Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 19, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 9



 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 19, 2011 

 A few years ago I met Joe Caiello Jr. at the Race Track, he is the owner of one of the most popular 
restaurants in the region, Nikki C’s. The restaurant is lovingly named after Joe’s beautiful daughter. The 
menu at Nikki C’s is a blend of Italian classics with a dash of American flair. Though the dinning area 
is modest, the restaurant has managed to entertain broad appeal with its loyal patrons. On the walls 
you will find a collection of photos dedicated to the thoroughbreds that gallop a few blocks away. The 
vision of those hard charging animals is contrasted with the warm and inviting candlelight that floods 
the restaurant. The bar area parades several TV’s for the sports enthusiast. If you listen closely, you 
will soon discover that many of the patrons of Nikki C’s have come to understand that the restaurant 
pledges a friendly fraternity. Several of the frequent customers choose a place at the bar and forgo a 
traditional table. They gathered once again at a familiar stretch of wood, and they know that they will 
soon be regaled in the intriguing and enriching stories that keep them coming back. 

 Of course, it does help that there are two very attractive bartenders in Somayeh and Paulette. 

The appetizers are legendary here and you will soon discover that scores of customers come for the 
tantalizing flavors of the top left of the menu. In the past, I have sampled nirvana in the short rib tacos 
($16 dinner). I know what you might be thinking, 

 I wrote about (.99) tacos at El Torito, those are okay; these are fantastic. I can make a further 
recommendation, the shrimp cocktail martini ($10). It may seem like a safe and unadventurous choice, 
but it is a winner! 

 This past Sunday after a day at the races, a group of us, including 
the legendary Arcadia Real Estate agent Phil Daniels, headed to 
Nikki C’s. The restaurant was predictably crowded. On a night such 
as this is best to have a drink, sit back and enjoy some conversation 
before dinner. If you are in a hurry, it is wise to make a reservation; 
otherwise you should arrive anticipating a wait. The food is part 
of the entertainment here, and my guess is that since the Caiello’s 
are Italian, they know a few things about entertainment. I wanted 
steak, but one of the “Dills’ Ten Commandments” is to exclusively 
order steak at steakhouses. Fallen creatures, as they say, so, I 
violated my own commandment. I ordered a Bone in Rib Eye 
($34 weekends). I asked the server if there was such a thing on 
the menu. “Yes, there is” and because I suggested it, Joe has added 
two other bone-in steaks to the menu. My steak was cooked to 
perfection, I consider that an act of pardon from the chef for a 
losing day at the track. The prices are affordable here and I was 
rewarded in breaking my own set rule. The steak was as enjoyable 
as many of the pricey restaurants that I frequent in Pasadena. 
On a budget? Check out their $7 lunch menu. It too is a winner. 
Coming to Monrovia, Nikki C’s sister restaurant ,Sena on Myrtle. It promises to be a winning exacta!! 

 If you are looking for a place where the people, food and atmosphere are irresistibly blended than you 
will enjoy Nikki C’s 

Nikki C’s 470 S. Rosemead Pasadena (626) 792-7437. Parking in rear. As always, check out the website 
for hours and updates. Watch Dining with Dills every Sunday Night at 7 PM on Charter 101.

Email me your thoughts at 

Nikki C’s The Pride of Rosemead Blvd.

Cooking Camp comes to La Canada 

High School this Summer!

Roll up your sleeves, feel the dough between 
your fingers and get ready to slice and dice at 
Cooking Camp, La CaÒada’s newest savory 
summer cooking program for kids and teens 
7 to 16 at La Canada High Schools culinary 

Starting June 20th, the Cooking Academy 
invites your child to take an exciting culinary 
journey during one or more of our nine, one-week 
summer Cooking Camp sessions in La CaÒada. 
Each taught by our experienced Le Cordon Bleu 
trained chefs, who love working with kids and 
young teens. 

From Blueberry Muffins to Cheese Raviolis, 
Quiche to Double Chocolate Fudge, our hands-
on workshops focus on cooking from scratch 
using fresh, seasonal ingredients and time tested 
culinary techniques.

Our goal is to provide a safe, fun and 
educational environment where campers can 
learn to read recipes, cook and bake, work safely 
in a kitchen, and explore creative food ideas in 
meal preparation while encouraging a lifelong 
appreciation for healthy eating.

So whether your child is interested in becoming 
a head chef or simply a maker of a mean pesto 
sauce, Cooking Camp is a wonderful opportunity 
to expose your child to new foods that encourage 
them to expand their culinary palates and can 
serve as an ideal entree to culinary pursuits! Just 
ask the parents that came last year!!

Don’t wait, classes this summer will fill quickly 
as it is our first year in La Canada!

Enroll online at http://www.summerartacademy.
com and create a freshly baked family memory 
today! Or call us at 866-507-COOK for more 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: