Dining at the museum

M.V. Museum Cafe offers tasty food options from across the Island.

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Our museum on Martha’s Vineyard offers a diverse and comprehensive look into the past of Martha’s Vineyard. The art, history, and culture that can be found there might be too much to take in in one trip, but what about the food?

The M.V. Museum Cafe offers a variety of delicious food brought from eateries across the Island. After taking a stroll through Island history, one may work up quite an appetite, or maybe just need a little pick-me-up. 

The cafe is situated at the front of the museum, where tall windows welcome natural light into the indoor dining area. Folks can be seen eating and gazing out across the vista toward Vineyard Haven Harbor and the Lagoon. 

At the quaint cafe bar, polite and knowledgeable service was only the start when The Times visited for a late lunch. The woman working the cafe, Freedom Cartwright, said she enjoys telling people all about the different foods available.

She said the goal of the cafe is to exemplify all the local farms, bakeries, and restaurants that give the Island its flavor: places like Scottish Bakehouse, Black Sheep, and Rocco’s Pizzeria. Cartwright said the museum not only curates art and historical displays, but food as well. “Food here on Martha’s Vineyard is so diverse, and everyone really has something unique to offer,” Cartwright said.

It was difficult to choose from the assortment of aromatic and colorful menu options, all displayed in front of the cafe in a refrigerated case.

Photo editor Lexi Pline decided on a sizable spinach and feta calzone with marinara sauce from Rocco’s ($8.95). She said there was a good balance of cheese and spinach, and the meal was more than enough to satisfy her appetite. 

I chose a Greek salad with green bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, thinly sliced red onion, and feta cheese. This delicious creation ($12) was provided by Black Sheep in Edgartown. 

The chocolate chip cookie from Artcliff ($3) was a last-minute choice to bring back to the office, and it was oh so necessary. 

We also picked up a macaroni salad made by Scottish Bakehouse ($6), which was fresh and zesty, with crunchy corn and peas. 

Gina Stanley, owner and chef at ArtCliff Diner, and manager of the cafe, said she wanted to bring another element to the museum that visitors and tourists can enjoy. She said bringing awareness to different Island establishments and enhancing the experience at the museum are two of her goals with the cafe. 

“We are still at the beginning stages, and want to keep bringing more people on board — it’s very exciting,” Stanley said. 

One interesting thing about the cafe, Stanley said, is that the menu is constantly changing, and different items highlight different establishments.

In the near future, Stanley said she wants to host ticketed events at the museum cafe, where a particular restaurant, bakery, or food vendor provides tasty eats for all. “Something like an Italian dinner with Rocco’s, or a cheese tasting with Grey Barn and Farm,” Stanley said.

“We want to get special, affordable events that bring people together over food,” Stanley said. “Maybe we could even do a lecture series that pairs education with food.”

 

If you are looking for a great view, delicious and fresh local food, and a wealth of information about the Island’s unique history, head to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and relax in the cafe.

The museum cafe is located in the museum at 151 Lagoon Pond Rd., Vineyard Haven, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 3 pm. Visit the M.V. Museum website or call 508-627-4441 for more information.