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Nantucket Lunch Help Needed

I'm heading to Nantucket for 1 night in August (mid week) and really want to take in 2 great lunches. Where should I go (any why)?

Also, I haven't been to the island in 5 years and the resturants I last visited for dinner were 21 Federal, Oran Mor, DeMarco's, and American Seasons. At the time, we loved them all. I was leaning towards a return visit to 21 Federal. Are they all still worth the visit now? Are there new stars that should be visited for dinner?

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  1. Not sure any of those are lunch spots but I have heard not so great things about American Seasons. Also I had heard 21 was not worth the rave and money. What about Black Eye Susans? I used to love lunch at the Boarding House. Is that still open?

    3 Replies
    1. re: phelana

      Foley- None of those places you mentioned are open for lunch. I responded on your other thread, but for a glamor lunch, go to the Galley. Topper's at the Wauwinet is great for that, too. In town, I'd go to Slip 14 if it's a nice day (it's outdoor dining, but with a roof), or the Boarding House. Black Eyed Susan's only does breakfast and dinner.

      1. re: ciclista

        Already had Black Eyed Susan's pegged for our 1 breakfast there.... we've been there before and loved it.

        I was reading an old nantucket thread and someone mentioned that le languedoc has lunch. Their website doesn't indicate such; it lists a "dinner" and a "bar" menu. Does anyone know if the bar menu is available for lunch in the summer on weekdays?

        1. re: foleyd7

          Galley is great for lunch, though pricey -- I'd go for cocktails at sunset instead. For an economical visit to 21 Federal, go early and score a seat at the bar for appetizers. Avoid the Boarding House! For dinner: Oran Mor, American Seasons, or Centre Street Bistro. For lunch: Toppers (if you have the cash!), Easy Street Restaurant (not cantina) for casual, Centre Street Bistro. For a fun bar scene: 56 Union. To check out a lot of island restaurants, go to www.Nantucket.net Dining section

    2. With a reservation for lunch, you can take a very scenic ride in a launch from Straight Wharf(downtown) all the way up harbor to the Wauwinet Inn and enjoy a great lunch at Toppers. They have a special lunch menu which is high end but reasonable compared to their dinner prices, and it will be an event you remember always. The boat ride is free with your meal. Afterwards, you can take the boat back or they will shuttle you back to town in their van. It's a beautiful historic inn, right on the water. Do it!

      Topper's At the Wauwinet
      120 Wauwinet Road, Nantucket, MA 02554

      2 Replies
        1. re: ciclista

          I just found on Languedoc's website (on the "contact" section) that they do host lunch hours in the summer:

          Dinner nightly 5:30pm until close
          Luncheon Tuesday - Sunday in season, 11:30am - 2pm
          Terrace dining outside, weather permitting

      1. Languedoc only serves lunch during the shoulder season. Why not try The Company of the Cauldron for dinner? It's great and has the highest Zagat rating of Island Restaurants, I think. Straight Wharf is the place I'd go for lunch if you didn't want to go for dinner. Food is awesome.

        7 Replies
        1. re: ardath

          Unless it is something new, Straight Wharf does not serve lunch. Maybe you are thinking of Provisions (the sandwich shop next door) which they took over? It's good, but I wouldn't call it "awesome"... it's sandwiches. You can order a half, which I don't think they advertise. Company of the Cauldron is good, but it is one menu for the entire restaurant. By that I mean one meal, like, Thursday night, rack of lamb. Menus are posted about a week in advance on the website so you can see what looks best to you. That concept is not my thing, but the husband like sit.

          1. re: ardath

            I think Straight Wharf is on my short list for lunch right now... the lunch and bar menus listed on their website look pretty good.
            I'm also considering the Toppers boat ride / lunch deal noted above as my other choice.

            For dinner, I'm still torn. My wife doesn't eat seafood so a place like Cauldron is tough. I will check out their menu the week before we leave, but I would expect it to contain some type of seafood (of course I can't blame them, what self respecting Nantucket place wouldn't put some fresh seafood on their menu!!)

            ciclista: the Straight Wharf website sample lunch menu is a sample from 2008 so it appears they have been doing it at least 2 seasons now. The menu indicates that it serves Mon - Fri, 11:30 - 2:00 pm. On Sat and Sunday they do the same hours but call it "brunch" instead so I'm guessing they host a different menu on weekends.

