean into Morocco, Turkey and Sicily.

Highlighting the Portuguese tastes he grew up with is dearest to Vieira’s heart. “Portuguese flavors are not even new and up-and-coming yet — they’re just good food,” says the first-generation American. Though the chef isn’t yet ready to share his menu, he mentions housemade Portuguese sausages and his grandmother’s octopus recipe. He also speaks excitedly of fare from elsewhere in the world, such as whole, roasted fish with Provençal artichoke stew and homemade ravioli filled with boudin blanc.

Before making his name as a Vermont chef at the Red Clover Inn and Restaurant in Mendon, Vieira cooked in Paris and Tuscany, where he absorbed a respect for product. At Nika, he says, that means using whole, local animals, but also looking beyond Vermont for top-flight products, including carefully chosen wines at affordable prices.

Schmidtberger says he hopes Nika will be a destination for romantic five-course dinners. But he also plays up the wine bar aspect, which includes a menu of snacks such as meaty skewers and housemade potato chips perfect for an evening of grazing.

Once dinner is running smoothly, the team will roll out lunch, which will feature sandwiches of house-roasted meats on oven-warmed Red Hen Baking Company breads. Breakfast service will come next, with high-quality coffee and espresso paired with Euro-style pastries and breakfast sandwiches.

What of the Williston Three Tomatoes Trattoria? While it’s keeping its name, Vieira says he’s also changed the menu there to reflect his simple, local ethos.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

About The Author

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt

AAN award-winning food writer Alice Levitt is a fan of the exotic, the excellent and automats. She wrote for Seven Days 2007-2015.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

foodie poll

How do you feel about eating GMO foods?

  • I don't understand what the fuss is about. I eat them and I'm fine.
  • As long as they're FDA-approved, I don't mind consuming them.
  • GMOs are in most staple foods, so I'm resigned to eating them.
  • I wish they were labeled so I could make informed choices about when to eat them.
  • I'm concerned about potential long-term health effects of consuming GMOs, which haven't yet been studied.

View Results

Latest in Food News

Recent Comments

Social Club

Like Seven Days contests and events? Join the club!

See an example of this newsletter...

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2016 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So Champlain St Ste 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation