Craig Decker’s found a cult following at Rockfish

Photo by Marnely Murray

“We went into Alchemy looking for their popular bag of fried oysters [that we’ve consumed for the past 10 years], and when we didn’t find them on the menu due to a new chef, we asked around to find out where the previous chef had gone. A short walk led us to Rockfish, where Chef Craig Decker satisfied our hunger for oysters,” said Tim Kelley and Bob Nicolson. The pair, summer Island visitors, friends, and now chef groupies, explained this to me as I sat down to interview the (relatively) new chef at Rockfish, Craig Decker.

Apparently, Chef Decker’s oysters have a cult following, proven by the loyal fans I met sitting at the bar drinking cold Guinness beers on a hot Edgartown summer day. Now the New American restaurant and lounge opens midday for a late lunch at 2 pm and serves until 5:30 pm, when they transition to their dinner menu.

Two weeks ago the restaurant suffered a grease fire but sustained little damage, and it hasn’t stopped them from pumping out new favorites.

Eclectic and fun, with a focus on fresh ingredients, the recently introduced lunch menu at Rockfish showcases a variety of flatbreads, salads, and one of the most creative lobster rolls on-Island. Served in a housemade challah garlic cone and served with a side of lemon beurre blanc, it’s unlike any other lobster roll I’ve had. The gorgeous housemade bread pairs especially well with the sweet chunks of Maine lobster, lightly dressed in mayonnaise.

You definitely won’t want to miss out on their wood-fired flatbreads, like the Sweet Italian Sausage Flatbread topped with dollops of herbed ricotta cheese, roasted peppers, and purple cauliflower, a totally Instagram-worthy dish packed with bold color and flavor.

While I interviewed Chef Decker, his wife Chanda sat in on the conversation, and the father of two, ages 12 and 9, talked about what favorite meals are at home and how the parents are educating their children to be world travelers and foodies.

“My son [age 9] is very open minded about food — he’ll try anything, and loves all seafood. My daughter, on the other hand, is 12 and very set in her ways and what she likes to eat: roasted chicken, romaine salad with cucumbers, and broccoli. That’s about it.” It’s always interesting talking to chefs who are also parents, because you can get insights into their menus and preferences based on what they cook at home. Chef Decker’s children are constantly traveling with him during the off-season, when taking a week off from school is worth experiencing some of the best bakeries and restaurants along the way.

That same passion and adventure he instills in his kids is what you can see shine through in both his lunch and dinner menu. For those of you hungry for more, stop by Rockfish for lunch and check out the new menu.

Rockfish is located on 11 North Water Street, Edgartown, 508-627-9967.