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Recent Nantucket Dining Experiences -- not so good

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Spent a few days in ACK with a follow up two week trip already planned for August. Had not been to the island in a long time but distant memories of Oran Mor and lunch at Toppers made me optimistic. But then reality sets in . . . Lunch at Toppers (this was at one time a really special experience) our first day was just terrible. Warm oysters, bad service, thoughtless food. It made me sad as it was a quick trip for my husband's birthday and we were staying at the Wauwinet (which like the food was dated and disappointing -- as was the buffet breakfast -- it used to be a real treat). Bright spot -- the Pearl that evening was nice. Crowded and service was a bit slow but it was a fine meal. Lunch the next day was Slip 14. At this point, I almost booked a flight back to CT as the meal was so not something I would ever want to eat let alone pay for (see separate review). We had, however, dinner to look forward to -- Oran Mor. A dreamlike experience years back and my husband was truly looking forward to his birthday meal. Service was rude edging on hostile. The waiter was obviously in a bad mood and took it out on all his tables. We ordered a very nice bottle of wine and he made it his mission to pour all of it before our appetizers were finished. I finally had to tell him that we would pour it ourselves. The food also disappointed. Halibut that could bounce off the floor it was so over cooked. Short rib ravioli that were stringy. We cancelled our lunch plans for the next day and caught an early flight off the island. Sadly, we had already booked a house for a couple of weeks in August. I know I will cook at home a lot. Am I missing any decent places that are worth a try?? I found the food to be so average it was beyond description! I used to love this island. Has it changed or is it me???

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Oran Mor
2 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

Slip 14
14 Old South Wharf, Nantucket, MA 02554

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  1. Let's let Ciclista, our resident expert on Nantucket chime in...I had amazing dining experiences June 25th weekend and dream of returning soon.

    3 Replies
    1. re: phelana

      I don't think the restaurants on Nantucket are great either. They are ridiculously overpriced and I am tired of feeling violated. I live there, I understand the rapacious rents these people are paying for, and the price of utilities and getting all food and wine shipped over, so their prices are high because they need to pay overhead. Still, the food and service shouldn't suck, and you really shouldn't have to put up with a surly server. But that's what gratuities are for, I guess. If you want a good food town, go to Portland Maine, don't go to Nantucket. But if you want to enjoy the beautiful beaches and time with friends and family, come to Nantucket and cook at home. Don't let the restaurants make you regret that you rented a house for a few weeks!

      I don't mean to sound snarky. Did you miss anything really good? Depends...you can do a search of Nantucket on this board and see what I and others have said about various restaurants. I like The Galley for a glamour lunch, once a summer. I was surprised to read of your experience at Topper's. Grab some sandwiches at Something Natural and head to the beach. I like Black Eyed Susan's (not in July and August....too hot in there). Lunch at the beachside restaurant at the Summer House in Sconset is always nice once a year, too (weather permitting, obviously). I hear good things about Pazzo, in the former Sfoglia space, mid-island. I also like Lola 41 for casual, yummy food (won't break the bank).

      Yeah, a lot of the food on Nantucket is just average, and you'll pay a lot for it. Sorry for your bad experience.

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      Lola 41
      15 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

      Sfoglia Restaurant
      130 Pleasant St, Nantucket, MA 02554

      Something Natural
      50 Cliff Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554

      1. re: ciclista

        Thanks so much for your insight. Doesn't sound snarky in the slightest! I agree with you point re: prices -- I understand why everything is so expensive but in my mind I always associated Nantucket with St. Barts where everything is absurdly priced but there are a couple of places each year where you can get flat out excellent food and service. On the Nantucket front, Lola 41 caught my eye when we were on the island. Any recommendations for shopping -- great places for fresh fish, bread etc (I know about Barlett farm)? Thanks again for your perspective.

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        Lola 41
        15 S Beach St, Nantucket, MA 02554

        1. re: CTGirl100

          You don't have many shopping choices except Stop & Shop and Grand Union for basic food stuffs. You already know about Bartlett Farm (black) Market. There's Annye's on Amelia Drive (health food store...they carry meat and poultry, too, as well as Pain D'Avignon bread). For bread, there's Mark-Et on Orange St (out by the rotary) T the former Daily Breads location, Something Natural (also sold at Stop & Shop, as well as at corporate HQ on Cliff Rd). For fish, I'd go to Glidden's (mid-island) or to Sandole's on Hummock Pond Rd, on the way to Cisco Beach. Just look for the sign that says "167", on the right as you head out toward the beach. Yes, you can get some great dinners on Nantucket, but I'm tired of spinning that roulette wheel and parting with my hard-earned cash. The Town Pool half-off certificates have taken the sting out a bit! Good luck.

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          Something Natural
          50 Cliff Rd, Nantucket, MA 02554

    2. Had an awesome meal at American Seasons... the charcuterie plate (which I think you have to ask for) is huge and great - the rest of the meal was really good too, but we had a lot of wine... so I'm just going to say... have the charcuterie and enjoy!!

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      American Seasons
      80 Center St, Nantucket, MA 02554