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Jul 3, 2012 09:26 PM

Martha's Vineyard

Going to Martha's Vineyard next week and curious about any recommended restaurants for food finds. I am from San Francisco, generally know how to eat and appreciate local and healthy food although not afraid to indulge in something less healthy really special. Any thoughts?

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    1. When I go to Martha's Vineyard the focus is the seafood. My preference is for any of the Larsen's empire: Net Result in VH,Laresen's in Memensha and I believe they also own Edgartown sefodd but I could be wrong about theat. we often get takeout from the Net Result: they have clamshack foodas well as excellent sushi. Or we will get fish to cook at home. Another annual stop is the Bite in Menensha for fried clams etc.. The other place I would reomend is the Artclif diner in VH. Breakfast is yummy but it gets super crowded. Other then that I have never gone out to eat for a meal that I thought was worthy of the price or the varying levels of inconvenience

      1. I disagree somewhat with Adi. There are several excellent restaurants on MVI rivaling places in your home city and the pricing compares well to any resort area. What's more, some visitors don't have the time or inclination to cook (and in a hotel you wouldn't anyway).

        The recent consensus (30 or so Vineyarders and regular visitors in our group):

        State Road restaurant- W. Tisbury....just about everything organic and/or local. My current favorite.

        LeEtoile- Edgartown....probably the highest end of the high end restaurants. Always excellent, amazing wine list, quite expensive.

        Detente- Edgartown....a bit more cutting edge, another great wine list.

        Beach Plum Inn- Menemsha.....probably among the best over the longest period of time, but some folks think they are slipping. Based on 10 or so prior visits I would go back to see for myself.

        Sweet Life Cafe- Oak Bluffs. Professional reviewers seem to adore this place. My only real gripe is small portion size for the price.

        Relative bargains:

        The Grill on Main- Edgartown. Not exciting maybe, but consistently good for somewhat lower prices. One of the few places that offers prime rib.

        Smoke N Bones- Oak Bluffs. If you gotta have barbeque. Interestingly, a few vegetarian friends love the grilled vegetable platter here.

        There are even less expensive places than these, but that doesn't seem to be what you're after.
        AND.....virtually EVERY decent restaurant on the Island uses "fresh local ingredients." After tourism, agriculture is their number one industry.

        P.S. 25 bucks for a pint of fried clam strips at the Bite is not "worthy of the price" IMO.

        10 Replies
        1. re: thos

          Ah. The annual MV restaurant debate. Having been coming to the Vineyard for 30 years now, and being a foodie and former wine and food writer, delicately, Adi doesn't know what the hell she is talking about.

          I again second Thos.

          My current fav is State Road-make reservations well in advance.

          Detente remains #2. Beach Plum goes up and down depending on the chef, always worth a try because of the view. Sweet Life is always good make sure to eat outside.

          Question-I saw a literal farm to table pop up at Beetlebung Farm written up in the NYTimes a couple of months ago. What's happened with it.

          One disagreement with Thos. The clams at the Bite are whole belly not strips. They are great. But alas everything there is overpriced.

          Everyone else who contributes to this annual event-anything new open, any news.


          1. re: chrism23

            Hi chrism23, The Bite sells the strips too..... at least as of June 4 2012 they did. 25 bucks for whole bellies would have been more palatable (no pun intended). My son ordered them- he doesn't like whole bellies-"too mushy". Alas........

            1. re: thos

              @thos. my bad. never thought the Bite would serve up clam strips. They are so not clammy.

                1. re: thos

                  The Bite also has -- at more reasonable prices -- the best chowder Up-Island. I love the clams, whatever the price. State Road is as good as everyone says, but the room can be noisy. I prefer the Chilmark Tavern to Beach Plum or the Homeport, about which reports this year are bad. The new Beetlebung Cafe in Menemsha is no good. The fabulous Josh Aronie, whom Everett Poole forced out of his old location, is now doing the daytime shift with a similar menu at Saltwater in VH. And Le Grenier has a lovely new ground-level spot on Upper Main Street, just the place to drink iced tea and watch the world go by. The salad I had was fine; the lobster roll, however, left much to be desired.

                  1. re: dsmoxie

                    Too bad about Josh. I know his parents. He needs a dinner place. Homeport is barely ok if you treat it as a lobster shack and not a restaurant. You go in, order a couple of lobsters, they throw food at you, try to get you out as fast as possible. Not a relaxing experience. But ok, if you score a seat by a window, order nothing but t boiled lobsters, and happen to catch a sunset. It pains me to see people go there who are expecting a relaxed laid back dinner.

                    I like Chilmark Tavern too, although they have been a somewhat inconsistent. Beach Plum is like Outermost. It seems every year they get a new chef, most of them, frankly suck, every so often they get someone good, and together with the locations, the meal can be special. But you never know.

                    So Le Grenier has finally moved from its pastel attic. The food there has always been just short of horrible, why someone would include sweetbreads and frog's legs on a summer menu in the Vineyard to try to be French has always been beyond my understanding.

                    I guess my problem is that its not just the food, and this is a foodie site. I will go to Outermost once, to play the stupid ring toss game, look at the Osprey nest through the telescope, chat up Hugh, and watch the deer come play at sunset. And pay big bucks for so so food. If only he could get a good chef and keep him/her. Almost the same with Beach Plum, I go once, catch a sunset, hope they have a good chef that year.

                    Same old same old. My best Vineyard dining experience was the year that a future NYC celebrity chef, I think it was Marco Cannora, took over the kitchen at the Tuscan Inn, which is now I think the new edition of L'Etoile. It was fabulous. Couldn't believe I was on the Vineyard. Anyone have any memories.