            1. re: foleyd7

              Foleyd7, You're right. Straight Wharf started serving lunch a few years ago. Provisions is now run by the Straight Wharf management/kitchen - Amanda Lydon and Garbriel Frasca (sp) - much better than the old Provisions - but still mainly sandwiches. If The Cauldron is serving fish on the night you want to eat there you can ask them in advance to make something different for your wife. When I told them my father-in-law couldn't eat shellfish they substituted meat. They didn't mind and said they did those kind of changes every night. It's the prettiest restaurant on Nantucket, I think.

              1. re: ardath

                That's good to know that Straight Wharf is serving lunch! It's nowhere on their website though (did I miss it foley??)...it only lists a bar and a dinner menu...and a Restaurant Week menu from 2008. Yes, The Cauldron will make changes to their nightly menu if told in advance (whether it's allergies, or you jus don't like something). As for Languedoc lunch...it changes every year! Sometimes they serve it the whole season, sometimes just shoulder season, or just Sunday brunch during shoulder season! It's a staffing issue...

                1. re: ciclista

                  Are you set on fancy indoor dining for lunch? What about a sandwich on a picnic bench at Something Natural? Great whole grain breads, curried chicken salad with sprouts....ummmm

                  1. re: justbeingpolite

                    If I had more time on Nantucket I would definitely make room for a few picnic lunches, but I'm only going to be there for 24 hours so I'm looking to squeeze in some of the finer lunch and dinner locations.

                    1. re: foleyd7

                      OK, then I vote for the Boarding House, I think they serve lunch, have it on the street patio and enjoy people watching.

          2. just steer clear of Brotherhood of the Thieves. Had a terrible experience
            there with service/food.

            1. Am a HUGE fan of Sfoglia...not sure whether they are open for lunch or not but believe they also have a retail store for take out and picnic.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Vinoguy

                My schedule is shaping up as follows:

                Lunch on Tuesday: Toppers (via their boat shuttle)
                Dinner on Tuesday: Sfoglia
                Breakfast on Wed: Black Eyed Susans
                Lunch on Wed: Straight Whart

                This is subject to change by the time I head over in mid August, but this is where I'm leaning so far.

                1. re: foleyd7

                  Don't forget to stop at the Chicken Box(internationally infamous) for a cold one,,,

                  1. re: chef24

                    the Box is more for a late night pukefest for the college crowd. Kind of a dumpy place. Just my 2¢.
                    Also, check out Cinco.....you'll get some great food and service there.

                    1. re: MacshashRIP

                      It is a Landmark on the rock... Lived on the Island for 10 plus years go early in evening just to check it out,, saw Jimmy Buffet one summer afternoon ... Shades of Thirty Acres for those who remember...Only bar open 365 days a year on A.C.K..Then drive to Madaket for sunset.. picnic on Dionis as well

              2. Best burger on the island now IMHO can be had at Dune,Michael Getter,s new spot on Broad Street where Cioppino's was.Nice room or on a nice day (they have been few this summer)) a patio.Enjoy

                1. just got back from nantucket 2 days ago and had both a fantastic lunch which we loved so much we returned for dinner at a new restaurant called Dune. Gorgeous restaurant, pricey, portions were not large but the food was excellent. there is also outdoor dining if you'd like. the other fabulous restaurant for dinner is S'foglia.....superb. for a take out lunch or super casual is Something Natural - huge, fresh sandwiches. we also had a delicious take out sandwich from Provisions near the ferry.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ldjsue

                    Great to hear about Sfoglia.... we have a reservation there for our Tue night dinner!
                    For our 2 lunches, we have a reservation for Toppers on Tue and are planning to hit Straight Wharf for lunch on Wed before heading home.
                    If we wake up Wed morning and feel hungry, we'll definitely skip our continental breakfast and hit Black Eyed Susan's.
                    I'll post notes when I get back at the end of August.

