Niki's Italian Bistro ~ North Richland Hills, Texas
We've spoken of Niki's before on the RJG, but there have been some changes since our last update. For one, it appears our loving duo of Northeast Tarrant County Niki's Italian Bistro's are no longer together (aww). The website, and the menu, are very clear in stating that the NRH Niki's is no longer associated with the one in Keller. And the other big change is they have moved across Davis to a beautiful new Tuscan structure that they painstakingly built for well over a year. The strip center location that Niki's had been in, for God knows how many years, needed an update badly. The place was, quite frankly, miserable. So rather than gut the 80's style strip mall, they purchased the Catfish Tucker's Haven across the street. And subsequently bulldozed it (I'm sure it was in worse shape than the original Niki's! One can only imagine all the fried fish - and cigarette smoke - pew). And proceeded to build a very large Medieval Italian styled building. Bravo! The interior is relatively modest, and that's fine with the RJG. No need to go opulent - especially for what is in effect neighborhood Italian food. BTW, the day we went, the parking lot was packed, and yet there was still plenty of open tables. I think it will be a rare night when Niki's will have standing room only crowds.
What hasn't changed is the type of Italian food Niki's serve - which is very typical of most of the Italian restaurants in Northeast Tarrant. I've carried on about it many times before, and won't repeat myself here. Just click on the Italian label, or just read the original Niki's review, and you'll figure out what I mean. Now we had bad luck at the old NRH location, and noticed the Keller one was much better (which I suspect may have been behind the divorce). But on our one visit to the new location, everything was fine - and in wonderful surroundings to boot. They still have a full bar, with more selections than before.
Being the cheapies (and lushes) that the RJG happens to be, Niki's is usually an alternative option to the just-as-good-and-similar Italian places around that allow BYOB (Tony's, Cafe Sicilia, Joe's, Italian Bistro, etc...). But if we had guests in town, and didn't want to go overboard at Patrizio's or Brio, but wanted good, solid Italian fare, then Niki's is the perfect spot to take them.