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The Martha's Vineyard Times

The Martha's Vineyard Times is a weekly publication.
July 14 - July 20, 2005 Edition
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July 14, 2005

There is no new Edibles story this week.

New eateries: from elegant to exuberant
July 7, 2005

By Julian Wise

Kevin and Suzanna Crowell's restaurant Détente offers a cozy Edgartown retreat. Photo by Ralph Stewart
Whether you want an intimate and elegant dining ambience with contemporary gourmet delicacies, or a hearty Southwestern feast with south of the border beverages in a casual setting, two brand-new establishments in this season’s dining scene offer it all.

Nestled in the cozy confines of Edgartown’s Nevin Square, Detente offers a secluded respite from the bustle of summer. Proprietors Kevin and Suzanna Crowell have created a fusion of contemporary American cuisine with French and Italian influences to offer an elegant dining experience. The warm, inviting ambience of the interior harkens to classic European restaurants, with the banquette and bar areas colored in soothing burgundies, gold, and natural wood hues. Photographs of the Crowells’ trips to Europe line the walls and an outdoor terrace permits candlelight dining during the summer months. The soapstone bar serves tapas-style appetizers for those looking to enjoy something lighter with a glass of wine rather than a full meal.

Chef Kevin’s specialties include beef tenderloin served over potato gratin with spinach, sauterne verblanc, and shaved fois grois. The rack of lamb is served with goat cheese beignet with red wine-braced carrot, fava beans, and spiced lamb reduction. Halibut is served pan-seared with a fennel pollen dusting in artichoke bisque with crispy potato dumplings, oven-dried tomato, and hearts of palm salad. The wine list currently features more than 110 varieties from all over the world, with many that will surprise wine aficionados.

Sharky’s Cantina on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs is the latest incarnation of Cafe Olé. It’s a great place to get a quality burrito at an affordable price. Proprietors Jesse Martin, Josh Aronie, and Jon Blau have created a festive, casual venue with a varied and flavorful menu of authentic Mexican fare. The decor features southwestern hues of tans, reds, and blues punctuated by neon beer lights and chalkboard paint by the windows featuring inscriptions like “No lifeguard on duty — have fun at your own risk,” and “When you’re feeling low you gotta try the pico de gallo.” Salsa and mariachi music set the tone for patrons who can choose between bar and table seating.

While Sharky’s features a full bar with 27 varieties of tequila, a dozen beers, and popular mixed drinks like mojitos, sangria, and margaritas (the passionfruit and blueberry mint are favorites), the emphasis first and foremost is on food. The kitchen serves from 11am to 12:20 am daily, offering authentic Mexican and southwestern dishes. Chef Jesse Martin learned the ins and outs of Mexican cooking while living in California and the restaurant imported cooks from New Mexico to instruct Sharkey’s kitchen staff in the fine points of southwestern cuisine.

Premier dishes include the Sharky’s Super Grande burrito, which features a flour tortilla stuffed with meat or fish, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo. The generous portion disappears quickly in a series of satisfying bites. Sharky’s Super Grande nachos include homemade tortilla chips, melted cheese, jalapeno peppers, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and beans. The Super Tacos feature two tortillas stuffed with meat, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, and guacamole, served with a wedge of lime. They can be ordered with fish, steak, shrimp, or lobster. The Cuatros Leches (four creams) dessert is a delectable spongecake soaked in condensed and evaporated heavy cream and coconut milk with an orange reduction. The effect is a tantalizing rum-like flavor that melts in one’s mouth.
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