The self-proclaimed “city Italian”, who hails from North Carolina, has served as executive chef for three five-star restaurants and was named chef of the year in Boston. He has managed and owned over a dozen restaurants, including several in Montgomery, such as Tony’s Seafood Shack.
Today, Nicoletta owns and operates just one restaurant: Prime 101 Steakhouse, off Hwy. 105 in Montgomery.
The restaurant, which opened in March 2019, serves dry-aged black angus prime steaks, seafood, desserts and specialty cocktails. Nicoletta said he wanted to bring a high-quality steakhouse to the area.
Although Nicoletta is the first of his family to join the restaurant industry, he said cooking runs in his blood.
“My mother was the greatest Italian cook you’ve ever known in your life,” he said.
Nicoletta has memorable stories from his 40-year career. He once owned a restaurant in Nashville, where big-name country stars such as Garth Brooks and Alan Jackson frequently visited. Nicoletta said he treated celebrities as though they were normal people.
He recounted giving $20 to Jackson, who was wearing ripped jeans, and told him to “go get yourself a pair of jeans.”
"All the celebrities loved me because I didn’t know who they were,” he said.
After eventually retiring in Montgomery, Nicoletta decided to open another restaurant.
"I [had] sold everything and retired,” he said. “I came out of retirement to do a nice restaurant for Montgomery.”
Prime 101 Steakhouse
19786 Hwy. 105, Montgomery
Hours: 4-9 p.m. daily