As September fades to October, some of your favorite restaurants are getting ready to lock up until spring. What better time to visit them than now?
The crowds are gone and some chefs, like Pete Gwilliam at the Chilmark Tavern, are channeling their efforts into creative fall-inspired menus. If you haven’t yet, be sure to get to the Chilmark Tavern this weekend as it’s their last of the season. Remember, Chilmark is a dry town so bring your own beverages and keep in mind that the Tavern keeps their bar well-stocked with mixers and elixirs to make just about any cocktail, including a few specialties like the Bee’s Knees, with Island lavender honey syrup and lemon. Call 508-645-9400 for reservations.
Menemsha is holding strong for a few more weeks. The Home Port is open until October 9, though they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Bite hasn’t decided on when to call it a season just yet, but they promise at least a “couple of more weeks” of fried summer snacks like clams, jalapeno poppers, and fish sandwiches. It’s not too cold for ice cream yet! Get down to The Galley before Columbus Day. They’re open during the week until 3, Saturday until sunset (which is happening around 6:45 pm these days), and Sunday until 5 pm.
The Aquinnah Shop is open until Columbus Day weekend, October 8 and 9, serving breakfast and lunch in the most idyllic setting. Hopefully the weather will cooperate, allowing for at least one or two more mornings warm enough to enjoy blue corn waffles or the Tomahawk Special: fish cakes with eggs, salsa, and cheese. Eat outside overlooking the Gay Head cliffs and the boats responsible for the fish on your plate. Though sushi is done for the season, Faith Vanderhoop is keeping Faith’s Seafood Shack open until late October. Visit her on the Cliffs for homemade lobster bisque, Angus steak chili, fish tacos, meatball subs, and more. Across the way, Dreamcatcher is planning to close on October 10.
Blue Canoe Grill overlooks Vineyard Haven harbor and offers a lengthy menu. Appetizer samplers will give you a little taste of everything, or choose from seasonal soups, salads, and sandwiches. Entrees like seafood risotto with shrimp, scallops, calamari, mussels, and sweet peas range from $23 to $44. Call after 3 pm for reservations: 508-693 3332, and get in before Columbus Day.
Giordano’s closed their dining room for the season last weekend but you can still get pizza and fried goods from the take-out window until Columbus Day. Up the street at The Sweet Life Café, chef Scott Ehrlich is working on a seasonal fall menu to carry them through the end of their season on October 1.
The Oak Bluffs harbor will start shutting down soon. Lobsterville celebrated a successful second season last weekend with a closing party. The Sand Bar and Grill is offering $2 and $3 beers and $6 cocktails before they finish up on Sunday, Sept. 25. Fishbones and Nancy’s will shut down on Columbus Day. Nancy’s is working on a fall menu and football fare. Stop in on a Sunday and nibble on game-day fare like chili fries. Brian Langhammer at Dinghy Dogs promises to serve “the best hot dogs on the Island” until they shut his water off — no telling when that might be.
The Coop is going out with a bang on October 22 with their second annual pig roast, with an 180-lb. pig. The event is all day with live music. They close for the season the next day, Sunday, Oct. 23. The Coop does a raw bar special every day from 3 to 5 pm. Stop in to see what they’ve got. Monday is the lobster roll special, with fries for $12.50; Tuesday is still Lobsterfest for $14.99; and Thursday is the clambake, all-inclusive with mussels, steamers, potatoes, etc., for $29.99. Owner Petey Brandt is excited about the fall beers he has on tap like the Pipeline porter, Octoberfest, and Pumpkin Ale. Go for live music on Friday and Sunday afternoons depending on football game time.
The Lookout Tavern has started their shoulder season specials again. Get your raw bar fix Monday through Friday before 6 pm for the best deal on shrimp ($1.50), clams ($1.25), and oysters ($1.75). Hopefully they will start offering 25 percent off sushi on Sundays in October. They will be open until late October.
October will be a month of goodbyes for Edgartown restaurants. Chesca’s will be the first to close on Columbus Day. Get to Among the Flowers for breakfast and lunch before October 16, but you’ll have to wait on dinner until next season because dinner stopped on Labor Day. The Seafood Shanty is open until October 15 with a DJ at 10 pm on Friday and Saturday nights until then.
Lure Grill has a new autumn menu with seasonal goodies like sweet potato soup with roasted chicken and caramelized apples and an open faced meatloaf sandwich with onion rings, bacon, and mushroom gravy. Lure is open until late October and is currently offering the Islanders Stay for Free special where customers get a free night’s stay at the hotel when they purchase two dinners (a $25 housekeeping fee per suite applies).
The Atlantic is open until Halloween, October 31, offering their dinner menu until 11 pm. They have a steady lineup of live music such as The Sultans of Swing, Jon Zeeman and Mike Benjamin, and a DJ to keep you dancing on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Flatbread Company at Nectar’s is serving their wholesome, hearty pizzas at 5 pm every night until they close on October 30. Check them out on Facebook or at nectarsmv.com for information about live entertainment and fundraising dinners.
Lola’s celebrated their “going to bed” for the season with a pajama party and buffet last weekend. They’ll be back in May 2012, but with a new look. Owners Kathy and Paul Domitrovich are teaming up with Christian and Greer Thornton of Atria in Edgartown to make Lola’s the Island’s premier function space. They expect to be able to accommodate 150 to 200 people easily in an indoor space. The outside space is getting a makeover too. The lawn and gardens are being designed to create an ideal wedding–ceremony setting. There is talk of menu changes as well, but we’ll have to wait until May for details on that.