Nookies is open
No, pigs are not flying. No, this is not a September fool’s joke. Nookies opened for business this morning at 7am on the corner of Bryn Mawr and Winthrop. This story is so big we had to have two people contribute, and yet we still couldn’t come up with a clever or catchy title for this story. Nookies. Is. Open. I think those words say it all.
Chris and I each had the opportunity to each visit the restaurant separately for their preview event this weekend– and we both walked away extremely impressed. This new “upscale” version of the popular restaurant with locations in Old Town, Lincoln Park and Lakeview boasts a comfortable surrounding with superb and friendly service. No detail was spared, from the Italian crafted chairs and lamps, to the Brazialian wood in the floors or the wall of windows that open up to the sidewalk on the east side of the space overlooking Winthrop. Currently, Nookies is BYOB, but they plan to serve alcohol from the beautiful bar in the front. Oh yeah, and the food. The food was amazing as a well. Here’s a quick recap of our dining experiences.
Christopher: I attended two of their preview meals for dinner and brunch. As soon as I walked in I was warmly greeted by very friendly staff members who were both genuine and hospitable in nature. As this was a soft opening, I was expecting a few bumps in the road, however to my delighted surprise, there were very few.
Our wait staff for both dinner and brunch provided us with an outstanding experience and was very well versed in both the menu and their recommendations for our meal selections. For dinner we did a round robin style and sampled the chicken pot pie, tenderloin, BBQ ribs and a chicken parmesan style dish. Though not your typical Nookie’s fare, the food proved to be excellent in quality, taste, and presentation that exceeded our expectations.
And now to brunch! Again, we were warmly greeted with genuine smiles and hospitality. I was very impressed with the massive selection and price point the menu demonstrated. Items ranging from simple pancakes and waffles to country style benedicts and skillets all within a decent price, truly a taste for everyone. I would highly recommend the French press coffee over the traditional coffee if you are a coffee snob such as myself. For those of you who do not enjoy coffee, I would recommend the freshly squeezed orange juice.
Jeremy: I guess I’m already one Nookies meal behind Chris because I only attended one, a lunch on Sunday, but I’m eager to get number two under my belt (literally). On Sunday the place was packed with area residents and community leaders such as ASCO President and former Edgewater Chamber President Sheli Lulkin, current Edgewater Chamber President Jay Delaney, former Alderman Mary Ann Smith and others. I’m in complete agreement with Chris that both the staff and food were impressive. The hosts & hostesses at the door greeted us with warm smiles, and our server was quick to introduce himself, offer us beverages and answer any menu questions we had. Never did a water or coffee (they brew Metropolis) cup go empty, as the bus staff was quick to refill without being intruding.
The nine-page menu does offer a major challenge – what to order! Deciding on whether to have brunch or lunch was a task in itself, yet alone honing in on a single menu item. The expansive menu features everything from omelettes, five different benedicts, skillets and frittatas on the brunch side, and burgers, sandwiches, salads and five different grilled cheeses on the lunch side. I opted to go with a three cheese grilled cheese featuring pesto and tomatoes on sourdough bread which was accompanied by a fruit cup and a cup of their mouth-watering cream of chicken and rice soup. My dining companion opted to go the brunch route, with a smokehouse frittata made with mushrooms, bacon and caramelized onions. We were both delighted with our choices and discussed whether or not we’d be able to select something new the next time we returned from the nine page menu or order the same dishes again, they were that good.
Overall our experiences were excellent and we’re both certainly looking forward to dining at what we believe will become a new neighborhood favorite very soon!