Dinner shines at the Lighthouse Grill

S'mores bites from the Lighthouse Grill. —Marnely Murray

Lighthouse Grill at the Harbor View Hotel might just have the best view of any restaurant in town, and this summer, the food is just as stellar. Typically, hotel restaurants tend to showcase the same boring food, but the Lighthouse Grill is not typical. The restaurant is almost like its own entity, though located opportunistically inside the fine Edgartown hotel. A casual, contemporary New England grill, this restaurant truly focuses on an approachable menu that is both creative and modern, while staying true to regional cues such as sourcing fresh Island produce and using line-caught seafood brought in daily by local fishermen.

The Victorian dining room has seen its fair share of diners, since this year the Harbor View Hotel is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Sometimes, while I enjoy my dinner, I like to daydream and think of previous chefs in the kitchen and guests of the past, wondering what they dined on back in the day. But fast-forward to 2016, and I’m ordering from a menu that’s gorgeously curated to showcase some of the region’s finest.

Start your dinner off with the fresh catch ceviche, which changes constantly. I had the opportunity to try some Faroe Island Salmon Ceviche (market price) served with a refreshing seaweed salad, avocado, and crisp wonton crackers. Personally, I had never had salmon ceviche, but it hit a home run. The fatty salmon was balanced with a touch of citrus and salt that played well off the seaweed salad and fresh scallions. Another favorite from the “to start” section is the frito misto local calamari ($15) served with smashed avocado, pickled jalapeno peppers, and charred lime. The combination of the salty, crispy, yet tender calamari rings with the creamy avocado and the spicy peppers was basically heaven. Add to that a squeeze of charred lime (which I found to be an outstanding detail) and you’ve got yourself a winner.

For dinner, look through their “signatures” and “from the grill” sections — each has its own incredible entrées. The signatures section includes classics like scallops ($30). A take on the chef’s mother’s pea soup, this scallop dish is served with pulled ham hock, English pea purée, perfectly roasted new potatoes, and oven-roasted carrots, for a comforting yet delicate dinner experience. If you’re a meat lover, look to the “from the grill” section. The marinated, 8-ounce flat iron steak ($29) or the maple-brined Kurobuta pork chop ($31) are both stellar choices. Just like a steakhouse, you get to choose two sides and a sauce. With the flat iron, I recommend the béarnaise, a French classic, silky sauce that pairs gorgeously with the steak.

To end the meal, dessert and coffee are a must. Our incredible waitress Olivia (who provided me with the best service I’ve had on the Island all summer), brought the dessert menus (prices vary, starting at $5 to $10) over and recommended the special, which was a pavlova filled with passionfruit curd and topped with fresh strawberries. Passionfruit is my food soulmate, so of course this was ordered. If you’re not lucky enough to encounter this special, I suggest you order the s’mores bites ($7). The graham cracker crust holds a decadent chocolate ganache and a light, airy marshmallow fluff which is torched to perfection. It’s the dessert you order when you’re too full for dessert but obviously want something sweet.

Lighthouse Grill is serving dinner seven nights a week until Labor Day. Call 508-627-3761 for reservations or visit harbor-view.com/dining.