Cook in Newtonville
Made a first visit to Cook for brunch on Saturday with SO and daughter. Called ahead for an 11 AM rez, but probably unnecessary as there were only 3 other tables occupied when we arrived. It was starting to fill when we left a bit after noon, though. Sampled the shrimp taco - fried, but light and delicate - and the lobster slider - a bit more mayonnaise than I prefer, but on a nice brioche mini-bun. I had the smoked salmon Benedict, a generous portion with tangy chive hollandaise. SO had the hash, also a generous portion with house made corned beef than was not overly salty, a plus. Sampled a couple of brunch cocktails; fresh squeezed juices provided a solid base. Service was solicitous, but still learning the ropes. Looking forward to a return trip for dinner. A great addition to the neighborhood.
Went for the 1st time last night for dinner. At about 6:20, all tables filled but there were 2 seats at the bar which we took. Long bar with lots of seats and three large flat screens. There is another smaller bar which looks like a chef's bar where the cooks are preparing in front of you. There were two bartenders working the bar, serving food and drink and they were friendly and attentive. I had an excellent burger with hand cut fries which also came with some thin sliced, spicy pickles on the side. Burger was 7-8 oz, cooked over an open flame and had a pleasantly strong beefy flavor. Fries, crisp and fresh, and pickles were very good. Two women sitting next to us were sharing truffle fries, Udon noodle salad and Vietnamese glazed pork ribs and they said everything was great.
Three of us went last night for dinner. Although I am all for letting new places settle in and find their groove, I won't return to Cook. The service was amateurish and obtrusive. The food was just ok. I didn't fancy any of the cocktails on their menu so I ordered a Hendricks martini. It came in a tall glass with ice and a straw. All of the wines listed were under $40 and all available by the glass. If there was another wine list we weren't offered it. My DC's had the lobster sliders which looked pretty good. The server asked them if it was ok if they all came on the same plate, even though they ordered them separately. No idea what the point of that was. I had the fried chicken. It came out great temperature-wise but was soggy. Paying was painful as the server waited for us to produce a credit card which was to be swiped table-side and when we didn't immediately produce the card she reminded us that she also had to use her tablet to place orders. I won't bore you with the rest of the service blunders but it was bad. You don't realize how much service plays into your enjoyment of a restaurant until you have a bad experience with it.