Good Taste: David Ryan’s in Edgartown employs new chef

Good Taste: David Ryan’s in Edgartown employs new chef

You know where David Ryan’s is, tucked in on North Water Street in the heart of Edgartown, but have you been in for lunch or dinner recently? David Ryan’s has long been a popular nightspot, especially in the summer. And now, with new chef Stephen Pond on board, you may want to familiarize yourself with the new additions and changes.

Bob and Shelly O’Neil, along with Shelly’s dad, John Reveruzzi, bought David Ryan’s in the spring of 2005. Mr. O’Neil had been working at the restaurant for 14 years doing everything from bartending to managing before he approached the previous owner about buying it. (David Ryan is the previous owner’s son; the O’Neil’s and Mr. Reveruzzi decided to keep the name when they bought it.) The owners are thrilled about their talented new chef and the ideas he has, as is Jim Dinardo, who has frequented David Ryan’s for more than a decade, and thinks that Mr. Pond is “Just what Ryan’s needed.”

Steph, as he likes to be called, arrived on the Island about eight weeks ago. He has been visiting to fish on Chappaquiddick for years and always dreamt of calling Martha’s Vineyard home. Finally, in October, the opportunity presented itself and Mr. Pond arrived in his 1988 Jeep Wagoneer with not much more than his clothes, fishing rods, and hunting bow, to take over the kitchen at David Ryan’s.

A self-described “scratch chef,” he makes all his sauces and dressings in-house. He’s been testing his new dishes on the kitchen, bar, and wait staff, welcoming their suggestions and input. “They know the pulse of the locals, and what they want,” he says.

Cooking since he was 14, Mr. Pond is no stranger in the kitchen. He attended the Culinary Institute of America for two years and has traveled extensively, studying a range of cooking styles. “Cooking is a passion and I’ve let it guide me to where I need to be.”

He’s working on revamping David Ryan’s lunch and dinner menu, adding some of his own dishes while holding on to house favorites. Mr. Pond doesn’t consider himself a “recipe-guy,” claiming he doesn’t have a signature dish, (though his homemade IPA-chipotle barbecue sauce is creating quite a stir).

David Ryan’s offers a special “5-6-7″ lunch menu everyday, with offerings at $5, $6, and $7. The menu varies, but last week for $5 was a BBQ pulled-pork sandwich on a bulkie roll with cheddar cheese and homemade coleslaw. For $6, you could have had homemade meatballs in a sub roll with melted mozzarella and chips, and for $7, a beef burger with buffalo sauce, bleu cheese, and hand-cut fries.

On Friday and Saturday nights, David Ryan’s offers a three-course dinner ranging from $15 to $25 depending on your entrée. Along with a main dish, it includes your choice of soup, homemade chowder, or a mixed green salad, dessert, and either a glass of wine or a beer. Try the turkey pot pie ($15): oven-roasted turkey, winter veggies, and a pastry crust; or the garlic crusted 14 oz. prime rib ($25) served with veggies of the night and Gorgonzola mashed potatoes.

Other menu items include shrimp a la vodka ($18), sautéed shrimp with prosciutto and a home-made vodka sauce over whole wheat penne; or try the BBQ combo ($16), a half chicken and baby back ribs in Mr. Pond’s special BBQ sauce that is just the right balance of smoky and sweet, served with cheddar jalapeñ;o cornbread and homemade coleslaw.

David Ryan’s is open everyday, serving lunch and dinner from 11:30 am to 9 pm. The upstairs dining room, complete with a full bar, is available for your holiday party, luncheon, etc., and Mr. Pond is eager to work with you on a specialized menu to suit your party needs.