There’s no place like the Oak Bluffs Harbor to sip on a fruity drink and shamelessly satisfy your daily caloric intake in one meal.
The dockside dining strip begins with the Malia-employing Nancy’s, the always crowded Sandbar, and then Lobsterville Bar & Grille. This two-story lunch and dinner spot is part of the harborside buzz, but in a less obvious way. Its prime-dining real estate has two wraparound porches on the upper and lower decks, perfect for people-watching views of the front sidewalk, and bird’s-eye angles overlooking the comings and goings of boat traffic. Best of all, its menu accommodates all appetites.
It’s three o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, and the partly sunny sky calls for an early evening cocktail. Lobsterville has two bars and plenty of specialty drinks that’ll pique your interest.
The Chilmark Chiller ($12) had a nice ring to it. The peachy-pink drink faded to a deep red; it’s made of Blue Chair Bay coconut rum, mango rum, banana liquor, orange, cranberry, and pineapple juices, and Myers rum floater — dangerously tasty.
The table split three Mini Rolls ($23) served on buttery brioche stuffed with lobster salad lightly tossed with lemon and mayo, whole belly clams with lemon tartar, and fried oysters with lemon and rémoulade. Nothing screams summer like the crispy crunch of golden fried food on a lightly toasted, fresh-off-the-grill roll. The Roasted Red Pepper Hummus ($10), served with a refreshing spread of carrots and celery and lightly toasted pita crisps, offered a cooling contrast to the hearty mini rolls. The Levantine dip was topped with chives and sprinkled with a peppery red spice, and there was enough of it to render heaping scoops with every bite. The Spicy Ahi Tuna Ceviche ($16) was next up on our late lunch menu. It was made up of fresh seasoned tuna, melon, and lavash, served with lightly toasted crisps. The fresh raw fish mixed with red chili condiments and zesty juices made for another restoring break from our fried food frenzy.
“Voted harbor’s best” Stuffed Quahog ($9) was voted our table’s best dish. It tasted like a robust Thanksgiving dinner served on a freshly caught half-shell. The quahog was mixed with red peppers, onions, small bits of sausage, breadcrumbs, and drizzled with butter in a way that tasted so good, and told us why it was voted the best. The half-shell appetizer was small to split between three people, so we had to conservatively savor small strategic bites.
A light breeze carries over from the always bustling Oak Bluffs Harbor. We overlooked the dockside walkway from the upstairs porch. High-top benches with bar-style seating open up the atmosphere to take in views but also converse with company. The late afternoon sun was hiding behind looming clouds we could see rolling in from miles away. The above-the-world views at Lobsterville give customers an above-average dining experience. A table full of food and a view to go with it makes for few complaints and a reason to come back.
Lobsterville Bar & Grille, 8 Circuit Ave. Ext., Oak Bluffs; 508-696-0099; lobstervillemv.com.