New Martha's Vineyard Recommendations?
We're headed out to the Vineyard in a week or so, and I'm wondering what's out there that is new. We were last there two years ago, and have some old favorites, but are wondering what's tasty, and any hidden gems we may have missed. We like a mix of low-brow with one or two upscale places thrown in. We're staying in Edgartown, but know the island well and are happy to go wherever (especially since I'm pregnant, and can be the desi).
Not sure if this as been on here, but we ate at the Grace Church Lobster Roll dinners (fridays only) last year and absolutely the best lobster roll I've had. Simple, stuffed, and delicious....not to mention cheap (at least compared to NYC).
Grace Church Lobster Rolls:
Yeah! Forgot about those! They're generous with the lobster meat, although the bun is untoasted. The line moves slowly, but the whole scene has a lovely, community feel. The Methodist church in Chilmark does lobster rolls in season on Tuesdays, starting at 4:30PM, and things usually move faster. I think the ones in Chilmark are even better than the ones in Vineyard Haven (a shade less mayo), but maybe that's just my up-Island prejudice talking.
We're in Chilmark, and rarely venture down-Island. In Menemsha, Larsen's does fantastic lobsters and oysters to-go, but you should skip the pre-made lobster rolls; eat on crates outside. And Betsy Larsen is a gem! The Galley is best for frappes -- the swordfish sandwich is good, although the meat is too cold in the lobster rolls. At the Bite, fried clams are divine (quality does vary -- the oil can get stale, but when they're good, they're North Shore good) and consistently top-notch chowder. The Menemsha Cafe does more-than-respectable breakfast and lunch, and I especially enjoy the crabcakes. I was pleasantly surprised by my steamed lobster at the venerable Homeport last week, although the new owners have revamped the menu a bit -- you can't have cranberry juice as an appetizer, anymore. The pecan pie was better than the blueberry, which had too much lemon. Order the pies a la mode; otherwise you get just a dollop of whipped cream.
At Beetlebung Corner, the Chilmark Store makes pizza, about whose quality I have no complaint, although it's a total zoo around lunchtime. They also bake frozen La Brea bread, which is the best option for a baguette in the neighborhood -- the rolls and scones are better than the loaves at Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah. And don't miss Chilmark Chocolates -- the prices are reasonable, the social mission (employing the developmentally disabled) admirable, and the quality superb. I'm a particular fan of their toffee.
The best lobster roll on our end of the island is at the Aquinnah Restaurant, which also does nice fishcakes, although the clams have a little too much cornmeal batter. Gorgeous views from the deck! I want to like Faith's Seafood Shack, since it says all the right things about local seafood, but a couple of visits have left me disappointed.
I haven't been to the Chilmark Tavern this year, although the buzz sounds positive. And houseguests had a terrific experience at the Beach Plum Inn, although at my last dinner several years back I found the place a bit precious. Nice sunset.
I love the Farmer's Market, although you must arrive right at 9AM since it gets picked over fast. That said, the famous egg rolls have never done it for me -- too much filler!
Not sure how much help these up-Island recommendations will be -- in the rest of the island, if you have have a Gobbler at Humphrey's, a meal at the Sweet Life, and a cone at Mad Martha's you'll leave happy!
Sweet Life Cafe
63 Circuit Ave, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Main, Orleans, MA 02653
7 N Water St, Edgartown, MA 02539
The Beach Plum
50 Beach Plum Lane, Menemsha, MA 02552
As far as new within the past 2 years, there's State Road in West Tisbury (former location of the Red Cat, The Ice House and Bittersweet) and Deon's on Oak Bluffs where Pomadoro's used to be. I have also enjoyed Salt Water on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven which has really been taking off. They have the most excellent appetizer named after former island chef, Keith Korn. KK's Fried Tomato with Lobster Salad. Also, Mediterranean has left the waterfront in Vineyard Haven and moved to the former location of Lola's. They continue to offer the best desserts on the island without exception. The Blue Canoe took over their space. They have a great view and offer up some good seafood, but it's not a very innovative menu. There's a new place called Atlantic in Edgartown which gets mixed reviews. I have only been once and while it was good, it was expensive and did not really click with me somehow. It's been getting some poor reviews on Yelp this summer.
My personal favorites are L'etoile, Lambert's Cove Inn, the Outermost Inn, Atria, Alchemy and Mediterranean. Art Cliff and take out at The Net Result for more low key. Best take out is at the Farmer's Market in West Tis. Anything from "The Egg Roll Lady" will send you into genuine summer happiness.
I am probably forgetting something but others can chime in. Have fun.
22 N Water St, Edgartown, MA 02539
79 Beach Rd, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
Lambert's Cove Inn & Restaurant
90 Manaquayak Road, West Tisbury, MA 02575
State Road Restaurant
688 State Rd, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568