Every time I go to Nat’s Nook, situated off Main Street in Vineyard Haven in exactly what it says — a nook — I enjoy it. Last week was no exception, and I had to remind myself that looking for that nook next to Soft as a Grape is indeed a good idea.
Times photo editor Gabrielle Mannino and I stopped in last week, not long before closing time, for a hot lavender latte and a couple of crepes, one savory and one sweet. Before I hunkered down at one of the cute wooden tables, with the metal chairs that have a steamy cup of coffee cut out on the backs, I just wanted a few minutes to take it all in. There are built-in bookshelves where you can pick up a copy of a classic novel and sit down on a comfy sofa, nestle in with a seriously good cup of coffee, and read. It’s also a great place to meet up with friends or to have a relaxed work meeting.
I met Sarah Manzolin, who’s worked at Nat’s Nook for two years and had nothing but glowing words to say about the place. “Are you just saying this because your boss is here?” I asked. Sarah laughed and said, “No, no. It’s been lovely ever since I first walked in the door.”
The owner, Natalie Grewal, said she opened the place about five years ago. “I wanted a space that felt like home and was cozy,” she said, “but I also wanted really good coffee.”
My Lavender Latte ($4.75 for a small) was pretty amazing. It had a hint of lavender, not an overwhelming flavor, and just right. I’ve had other lavender-infused drinks that taste like Dr. Bronner’s soap, and I was very happy to find just the right blend. I gave Gabrielle a sip, and she liked it too. Then I drank the rest.
Nat’s Nook is known for its crepes (and coffee), so that was next on my list. I thought it best to try the Avocado, Tomato, and Goat Cheese Crepe with arugula, mint, sunflower seeds, and raspberry dressing ($13). The thing about these crepes that I noticed right away — they’re big. Sharable big. It wasn’t just pretty and colorful, it tasted great. The ingredients were obviously fresh, and the dressing was a nice complement. Sarah told me this is one of the most popular items on the menu, besides the next thing I ordered: the Nutella Crepe with fresh strawberries and bananas with powdered sugar sprinkled on top ($10).
I have never met anyone who doesn’t like Nutella, and if I did, I don’t think I’d trust them completely. The chocolate hazelnut spread was pleasantly warm and coated the fruit perfectly. And again, it was large. Gabrielle looked somewhat interested, so I shared with her, and she was grateful.
I never make my own crepes, so going to a restaurant with terrific coffee where the crepes are stuffed with everything from scrambled eggs to yogurt to melted marshmallows suits me. Crepes are light and delicious, but if you’d rather stick to tradition and have a savory crepe made as a sandwich instead, you can do that too. That does mean you’re sort of unadventurous though. LIve a little.
Another thing I like about the place is that they sell local coffee, honey, and artists’ wares. And they serve gluten-free crepes for my GF companions. The next time you’re on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, look for the nook and stop in.
Nat’s Nook, 38 Main St., Vineyard Haven. Open 8 am to 3 pm every day. 508-338-2340; natsnookmv.com.