Dining out on Christmas day on Martha’s Vineyard


On Christmas Day, downtown streets can be completely empty. Most stores are closed, their patrons having long since checked off their shopping lists, but even on Christmas, some restaurants are still doing business.

While Chinese food is sometimes considered to be the traditional alternative option for eating out on Christmas, there are a number of other restaurants that are keeping their hallways decked this holiday.

A typical Christmas Day is a tale of two halves. After the ebullience of unwrapping presents and the rapture of having one’s family present, the lighthearted morning can run into the burden of preparing supper. Many a romantic Christmas dinner has crashed into the anticlimactic chore of cleanup.

Several restaurants, such as Water Street at the Harbor View Hotel, located at 131 N. Water St. in Edgartown, and The Terrace at The Charlotte Inn, located on S. Summer St. in Edgartown, would be pleased to do all of the work for you.

Previously known as the Coach House, Water Street at the Harbor View has been open for years now, but this is its first time open on Christmas. Usually only open on weekends in the winter, the restaurant has prepared a separate menu for its Christmas feast. For $45, each patron gets to choose one of three entrées and three of five sides. Dinner is served from 4 to 8 pm, and reservations are recommended.

Picture having thyme-crusted cod seasoned with almond and lemon vinaigrette, or Berkshire pork loin with an apple and mango chutney, plate piled high with potatoes and greens. For dessert, choose from three options, your taste likely changing depending on how stuffed you are from indulging in your entrée.

“We’re usually closed over Christmas, and we’re excited to be open this year,” said Water Street’s director of marketing and events, Elizabeth Rothwell. “Our chef, Shaun Brian Sells, just received an honor from Zagat, which named him one of the ‘Boston Area’s top 30 under 30.’ He’s designed a family-style dinner menu, which is a little different. We typically do large buffets, but we thought the family style approach would be a good one for Christmas.”

The Harbor View’s bar, Henry’s, will be open from 11:30 am until 9 pm for drinks and food. They will have their full pub-style menu and no reservations are required.

The Terrace is tucked inside The Charlotte Inn, enclosed and decorated for the holiday. The Terrace will have its regular menu, along with some Christmas specials, including a roasted prime rib dinner accompanied by classic side dishes including au gratin potatoes and Brussel sprouts. The Terrace also recommends reservations.

On the casual side of things, Sharky’s Cantina in Oak Bluffs will be open for its eighth Christmas. They will be open (Oak Bluffs only) from 12 noon till at least midnight, with a full menu all day.

“We’ll have a bunch of holiday drink specials, and we’ll be featuring a Christmas quesadilla, which debuts a few days before Christmas,” said Sharky’s owner JB Blau. “It’s a good day for the staff, who work on a volunteer basis. It’s very well received.”

Many more restaurants, such as Le Grenier in Vineyard Haven and Lattanzi’s in Edgartown, remain open for Christmas Eve but are closed for the holiday itself.

A highlight of dining out is getting up and walking away from the table. Dirty dishes are whisked away by restaurant staff, and the diners are free to enjoy their evening. May your Christmas be merry and your dinner be better than ever.

For reservations to The Terrace, call 508-627-6227.

For reservation to Water Street, call 508-627-3761.