What can you tell us about The Nook?
The Nook has taken over the site that was Linden Stores (and before that the first site of Prawn on the Lawn) so it already had big shoes to fill. It comes from Angus and Lale Oztek-Pook who have experience at Zucca, Bernardis and Oklava among others. As the former occupant was Oklava's Laura Christie who also ran Linden Stores - they were first to get the opportunity to take on the space when Linden Stores shut up shop.
Where is it?
At the bottom of Highbury Grove where it hits St Paul's Road - about a five-minute walk from Highbury and Islington station. It's a two-floored operation - so while it might seem small at first glance - there's much more space in the basement. There are also a couple of tables outside if you're meeting a non-housemate/bubble person for a bite.
So what's on the menu?
Described as "contemporary European with a Turkish twist", there are a few different aspects to the menu.
During the day, as well as the option to dine in, there are a lot of takeaway options. To start with, they do a line in filled buns that look like they should sit in the top tier of London's best sandwiches. Of particular note on the daytime menu is the brown crab and crayfish brioche - a clear sandwich of kings. With many more deli items available, if you're in the area, you owe it to yourself to pop in at lunchtime.
And in the evening?
Then things switch more to more of a sharing concept - with a menu of snacks, cheese and charcuterie, larger dishes and sides. Everything on the menu comes in generous proportions - and it's only that fact which stopped us ordering more (we'll definitely return for the veal schnitzel with English mustard aioli as that sounds right up our street).
Here's what we had on the night.
What about dessert?
Although we'd been very well fed up until this point, dessert is a must. Although if dessert isn't your thing - making good use of the cheese board (which changes regularly) should also be a priority. Here's what we had (although there was also a rice pudding with red wine poached pears on the menu which looked very tempting).
What about drinks?
The wine list focuses on sustainable, organic, biodynamic and minimal intervention wines (with a key partner in London's Renegade winery - and everything's available to take away. Prices start at £26 a bottle (with plenty available by the carafe). On our visit we had a bottle of Domaine Luneau-Papin 2018 Muscadet (£32 dining in, £18 to take away) which was a perfect match for everything we had - and we'll be returning to buy a bottle to take away - it was that good. Special mention also for the Vigna del Volta by La Stoppa which proved a great choice to finish off the meal and matched the parfait perfectly.
This unassuming site in Highbury has played host to some cracking restaurants and that tradition continues with The Nook. Opening during the pandemic is trying for anyone - but The Nook has created the perfect neighbourhood restaurant (although it's one we think is worth crossing town for too). The excellent deli offering during the day paired with a welcoming evening vibe added to which a menu where we wanted everything but were only stopped due to generous portions (a good thing) make this well worth a visit.
More about The Nook
Where is it? 220 St Paul's Rd, Highbury, London N1 2LL
To book: Contact them on their website.
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