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Photo Visit – Nook Kitsilano – March 2014

16 Mar

1525 Yew Street
Vancouver, BC
V6K 3E4

T: 604 734 3381
www.nookrestaurant.ca

Since becoming home-owners late last year, we have been trying to save a few pennies by foregoing our usual weekend brunches out. Unfortunately, habits are hard to break and we’ve found ourselves returning to our brunching ways. I have found myself brunching at Nook Kitsilano the past three weekends in a row. I could pretend to be shameful right now but the brunch is so good that I hold my head high. Nook is, without a doubt, the restaurant that I find myself at the most. I’ve talked about my love for Nook on this blog numerous times and so it comes as no surprise that I would also enjoy their brunch offerings.

A typical breakfast diner this is not (head up the street to Abigail’s if that is what you are after) but you will find Italian-influenced skillet dishes, pizza, and these two dishes; the baby Dutch pancake (almost like a sweet Yorkshire pudding) and the Italian breakfast (a plate of Italian meats and cheeses). Be warned: the Italian breakfast is like a hot girl that walked into a room – heads turn when this dish gets delivered to your table. I’ve had other diners stare at my ordered brunch of Italian breakfast and ask “What is that?!” and then proceed to order it. It is a meaty start to the day and only $14.

Besides hearty breakfast dishes, the coffee is also quite good meaning that this is a one-stop shop – no need to get a caffeine hit before, or after, brunch.

The Baby Dutch Pancake

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The Italian Breakfast

Brunch special: lentils with lamb sausage ragu and poached eggs

Brunch special: guanciale, spinach, egg, and parmesan pizza

Photo Visit – Nook – June 2013

16 Jun

781 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC
V6G 2L6

T: 604 568 4554
www.nookrestaurant.ca

Brief Description: Nook fills the West End void of affordable and unpretentious Italian food. Think generous portions of scrumptious pizza and pasta for under $15.

I think I’ve made it pretty clear on this blog just how much I enjoy visiting Nook. I dare say that it is my favourite restaurant in the city. Not because of any one thing but it is the combination of the friendly service, well-executed food, the unpretentious and intimate space, and the value for money, that make it a favourite. B and I love visiting Nook whenever we want to go out for a romantic, yet affordable, evening. This meal, plus 2 glasses of wine and a beer, came to just under $100.

Nook

Burrata and Proscuitto – $18

P1070318

Daily Pasta Special: Pork Ragu – $19
P1070322Italian Sausage Pizza – $15

Rumour has it that Nook will be opening their Kitsilano location in July. I, for one, cannot wait and I have my fingers crossed that they are able to keep the same standard that they consistently deliver at the West End location.

Nook on Urbanspoon

Photo Visit – Nook – January 2013

20 Jan

With a strict “no reservations” policy and a small dining room, you have to be quite strategic when attempting to score a seat at Nook, particularly on a Saturday night. My sister and I wanted to go for dinner last night (a Saturday night) at our favourite place in the West End, but first we tallied up the odds: 1/ The Canucks first game of the NHL season was on, and 2/ Dine Out Vancouver was underway and Nook isn’t a participant. With this in mind, the odds seemed stacked in our favour and, as we had hoped, we walked straight in to a seat at the bar.

My sister and I have eaten at Nook a lot and we normally order our favourites but last night we decided to order both the pizza and pasta daily specials, just to mix things up a bit.

Spaghetti with Nduja and Guanciale – $18

Pancetta, rapini, and egg pizza – $18

Normally, I would have suggested ordering the delectable burrata and proscuitto plate to start, but that would be gluttonous with just the two of us so we stuck with these two dishes and could barely finish them. The spaghetti had a nice hint of spice, thanks to the nduja, which is a spicy Italian sausage (never heard of nduja before – you learn something new every day!). The pizza was also very good but I am finding that I’m finding less enjoyment with eating anything that has a runny egg yolk (personal preference). With $8 glasses of prosecco, friendly staff, and affordable, hearty servings of carbs, I continue to strongly recommend a visit to Nook.

Nook on Urbanspoon

Nook – Photo Visit – April 2012

19 Apr

781 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC
V6G 2L6

T: 604 568 4554
www.nookrestaurant.ca

Brief Description: Nook fills the West End void of affordable and unpretentious Italian food. Think generous portions of scrumptious pizza and pasta for under $15.

