Nook: Arcadia's Trattoria Speakeasy

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Nook is an improbably low-profile restaurant.

It sits between chef-driven spots Beckett's Table from Justin Beckett and Cullen Campbell's Crudo in Arcadia's Gaslight Square. It's blocks away from establishments of Valley tastemakers Vincent Guerithault and Mark Tarbell (not to mention the new headquarters of Fox Restaurant Concepts). And, as the name would suggest, it's a small space -- a long, narrow room with a wall of oversize booths on one side, an extended bar on the other, and rows of low lights hanging over each.

All of which make Nook a kind of trattoria speakeasy, which is to say it's a nice spot for a glass of wine and (mostly) satisfying Italian eats but still inconspicuous enough to stay off the restaurant radar of East Phoenix's who's who. And if that's the kind of place you're looking for, welcome to the neighborhood.

See also: Shout-Outs to Those Who Made Our Dining Critic's Year Especially Interesting

Here's an excerpt from this week's review:

"But you have probably come here for the pizzas, and Nook's Neapolitan-style pies, while not reaching the gourmet greatness of the Valley's best, are a solid bet. Their success comes as a result of doing the traditional well enough so that it's easy to enjoy them more as thoughtful meals than just things to plow through while watching the game showing on the TVs above the bar. There are eight 12-inch varieties, each featuring a well-salted crust that's charred and crisp at the rim, thin and soft everywhere else."

Hungry for more? Read my full review of Nook in Arcadia.

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