There are several kinds of dining experiences to be had at the flashy Nico Kitchen + Bar, tucked into the eastern end of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in downtown Newark. You might choose an evening when there’s a performance next door and the place is humming with fans who can pass directly into the theater at showtime. Or you might opt for a quieter night, when the enormous main dining room feels as cavernous and calm as a cathedral. In that case a better choice might be one of the handsome brown banquettes in the bar area, which can be bustling at happy hour but intimate a bit later on. Or maybe lunch, when there are “lots of suits” from the nearby office buildings and government offices, as Nico’s guiding force, Ryan DePersio, put it in a telephone interview after several recent visits.

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