Main Street in Edgartown welcomed a new resident with old ties to the neighborhood two weeks ago when the Port Hunter opened its doors for business. Brothers Patrick and Ted Courtney have never run a restaurant before, but they have plenty of experience running businesses. The Courtney family owns several commercial properties in town, including the one now occupied by the Port Hunter at 55 Main Street, formerly In The Woods.
The idea was to create a space unique to the Vineyard, according to Patrick Courtney. All of the furniture, including the bar, tables, and chairs were handmade either on-Island or by a friend in Maine.
Combined with the brick walls and high ceiling, the atmosphere is at once chic and casual. You might find a gaggle of ladies having a night out at the bar, a quiet date night unfolding on the couch, or a family enjoying dinner in the corner, and no one looks or feels out of place. The Port Hunter is something different for Edgartown and just might fill a void we didn’t know was there.
There is a time and a place for all kinds of dining out at Edgartown’s eateries, including sushi and cocktails on the porch at the Shanty, date-night dinner at Détente, appetizers and drinks with friends at Alchemy, pizza before a movie at Lattanzi’s, and now oysters and wine at The Port Hunter.
While the main menu evolves, the oysters are a mainstay. On the current menu there are eight varieties, from Cheriton, Virginia, to Katama Bay. Each oyster listing is accompanied by a brief wine-like description with words like “sweet melon finish,” “toothy,” and “vegetal.”
Order a few of each to see how much one oyster can differ from another then test your palate and find the hints of celery in the Northern Cross from Virginia, the notes of butter and cream in the First Lights from Mashpee, and the simple sugar finish in the Katama Bay Sweet Necks.
Wine and oysters go together like bacon and eggs, strawberries and shortcake, peanut butter and chocolate, and The Port Hunter has a great, simple list of sparkling, whites, and reds from which to choose as well as beers on tap and a full bar.
Oysters are often a luxurious treat, but for some they elicit a bit of squeamishness. So for those people, there is another menu, from the kitchen, where things are cooked.
They have Prince Edward Island mussels in a white wine, parsley, and garlic broth and fried calamari, both great for sharing as well as a BLT on house-made focaccia; a burger served with sweet potato wedges; and a locally caught lobster roll, light on the mayo with celery and tarragon on a buttered roll served with hand-cut fries. The chefs, Matt Ramsey, Kevin Spada, and Jeremy Davis, have also been testing the waters with entrée specials such as steak with frites and roasted chicken.
For dessert, make your own ice cream sandwich. Start by choosing your ice cream: vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. Then pick the cookie: double chocolate, ginger snap, or thyme.
The Port Hunter is open Tuesday through Sunday for dinner and on Mondays for live music and raw bar. Oysters are $2.75 each, kitchen menu ranges from $10 to $20. Visit them on Facebook, at theporthunter.com, or call 508-627-7747 for information.