The upscale Italian spot Ristorante Nicola in Preston Center has hired chef Justin Melnick, a “young, rising star” from the northeast. With him comes a new dinner menu and a lunch menu, both debuting this Monday.
Melnick focuses on cooking with local, organic ingredients from sustainably raised animals from small farms. He has worked in Italy, serving meals to the family of Sergio Mottura, a big-time Italian winemaker on the border of northern Lazio and Umbria. After traveling abroad, he studied at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. and worked at several Boston restaurants.