It is pretty obvious from my numerous posts that I love Nook. As I mentioned in my previous Nook post, I think you could order any item from the menu and be happy with it. To prove my theory, I tried a new dish (for me) last week when I ordered the crostini with ricotta cheese, grilled radicchio, pistachio, and fireweed honey, and I was indeed happy. The sweet pistachios were lovely but the dish was a little fussy to eat as they kept rolling off! Maybe don’t order this dish if you are on a first date. Taste-wise, I enjoyed it.

Crostini – Ricotta, grilled radicchio, pistachio, fireweed honey $8

My favourite appetizer at Nook is the proscuitto and burrata cheese plate (found on the specials board). I cannot get enough of this dish! If you aren’t familiar with burrata cheese, think of it as a creamy, slightly salty cheese that has a texture of a creamy mozzarella and the taste of heaven. For $17 it isn’t a cheap appetizer but we ordered this instead of a heavier dish such as a pizza or pasta dish.

Proscuitto and burrata – $17

Final Thoughts: I love Nook! As always!

Photo Visit – Nook

4 Mar

781 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC
V6G 2L6

T: 604 568 4554
www.nookrestaurant.ca

Brief Description: Nook fills the West End void of affordable and unpretentious Italian food. Think generous portions of scrumptious pizza and pasta for under $15.

If you asked me for my top ten favourite Vancouver restaurants, I would have no hesitations putting Nook on that list. I absolutely love it there and it dawned on me that I haven’t done a post from there for awhile, which seems awfully silly of me considering how often I’m there. This is just a picture post but an updated full post should be coming soon (I think I’m over-due to give them another shout out).

Must-haves from Nook are, well, everything! I know that’s not very helpful but I honestly do like everything that I’ve ordered there. But if you are putting a gun to my head (please don’t, it’s all good, step down), then I’d recommend the burrata and prosciutto plate (it’s on the specials menu), the white bean and olive tapenade crostini, the rigatoni boscaiola, the salami and black olive pizza and check out the daily specials. Like I said, everything is good so try it all!

Rigatoni Boscaiola

One of the daily pizza specials

Final Thoughts: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I absolutely love Nook. The atmosphere is relaxed, the food is consistently good, and the price is just right. Definitely in my top 10 restaurants in Vancouver.

Nook on Urbanspoon

Nook – 2nd visit

17 Dec

781 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC
V6G 2L6

T: 604 568 4554
www.nookrestaurant.ca

Brief Description: Nook fills the West End void of affordable and unpretentious Italian food. Think generous portions of scrumptious pizza and pasta for under $15. The pizza is by far the best that I’ve eaten whilst in Vancouver.

Since my first visit to Nook, only just over a week ago, I have returned another two times. I am happy to report that my first visit was not a fluke – Nook has continued to impress me time and time again. As per my previous post, my first visit was with my sister for her birthday. I enjoyed it so much that I was raving about it to B so it was inevitable that I would drag him there only a few days later. He was just as impressed as I was.

We opted to try the pasta on this occasion. I ordered the Gnocchi with Mini Meatballs and I was served a generous serving of spongy soft gnocchi enveloped in a light tomato sauce that was punctuated with teeny meatballs that were full of flavour. It was fabulous. As was the Wild Boar Carbonara that B ordered.

The smoky boar was generously dispersed throughout the whole dish and a strong parmesan assisted with adding even more flavour. Both pastas are definitely worth a try, however, the Wild Boar Carbonara was on the daily menu so it may not be available on your visit.

Of course, for dessert there was no other option for me than the Chocolate Budino and, true to my word, here is a picture of the beautiful temptress.

As was the case on my last visit, the Chocolate Budino activated every single one of my taste buds and induced them into a state of bliss. I love, love, love the Chocolate Budino!!

B couldn’t go past the fresh tiramisu that was being sliced right in front of us. Although I don’t particularly like tiramisu, I did try some of it and it was definitely fresh and pretty tasty. As someone who does like tiramisu, B cleaned the plate up faster than I could polish off the Chocolate Budino! I can only assume that that meant that it was good.

