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Whilst the Georgia Straight is known for their annual “Golden Plate Awards,” nominating some of the best restaurants in our city of Vancouver in 13 different categories, this year they also asked fellow chefs and restaurateurs which restaurants would make the cut for the most “underrated” restaurants in Metro Vancouver. These are the kinds of restaurants that have been “under appreciated, forgotten, a little-known gem, or one doesn’t get as much media attention as it deserves.” Winning second place was Nook, an inviting and modern take on a typical Italian trattoria; serving anything from pizzas to delicious skillet-type breakfasts. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – all the inside scoops are right here!   

It had been a while since I had walked down Kit’s Yew Street, home to some of the best known brunch eateries around. This time, though, we were looking for something new that had caught my friend’s attention the last time she was heading down this same street. Not knowing the name of the restaurants and whether she had actually seen it down Yew Street or not, we were up for the adventure. Finally, all the way down the road we were delighted to have spotted Nook. Their sign outside read: “Come inside for some of the best brunch around!” – We can assure you they are definitely right about that! 

Nook is the new kid on the block. The environment is fresh and modern, but it’s still very much portrays the typical Italian Trattorias that have been opened for generations and generations. On the shelves and along the wall they showcase pastas, cans of tomato sauce, Italian beverages, postcard-like images of Italy, and the typical brick pizza oven burning in the back, all to remind customers of the different Italian specialties. Nook is just like those Italian Trattoria’s, except for this place is more relevant to our time.

Other than their surroundings, they also have an extensive menu that also stays true to what you would find in a restaurant back in Italy. Although we only tried their brunch, they’re also opened for lunch and dinner, serving pizzas, traditional antipasti, pastas, and more (meaning we’ll have to go back for more soon!) Their brunch menu is simple, yet quite extensive and definitely filling. 

To begin with they have some amazing starters. They range from avocado on toast, homemade granola and yoghurt, and our favourite: their baked ricotta drizzled with honey. This small starter really did hit the spot, along with some of their crispy, warm bread; we were really glad we opted for this plate and 100% recommend it.

As our main course, we chose their popular skillet-breakfasts. We really like the idea of having our breakfast served in a skillet itself, rather than on a plate. We feel like the dish is richer in flavour and more appetizing, as well as it being “all right there,” making it easier to eat all the sauces and the runny egg yolks that come with it. My friend tried their eggs, polenta, and Calabrian pork ragu skillet while I had their eggs, house made sausage, and wild mushrooms skillet. These skillets were pretty different in flavour. The eggs with Calabrian pork ragu was definitely richer, with the tomatoes and ragu giving it a similar taste to a pasta sauce. Mine, on the other hand, was more mild having no tomatoes or ragu – but I definitely still loved it! The house made sausage and mushroom mix gave it a tasty flavour that I don’t think I had tasted together before, but it was something I ended up really enjoying. 

By this point, both me and my friend were absolutely stuffed, but we were very content with our new hidden little gem. Unlike other popular brunch restaurants, this place had no wait list or line out the door, and it was actually only somewhat busy inside – which was pretty confusing to us, since the food was excellent! But we’re not complaining – the fact that it still wasn’t the most popular place around made it even better. No wait for a table, for our food, and even great service and delicious food at that… Could we have asked for anything better? We figured this place was a pretty special little Nook after all. Hopefully we’ll be able to go back before it’s make its big break as a fantastic option for weekend brunch!

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