Took Mom to Nook last night (actually she took us) as an alternate to her bi-weekly Billingsley's trek and we're glad we did. She lives three blocks away. It was her first visit and our second and the simple modern setting already feels familiar and cozy. She liked the warm boiled peanuts in the shells served upon arrival, announcing, "I've seen Paula Dean do these on her show!" They were like a southern edamame and the hot shells felt good in our cold hands. The Nook salad for $7 was a nice baby lettuce mix with fresh beets and a flavorful beet juice vinaigrette. I started with a cup of the vegetarian chili bean soup which had a good kick for $4.
Mom's leary of things like a soy-orange emulsion but it turned out to be much like a lovely orange flavored buerre blanc that the server was happy to put on the side, so she enjoyed the snapper for $17 with fresh vegetables that it was intended for. We also tried the generous, moist, lightly crisp half chicken with a tart frisee and lardon salad for $18 and the atypical brown rice bowl for $11 with organic chicken and vegetables.
A surprisingly lush Rodney Strong cab for $7 by the glass and a wonderful Belle (?) Oregon pinot for $9 recommended by the manager was a highlight. We finished with coffee and two excellent desserts: a custardy chocolate bread pudding and a very smooth ginger creme brulee which Mom proclaimed the best she's had in awhile. She hates when it's grainy. Both were $5 and the final bill before tip was $109. Billingsley's - watch out!