If you’re looking for a great place to get some super-fresh seafood or sushi in a fun and relaxing atmosphere, then the Lookout tavern on the water in Oak Bluffs is your go-to spot. Not only is it known for the freshness of its food, but also as a great place to hang out. With a generous bar that easily accommodates a group of friends or a romantic cocktail (or two) and dinner on the porch with an incredible view of the ocean, you really can’t go wrong.
When I say on the water, I mean literally on the water! Sitting nearly diagonal from the Oak Bluffs ferry terminal, the tavern is just across the street from the ocean. It almost feels as though the fish could jump right up over the porch rail and onto your plate.
The tavern has been making customers happy in the same location for 20 years now, according to my insider waitress connection, Whitney Multari, who herself is entering her seventh season there. Whitney gave me a bit of the history of how their reputation for incredibly good sushi came about. Steve Loo is a rockstar in the sushi world, and he was the original chef there. After about 10 years he had the good fortune of meeting an eager and dedicated apprentice, Tony Ni, who, after many hours of dutiful training, took over the reins, and now is a sushi master in his own right. This will be Tony’s ninth year at the tavern, along with stints at the Net Result in Vineyard Haven, Edgartown Meat & Fish, and Rosewater Cafe. He really loves the art of the craft, and his dedication is apparent on your plate. Here’s just a sampling of the chef’s special maki selections:
- Volcano Roll — spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado, and tempura crunch inside with kabayaki sauce, spicy mayo, and tobiko for $21.50
- Steve’s Special Roll — spicy tuna and tempura crunch inside, outside avocado, salmon, tuna, eel, albacore, and yellowtail for $21.50
- Tony’s Special Roll — shrimp tempura and cream cheese inside, topped with white tuna, eel sauce, spicy mayo, and masago for $20.50
When my editor reached out to me to do a review of the place, I jumped at the chance, and we decided to partake together. We hit it at the right time — Happy Hour (Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 pm) — and dug right into a few of the app specials. We tried the Fried Calamari for $6.50 and the Coconut Shrimp for $6. Both were tasty and a great deal.
Since I’m a big sushi fan, my entreé decision was the Sushi Deluxe plate — nine pieces of assorted nigiri and one tekka maki at $26. It comes with hot miso soup and seaweed salad. My dining companion had to have her favorite entreé, the Salmon BLT with applewood smoked bacon and a spicy aioli sauce for $18.50. It comes with homemade potato chips which, well, who doesn’t love those! Both choices were delicious and fresh.
Soon the summer menu will be in full force, and that means fresh local lobster, steamers, clams, and oysters, but regardless of the time of year you go, you’re bound to have a great meal in a fun and happening hot spot.
The Lookout Tavern, 8 Seaview Ave. in Oak Bluffs; 508-696-9844 (they do not take reservations.) Spring hours: lunch, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 11:30 am to 4 pm. Dinner is served daily from 4 to 10 pm. The bar stays open until midnight.