Spend a night at the bar at Cook, a new restaurant in Newton, and you may wind up knowing more about the bartender and the people sitting next to you than you do about your own neighbors. Unless, of course, the people sitting next to you are your neighbors, which is very likely. Many conversations here begin with some version of “We live just down the block” or “This is the closest place to our house.” Cook opened in September, a project from chef Paul Turano, who is also behind Tryst in Arlington, a neighborhood staple. Cook is quickly becoming one too.
The restaurant has been busy from the get-go; show up on a Friday night without reservations and be ready for a long wait. No matter where you stand, you are in the way of a server trying to get a full tray to a table in the dining area, a high-top, or a second bar facing the pizza oven.