Often I feel that I am just visiting, wherever I happen to be, but some places just feel so comfortable that I feel right at home the first time I visit. A Slice of Life restaurant on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs is one of those places with its good service and food that is less than a spec short of terrific. It has a cozy, tucked away feel, perhaps because the entrance is on the side of the building, which makes it feel more like entering someone's kitchen door than a restaurant.
The sense of intimacy also results from the modest space filled with small tables and room for only 40 or so diners. Then there's the laid-back style, the reasonable prices, and the almost inevitable smiles on the faces of the staff whenever I enter.
I called once to check their hours and was told by the person who answered the phone that she really hoped to see me there sometime soon. I don't consider myself to be a lonely heart type, but I believed her.
It's the kind of place that makes me terribly conflicted. Should I share it with the world or keep it to myself, and hold on to it as my own little slice of life?
Owners Mary and Jackson Kenworth can often be found either behind the counter or at the grill respectively. Five years ago, they spun off A Slice of Life from their upscale restaurant The Sweet Life Café and they brought their touch for fine cuisine with them. The Sweet Life was sold last year so they now concentrate on the Slice.
Everything they serve has an extra touch, a garnish or a flavor, or more often flavors, that come as a pleasant surprise on that first bite. Mr. Kenworth says consistency is his main goal. He wants every bite of every dish to be great. They do their best to buy from Island farmers and fisherman and their breads are baked just for them.
They rate right up there with the best breakfast offerings on the Island. The breakfast menu is large. Their numerous signature scrambles include The Ocean Park with farm fresh eggs, tomatoes, apple wood smoked bacon and cheddar cheese; and the State Beach, eggs with portabella mushrooms, arugula and Mozzarella. You can get pancakes with sweet butter and Vermont maple syrup or you can order just eggs and sausage if you want. They keep a fully stocked bakery case filled with tantalizing confections and their coffee and espresso are made from premium beans. Their Mighty Leaf tea is recommended.
The lunch menu is also large. There are soups and salads, gourmet-style pizzas, burgers, vegetarian offerings, and sandwiches. Try the fried green tomato, a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, or the Cuban panini. I haven't had anything I didn't like. Most items on all of their menus are available for take out as well.
Dinner is a gourmet experience without the hype. It's really all about the food. I can swear by the roasted cod, served with sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, roasted garlic, smoked bacon, caramelized onions and truffle oil over mashed potatoes, and the pan seared salmon which comes with roast vegetable hash and a citrus vinaigrette. They have a modest beer and wine menu. It has variety at good prices.
You might want to go just for the desserts, but I wouldn't even look at the dessert menu unless you are prepared to face the irresistible. They are well worth the trip.
Sit out on the enclosed porch raised just a bit above the sidewalk so you can be unobserved but not so high that you can't greet a friend who might pass by. Enjoy a wonderful eating experience and catch the life on Circuit Avenue. It's "A Slice of Life" worth savoring.