Nico Romo, owner of NICO and Bistronomy, opens third restaurant in Summerville | eat

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SUMMERVILLE – Nico Romo fondly remembers large family gatherings in France at a table full of large bowls of handmade pasta.

Soon he’ll be setting the table for nearly 100 Summerville dinners with a view of rustic Italian cuisine.

The French-born chef, who opened NICO in Mount Pleasant in 2017 before adding Bistronomy by Nico Downtown in 2020, calls upcoming Laura “a love letter to the storied, traditional Italian family recipes” he grew up on.

The 6,000 square meter restaurant will open at 101 North Main St. in early 2022.

“We literally have a pasta room, that’s really the excitement for me,” said Romo. “We’ll make a lot of handmade pasta there and then have a huge wood-burning pizza oven.”

The restaurant is named after Romo’s grandmother, who was born in Italy before moving to France. In fact, Romo’s great-grandfather served for Italy during World War I and for France during World War II.

“You spent every summer at home in Italy. Growing up I always had big family dinners, ”Romo said, remembering bowls of his grandmother’s hand-made gnocchi. “It was always a big party”

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Romo plans to host nightly dinner parties at Laura, which can seat 70 guests indoors and another 20-25 on the terrace. There is also a private room with 80 seats, which sometime (spring 2022) will be equipped with all the trimmings for weddings, corporate events and other celebrations.

Romo isn’t the first chef on the peninsula to spread his wings in Summerville. Swig & Swine has a location on Old Trolley Road, and Halls Chophouse, Poogan’s, and D’Allesandro’s Pizza have all opened Nexton outposts in the past two years.

According to D’Allesandro’s co-owner Nick D’Allesandro, who runs three locations in South Carolina with his brother Ben, recent growth in the area made adding a shop in Summerville attractive. The brothers opened D’Allesandros Summerville on February 7, 2020.

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Romo caught the trend and bought Laura’s space on North Main Street almost three years ago, but the project was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Unlike other chefs and restaurateurs venturing northwest on Interstate 26, Laura will be an escape from the food that Romo serves at NICO, his traditional French take on oysters and seafood, and Bistronomy, where he’s Franco-Asian Fusion served in an upscale but unpretentious setting.

As Romo puts it, “It’s a restaurant for Summerville. It’s not another NICO. “

Antipasti, homemade pasta, Neapolitan pizza, and whole wood-fired fish will lead the tour on a menu that mimics the family dishes Romo fell in love with as a child. According to the chef, desserts and pastries are planned for a showcase near the entrance.

Once open, Laura serves Summerville dinners seven days a week. Lunch and brunch are available on weekends, but according to Romo, Laura is closed during the day Monday through Friday as the labor-intensive dishes take longer to prepare.

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Reach Parker Milner at 843-830-3911. Follow him on Twitter @parkermilner_.


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