In The Times kitchen

We tried our own recipes this year, and some of those at our favorite restaurants.


2023 was a year of balance for us food writers at The Times. We learned which corners to cut, pennies to pinch, and when to slow down and splurge on a higher-end meal. From kickin’ crab melts, meatballs paired with childhood memories, and Dave’s perfectly seared scallops to barbecue chicken tortilla pizzas, we might have explored every nook and cranny in the grocery store, and with a little creativity and experimenting, used up some of those lingering pantry ingredients.

We did some dining out and takeout as well, making a plan to visit some of the new joints in town!

Connie Berry scoped out Catboat Coffee, coming home with a haul of Epicure’s Lebanese fare, including a giant jar of halwa, which I wonder if she’ll finish by 2024. On Father’s Day, lured in by social media, she ordered takeout from the Attic at Waterside: There weren’t any cobwebs in that attic, just plenty of choices, and online ordering to get her out of doing dishes that night. She did a little sampling of Nina’s, since it’s conveniently located across from The Times’ office; that assignment was easy. Her favorite new spot tried this year was the Loud Kitchen in Oak Bluffs. She came back to the office with bags of leftovers to share, and was so excited to sit down with a full tummy to write about Chef Canieka Fleming, her story, and what wonders she created in the Ritz kitchen.

Our summer intern Mia Vittimberga did a little taste-testing on her lunch break. We sent her on assignment to the new ice cream shop down the road in the Tisbury Market Place called the Ice Box. She grabbed a scoop of toasted coconut ice cream in a waffle come, and spoke with the owners, Alex and Kate Salop, who also own the Toy Box next door. I hope they had a successful first summer, and hope to see them again next year, because I never made it down there to try the flavor named “Crunch-a-saurus” I spotted on their menu board.

Although I didn’t make it to the Ice Box ice cream shop, I did try out a number of the new spots this year, and wrote about them. I am not sure which is more fun, the writing or the eating. I tried Linda Jean’s when it reopened under new ownership last spring, and Great Harbor Market’s new — or new to me — pizza offerings. The Drunken Grandma deep-dish pizza was amazing. I also tried Midnight Taco in Oak Bluffs, and grab-and-go from the newly renovated Edgartown Stop & Shop. They were all really great, but Midnight Taco was my favorite, and turned into my summer go-to after work. I am still dreaming about the shrimp bowl with all the toppings, with some chips alongside.

It was a year of fun out in town, grabbing takeout or getting creative in our kitchens at home, but I have to share that the highlight of The Times’ staff summer was a Wednesday when we were on deadline in the beginning of August, and Chef Deon from Deon’s Kitchen walked into the office with a huge smile and a pan of lobster mac and cheese for us. It barely made it to the table before being devoured. We still rave about it, almost every week. What a treat — thank you, Deon!