There’s a silver lining to summer’s end. For me, it’s revisiting all my favorite year-round spots I’ve spent the past four months avoiding. One of those spots is the Wharf Restaurant in Edgartown. The charm of that place really outdoes itself come December, but now’s still a good time to start filtering in with some sustained frequency, like the townie you know you are.
I went on a Wednesday for Trivia Night, which starts at 7:30 pm. Here’s what you do, you get there early, grab a good table, and order a bunch of food first. That way you’re not distracted by a growling stomach as you tirelessly sift through your brain in search of impossible answers to impossible questions. My team came in dead last, which is why you may sense a little bitterness as I take you through this experience.
Like any proper pub patron, my table started with wings, the first thing listed on the menu ($12). You can choose from Buffalo, BBQ, teriyaki, or General Tso’s, and we went teriyaki. Being a vegetarian, I can’t speak for the dish, but it sort of spoke for itself as it was effortlessly licked clean. I haven’t had a chicken wing in seven years, but that shiny glaze and scent of honeylike soy sauce and mirin was almost enough to break the streak.
Staying true to pub culture, nachos were next ($12). A stack of golden, lightly toasted, and gluten-free corn chips were layered with just the right amount of jack and cheddar, green onion, jalapeño, olives, sour cream, and salsa. They sat in all their seductive caloric glory on a hot plate in the center of the table. We took turns preparing the perfect chip with all the right ingredients. You can add chicken, chili, or steak for extra, but we kept it simple.
The starter special of the day was truffle fries, so we went there ($12). They were fried golden brown and thinly cut. Dots of grated Parmesan dusted each fry, along with parsley, blended olive oil, and salt and pepper adding a dose of extra flavor to each bite. Pure french fry heaven, if you ask me.
The apps did us in, and we hardly had room for more. In such an instance there’s only one thing to do — persevere and make room. We ordered the veggie pasta ($20), the first entrée on the menu. It’s a hot plate made with spinach, artichoke, onion, garlic, tomato, fresh mozzarella, and white wine over penne pasta with garlic bread. The blend of flavors, herbs, and vegetables made for not only a delicious meal, but one that was nutritionally productive, in contrast to everything else on our table.
As far as drinks went, we stuck with beer, but the Wharf has an extensive selection of wines by the glass and bottle, cocktails, martinis, and warm drinks. I’ve made a mental note to order the Cinnamon Coffee ($9) for those impossibly cold nights we have to look forward to. It’s made with Fireball whisky, Rumchata, coffee, and whipped cream.
As we finished our plates and wrapped things up, trivia started. There were about five other teams there, none of which were messing around. We made it through the first couple of rounds with surprising confidence, only getting one or two questions wrong. We had a strong team. We knew where the Grand Ole Opry was. We knew there were 280 characters in a Tweet. We knew that the channel 4 AM radio station is called “WBZ.” We knew that the academic initials J.D. stand for Juris Doctorate. We knew a fair share of celebrity chefs during the bonus round.
But as the questions progressed, things got trickier. We did not know the rival bar in the television show “Cheers.” We did not know the Jolly Green Giant had a sidekick named Little Sprout. And we did not know, and I’m still kicking myself, the name of the couple in Billy Joel’s “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” Brenda and Eddie, never forget.
Trivia is always a humbling reminder that in the grand scheme of life, I literally know nothing. Nonetheless, it was a good time with good food and good company, and I’d go back. Although next time I’d like a better team, and fewer cheaters in the room.
The Wharf is open every day from 11:30 am to 1 am. It is located at 3 Main St. in Edgartown. Next Trivia Night is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 20. For updates and more information, visit wharfpubmv.com or check the Facebook page.