Labor Day has come and gone and the Island seems to be running at a slower pace. Locals come out of summer hibernation and begin to show their faces at their favorite restaurants and watering holes. Now that reservations and mid-week hour-long waits are rarer and parking spaces are more plentiful, where will you go for one last hurrah?
Here are some favorite restaurants and dishes of Islanders from this summer, as well as places that locals want to try before the end of the season.
Steven PremDas is excited to try the The Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs. “It’s changed ownership over the years, and this year we haven’t tried it yet, so we figured that we would wait until it’s calmed down to try it. I want to see what they have to offer, they’re usually pretty creative. I’d like to go when it’s still warm enough, because it has a great outside.”
Kathryn Townes frequents the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company in Oak Bluffs. Her favorite waitress is Princess, and her favorite meal consists of mussels for an appetizer and chicken as an entree.
“The gravy is amazing. I want the recipe.”
The gravy accompanying the pan roasted chicken breast is a truffle plum butter sauce that is served with smashed potatoes and green beans. The mussels at Chowder Company are steamed in a chili coconut sauce with lemongrass and served with toasted bread. To wash it all down, Ms. Townes likes the South Beach Martini, a cocktail made with cucumber vodka, lemon and lime juices, agave simple syrup, and mint.
“I use the Sharky’s card so I get free rewards. I get discounts at Sharky’s and Chowder Company and free appetizers,” Kathryn says.
Katie Gould Bushey has been to the restaurant at the Beach Plum Inn in Chilmark twice this summer. “The first time I sat outside and had dinner on the deck and watched the sunset, and the next time, our reservation was a little later, so we went early and had a cocktail on the deck before we went inside to eat. There was a group of us that went, we ordered the whole chicken and that was for about three to four people, so we split that, along with the rabbit with pork belly and the lobster dish. For appetizers we had fresh tomatoes and pig head terrine and for dessert we got a grilled peach drizzled with honey. The best part about it, it’s BYOB and they take the Island Card, so you get 20 percent off all food. It’s really a great deal if you are a local person.”
Corinna Black is a fan of The Net Result in Vineyard Haven. “Our favorite thing this summer has been Net Result takeout. We’ve gone there once a week and got sushi and fish sandwiches, and it’s always awesome. If you call it in, you don’t have to wait in line; you can go over to the fish counter and pick it up.” Her go-to sushi, “definitely spicy tuna or the dragon roll.”
Ryan Bushey had great meals at both Chesca’s in Edgartown and the Outermost Inn in Aquinnah. “Chesca’s halibut is always one of my favorites. It’s halibut over white beans and tomatoes and has a really nice broth. Chesca’s has consistently good food.”
The Outermost Inn was also a stand out. “Everything we got was really good, we all ordered something different. We had heard that it was expensive, but if you are going to go out to dinner, it’s an experience, driving up there and hanging out at Hugh’s new bar outside, enjoying the sunset and a good meal.”
Katrina Delgadillo is a devotee to the lobster tacos at Hooked in Oak Bluffs. “Every time I go, I get them. It’s only an appetizer but they are the perfect size, because then you can get dessert.”
For drinks, Ms. Delgadillo has a couple of suggestions. “The watermelon cocktail is really good and they have good sangria. It’s sparkling sangria.”
Alyssa Venincasa and Traeger Di Pietro are regulars at Sidecar in Oak Bluffs. “We are big fans. I like the burger, I always get the burger with sweet potato fries and coleslaw. I think it’s my favorite burger, well, Atria is really good too. It’s all I had this summer, and the eggs, they always change,” says Ms. Venincasa.
You can find the Island deviled eggs on the menu under The Devil Makes 3. On a recent night the flavors were traditional, pancetta, and tabasco. The Sidecar burger is loaded with balsamic onions and zucchini pickles served on a thyme focaccia bun with sweet cabbage slaw and fries. Another favorite of Ms. Venincasa is the local swiss chard and kale salad, with roasted sunflower seeds, bacon bits, dried cranberries, Roqufort, tossed in a warm bacon vinaigrette.
On a recent night, Mr. Di Pietro tried the bloody Mary steak. “The steak was very yummy. The way he slices it almost makes me like the steak 100 times more, because he slices it on an angle, and he does it every time I have a steak here…I give it an A plus plus.”