                    1. re: foleyd7

                      Where to begin??.
                      We went to Nantucket last week and stayed 1 night (Tue 8/18) and we tried to pack a lot of eating into a short time.
                      We arrived on the island via the ferry a little after 10 am, quickly dropped our luggage at our inn, and then headed back down to the docks for a complimentary Toppers boat shuttle for lunch to (where else?): Toppers.
                      Had we not picked the hottest, most humid, most breeze-less day in the history of Nantucket to take the boat it would have been very enjoyable... but most of us were just sweating and waiting to get off :) But on to the food.
                      We attended lunch with another couple and all loved the place for food, service, and for the wine list. As our first course we had a fresh guacamole dip, 2 fresh tomato soups (served room temp), and an heirloom tomato salad (me). There wasn't a bad dish to be had. For the main lunch we had a salad, 2 dishes of the fried chicken, and the kobe beef / short rib burger. Again, all were very good. The burger was one of the richest tasting burgers I've ever had. It cost a pretty penny ($350 for the 4 of us with wine) but it was worth it and I will be back next year!
                      From there we headed over to Cisco brewery and were all impressed with the local, laid back atmosphere. Not only was this a brewery, but it also had a winery and a distillery - - - all of them surrounding a nice little courtyard where live music was just starting around 4 pm. If I had more time I would definitely pack a picnic dinner, buy a bottle of wine and a jug of beer and make a night of the whole courtyard entertainment there. I'll have to add that activity to my itinerary for next year.
                      For dinner that night, we split from our friends and my wife and I ate at Sfoglia. I'll start with my main dish which was grilled sea bass over a tomato salsa. Very good, but the least favorite of the night. The winners at this place were the pastas and we wish we could have had more! All pastas were served as 1/2 orders or full orders so we both started with two 1/2 order appetizers consisting of housemade gnocchi in basil pesto (me) and homemade fettuchini with pecorino and black pepper (my wife). Both were perfectly prepared, cooked, and sauced. For my wife's main course she had their Bolognese over homemade papperdelle and I'll just say this: the best Bolognese in the world is my own.... Sfoglia was a close 2nd. There were other pastas on the menu that were enticing, too. If we get there again next year I might just get a 1/2 order of each pasta on the menu and try to make my way through them. Really... if you love pasta, this place is not to be missed.
                      The following morning we hit Black Eyed Susan's with my friends again and my reviews were a bit mixed. I had their french toast with orange/jack daniels butter and pecans and this was the best of the lot. My friend ordered the huevos rancheros which was equally good with fresh vegetables and good heat cooked in. My wife and my friend’s wife both got eggs (an omelet and a sandwich) and both were OK but nothing to write home about. In fact, we sat at the counter and I had plenty of wait time (almost 60 min?) to watch the cooks prepare dishes over the open griddle... I think the major problem with the egg dishes (especially the omelets) was that the fillings were not in proportion to the eggs... more egg was needed to balance the dish. I’d still recommend the place, but skip the omelets and opt for the huevos rancheros, french toast, or pancakes.
                      After all that eating, we never did make it to lunch on Wed... but I can confirm that Straight Wharf was open for lunch both on Tue and Wed while we were there. It seems they do open for lunch during the season when the days are nice... not sure they have published days/hours for lunch or not or whether they just play it by ear.
                      Next year I hope to get back for 2 nights so I can return to some of thes places again as well as to check out some others.

                    2. re: ldjsue

                      Has anyone else been to Dune? We're heading up this wknd and thinking of trying it.

                    3. Had dinner at Dune last night; one of the best meals in years on the island and I've been coming here for 18 years. It is open for lunch and I am sure it will not disappoint. Avoid DeMarco: coasting on its laurels.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cteditor

                        We ate at Dune over the wknd, and I'm sorry we wasted the one night we had planned to go out there and didn't stick with one of the more reliable restaurants in town. The acoustics in the restaurant are awful. In a very small room with only 6 tables, you could barely hear anything. The service was very friendly. That was about the only plus. I started with the goat cheese & beet salad with 10 yr old balsamic. The beets were fine, nothing remarkable. The goat cheese had zero tang, and the balsamic tasted like water. Next to no flavor. Next ordered the Seared Tuna entree which arrived with exactly no seasoning on it. It was SO bland, it was virtually inedible. This came with roasted vegetables that tasted like they had been roasted yesterday and left in the fridge overnight. Greasy & oily. A completely disappointing meal. SO had a chicken entree that was equally disappointing. I do not recommend.

                      2. my problem with Sofaglia is there seems to me to be a sort of
                        pretentiousness there.....they act like they are doing you a favor.
                        But yes, the food is good.