Imagine a restaurant in which one can order just about any kind of food-seafood, pasta, hamburger, pizza, tacos, salad, or steaks. Chef Paul Turano’s restaurant Cook seeks to be just that. Turano envisioned a restaurant where diners could look at a menu with a wide variety of dishes that are not limited to one specific cuisine.
There are not many places in the city where one can order fried chicken, a wild mushroom flatbread pizza, shrimp tacos, or a kale and Brussels sprout salad from the same menu. That’s what makes Cook unique. No matter what your taste preferences are, Cook wants to make sure that there is an item on the menu that appeals to you. Turano says that the owners will frequently add to or change their menu in order to continue to broaden the assortment.
Cook has certainly succeeded as a restaurant that tries to attract a diverse audience. Its rustic yet modern atmosphere with hardwood floors and exposed light bulbs is at once stylish and casual, appealing to its varied customer-base that is made up primarily of Newton residents.
“[Newton] has a great demographic-lots of traffic, which makes it ideal for everyday restaurants,” Turano said. “Being close to BC brings lots of traffic, by definition.” He also says that while he does not get college kids very regularly, he is interested to see if there is a spike in attendance once school ends.
As it has garnered more interest, Turano has seen it become the “everyday restaurant” that he envisioned. Open for dinner seven days a week, lunch Monday through Friday, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday, one can get a meal at Cook almost anytime.
It is clear that Turano is passionate about his cooking. “Ever since I’ve been 5 years old, I wanted to be a chef,” he said. “The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do is own a restaurant.” With the recent opening of Cook, Turano is now the owner of two restaurants. His other restaurant is called Tryst, located in Arlington, and it is a little more upscale than Cook. Cook was designed to be a little more open-ended than Tryst, according to an interview with Turano in Newton Patch, a simplistic restaurant without much of the bells and whistles often associated with the industry. It’s supposed to be a comfortable destination-almost a second home for the customers.
Since graduating from culinary school at Newbury College in 1995, Turano has managed three restaurants already, and has quickly been acclaimed as one of Boston’s rising culinary stars. Turano has received many awards and accolades for his work, especially with Tryst, and he seeks to continue that success with Cook. Since it opened last September, Cook was an immediate hit.
Customers from all walks of life came through the doors-families, students, young people, old people. “We wanted to make Cook a restaurant for everyone,” Turano said. “We wanted it to become a restaurant they would never get tired of.”
He urges all the college students in the area to come check out Cook. “We’d love to see you come by,” Turano said. “Say hi to me if you stop in.”