Ristorante Nicola, not my favorite restaurant in Dallas, is closed. Not for renovations as they told us last week. Closed for good. Once hotter than hot, the mediocre high-falutin’ Italian spot will shutter and reopen as the hotter than hot Nick & Sam’s Grill. However, Nicola’s owner Richard Gussoni and Nick & Sam’s owner Joe Palladino will partner for the new restaurant. The Plano location of Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano remains open and will accept any outstanding gift certificates held by Ristorante Nicola customers. Nick & Sam’s Grill Park Cities is slated to open in early October. Not sure what the talent will be in the kitchen but I understand Nicola’s just hired an out-of-town chef to run the kitchen and he’s hopping mad about the change.