Atlanta >Food & Dining > Nicola's Lebanese Restaurant
1602 Lavista Rd NE, Atlanta, GA | Directions 3032933.815326 -84.335874
Tue - Sun, 5pm -10:30pm; Mon, Closed
We just did takeout... our First Time, Impressed – This is a modest place, but clean, friendly and in a convenient location near Emory/Druid Hills area. I think it's important to rate restaurants for executing "what they are" and not measure them against the best restaurant you EVER been to, per se. And for this, Nicola's impressed me for the following reasons: 1. took my order over the phone in a super friendly way and guided me through the cuisine since I wasn't that familiar with the menu or what each dish really was -- they even stuck in some extra stuff when he heard I had not had Lebanese food in over 10 years; 2. had my order done on time; and 3. welcomed me by name when I walked in (because I was on time and they knew I was coming). We got the "family dinner" for 2... and there was SOOOO much food! All of it great, and it was fun sampling all the different dishes. The baklava was delish! An easy take home dinner!
THEY DIDN'T WAIT ON US WHEN THEY WERE OPEN, RACISTS ALERT – We are from NE Atlanta, and takes us 50 minutes from this restaurant. We were heading to this restaurant for the first time. We got there with a mapquest map in our hand and arrived this place 10 minutes before the closing time. There was a bright neon sign says "OPEN", and the door wasn't locked either. But a manger looking person shows up and told us they were closed already. without any sign of 'close". If you can take customers in, why they keep the 'ope"n sign? They must be racists.
Authentic and Fantastic!!! – Being part Lebanese myself, I am always on the lookout for authentic food. This place was absolutely awesome! But the best part about it has to be Nicola himself. You feel like you are in his home and he's cooking for you personally. If you can, go on a night with belly dancing. It's a must-do experience. I will return often! :)
TERRIBLE for groups! – I organize a monthly dinner for about 20-25 people each month and we recently visited Nicola's. We were very disappointed that we had chosen this place as soon as we arrived. The first thing I was told was that they had forgotten about our reservation completely. We explained that we had a reservation for 20 people, and they proceeded to give us a table that was actually two tables pushed together and a table beside it that wasn't connected to our table. When we asked about pushing the tables together, we were told that we couldn't do this. Between all of the tables we were given, this only allowed us 12 chairs for 20 people. The staff seemed annoyed that we added more and more chairs to both of our tables as more members of our party arrived. I'm not sure why they took our reservation if they didn't plan to honor it.
In addition to the seating problems, the noise level went up drastically once the lackluster belly dancers came out. The music was so loud that two members of our party (who are in their 20s!!) went to the car and returned wearing earplugs. We couldn't talk at all and ordering food was very difficult. Perhaps that explained why an appetizer we ordered upon arrival had to be ordered 3 times, and finally arrived after our food was brought to us. The music was never turned down even after the show ended. At one point almost all of the other customers in the building had gone, and we requested that the music be turned down, but our request was ignored. We had to stand outside the restaurant to talk.
In addition to these problems, there is a $10 minimum charge for all people at your table. This is charged even if your party orders individual meals. One member of our party ended up paying $10 for Turkish coffee only. This seems unfair.
The food? It was good, actually. Not one person disliked what they received, but all of the other annoyances ruined the food for us.
My advice is to get take out. The decor is really shabby here, anyway.
Know the rules if its your first time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – I met some friends here last Friday. Overall the food and entertainment was good. However, my friends had called in and sat as a group for $15 per person. When I got there I ordered off the menu and ate only what I ordered. The cashier charges me $15. When explained to him that I ordered from the menu and the waiter did not mention a group rate he begins to tell me (in a not so professional manner) that I sat at the table and at the least there is a $10 dollar minimum. I explained to him that this was my first visit (and last) to the resturant and noone explained that to me...to make a long story short he eventually, after lengthy discussion, charged me for what I ordered.
2 days later, someone from the group calls to tell me that the cashier states I did not pay my entire bill and she would have to pay the remainder! Very untrue, I showed her the canceled $15 charge receipt along with my valid receipt. Needless to say she will never return again as well.
Check your credit card/bank statements when leaving this establishment !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mediterranean Food, the way Mom would do it! – The first time we came here was for my birthday six years ago, and I've had every birthday here since. You cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. My favorite of the meza is Baba Ganoush, though John prefers the Hummus. If you enjoy meat, get the Mediterranean delight for the best kibbi in town. If you enjoy vegetarian, get Ana's delight with hummus, baba, artichokes and falafel.
Nicola, the owner, makes you feel at home, and when you're done eating, he will prod you out of your chair to dance. The staff has not changed in all the six years I've been going there, and that should tell you something about the great management.
Fantastic food, good times – The decor is.. well okay you don't come here for the decor. You come here for the food, and believe me, the food is worth it. Veg*n friendly. When I come here I cannot get enough of the rose tea and the rose desserts, but really all the food I've had here is fantastic. Late in the evening they'll turn on music and everyone including the owner will get up and start dancing if it so pleases them (the owner is a great dancer, btw). My favorite thing to do is come here with a bunch of friends, order some of the sampler platters, and make an evening of dining, conversation, and dancing.
It's no 9.3! – I went to this place last week with a co-worker and was not at all impressed. The Hummos had to much garlic, the Falafal was mushy. I have the Med Combo, which was supposed to come with rice, but showed up with Kus-kus. The Kefta was pretty good, but the grape leaves and Kupba were not. My co-worker ordered lamb shank and it was very dry.
I guess Atlanta hasn't gotten Middle-Eastern food rigtht yet.
Awesome – Husband and daughter take me here every year on my birthday. The food is fantastic; the decor a little to be desired. But that makes it homey. Nicola is friendly and sings and dances with all present. Great place to go.
Authentic Middle Eastern cuisine casually served in humble Druid Hills surroundings. – The Scene
Tucked away in a free-standing building on Lavista Road, Nicola's won't win any beauty contests. And things don't get much better inside. Tatty but comfortable stacking chairs and old Formica tables make up the chilly space, sorely in need of refurbishment.
This Middle Eastern restaurant gives little thought to aesthetics or presentation--flavor is everything here. Once you dip your mini-pita into smoother-then-silk hummus, decor and presentation won't matter. The very authentic grape leaves stuffed with beef and rice (served with yogurt on the side) are delicious. Award-winning lamb shank comes sauteed with onion and garlic until it's melt-in-your-mouth tender. Eggplant with beef, onions, garlic, cheese and tomato is cooked until creamy, topped with nuts and served with a mixture of rice and vermicelli. Save room for Nicola's wonderful array of desserts.
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