Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dining Out for Life - Nook

For Dining Out for Life on March 25th, I picked two places to try: Emelle's Catering for breakfast, and Nook for dinner.

My good friend Lynn who lives downtown recommended Nook as one of her favourite places quite a few months back, and I had been meaning to go for quite a while.

I had reports of it being a terribly busy place, frequently with lineups and no reservations taken, so it was awfully kind of my dining companion to drive out for an early 5pm dinner. It didn't get really busy till closer to 6pm, and then the ~30 seat restaurant was full and had diners waiting at the door. (There isn't much room to wait, either, and in case you're out on a rainy day, bring your umbrella as the awnings outside aren't contiguous enough between stores to provide proper coverage against rain.)

Our server took his time with us (ah, the advantages of having the restaurant to yourself!) and patiently satisfied my companion's curiosity about the restaurant (open only since May 2009) and how they did during the Olympics (miserably, as it turned out).
Then he talked at length about the day's antipasto special, involving ricotta wrapped in buffalo cheese and sliced out onto wedges of toasted baguette.
My companion and I were having a fine time getting to know each other and catching up since the last time we met, and time flew by with us both blissfully unaware of the menu. Our server popped by to inquire lest we completely forget, and I give points for his patience and courtesy with us, considering how long we yapped.
I was intrigued by his description of the appetizer and ordered it right away. It swam in olive oil and there was a stack of baby tomatoes on the side. Honestly, I can't remember too much of it as I thought it rather bland, but there was a delicateness to the flavour and though my unrefined palate didn't appreciate it, my companion was very impressed.

My companion yielded ordered to me, and next I asked for the crostini with ricotta, grilled radicchio, pistachio, and fireweed honey; and the flatbread special of the day.
Like the appetizer before, the crostini appetizer came across a bit bland, I thought, as I never was particularly impressed by more or less tasteless white cheeses.

The flatbread, finally, was very tasty. It was a medium-pizza sized, and although it wasn't as loaded as "regular" pizza you might get from Dominos or Pizza Factory, it tasted fabulous.
I took points off for the meat sliding off the slice completely, but that does happen when the pizza is fresh from the oven and the sauce that the meat's sitting on is still very wet.
You can get a decent bulk pizza from Pizza Factory at just over half the price, a superior tasting pizza from Dominos or any of the better pizza chains for the same price, or you can get something that's lighter but tastes just that much better from Nook.