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  • Writer's pictureDiana Brandt

Restaurant Opening: Nook Kitchen

Nook Kitchen in Arcadia re-opens today in a larger location at 4231 East Indian School Road, Phoenix, 85018, a half mile down the road from its original intimate spot.

Nook’s first restaurant opened in Fall 2013 on the southeast corner of 36th Street and Indian School. The restaurant was a fittingly small cozy space in Arcadia and evolved into Nook Kitchen to distinguish it as a restaurant instead of what some thought was a bookstore.

Nook Kitchen has proven to be a popular concept, offering a deliciously consistent dining experience from original recipes and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

The new location will be larger with 3,400 square feet compared to the original at 2,000 square feet. New interiors are a mix of glam and comfort, with overlays of Italian tradition in a decidedly modern setting.

“Our food is Modern American with Italian roots,” said Frank Vairo, owner of Nook Kitchen along with Chef Nick LaRosa and S. Barrett Rinzler of Square One Concepts. “The new interiors tell a similar story with the help of our in-house designers, CK Studio.  Nook Kitchen’s iconic blue door welcomes you into the newly renovated space that has been dramatically transformed into an intimate dining experience.  The interior is refined and sophisticated with a mix of dark and monochromatic patterns accented with pops of red and brass.  The bold Instagram mural located on the front face of the building is sure to grab one’s eye and direct them into the chic and stylish new build.”

The new location has a larger black marble bar, and a larger dining area overall featuring large booths to accommodate big parties, and a floor-to-ceiling upholstered wall of banquettes that delivers inviting spaces for guests to enjoy leisurely, cozy dining.

A pizza counter invites diners to watch pizza-making action up close with the golden Acunto M. Napoli pizza oven imported from Naples, Italy, said to be the birthplace of pizza.  Designed and built by hand by the Acunto family over four generations for more than 125 years, the authentic pizza oven is said to be “foundational” to the development of pizza itself.

S. Barrett Rinzler, President & CEO of Square One Concepts, and partner in this venture added: “The food is fantastic at Nook.  The neighborhood is incredible and we’re delighted to join Frank and Nick on this newest version of Nook Kitchen.  We know everyone in the area has been waiting for us to open and we’re pleased that Nick is at it again, delivering an excellent menu.”

Nook Kitchen in Arcadia presents a new menu, too, of Modern American selections by Chef Nick LaRosa, ranging from – yes – handcrafted pastas including Spaghetti and Meatballs, a lighter Ricotta Gnocchi and Joe’s Lasagna, in addition to entrees such as Espresso Rubbed Prime Filet, “Everything Salmon,” a combo of short rib and sirloin in a Handcrafted Burger, with plenty of tempting “Beginnings” that include a popular holdover from the previous Nook Kitchen “Arancini” but adding Brussels Chips and Fried Calamari, among others.    The new roster features refreshing custom cocktails and a wine list that doesn’t disappoint. 

Chef La Rosa, of course, also is known for his victorious stint on the Food Network’s ever-popular Chopped. LaRosa says his inspiration comes from his heritage and growing up in a large Sicilian family. He loves taking classic Italian dishes and putting his own twist on them. One of his personal favorites on this new menu is a grilled pork loin with house seasonings, served with gorgonzola risotto, roasted Cipollini onions, Brussels Chips and a poached winter pear in a cabernet reduction.

Nook Kitchen retains its celebrated location in Downtown Phoenix inside the Hilton Garden Inn, one that earned a 2016 Foodist Award by AZ BIG Media, and critically noted by Phoenix New Times for its city views, being among best new restaurants, Top 5 Places to Eat, among other accolades.  The Vairo-LaRosa duo intend to continue the quality flavors that have earned them critical acclaim.     


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