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Nook or Beechwood ?

Celebrating a friend's birthday tomorrow night around Venice.

Also, any recommendations for specific entrees?

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  1. Nook.

    Get the hanger steak, calamari, smashed potatoes, short ribs.

    1. I like Nook a lot, solid food at reasonable prices. I like the chicken paillard, short ribs, and mac & cheese the best. Also the rib-eye with crispy onions over sauteed apples is good but has been a little inconsistent on the most recent visit.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Ernie

        Thanks for the suggestions.

        How's the ambiance at Nook?

        1. re: adevejian

          The space is very nice because it's relatively new. Minimalist, sleek, you know the drill.

          It is a noisy, slightly crowded restaurant, in case that is a consideration. But Beechwood is much louder if you go on a weekend ! Beechwood is noisy because of the pounding music and club atmosphere. Nook is noisy just from the bustle of normal restaurant noise.

          1. re: Pei

            Beechwood definitely does not have pounding music. It's ambient music - Zero 7 and the like.

            For a birthday, Beechwood is more fun (especially on the patio).

            1. re: yogachik

              I agree, no pounding music and isn't particularly clubby either. More of a busy bar/lounge scene.

              1. re: hrhboo

                Wow, I must be imagining things. I went on an extremely crowded night and all I can remember is loving the food but having to scream at my friends.

      2. Nook for food Beechwood for drinks.

        1. Beechwood is more celebratory, and I've been there on a Wednesday night around 7-8pm and it was not very crowded at all or loud at that point. From my experience, it just gets crazy on weekends.

          Nook is great, and I love the short ribs so much, but it isn't really a particularly fun/celebratory kind of place. Great place, just not really a special occasion or a party atmosphere.

          If it's just you and your friend, Nook would probably be fine. If it's a larger group, I'd go with Beechwood - and get the lamb meatballs and the french fries or sweet potato fries with dipping sauces.

          1. Beechwood is way more fun than Nook, and has more atmosphere.

            4 Replies
            1. re: hrhboo

              I would personally opt for food over ambiance, but seeing as though we are a group of ten for a birthday dinner... the ambiance could make or break the evening.

              1. re: adevejian

                The food at Beechwood is definitely good so it's not like you'd be sacrificing anything by opting for that over Nook. Basically another vote for Beechwood because I think it's much more of a celebratory place and I think it will be easier for them to accomodate 10.

                1. re: mollyomormon

                  I haven't been to Beechwood, but agree that Nook may have trouble accommodating a group that size.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    Yes, good point. 10 people might be too big for Nook, unless they would be willing to reserve the communal table or put several of the 2-tops together.

            2. Well, Beechwood is all booked up, should have made the reservation (and this thread) sooner.

              Any other rec's?

              7 Replies
              1. re: adevejian

                How about Violet? Upscale comfort food like Nook but with a focus on small plates. Tried them for the first time recently and was impressed.

                1. re: adevejian

                  Chaya Venice. I think it gets loud every night (I've only been for lunch and once on a Friday night), but it's definitely fun and the food is great.

                  1. re: LisaStitch

                    I don't know if Violet would be best for a rowdy group of ten.

                    Chaya sounds like a good fit. Thanks.

                  2. re: adevejian

                    You don't need a reservation for the lounge/bar/patio at Beechwood, just try to get there on the earlier side. It's more fun than the dining room anyway. I had a birthday (20+ people) there last year and it was great.

                    1. re: hrhboo

                      Nook has way better food than Beechwood. If you want celebratory, you shouldn't sit in the back room where the dining tables are at Beechwood cuz it's pretty isolated there.

                      1. re: hrhboo

                        I'm thinking of dinner at Chaya, then heading to Beechwood for drinks.

                        1. re: adevejian

                          You wouldn't want the dining room at Beechwood, anyway, it's the patio and lounge that's so much fun, and they don't take reservations for those areas.. Just go and get the patio table that sits 10 - get there at about 7ish and you'll be fine.