Last year, we told you that Nook Kitchen, an Arcadia neighborhood favorite, would open a second location in downtown Phoenix. As of today, April 6, Nook Kitchen is officially open to the public at 15 East Monroe Street inside the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown.
We took a tour of the space, which offers a thoughtful Art Deco-inspired design and a clean black, white, and gold color palette. Like the rest of the hotel, the restaurant pays homage to the building's original design and role as a bank in the early 1930s. As such, elements original to the building have been incorporated into the space, including a trio of grates that once stood near the building's elevators and a stained-glass window.
You'll also notice two columns original to the building that have been restored and painted white standing in the dining room.
A marble-topped hexagonal bar sits at the center of the space and, in a thoughtful touch for the business crowd, includes outlets and USB ports underneath. A trio of large TV screens hidden inside the upper portion of the bar — they're visible when you're sitting across but not throughout the rest of the restaurant — add appeal for those patrons who simply can't miss the big game.
And a row of hightop booths sits between the bar and the kitchen, mirroring the raised booths found at the Arcadia restaurant.
The restaurant's wine takes center stage in an vertical storage system that doubles as a partition between the bar and the semi-private dining room. With the capability to hold 1,188 bottles of wine, it makes an impressive visual element in addition to offering quite a bit of functionality.
One of the restaurant's biggest draws may be the 34-seat patio, which sits on the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Monroe Street. From the outdoor space, guests have views of the Hotel San Carlos and Westward Ho, adding to the historical feeling of both the restaurant and hotel.
As far as the menu, Nook's downtown location will offer an more expansive menu than that found at the original location. Highlights include chef Nick LaRosa's Puerco Carnitas, which comes with salsa verde, corn and carrot risotto, grilled green onion, and gringo cream. The new Eggplant Parmesan Napoleon has also been popular and is composed of eggplant with roasted garlic, pomodoro, and house-pulled mozzarella.
The familiar selection of pizza rosso and bianco — including the Giardino, made with mozzarella, spinach, caramelized onion, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and garlic, and the Cacio e Pepe with mozzarella, fontina, Parmesan, roasted peppers, basil, and cracked peppers — will be available.
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Nook Kitchen at the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
In addition to serving lunch and dinner in the restaurant, Nook will serve food throughout the hotel lobby and will be available for in-room delivery.
For more information, check the Nook Kitchen website.