So we wound up going to Nook for the tete-a-tete dinner. Arrived at just before seven and found a seat at the big table in the middle. Service was prompt and very friendly, the place was already on its way to being packed.
We split the crab cakes appetizer--they were full of crab flavor but not excessively oceanic, and the avocado relish on top added a nice cool undertone to the warm cakes. They're not big--two cakes about two inches in diameter each. But it was just enough to start the meal.
Friend had the rice bowl with tofu, which she seemed to enjoy. I didn't try any, but instead tucked into my crispy tilapia served with cubes of roasted beets and haricots verts in a mustardy dressing. The fish was very tasty, but I only ate half and polished off the vegetables. Sometimes beets can be overwhelming in their flavor and presence, but these were cut to just the right size so that I wasn't swamped with beet sweetness (which, incidentally, should be the name of someone's band).
For dessert, we split the banana bread pudding, which was marvelous, studded with bits of chocolate and served with a blob of whipped cream that quickly melted into a sauce. Only politesse kept me from grabbing the dish and finishing it myself.
Friend had a ginger ale and I had a Boylan's diet root beer. She grabbed the check before I could see it, so I don't know the total. By 8:30, when we left, there was a substantial amount of people waiting for tables, so we repaired to a nearby Starbucks (sorry!) for tea and further conversation.
Thanks again for reminding me what an awesome place Nook is! I'll have to remember to return more often.