Nook Opens on the Ave

It’s a breakfast, lunch, and late-night spot big on comfort food.

By Christopher Werner April 1, 2011

Nook in the University District starts serving comfort food April 2.

UPDATED Nook will open on Sunday, April 3 because of “a few last minute things” that have come up.

The Ave is great and all, but ethnic joints aside it’s no culinary calling card. So yay that the newest addition to the U District boulevard looks to be a thoughtful one.

The aptly named Nook (a wee spot, it’ll seat 13–15 patrons and is tucked on the corner of University Way and NE 50th Street) opens its doors April 2. Operators and owners Alex Green and Aki Woodward aim to bring to the table “something a little nicer than what’s on the Ave, but not upscale.” Said goal translates into a menu heavy on comfort foods infused with signature touches (house-made pickles, chiles, citruses).

The prices certainly are Ave-friendly: fresh buttermilk biscuits start at $2, with a $5 bacon-egg-cheddar variety topping out the breakfast list; the sandwich menu doesn’t exceed $7. With that “I love all my children equally” hesitation, Green offered the ‘wiches he’s keen on at the moment: the meatloaf, a mash-up of pork, chicken, beef, and chipotle ketchup, and the braised buffalo chicken leg served with blue-cheese slaw. (A biscuit-topped chicken potpie with root vegetable puree caught this guy’s eye.)

The duo considered opening a biscuit shop or launching a food truck before stumbling upon the cozy space that’d become pastel-trimmed Nook. Green was most recently in the kitchen at South Lake Union’s Re:Public. Before that it was Earth and Ocean and Juno downtown and the erstwhile Madoka on Bainbridge Island. His first cooking gig found him in Atlanta alongside this week’s Top Chef All-Stars victor Richard Blais.

Hours may change, but for now Green says they’re set for 8–4 weekdays and 8–2 weekends. A late-night weekend menu of grilled cheeses will debut April 8.

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