781 Denman Street
604 568 4554
Open Daily at 5pm
1525 Yew St.
604 734 3381
Monday and Tuesday at 5pm
Wednesday to Friday at 11:30am
Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am
Twitter: @nookvancouver | Instagram:@nookrestaurant
Email: nookrestaurant [at] gmail.com
Hours: open 7 days a week from 5pm
Owners Nicole Welsh, Mike Jeffs, Jamie Maxwell and Brad Roark
Nook is a cozy pizza, pasta and antipasto restaurant with two locations -in the West End of Vancouver as well as Kitsilano. The rooms have a vibrancy to them as the thin crust pizzas and house made pastas are prepared in an open kitchen near the back of the room and antipasto items – Crostinis, Burrata, La Quercia Prosciutto and salami platters are at the front of the room. The menu is kept intentionally small and focussed so that we can feature a number of daily specials.
The Kitsilano location also offers a number of salads and antipasto all day as well as sandwiches for lunch and egg dishes during Brunch on the weekends.
The wine list is all Italian and features many hard to find labels with the majority being served by the glass. If you are looking for a place with really good food, really good wine, great energy with a knowledgeable staff and a fun soundtrack playing throughout the room – Nook is the spot for you.
Vancouver Courier | Tim Pawsey
Perched on a stool at the corner of the bar of West End restaurant Nook, the Hired Belly and his team of selfless researchers suddenly find themselves in foodie heaven, working through a fresh and flavour-packed list that yields no end of delight and surprise.
Newly minted Nook (781 Denman St., ph. 604-568-4554) is a sibling to nearby Tapastree, just around the corner–itself a long-running, notable haunt and one of the city’s earliest small plates proponents. Maybe that explains how this one-time schnitzel house seems to have been effortlessly transformed into a “serious” yet unpretentious Italian haunt focused on authentic plates and soundly sourced ingredients.
No surprise, Nook has already been discovered by locals and tourists alike, so your visit might start with a bit of a wait. But the rewards are worth any time put in at the door. Not only that, the staff is alert to who’s in line and makes sure you’re seated as soon as possible.
Offered the chance, we jumped at the bar. Designed as much for dining as for sipping from the room’s smart, well-priced and almost entirely Italian list, it doubles as the room’s charcuterie and cold plates prep station, a forward outpost of the bustling open kitchen in back, which concentrates on pasta and pizza.
Soon we’re sipping on floral Falanghina ($34), fighting over tastes of prosciutto-wrapped figs and a medley of crostini, with inventive toppings such as ricotta with grilled radicchio, pistachio and fireweed honey ($6). These and a salami plate are prepared bar-side, by the ever attentive Christy, who manages to make us feel more than welcome as she juggles her orders.
The kitchen obliges with fresh, handmade gnocchi with meatball morsels ($15), as well as roasted tomato, olive, onion and ricotta-laden pizza ($14). When it comes to the temptation of affogato (ice cream bathed in espresso, $6) and liquor-soaked tiramisu (arguably one of the best we’ve tasted, also $6), resistance proves futile.
Next day, I return before opening hours to find the room in full play, literally, with sound system cranked to build the night’s energy, with most of the activity around the kitchen’s pastry board, as the evening’s supplies of gnocchi, ravioli and other pasta are being made from scratch–just one crucial element of Nook’s early success.
Truly good restaurants don’t merely satisfy, they titillate, seduce at every level and wrap you in the comfort of their rhythm–so much so, that you can’t wait to come back.
Put Nook in the book.
The Globe & Mail | Alex Gill
What makes a great neighbourhood restaurant (as opposed to a destination restaurant or temple of cuisine for which you would go out of your way)?
The restaurant has to be close to home, at least for the locals who frequent it regularly. Should the restaurant become a destination for outsiders, it still feels essential to the soul of the area and has loyal customers who convey a sense of ownership. It has to be warm and welcoming with a convivial atmosphere, offer high-quality food and good value.
Nook is one of those great neighbourhood restaurants. Almost from the minute it opened 4½ years ago, the tiny West End pizza and pasta joint had lines out the door. The congestion eased up slightly when the owners turned their adjacent Tapastree restaurant into the Italian-themed Tavola (albeit to the deep dismay of Tapastree’s long-time regulars). And now they have accomplished the Herculean feat of transporting a similar magic to Kitsilano… [Full article]