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Martha's Vineyard for Lunch [Moved from Boston Area board]

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Any good ideas where we can eat an OUTSTANDING lunch on Martha's Vineyard? Is it worth the ferry ride?

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  1. The Island of Martha's Vineyard is beautiful so regardless of where you eat, it is worth the ferry ride, particularly if you get one of the newer ferries; it is a very pretty ride and it's only 45 minutes. If you disembark in Vineyard Haven (ferries go to Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs), you can walk to the Art Cliff Diner for lunch (about 5 minutes from ferry), it's supposed to be great (according to Carly Simon and others).

    1. You will get a better response to this querry on the New England Board.

      Martha's Vineyard has some great restaurants but many are not open at lunch and fewer are near where the ferries dock. The best lunch is at Larsen's Seafood in Menemsha where you sit out on the dock with take out (make sure to BYOB). But that's a long way from the ferries in Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs.

      1. Outstanding....well, I am not sure about that part, but if the sun is shining and you like being on the water, you can have a lovely few hours between the ferry ride and a very good meal. Just don't know about that "outstanding" factor on M.V. for lunch.....

        If you are coming from Wood's Hole just for lunch, without a car, this time of year you can plan on which town to get into- Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs. You will have many more choices in O.B. (but not all of them can be recommended) and can drink along with your lunch, as V.H. is a dry town. V.H. is a quieter, gentler place, except for when the ferry is getting in. And frankly, this time of year, there is not much sanity on the Vineyard....it's pretty intense.

        The Art Cliff is a wonderful experience but keep in mind it is a diner, not a fine dining place. Very crowded right now but seriously fresh, creative food at good prices. A true favorite among islanders and visitors. And right next door is The Net Result where you can get a broad range of meals (lobster rolls, fish and chips, sushi, etc.) and sit outside on their picnic benches. Both are casual but the food is seriously good. Across the way is The Mediterranean, which is a local favorite and has a nice view of the harbor if you can snag a seat in the back. (The Vineyard is very limited with waterfront dining compared to other seaside resorts.) The food there is so good, I chose to go there for a major birthday not too long ago, bringing along my own wine and champagne. Really creative menu. Save room for dessert. In Oak Bluffs, there is a broad range of places (check out the previous posts about the Vineyard) depending on what kind of environment you are looking for. The honest truth is, I am not sure if there is anything "outstanding" open for lunch. Balance has opened in a new location, but I have not been yet, and in its old location, got mixed reviews in terms of the food. I'd be curious if anyone has been and tried the food. (It's also been known as a top night spot and attracts a lot of gawkers looking for visiting t.v. stars and movie directors.)

        Hope this helps.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mvi

          Glad to hear you like the Mediterranean. I was thinking of taking my sister there for a birthday lunch on Thursday. It looks to be a fairly short walk from the Vineyard Haven ferry; is that correct? This dry-town thing is a pain though -- I guess I'm going to have to carry my wine in my pocketbook on the ferry.

          1. re: ccferg

            The Mediterranean is lovely, especially if you can get a table on the deck, and it's a very easy walk from the ferry. I'm heading over right after Labor Day and I'm really torn on where to go because I have so many favorites. On a much more casual side, I like to go for the paella at Sharkey's Cantina on Circuit Ave in Oak Bluffs. It's a small place, colorful, friendly and the paella along with a glass of sangria is well worth the ferry ride.

            1. re: ccferg

              Yes, it is a short walk. Just go over to 5 Corners and take a left towards Oak Bluffs- it will be on your left. You'll have to bring the wine (or the rum punch) but in some ways, it makes it special as you'll clearly save money and can bring something you like. Do save room for dessert. The staff there is really nice and if you call ahead, they'll do the whole candle in the cake thing for your sister. Save a little time when you leave and pick up some things at the Net Result across the way to bring home with you in your cooler. They have some nice little take home items.

              1. re: mvi

                Thanks for the go-ahead on The Mediterranean. We had a great lunch and the place is charming. And I'm glad you told me to save room for the dessert -- they were delicious, although larger than we expected. We certainly should have shared. I had the fish special -- bluefish -- which was very fresh and nicely prepared (though a little smaller than I expected). And I found it a little disturbing that they charged $5 for a small basket of bread. I hope that isn't a new trend in nice restaurants. When you're paying plenty of money, bread should be complimentary. But then again, we were on Martha's Vineyard, and you don't see anyone giving away much for free.

                1. re: ccferg

                  I love that MV bluefish. The best. When bluefish is fresh, it is so perfect. I had it three nights out of four when I was there last month. But I do not believe that about charging for the bread basket! I am in the middle of a crazy time and have not been there this summer, so this is really tough news- charging for the bread basket? That is really bad....and one reason that MV gets its reputation as a spot for deep pockets. Sadly, with only a couple of good months with steady business, many places on MV really struggle to make it work financially and one or two bad weekends (or weeks) weatherwise, can really hurt. Well, I hope your sister enjoyed it despite the bread basket!

          2. wanted to thank everyone for their recommendations and provide an update of my experience this past weekend. Outstanding lunches make a ferry trip to MV totally worth it.

            Favorite seafood shack? The Net Result (neighbors of the oft-mentioned Art Cliff Diner) on Vineyard Haven. So delish and fresh. there was no hint of a fishy smell and the turnover on everything both on the order-out side and the fish market/counter side meant that everything was made to order. The batter on all the fried items--from the fish & chips to the calamari---was delicate and non-greasy. Purple flecks peeked out from underneath the calamari's golden batter coat while the lobster roll was heavy on large nuggets of sweet, juicy lobster. I'm going to try to upload pictures on my blog later this week so that everyone can see what they should aim for on their next trip to the vineyard!

            as for a casual fry shack overlooking the water, just take a quick bus/bike ride over to Oak bluff for nancy's. Avoid the shrimp which is just generic and can't hold a light to their delicate onion rings or clam strips. really casual and everything is walkup so you just pay as you go for drinks and food. the other places can get quite claustrophobic with their small bar space of structured pen-like restaurant set-up. more for the casualness and ambiance, rather than a strong food showing!

            also, made for a great time driving from NYC to Cape Cod with ton's of great Connecticut seafood shack stops, if anyone is curious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: brooklynhotdish

              Just back from Oak Bluffs myself. Paella at Sharky's Cantina was heaven! Filled with chorizo; pulled pork; lobster and shrimp and nicely spiced rice. Crispy sweet fried clams at the Lookout Tavern followed by a minty frozen grasshoper. Pizza with roasted peppers and sausage at Pomodoro on Circuit Avenue and a lobster roll at the Seafood Shanty in Edgartown. That lobster roll had so much meat in it I couldn't get over it. Filled with tail and knuckle meat and at least 7 good size claws! Jimmy Seas is always a standout and they did a great job with the mussels fra diavolo. Lastly, the Oak House where I stayed offered one of the best breakfasts I've ever had. Every day was a little bit different with plenty of assortment. Freshly baked muffins, cinnamon rolls; croissants; french toast casserole; frittatas; and quiches along with fruit and juice. I didn't have a bad meal the whole time I was there.