Newtonville’s Cook is a nice neighbor to have

Clockwise top: the lamb kofte pita is nicely spiced; kale salad includes Brussels sprouts; and Cook’s NFC (Newton Fried Chicken) comes with mashed potatoes, slaw, and a biscuit.
Clockwise top: the lamb kofte pita is nicely spiced; kale salad includes Brussels sprouts; and Cook’s NFC (Newton Fried Chicken) comes with mashed potatoes, slaw, and a biscuit.PHOTOS BY BARRY CHIN/GLOBE STAFF

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COOK

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.

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