Waiting for a table at the popular Nicli Antica Pizzeria (62 East Cordova) will soon be slightly more enjoying. The Golden Plates Award-winning Gastown restaurant, which does not accept dinner reservations, is set to open a room next door—suitably named Next Door.
Next Door, which occupies the space that formerly housed Vicino, will open at the end of June. While Nicli Antica focuses on Neapolitan-style pizza, Next Door will offer Italian-inspired snacks and small plates. Dishes created by chef Dave Tozer include braised pork belly with white bean cassoulet, arancini (balls of risotto that are covered in breadcrumbs and fried), bruschetta (grilled bread topped with fresh tomatoes), and mussels in white wine. Diners can also snack on housemade ricotta, salumi, and pasta dishes.
“We want Next Door to become part of the Nicli experience —you can start with a drink and an appy at Next Door, then go next door to Nicli for pizza,” Anthony Sterne, the general manager of Nicli Antica and Next Door, stated in a news release. “We see Next Door as a place where you can come by for a pre-dinner drink and snack before doing a Gastown hop, or, if you are looking for a night out, order a few more plates and make an evening of it here.
“Vancouverites have really taken to share-plate dining and it’s a concept that is very Italian,” Sterne continued. “In Italy, they eat dinner much later than in North America. Evenings generally start by meeting friends for an aperitivo and light snacks followed by a full dinner later and ends with more wine and conversation with more friends. It’s a very social way of life. By opening Next Door, we are hoping to replicate that ‘dolce vita’ feeling.”
In terms of beverages, Next Door will offer cocktails, an all-Italian wine list, and local craft beer. The space will seat 40 people and is expected to be open from 5 p.m. on Wednesdays to Saturdays.