Since young chef Nick Altero opened the doors to his Mahopac restaurant, Nick’s Plate in September, he has been determined to electrify his hometown with his creative flair in the kitchen.
Growing up with an Italian grandmother who loved to cook, Altero, 23, was inspired as a kid to take over the kitchen and prepare meals for his family, stating that he could never get his chores done because he was too busy in the kitchen. Now he does that everyday at Nick’s Plate in Mahopac.
Before graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, where he minored in farm-to-table cooking, he traveled throughout the country and as far as Italy to hone his craft. Now the budding chef puts in over 80 hours a week making sure every patron can taste his passion and soul in every bite.
“I’m going to make my food as best I can so when you eat it, you’re going to appreciate it. You can tell it wasn’t made a year ago and frozen; my food has love in it and time,” Altero said. “I want to cook outside the box and show people what there really is to food. I want to do what my heart wants me to do.”
Nick’s Plate offers a variety of wood fired pizzas, soups, and salads, along with a modest selection of contemporary American cuisine that’s made fresh and by hand everyday. Altero said his staple dishes are the braised beef, roasted pork loin, Parmesan meatballs, calamari and any pizza.
Every month, Altero will slightly alter the menu incorporating seasonal fruits and vegetables into his entrees to enhance the flavors and satisfaction.
“I get bored of cooking the same food over and over again,” Altero said. “I have a lot of play with the menu. My whole menu is a special.”
Nick’s Plate offers half-off appetizers on Tuesdays and half off bottles of house wine on Wednesday’s. Diners can also choose from a wide selection of classic favorites, original creations and seasonal mixtures on martini Thursday.
The completely renovated interior at Nick’s Plate is inviting for lunch or dinner, serving about 40 seats in the downstairs, with an upstairs that features a fully-stocked bar in a quieter ambiance. Altero said the bar area can hold private parties and events.
While Altero admits he still has a lot to learn as a chef and a business owner, it means a lot to him to have the opportunity to be creative and experiment within the community he calls home.
“My meals, or should I say plates, are some of my favorite recipes I’ve made throughout my young culinary career,” he said. “This is my vision of how a nice and enjoyable meal should be. This is my eyes, my heart and my creative mind.”
Nick’s Plate is located at 18 Clark Place in Mahopac. It is open everyday except Monday. Lunch is served starting at 11:30 a.m. and is open until 9:30 p.m. For more information, call 845-621-0747 or visit www.nicksplateny.com