February food happenings on Martha’s Vineyard

Oysters, oysters, oysters will tempt tasters at Wednesday's benefit for the M.V. Shellfish Group and the Edgartown Growers Assoc. at the Harbor View Hotel. — Photo by Kaylea Moore

February is one of those months when people don’t want to leave their house. They hunker down with stocked fridges and pantries and catch up on past seasons of hit T.V. shows, bestselling books, and Oscar-nominated movies.

People claim that there’s nothing to do on Martha’s Vineyard in the winter, that it’s too cold to go outside, that the light dusting of snow prohibits them from driving for the rest of the day. But the reason why a lot of us choose to live here is because we like being part of our small Island community. During the winter, various organizations and groups make sure there are plenty of activities to keep Island living vibrant. There are also numerous fundraisers and benefits that count on the support of the community.

Make February the month to try something new. Check out all the Island has to offer, and be on the lookout for community events centered around the Olympics, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, or Black History Month. Here is just a selection of what’s happening in the next week.

Local Farmer’s Brunch

This Sunday, Feb. 9, from 10 am to 1 pm, join Island farmers over brunch at the Chilmark Community Center to hear tales about the joys and challenges of raising food on Martha’s Vineyard. This intimate event, hosted by Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard, will feature local ingredients paired with stories from local farmers. All you can eat offerings include organic buckwheat waffles, greens, frittata from Island eggs, Mermaid Farm yogurt, Massachusetts apple crisp, and Chilmark Coffee. The feast of local food will be served from 10 to 10:45 am.

Featured farmers who will share their stories include Jim Athearn of Morning Glory Farm and Liz Packer of SBS, who will speak on family farming; Richard Andre of Cleveland Farm who will talk about poultry processing and slaughtering; and Mike Holtham of Menemsha Fish House who will address the farmers of the sea.

This is a zero waste event, so make sure to bring your own plate, mug, utensils, and napkin. The cost for the brunch is $12 per person, $10 if you are a Slow Food member. To purchase tickets in advance, visit slowfoodmarthasvineyard.org.

Calling all oyster lovers

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, head to the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown at 6 pm for Romancing the Oyster, a benefit for the Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group and the Edgartown Growers Association.

Executive chef Nathan Gould will create oyster inspired dishes highlighting this treasure from the waters of Martha’s Vineyard. There will be a buffet as well as passed hors d’oeuvres and for the purists, more than five raw bars. Meet your local growers and help support the shellfish industry on the Island. The cost is $45 per person and $80 per couple. Tickets are available at romancingtheoyster.brownpapertickets.com.

Valentine’s Day staycations

Many restaurants and hotels are offering special menus and overnight packages for Valentine’s Day. Here is just a selection:

Visit Water Street at The Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown for a three-course dinner and overnight stay on Friday, Feb. 14. The indulgent menu, created by executive chef Nathan Gould, features a choice of appetizers, entrées, and desserts with ingredients ranging from oysters and sous-vide local lobster, to porcini-dusted petit rib eye and pan roasted pork tenderloin. For dessert, make the tough choice between the pastry chef’s “tasting for two” of chocolate macaroons, mousse, and truffles; or the tasting of sorbets and chocolates. Dinner is $48 per person, excluding tax and gratuity. Those wanting to make a night of it can reserve a guest room starting $179, which includes Valentine’s Day dinner for two. For more information, call 508-627-3761.

Stay the night at the Hob Knob in Edgartown on Valentine’s Day and enjoy a three-course dinner. The menu features celery root veloute, local bay scallops and saffron, surf and turf of petite prime filet with exotic mushroom ragout, Menemsha lobster ravioli, and warm chocolate cake with strawberry gelato and almond brittle.

Seatings begin at 6 pm. The cost for dinner is $75 per person, excluding liquor, tax, and gratuity. Or make it an overnight affair. Purchase a room for the night and for an additional $150 per couple, enjoy dinner for two, and welcome amenities including six roses, a split of Champagne, and oysters on the half shell. For reservations, call 508-627-9510. For more information, visit hobknob.com.