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Nantucket Expertise Needed!

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I go to Nantucket every Fall, for 3 nights.

My three favorite places to eat, in order, are:

1) Company of the Cauldron
2) 21 Federal
3) The Boarding House.

21 Federal is closed, sadly, so I have to pick another place this year. I need advice on where to go.

I tend to require beautiful ambiance, and good service. Those are my prejudices.

These are the options, and my own subjective comments on them:

Oran Mor - Ate there a few times, I liked it a lot. By default, this is my 4th favorite restaurant on Nantucket, and I'll probably replace 21 Federal with this, unless talked out of it by a better choice.

American Seasons - Ate there once, hated it with a passion. Worst restaurant on the island. No way. Dark, miserable, weird menu, horrible service. My idea of the worst possible restaurant.

Centre Street Bistro - Loved the food. Cute place. But they usually aren't open for dinner in October. So I don't think it's an option. Also, this is a little smaller and more casual than I would ideally prefer.

The Pearl - It was cool inside, but I like the cozy Boarding House way better, so The Pearl is out.

Lola 41 - Never been, but I've walked past it at night, and it looks like a crazy hookup scene. I'm totally not into this vibe, so Lola 41 is definitely out.

Ventuno - No, I wouldn't go to the replacement of 21 Federal.

Chanticeleer - I've never been. It looks good on the website, although some people say it's past its prime. I'd love to hear advice on this place, with the understanding that I love places like Company of the Cauldron, and I loved 21 Federal. It seems I would like this place.

Sconset Cafe - Looks good, although borderline too casual. I hate BYOB, it feels like I'm having a picnic, not eating in a nice restaurant.

Brick Bistro - Hotel restaurant, absolutely no.

Demarco - No.

Straight Wharf Restaurant - I need advice on this place. It looks great on the website, but the comments I read make it sound like a singles hookup bar. Can I have a nice dinner here, with good service? Or is it all drunken 30 year olds trying to hookup?

Slip 14 - I walked by, and it looks "ok". I'm not sure what to think about it. The menu looks good, but it looks very casual, and has the vibe of an alleyway.

So, to recap, I'm leaning towards Chanticeleer, with Oran Mor next. I'd like Straight Wharf, but I'm wary of "the scene" there. I'd probably enjoy Sconset Cafe, but it's really a little too casual for my taste.

Slip 14 is an extreme long shot.

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21 Federal Restaurant
21 Federal St, Nantucket, MA 02554

Demarco
9 India St, Nantucket, MA 02554

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

Oran Mor
2 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

Straight Wharf Restaurant
6 Harbor Sq, Nantucket, MA 02554

Lola 41
15 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

Slip 14
14 Old South Wharf, Nantucket, MA 02554

American Seasons
80 Center St, Nantucket, MA 02554

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  1. Did you read my recent reviews of Oran Mor, Center Street Bistro and Lo La 41 as well as Slip 14? Please do. I really LOVED Oran Mor as did my DSM. Slip is good for lunch....Center St. Bistro I would choose for breakfast or lunch..I need a little more atmosphere for dinner. I used to love the Boarding House and it was packed when we went by..we could not get into Pearl but my foodie friend Ciclista loves it.

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    Oran Mor
    2 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

    Slip 14
    14 Old South Wharf, Nantucket, MA 02554

    6 Replies
    1. re: phelana

      Yes, I like Oran Mor a lot. I've been there a few times, so I'm comfortable with it, and I know it's good.

      In terms of trying something new, I'm thinking of going to The Chanticleer in Sconset, or Straight Wharf.

      Can anyone compare those places to Oran Mor?

      -----
      Oran Mor
      2 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

      Straight Wharf Restaurant
      6 Harbor Sq, Nantucket, MA 02554

      1. re: johnblacksox

        I was in Straight Wharf a week ago today to have lunch. Unfortunately we arrived at 2 and they were closing. It's bright and open. It's in the midst of The Tavern and other hot spots so a busy area...I would do lunch there...or sit at the bar for drinks and snacks..it did not appear as romantic as Oran Mor IMHO. Ciclista LOVES Toppers..what about The Galley at the Jetties..that looks amazing..

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        Oran Mor
        2 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

        Straight Wharf Restaurant
        6 Harbor Sq, Nantucket, MA 02554

        1. re: phelana

          Have you done a search? Listen to phelana..she knows her stuff. I live on Nantucket, but I am not there for the summer. Center St. Bistro is open year round. I do love Topper's, but only for lunch...the view is so beautiful, why go when it's dark? And lunch costs only an arm, not an arm and a leg. And fun people watching.

          1. re: ciclista

            Yes, but I'm particularly interested in hearing about Chanticleer, and I didn't find much about it on this board. (In fact, there isn't a ton about Nantucket in general, which is surprising given the number of nice restaurants.)

            So I'm hoping to hear from someone who has been to Chanticleer recently, and can compare it to Oran Mor for me. I like Oran Mor, just curious to try somewhere new.

            As for Centre St., when I've visited in October in past years, it has been closed for dinner, and maybe even some days for lunch. I think they reduce their hours off-season.

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            Oran Mor
            2 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

            1. re: ciclista

              I'll 2nd the Toppers for lunch rec. They also provide a free boat shuttle. Here are my notes from back in Aug 2009:

              We attended lunch at Toppers 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.

              1. re: foleyd7

                Yeah, Cisco Brewery is a fun, different experience. It's almost like a little village back there, and you go into the appropriate "shop" according to you booze preference: wine, vodka, beer, single malt scotch, etc. The buildings surround a courtyard where everyone hangs out. It's BYOF (food) because they don't serve any. It's popular with the beach crowd (apres plage), and the "young landscaper crowd": hippies, white kids with dreads, dogs with bandanas...you get the drift. It's a good vibe. Just look for 50 cars parked in a row on the way to Bartlett Farm, and you've found it.

      2. I highly recommend Straight Wharf for dinner. (The boisterous bar is completely separate from the restaurant, so don't worry about noise.) The menu is fabulous and the food does not disappoint. It is one of our favorites, and we go back year after year...and it gets better. Another favorite is LoLa 41 - call at 4:00 pm for a reservation the day you want to dine. The menu is so varied ghat we usually eat here at least twice in a weekend - don't miss the burger, Mac & cheese, truffles fries and fish. The tables are spread around the bar so it can be a bit noisy; I just like the upbeat vibe. Galley Beach and The Bistro at the Summerhouse for lunch are the best on the island for food and atmosphere.

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        Straight Wharf Restaurant
        6 Harbor Sq, Nantucket, MA 02554

        Galley Beach
        54 Jefferson Ave, Nantucket, MA 02554

        1 Reply
        1. re: majik

          I second the Straight Wharf recommendation. Bas scene is removed from the restaurant which has nice views of the harbor and a terrific ambience. We find the food to be some of the best on the island (we aren't fans of Toppers at dinner - just seems too stuffy). I wouldn't write off Ventuno. We ahd a terrific meal there. While you seem nostalgic about 21 Federal, they had really slipped downhill by the end - Ventuno was really good and had some of the same feel.

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          21 Federal Restaurant
          21 Federal St, Nantucket, MA 02554

          Straight Wharf Restaurant
          6 Harbor Sq, Nantucket, MA 02554