Photos and Words by the Trio
With every review, it seems like The Trio gets further and further from their beloved brunches. But the quality of food at the restaurants we’ve been visiting for dinner lately is just too good to pass up. The latest installment: Cook in Newton, MA. The Trio couldn’t wait to “get cooking!”
Cook looked and felt like your local neighborhood joint. Jordan could easily envision her family eating there on a Sunday afternoon and enjoying a football game on one of the large flat screen TVs that adorned the bar (“Go Packers!”). On one side of us, a string of young couples were sitting down for a date. On the other, families gathered for dinner. For us, Cook was the perfect place to catch up with friends. The open atmosphere extended throughout the entirety of the restaurant as you could easily watch the chefs prepare one of their tasty flatbreads in the wood-fired oven branded with their logo Cook overhead.
When Amanda spotted popcorn under the “snacks” section of the menu, it was a given that it would be coming to The Trio’s table. Popcorn ranks as Amanda’s favorite food of all time (yes, it even beats out Nutella). Cook’s rendition of the classic bar snack was excellent. The popcorn was coated in caramel and had bacon bits throughout. Although we were expecting the caramel popcorn to be sweet, the overall taste was surprisingly savory with a hidden peppery undertone. Popcorn might not be what you would consider a typical appetizer, but it was an unexpectedly delicious, light way to begin our meal.
Marisa wouldn’t even dream of walking into a restaurant without doing two things: 1. looking at the menu online and 2. stalking its Instagram page (it’s good to be an informed consumer, right?) Her pre-dining ritual made her decision at Cook very easy: Kale Salad with shrimp. This item was all over Instagram, and when Marisa placed her order the waiter responded, “So, you’ve been here before.” Marisa knew well and good that she was in for a treat, but the salad that arrived was even more beautiful than she had anticipated. Shrimp elegantly topped the greens, which were interspersed with brussel sprouts, hazelnuts, and parmesan. The salad was dressed with a verjus vinaigrette that was slightly sweet, but not overpowering. Marisa felt the simplicity of the dish was what made it so remarkable.
Amanda was intrigued by Cook’s large offering of flatbreads, and she had a lot of trouble deciding which would be best. In the end, Marisa pushed her towards the option with truffle (obviously) and she went with the Wild Mushroom Flatbread. She did not regret this decision. Besides mushrooms, the flatbread was loaded with fontina, ricotta, caramelized onion, and truffle. What made the dish so special was that you could taste each of the distinct flavors, but they all worked together to create an overall effect of “wow.”
Jordan, predictable as ever, once again turned to the assistance of their waiter for help picking out her meal. She was split between the smoky pepper grilled cheese and the burger. Our waiter had one question, “How hungry are you?” It was settled, she was getting the burger. While waiting for the meal to arrive, Jordan sipped on homemade cinnamon apple soda. The only thought that came to her mind was this was the liquid equivalent to homemade cinnamon applesauce. When the burger was placed in front of her and after taking an enamourous first bite, she could tell the chef wasn’t messing around. The burger was cooked perfectly to a medium rare and with every bite more and more juice continued to slide down her hands. Jordan also noted that you could taste the char from the grill which reminded her of the burgers her dad would make for a barbecue. Overall, it was a burger well worth getting her hands dirty for.
After we stuffed ourselves to the brim with good food, our waiter checked on us again and questioned whether we had room left for dessert. The answer: always. After debating the merits of each of the menu items, we decided on something light and shareable: Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Bites with gluten-free chocolate chip cookie crust. It was everything you could have asked for in a dessert. The cheesecake filling was creamy and delicious, covered in the perfect amount of chocolate to balance the flavors. However, the highlight by far was the gluten-free cookie crust. It was a sweet ending to a great meal.
Cook made us feel right at home. From the friendly staff to the neighborhood setting, we thoroughly enjoyed our Sunday night dinner. The chill vibe and good food created the ideal atmosphere for The Trio to cook up some good conversation.
25 Washington St
Newton, MA 02460
**Our meal was provided courtesy of Cook Restaurant, but this article only contains the honest and true opinions of The Trio.**