Final Thoughts: Service was competent and the prices continue to surprise me. For $62 we got two beers, two pasta and two desserts. The quality of the food was spot-on and the serving sizes far more than generous. Having more time to truly take in my surroundings and I really like the vibe of the restaurant. The warm colours on the walls paired with a dark wood accent, an open kitchen and the deep red colour of the upholstery all seem to come together to create very friendly surroundings that almost beckon you to slow down and relax. With all that said, I can confirm that I am well and truly hooked on Nook.

Nook on Urbanspoon

Nook

10 Dec

781 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC
V6G 2L6

T: 604 568 4554
www.nookrestaurant.ca

Brief Description: Nook fills the West End void of affordable and unpretentious Italian food. Think generous portions of scrumptious pizza and pasta for under $15.

Finally! After months of anticipation and numerous occasions of me staring longingly through the window, I can finally tick Nook off my wish list. A tiny restaurant with only 30 seats, Nook is tucked away on Denman Street, just off of Robson. This West End corner is a prime area but for some reason has had a hard time finding its groove. Sure there are a few stables, such as Kintaro Ramen and Kingyo, but since I’ve lived in the neighbourhood the Nook location has seen more than its fair share of coming and goings. After my experience with Nook on Monday night, I am feeling optimistic that that is now a thing of the past.

It was my sister’s birthday and so to celebrate we decided that it was finally time for Nook and Greedy Guys to become acquainted. As previously mentioned, the restaurant is small and they don’t take reservations so you may find yourself waiting for one of the few tables that they do have. If this is the case, perch yourself at the 12-seater bar and you’ll be eating way sooner. As a bonus, you will have front row seats to the prep area where (if you are anything like me) you will not be able to take your eyes off the efficient hands dancing around in front of you, slicing meats, ripping basil, drizzling olive oil…it is truly mesmerizing.

Nook offers West Enders something that they have been needing for a long time now: simple, affordable Italian food. The menu kicks off with a small number of tempting appetizers, ranging from crostini with white bean olive tapenade to a small selection of antipasto including, meatballs in tomato sauce or the delectable looking prosciutto with buffalo mozzarella. The appetizers range from $4 to $12, with only the charcuterie options at the higher end of the scale. The rest of the menu consists solely of pasta and pizza. That’s it, that’s all. There are six different pasta options (including linguine pesto with sundried tomatoes and spaghetti putanesca) and six different pizza choices (options include anchovies with olives and chillies, and ricotta with roasted tomatoes, olives, onions and garlic). $15 is about the average price for a pizza or for a pasta dish. Their specials menu also offers a pizza and pasta dish that varies daily.

Although we didn’t order appetizers we were offered a small tasting of the lusciously salty prosciutto, which was thinly sliced right in front of us. For our mains, both of us opted for pizza; my sister ordered the daily special; pancetta with chilli and I ordered the salami with black olives from the regular menu. As a foodie, I am always consciously (and even sometimes unconsciously) looking for the best food in town. Even without making a real effort to find it, Vancouver’s best pizza found me at Nook. Thin crusted, with only a light tomato base and generously covered with flawlessly seasoned meat, this is the type of pizza that puts pizza chains to shame.

Dessert was gloriously decadent and has had me thinking of not much else since. The Chocolate Budino is a new form of torture for my taste buds. Torturous only because everything else since doesn’t taste like the Chocolate Budino! Served in a glass and looking a lot like an espresso, I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but once my spoon dug deep into the glossy, thick, house-made caramel to find its way to the layer of rich chocolate pudding underneath, I could only think “Where have you been all my life?!”

Unfortunately, I was just too damn excited to remember to take a picture of it so all I have is this pathetic offering of a photo of a glass that has been scraped clean. Oops. Don’t worry; I will be going back for more so I’ll be sure to capture it soon.

Service was friendly and got pushed up a notch into the “great” category because we were given a complimentary dessert since it was my sister’s birthday. The restaurant itself feels intimate and welcoming. Dim lighting provides mood and bright red bar stools provide a boost of much needed colour.

Final Thoughts: Nook was well worth waiting for. With prices that are refreshingly affordable and food that is bound to impress, Nook provides a great alternative to the usual Korean and Japanese places of the West End.

Nook on Urbanspoon

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