Good Taste: A look back at 2013 in the Martha’s Vineyard restaurant...

Good Taste: A look back at 2013 in the Martha’s Vineyard restaurant world

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Earlier this season, Al King and Jeff Wingo expanded Skinny's Fat Sandwiches to The Lampost. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

2013 was a year filled with hellos and goodbyes. We welcomed new faces and businesses and said farewell to Vineyard standbys. There have been changes in ownership, the yearly chef shuffle, and renovations to spaces and menus. Here is a selection of what’s happened in the restaurant world on the Vineyard in 2013:

In early February we mourned the closing of a longtime hangout, Season’s Eatery and Pub, a mainstay on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs for more than 20 years. The restaurant and bar were popular for late night dancing, karaoke, pub grub, and sushi, and during recent winters, the ability to play in the game room next door. The building has remained vacant since the closing; what will 2014 bring for the location?

The Lampost in Oak Bluffs, known for its nightclub atmosphere, pool tables, and bars, branched out this spring when they started serving food. Al King from Skinny’s Fat Sandwiches partnered with The Post to offer burgers, wings, and more. Next-door neighbor The Ritz also started serving food again.

New to Circuit Avenue this summer was Fat Ronnie’s, a burger joint with an open storefront, inviting customers to build their own burgers with a range of toppings at no additional charge. The sleek space with a cool vibe was a welcome sight to the late-night munchies crowd, who enjoyed burgers until 1 am.

Also new to Circuit Avenue was Pear Tree Pastry and Provisions, a takeout and specialty food store, owned by Jennifer and Peter Smyth of A Slice of Life, located across the street. Along with packaged artisanal goods, patrons picked up pre-made sandwiches, salads, smoothies, coffee, baked goods, and desserts.

Edgartown was big on beverages in 2013. Three liquor stores and three coffee shops opened this year, offering a range of libations. During the summer, hip duo Coffee Culture and sister boutique Vintage M.V. Wine & Spirits opened in Nevin Square, under the ownership of John Clift and Sara Webber.

Tocco Puro next to Pure Touch Salon, both owned by Jay and Mindy Kirwin, created made to order coffee in an Italian-inspired setting.

Behind the Bookstore, literally tucked behind Edgartown Books, offered a wide selection of drinks and goodies that could be enjoyed in the secret garden-like atmosphere outside.

The Port Supply Co., owned by the Courtney Family, across the street from the Courtney’s restaurant The Port Hunter, opened its Main Street liquor and supply store, ready to outfit summer soirees, picnics, and parties.

Just in time for the holidays, M.V. Wine & Spirits opened its doors to their new airport location. Formerly Town Provision Company, the McGroarty family’s expanded location offers a wider selection of beverages and food items.

Right around the corner at the airport, The Plane View Restaurant started serving beer and wine.

Bob and Sarah Nixon, owners of The Beach Plum Inn and Restaurant and The Home Port in Menemsha, gave a facelift to both properties in 2013. Chef Matthew Safranek and manager Angela Vezzose joined The Home Port team and revamped the menu while still offering classic Home Port favorites.

Chef Chris Fischer took the reins at the Beach Plum Restaurant and renovated the dining space as well as the cuisine, focusing on sourcing seasonal food from Vineyard land and sea. His celebrated Sunday supper series were a favorite among locals.

Sweet Life Café in Oak Bluffs transferred ownership to Kevin and Suzanna Crowell, owners of Détente Restaurant in Edgartown. While the building and atmosphere remained the same, the menu was crafted to reflect the innovative cuisine coming from Détente.

Café Moxie in Vineyard Haven and Lucky Hank’s in Edgartown both celebrated their one-year anniversary, Moxie in its new renovated state.

Edgartown gained a chocolate store and lost a pasta shop. Not Your Sugar Mamas opened a second location on Winter Street, expanding the chocolate empire. The Fresh Pasta Shoppe, an Edgartown institution, sadly closed its doors after years of flipping dough for their specialty pizza pies. Deon Thomas, formerly of The Cornerway in Chilmark and Deon’s in Oak Bluffs, transferred his talents to the VFW, cooking hot meals for its patrons. Bad Martha, a new brew named after our naughty namesake, also arrived this year.

Trends for 2013 included outdoor seating. The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven added a 27-seat wooden covered patio where guests could enjoy their meals in the shade. Sharky’s Cantina in Oak Bluffs created an alleyway tiki-inspired seating area adorned with shark paraphernalia where diners could enjoy their food alfresco. Renovations at Farm Neck Café in Oak Bluffs included an enclosed patio overlooking the golf course.

What to look for in 2014:

In early December we said goodbye to pizza and Italian food legend Lattanzi’s in Edgartown. In 2014 we can look forward to more Italian food with Peter Sullo of Rocco’s taking over the space.

Copper Wok at the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven has been on our radar for a while. Islanders have been chomping at the bit for the Asian inspired restaurant to open. When will owner JB Blau unlock the doors? We will have to wait until 2014 to find out.

The iconic location that once housed Papa’s Pizza, Pomodoro’s, and Deon’s remained vacant in 2013. What does this year hold? Renee and John Molinari of Beetlebung clothing and coffee have spread their roots to Oak Bluffs, and will open a coffee house by day, a small plates lounge by night.