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Restaurants Off the Beaten Path in Nantucket: Do They Exist?

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My family has been going to Nantucket since I was a kid and I feel like I've probably eaten at least once at almost every better known or upscale restaurant like American Seasons, Corazon del Mar, Black Eyed Susan's, Oran Mor and Pi Pizzeria. My wife and I now live in NYC where we have plenty of access to good, high-end dining, so I'm not sure we want a whole lot more of that on Nantucket, unless there's something that really is done far better, there. We are planning on one dinner at Company of the Cauldron, since we like that restaurant a lot.

What restaurants can you think of that are more off the beaten path? Last summer, we found a Salvadoran restaurant called El Rincon. It had surprisingly good pupusas, though some of the other offerings weren't that great.

Are there more restaurants like that hiding out on the island that I don't know of? What has opened in the past year? I think I heard about a Todd English restaurant opening. Is that any good?

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El Rincon Restaurant
1279 Worcester St, Indian Orchard, MA 01151

Company of the Cauldron
7 India St, Nantucket, MA 02554

American Seasons
80 Center St, Nantucket, MA 02554

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  1. Sorry. I guess my question was too vague to get any responses. I'll try to make this more specific.

    Has anyone tried Thai Kitchen?

    What about The Bamboo, The Hen House or Jimmy Chews? (My wife was excited about that last place. She likes shoes.)

    Kitty Murtaghs?

    Henry Jr?

    Sayle's Seafood?

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    Kitty Murtaghs
    4 W Creek Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554

    Thai Kitchen
    122 White St, Haverhill, MA 01830

    Hen House
    1 Chins Way Unit 2, Nantucket, MA 02554

    5 Replies
    1. re: crabby_cakes

      Hi Crabby,
      I'm no expert on Nantucket but I had a great ribe eye at Kitty's a couple years ago. More pub than resto. I've also heard good about Queequeg fro a freind.

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      Queequeg's
      6 Oak St, Nantucket, MA 02554

      1. re: trufflehound

        Thanks, trufflehound. I remember reading your reviews from back when I lived in Boston. Lotta good ones there. I'll give Kitty's a try.

        I drove by the Hen House, today, and it looks like Jimmy Chew's is closed. A place called Lucky Express or something like that is open, though, nearby.

        El Rincon is still open, I'm happy to report. It has good Salvadoran tamales and pastelles, in addition to pupusas.

        In general, restaurants still seem to be hurting this year. The Lobster Trap, an oldie, but a goodie, had no wait tonight. Two years ago, we would've waited an hour.

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        El Rincon Restaurant
        1279 Worcester St, Indian Orchard, MA 01151

        Lucky Express
        13 W Creek Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554

        Hen House
        1 Chins Way Unit 2, Nantucket, MA 02554

      2. re: crabby_cakes

        Ah, it's a lucky thing I enjoy talking to myself so much.

        We had Thai Kitchen for takeout and it's safe to say that it's not my cup of tea. It's not anywhere near what real Thai food tastes like and I was hoping for better given how good Thai can be in nearby Boston. We had several stirfries with basil and lemongrass and noodle dishes amongst the four of us, nicely packaged in those sturdy black plastic containers that becomes valued Tupperware in my household, later. It was all very unexciting, overly sweet and without any discernable heat or fish sauce. There was none of the balance that makes Thai food great -- or just good.

        Honestly, the food won't kill you and for anyone looking for a more budget friendly option, Thai Kitchen fits the bill. But don't go looking for a culinary good time.

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        Thai Kitchen
        122 White St, Haverhill, MA 01830

        1. re: crabby_cakes

          Ha! I have been reading this because I am going to Nantucket for Labor Day weekend, so don't stop with the information, please?!

          Last summer we were just there for a few day trips, and honestly can't remember where we had lunch, so obviously it was nothing special (we had 4 kids AND my Golden Retriever, so not many options.)

          1. re: dennisl

            Nantucket's a good place for kids and dogs. There are a lot of places that do takeout lobster or other seafood if that's what you're looking for. You could take your whole family, including the dog, for a picnic dinner on the beach anywhere where there isnt' a lifeguard and on some beaches after 5 p.m.

            Cy's Lobster Pot in town has a takeout deal right now and maybe all summer, I'm not sure. I think a 1 1/4 pounder with potato and corn is something like $30. Sayle's Seafood, which is a ways out of town and which I still haven't tried, also has some sort of "Clam Bake" with chowder, steamers, mussels, corn on the cob, a 1 1/4 pound lobster and a few other things for $38 / person. Lots of much cheaper options, too, including El Rincon, which is also very family friendly and casual. Stop and Shop has whole rotisserie chickens for $7.99.

            Just had dinner at Sfoglia, tonight. We've eaten at the UES location in NYC before. Sfoglia on Nantucket, which is close to the high school and one of the Stop & Shops, was about the same. Good pastas and mussels, reasonably fresh fish. They weren't very generous with the bread, which others have raved about, but which we found pretty standard for medium to high end NYC restaurants at least. Both red and white wines were served much too cold. Nothing mind blowing food wise, but it was an enjoyable meal. Service felt hurried. I eat faster than my wife and though they waited to take away my wife's appetizer until after she was done, they did stand there and stare at her eating it as though willing her to eat it faster. They also took away my empty entree plate long before my wife was finished with hers. This shouldn't happen at a restaurant of this caliber. Expect to spend about $70 to $80 per adult if you order a less expensive bottle of wine. There is a big table on one side that sits about 10 people, if you want to bring the whole family.

            We also stopped by Bartlett Farm for some takeout food for lunch and groceries. This place is the kind of place that gives the locavore movement a bad name as some yuppies only enterprise. Everything was very expensive, even if it was imported from off the island as a lot of it was, and often not very high quality. We got a container of bean salad that contained only canned beans green beans, garbanzos and kidney beans. For $5 a small container, I would hope for something that at least took some time with a pressure cooker, not just mixing from a can. It could be fun for your kids to see the cows and goats on the farm, but for provisions, I'd probably go elsewhere.

            If you're staying nearby, the Muse is a real family friendly place during the day. The kids can run around and play pool, ping pong, basketball and arcade games while you and your husband have lunch and a beer. They have a casual menu with pizza and fries and sandwiches and that kind of thing. There's free popcorn and usually some sports on TV.

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            El Rincon Restaurant
            1279 Worcester St, Indian Orchard, MA 01151

            Sfoglia Restaurant
            130 Pleasant St, Nantucket, MA 02554