Serious Eats on Martha's Vineyard?
We're a couple of serious foodies from the S.F. Bay Area on the Vineyard for a week (end of Aug.). Is there a place here where we can dine that isn't a tourist trap or mediocre/cliched food? Or a serious innovative chef? Doesn't have to be fancy or high-brow, just quality, interesting food.
Where would Alice Waters eat if she was on the Vineyard and don't say "in my kitchen." :-D
You should definitely check out Deon's in West Tisbury. The food was delicious and creative, without being pretentious. It was anything but typical, especially for a tourist driven island such as M.V. The menu has some really great dishes- they have a chilled bosc pear soup with picked ginger, cilantro and tea-smoked shrimp, lots of beautiful fish plates, and the wildcard: they have ostrich. Yes, ostrich. I'm a vegetarian but everything looked incredible, and the chef whipped up a great dish for me. Be warned, though: West Tisbury is dry, so BYO and they'll be glad to pour.
It's at 688 State Road, and the number is 508-696-0090- Good luck!
Try Detante in Edgartown. Mediterranean in Vineyard Haven. Larsen's in Menemsha for your basic, fresh seafood right at the docks. (Last two are BYOB and parking will be an issue in Menemsha.) Go to the Farmer's Market in West Tisbury and get the cold rolls, etc. for a picnic lunch or to eat right there. (Seriously good chow from this sweet lady, and the long lines demonstrate that...) Art Cliff Diner has the best breakfasts. Cafe Moxie in Vineyard Haven (also BYOB) is a local favorite with very fresh food. And I love going to the small pub in the back of the Harborview in Edgartown for fresh oysters,a cheese plate and a good glass of wine, especially if there is a Red Sox game on, but I have not been this year, so I am not sure if things have changed. Do NOT go to the Coach House, though, which is In the same hotel, and stick to oysters and simple fare. Keep on going into the back of the hotel and you will find it. Bartenders are great and the regulars show up every afternoon and linger into the evening. Another favorite that is off the beaten path with very nice food is the Lambert's Cove Inn in West Tisbury, which is another BYOB. Gorgeous place with a very popular chef. Just some ideas- I can't promise Alice Waters would be over the moon, but she'd have fun.
I second, Deon's, Detente and Cafe Moxie. Also, Sweet Life in Oak Bluffs (lovely patio seating) - tried them again this year after writing them off. Vast improvement and the best meal we had during our vacation.
Can't vouch for these two, but they get a lot of good reviews: Theo's in Chilmark and the Beach Plum Inn in Menemsha. Both BYOB. Maybe another chowhound can say if they are Alice-worthy.
My husband and I LOVE the Sweet Life - we've gone every year for the past 2 years on trip to the Vineyard. Beautiful setting and execellent food. They also have a sister restaurant across the street that is more casual. They stop serving breakfast pretty early, which is a bummer. (Doesn't everyone like to sleep in on vacation?!?)
I have been pretty much disappointed in my MV dining. However if you will have access to a a kitchen may I recomend Kronings for groceries,Morning Glory Farms in Edgartwon for produce and Larsons in either Menensha or Vineyard Haven for seafood.
We are "discerning diners" who reside in NYC. We have a vacation home on MV, so we're very familiar with the restaurants there. We happen to love L'etoile in Edgartown, 22 N. Water Street (508)627- 5187. It's a high-quality food experience (albeit pricey) and a lovely atmosphere. You won't be disapointed. In the "interesting menu" category, I also would recommend Alchemy, 71 Main Street, Edgartown (508)627-9999, and The Beach Plum Inn restaurant, 50 Beach Plum Lane, Menemsha, (508) 645-9454. A word of caution: the Beach Plum is a "dry" restaurant, so be sure to bring your own wine. And while the ambience is especially lovely at Beach Plum, the food doesn't always hit the mark (ditto with Alchemy). Both Alchemy and Beach Plum are in the "very expensive" category. Taking it down several notches, for fresh, terrific wrap sandwiches and other lunch/breakfast foods, try the Daily Grind Cafe, 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven (inexpensive, cash only); The Bite in Menemsha (terrific New England fresh fish & chips, chowder, fried clams, etc., though be warned that all the food is fried and it's take-out only); and for pizza, we'd recommend Lattanzi's Pizzeria in Edgartown. The Scottish Bakehouse, State Road, Vineyard Haven, has the best and freshest baked goods. And if you're renting a house and have access to a grill (our most memorable meals ARE the ones from our own kitchen), buy your fish at John's Fish Market on State Road in Vineyard Haven, your meats (filet mignon, etc.) at Shiretown Meats in Edgartown, and your produce at Morning Glory Farm, Edgartown. Have a great vacation.