The iconic building at the corner of Wall and John streets in Uptown Kingston has been home to many restaurants over the years, including Alebrijes and the Kingston Tea Garden. Since 2018, it’s been Palizzata, a white-tabelcoth restaurant serving up Northern Italian fare like vitello tonnato and porchetta.
But owners Eric and Joseph Cafaro noticed that when the pandemic began, their Ellenville restaurant, the more casual eatery Tony and Nick’s, was thriving while Palizzata, with its sit-down service and higher price points, was struggling.
So they pivoted, reopening the spot in March as a second Tony & Nicks location. “With the changing times, Tony and Nick’s seemed like a better fit for uptown Kingston,” says Eric Cafaro. “And the food reaches a much wider audience.”
The regular menu at the new Kingston Tony & Nick’s location offers Italian-American favorites like chicken parmesan ($19.99), spaghetti and meatballs ($17.99), and plenty of varieties of thin-crust, brick-oven pizza. There’s also the vegan menu, with options like Beyond bolognese ($17.99). The Kingston location also makes its own mozarella daily, as well as the pastas for dishes like garlic cream alfredo ($16.99), shrimp scampi ($21.99), and stuffed rigatoni ($19.99).
While Palizzata is gone in name, its legacy lives on in the menu. “In the short stint Palizzata was there, some of our dishes became very popular with regulars,” says Cafaro. “So we’re going to run those as continuous specials.” One such favorite is the Barolo braised brisket, with creamy polenta and spinach ($24.99).
The wine lists in Ellenville and Kingston will be slightly different as each location has its own collection stocked. Handmade pasta is only offered at the Kingston location, alongside a small provisions market stocked with over 200 grocery products including imported Italian sauces, oils, balsamic vinegars, cheeses, fresh pastas, and many ingredients used in the restaurant's own kitchen.
Cafaro says the new Tony and Nick’s has already seen plenty of customers. “It’s being received better than we could have hoped,” he says.