Nathaniel’s Bistro Brings New Flavors and Flair to Lincoln

From peacock mural to turquoise details, the new seafood eatery struts its stuff


It was a clandestine meeting with ulterior motives when Nathaniel Lopez and Michelle Parenteau met at a sushi restaurant last year in Lincoln. On the down low, the two of them were talking seating banquettes and color palettes.

Lopez, the face and name behind the newly opened Nathaniel’s Bistro in Lincoln – where he’s a resident – with business partner Henry Casso, had enlisted Parenteau to help create an interior aesthetic that would align seamlessly with a bistro menu anchored by steak, seafood, and New England-inspired dishes, along with a vibrant cocktail program. 

“We were sitting there and I started taking in the whole entire space,” recalls Parenteau. Her wheels started spinning immediately, not just in terms of hues and decor but also the shapes, structures, and flow that would set the foundation for the restaurant’s vibe: removing a wall here, extending a bar there, a key design element that would be both artful and Instagram worthy, and creating spaces that felt separate from one another yet cohesive. It was exactly what Lopez was hoping for. 

“We wanted to have two different vibes throughout the whole restaurant,” explains Lopez. “If you sit at the bar, I want you to enjoy yourself in a nice space where everything is fun, and then you have an area that’s a little bit more classic if you want to feel that way. Then…a more family side of the restaurant – that’s how I look at it, having multiple environments in one place.”

Parenteau got to work, even before she was able to set foot in the actual restaurant. “We started working on the concept last November, when they brought me on, and it was kind of difficult because we couldn’t get in here until May, so a lot of it was designed off site,” she explains. Nonetheless, Parenteau and Lopez forged ahead. In a nod to the vibrancy of Caribbean culture and Lopez’ Dominican heritage, the two rooted the interior design with a turquoise and gold color palette executed throughout, including a custom designed mural featuring a kaleidoscopic peacock.

“I went with bold turquoise on the walls near the bar area because I wanted to kind of separate each section, and then I thought we could have this really cool accent wall where people would be taking pictures and posting on Instagram.” The wall in question features a custom peacock mural with the Nathaniel’s logo, by Crestar Picture Framing in East Greenwich. “Branding is so important and I wanted people to think, ‘This feels like Nathaniel’s.’” 

The two also worked to create an oversized horseshoe-shaped bar, which commands a presence in the space and lends a communal sense among patrons. It simultaneously serves as a functional design element and focal point. To tie in the theme, hand-painted peacock feathers have been epoxied into the bartop – the perfect complement to the drink program’s tropical hints. In the central dining space, an extra long banquette invites guests to settle in comfortably and stay a while.

“I didn’t think that we were going to be able to pull everything together because when you get an idea in mind, it’s just an idea. It takes a lot of work,” says Lopez. “We started with a blank slate and obviously Michelle was the key to the design.”

Lopez says business has been even better than expected since opening in late October. “Everything is going well,” says Lopez. “I think we’ve gotten into a rhythm and the feedback on the food and decor has been amazing.”


Nathaniel’s Bistro

600 George Washington Highway, Lincoln

333-0366 •

Open daily 3-10pm



On the Menu

Come for the colorful interior, stay for a seafood menu that can’t be beat. Choose from a half dozen raw selections, including a Black Cod Ceviche de Corvina with red onion, cilantro, corn choclo (Peruvian corn), and lemon citrus, as well as Octopus Carpaccio and Tuna Tartare. Main seafood dishes include a roasted Whole Boneless Branzino featuring Mediterranean sea bass, Paella, and Whole Lobster Pasta.

There’s plenty for landlubbers, too, including Grilled Colorado Lamb Chops, Braised Beef Short Ribs with truffle polenta, Roasted Cornish Hens, and a Kobe Burger with Gruyere cheese. Raise a glass with one of their many cocktails riffing on the classics, from the Smithfield Aviator to the Whiskey Sour Sensation.



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