A.ryo and I just wanted to catch up some place with a nice patio, enjoy the awesome weather that we’ve been having here in Vancouver lately. Course after my trip back from Cancún, nothing can really compare. He was feeling for pizza, or Italian of some sort, but wouldn’t be off until 7PM. Coming from downtown, I wanted to keep the traveling time short so that we could eat and talk more.
First thing that came to mind was Nook, not the one actually situated in downtown as that is always busy and cramped, but the one in Kitsilano right by the beach. Not to say the sister restaurant was not busy, it was just much more easier to get to, as well as easier street parking. Not to mention the space in the establishment itself seems more open and relaxed.
Araldica Alasia – Moscato Secco Provincia di Pavia
We started off with an easy-patio-white, Moscato. It is usually very sweet, known as a girls’ drink, it was the perfect choice to start our meal. This was not as sweet as I had expected, but it did enough to mask any alcohol flavours it had, making it feel like we were just sipping on grape juice.
A.ryo noticed on the blackboard behind me, choices for buratta with either asparagus or proscuitto, and I thought “This is a discrimination! Why can’t they all be together!”. I voiced my concern with the server, and she assured me I wasn’t the first to ask for that. It would be a little bit more expensive, with a little less in portion size for all three. We agreed as we couldn’t see them separated, and voilà, our first appetizer was born. The baguette was lightly grilled, reheating the bread and putting a nice char on it. Asparagus was just blanched and tossed with a little EVOO, nothing too special, but it was cooked just right, bringing a bit of freshness to the otherwise heavy dish. Finally, the actual stars: buratta and proscuitto. Thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth meat, with the oh-so-creamy cheese. I can never get tired of these two in any Italian restaurant I go to.
Chicken Liver Crostini with port onions
Next up was the crostinis, smeared liver pâté on four toasted baguettes, served with a dollop of port wine caramelized onions. The slices of baguette were rather big to get around, and too thick to be considered as ‘crostini’ in my books. The pâté was slathered on rather generously, making it more easily acceptable bread-to-topping ratio. The onions did add the tartness to help cut between the heavy flavours of the chicken liver, overall a good dish.
Gnocchi with baby meatballs
A.ryo had been craving gnocchi for a while, or so he said. Seeing that Nook’s pastas are made in-house, it was a no-brainier what he was going to order next. There was only one option for gnocchi, and that was with meatballs, so I assumed it would be a marinara type of sauce and I was correct. The gnocchi were soft and fluffy, like chewing on pockets of clouds, holding onto the sauce with every bite. The meatballs were not lost, thought small, almost the same size as the gnocchis, was very tender and flavourful as well.
Pizza – mushroom, pancetta, roasted garlic & arugula
This was their feature pizza, and I thought it would be a good idea to see how well their wood fire pizzas fare. As you can tell by their burnt air bubbles, their pizza game was on point. There wasn’t any sauce present, but the flavours of the garlic and thin crust held everything together.
Both being sweet tooths, we had to go for some dessert after all the talking and wineing. As you can tell from the lighting, we were there well off into closing hours. The portion size for the tiramisu was perfect for sharing, the Lady Fingers were soaked in the right amount of alcohol, leaving them moist and flavourful with a good amount of mascarpone to bring it all together. Then comes to budino, an Italian custard-like dessert, it was so heavenly and rich. It didn’t leave you feeling icky or “Oh Lord, why did I take the last spoonful”, instead it left you begging for more.
Final thoughts; Nook is well worth any wait. Service and food are both excellent, they have yet to fail me.