                    1. re: chrism23

                      Le Grenier has taken the ground-floor space, which used to be the MV Bagel Authority, for its new cafe. The same tired menu with the frogs' legs is still on offer upstairs.

                      1. re: chrism23

                        Were you around when the Warriner's was still open Chrism?

                        I agree with dsmoxie on the Bite's chowder. Clams great, prices not so great. No idea what happened to the Galley. I only go to Home Port to order from the window and eat outside. Just don't like the schtick there in the inside. My Chilmark Tavern reports sound close to chrism's. Poor LeGrenier.......what was interesting and cool 25 years ago is just old hat now. How can you NOT change the menu in over 30 years?! (BTW- MV Patch reports Beach Plum chef of 15 years left to go to Le Grenier's downstairs space! Should be interesting

            2. re: thos

              Would you recommend L'etoile, state road, or red cat for a special birthday dinner? Any dress code at these places?

              1. re: thos

                Just back from a trip to the vineyard. Stayed at Beach Plum and had a most magnificent meal. Lobster spaghettii, stinky cheese risotto, sauteeed farm greens, perfect scallops, heirloom tomatoes with farm cheese, DELICIOUS purple turnip soup and also a DELICIOUS pumpkin soup (as you can tell I sampled my dinner mates plates as well!). Think the new chef just started at Beach Plum this summer season. Top notch! And sunset view to die for! Strongly recommend!

              2. If you're in Woods Hole waiting for the Ferry, Shuckers..........just across the little bridge, is worth a visit

                3 Replies
                1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                  Suckers is great if you want a side of attitude with your meal. You will not find a local in the place. May I suggest quicks hole while you wait for the ferry,the food is great. Not good, great. Best in woods hole.

                  1. re: wohord

                    Thanks for the tip wohord. I hadn't heard of this place, but according to their web site it's pretty new. The oysters alone sound like reason enough to visit- and they use Morning Glory Farm products. They must know a thing or two.

                  2. re: FriedClamFanatic

                    My bad the auto correct misspelled the name I really meant shuckers.

                  3. Thanks for the info. I grew up in Falmouth and haven't been there for several years. Back then the manager was one of my classmates in high School and a great guy. My sister.who has lived most of her life in Falmouth, suggested Shuckers, but maybe we'll give Quicks' Hole a try. As for locals in the Shuckers place.....well, 3 years back, I ended up going to a number of tables meeting old classmates and folks I knew when i lived there.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                      Actually........having looked at the net menu...with no fried clams and corn in their clam chowder ( see a realted post on CH), i may not be headed there......but thanks for the opinion

                      1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                        The only thing locals go to Shuckers for are the drinks. Specifically the fresh squeezed OJ drinks. In my opinion the worst restaurant in FAL by a long shot. A thought shared by a great number of my FAL friends.

                        1. re: CapecodKid

                          Well with 2 outta 3 locals going for thumbs down (the one "up" was my sister), I guess we'll head elswhere for Thurs lunch

                        2. re: FriedClamFanatic

                          Quicks hole runs fried clams as a special. They are really good. The twist is razor thin shaved jalapeno over the pile of clams and a touch or dill in the homemade tartar sauce. On top of a pile of fresh cut French fries. Have not tried the chowder...but this place will not disappoint when it comes to flavor and intrigue.

                          1. re: wohord

                            Well, alas, I ended up at Shuckers (NEVER try to argue with my sister!) and it was.............ok. My Wife and sister had the lobster salad rolls (not my fav - i prefer non salad type) that were on special for $15.95. Lots of meat, not too much celery or onion, but served on a side cut roll that must have been Portuguese Rolls..tasty....but not what I would want for a lobster roll.....and I'd die for good Portuguese Rolls in the Philly area. theyt proclaimed them Outstanding! I had the baked scallops.........really good with a light bread topping. The mashed potatoes were ok.although my wife loved them and the green beans were left behind. The drinks were spectacular (my wife's vodka/grapefruit/orange juice was out of sight!). about 2/3rds full so we got a waterside seat. The service was good, although the busboy hovered too much. Had a pleasant conversation with the cute and comely waitress who had gone into the harbor a week or so ago to retrieve a lost credit card!

                            As we were leaving, a woman whose knowledge of code flags is much better than mine is at this age, was attempting to decipher the code on the side wall, Fortunately, the placemats have them all listed. I won't spill the beans, but....if I tell you want it means, will you buy me a drink?

                            My HS friend...who is actually the owner...was not there. In all a nice time, not outstanding. Quick's Hole looked packed as we rode by it......and also a bit small.Maybe next time sans Sister. But Quick's is on the street, not the water, so Shuckers gets the nod for ambience/view. Did not try the Fishmonger, but reports say it's not as good as it used to be

                            1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                              Should probably add......had early Dinner one night at the Flying Bridge in Falmouth. Been there a number of times, usually to try and find typos on their paper menus(grins). View and Ambience.......wonderful. Drinks...Good Wait service...adequate. Fried clams......OK.small but nicely fried

                              1. re: FriedClamFanatic

                                Best new venue on the Island is the Red Cat in Oak Bluffs. I have been a frequent visitor of MV for the last 12 years and this is one of best dining experiences I have had there. It is run by local Chef Ben Deforest and he is doing some great things!!

                                1. re: nunzio75

                                  Can't believe I missed the Red Cat while we were there last week. Loved the old Red Cat - now State Road. State Road was good - except for two things: the manager gave a very frosty greeting to us and others, and it's a bit creepy the way she walks around checking on the estimated occupancy of your table. Also, they served us burnt rolls. Rest of the meal was very good. Oh, and they now have a beer and wine license. Best meals of the week were at Chilmark Tavern and Saltwater. DC loves the chowder at The Chowder House in OB.