Nantucket Restaurants?

Sep 5th, 2007, 04:47 AM
  #1  
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Nantucket Restaurants?

I've read that it can be hard to get restaurant reservations on Nantucket - is this only true during the busy season? We're going in late September; is it necessary for us to make lunch and dinner reservations? Just interested in casual restaurants. Thanks for any info. you can provide.

Also, what's your favorite casual restaurant for lunches and dinners? Any on the water? Thanks!
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Nantucket is certainly busier during the summer, but my feeling is if there is a restaurant you definitely want to eat at, then make reservations ahead.

You don't give a price range, but here is a link to my notes on the restaurants we enjoyed this past July. Forget Galley it isn't casual in price or style - but Cinco you could enjoy a few appetizers/tapas and a drink and maybe that would fit your bill - you can check out the menus/prices on the web sites.

To that, I would add, which we missed doing this trip, drinks at Lola41 , casual meal at Straight Wharf, RopeWalk (on Straight Wharf) lunch at Arnos (although I've heard rumblings about Arnos lately and I can't remember if it is that it is a new owner or what), - hopefully AckIslander will see this and know more -

We love Provisions for breakfast (great breakfast sandwiches with eggs, bacon, cheeses,whatever - ) and/or for lunches or sandwiches to go -

A recent thread on Nantucket Restaurants:
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...1&tid=35011220

a link to my report on restaurants we ate at in 07
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...1&tid=35030388

a link to my report on restaurants we ate at in 06

http://fodors.com/forums/threadselec...1&tid=34831794


Have fun ! September is a beautiful time to enjoy the island.
escargot is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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Thanks, escargot - fabulous information as always.
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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Well, here he is, ready to talk about casual food. Remember that chefs and owners change constantly, so this week's recommendation may be next week's disaster.

You won't need reservations for lunch, but you will on the weekend for dinner for sure except at the most casual places, like the Atlantic Cafe (good for bar food) and they don't take them.

Casual lunch: rainy or chilly day, go to the Brotherhood of Thieves on Broad St. Sit near the fire. Have the flatbread pizza, the fried scallops or fish, or any of the burgers. Don't get adventurous with the menu. Nice day, go to the Ropewalk at the end of Straight Wharf, where you will be surrounded by water and boats OR go to Provisions behind the gazebo at the other end of Straight Wharf and get Turkey Terrifics on Portugese bread for a picnic. I cannot recommend any of the other restaurants on Straight Wharf for lunch and hear that Captain Tobey's in particular is awful this year.

Arno's: I avoided Arno's for several years but had a decent meal there in May. There has been a change of ownership. The menu has always been good, but no one was sweating the details.

Black-eyed Susan's: always lines for breakfast/brunch. Reports good, though locals don't have time to stand in line. A good place for dinner but they don't take reservations -- sort of. Stop by at 5 PM THE DAY BEFORE you want to eat there and have them explain what they do about seatings. No atmosphere but good food, and you can (must) bring your own bottle.

Nice dinner, casual dinner price: Centre Street Bistro, tucked in the back of a store building, has excellent food at low (for the island) prices. You will have to have a reservation, since it only seats about 16 people. Service can be slow since one person has to do the whole front of the house and wait on tables, but great if you are relaxed.

The best casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the price are all at the Hen House, but you will need a bike, car, or taxi to get there. It is near the Stop and Shop supermarket about a mile plus from town center. It is not a pleasant walk, all on busy roads.

If you want to splurge a bit on a nice dinner (business casual clothes) I would recommend American Seasons and Company of the Cauldron. Both are very romantic. Company has a harpist, American Seasons has more room between tables.

We have a wonderful brick oven pizza place, Pi Pizza, further out than the Hen House, so you would need transportation.

Finally, for real casual, do not discount the takeout joints on the Strip at the foot of Steamboat Wharf. Stubby's has a Jamaican menu that is very satisfying, especially the curried mutton with rice and beans.
Ackislander is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 02:11 PM
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Ackislander, I really appreciate your post and the wealth of information. We will be there during the week, so hopefully the restaurants won't be as crowded. We're pairing this with a trip to Boston, and the entire area offers so many restaurant choices. Sounds like foodie paradise!



volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 03:54 PM
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just wanted to add if you do eat breakfast at Black Eyed Susans if it is warm enough adn they still have the picnic tables out in the back/side alley, I really enjoy eating outside if possible, - so you might inquire if it is something you'd like.

now that Ackislander has mentioned, this is what I heard about Arno's, probably from Ack himself, about the new owner, but we also had a decent, affordable early dinner there one night recently - depending on what type of eater you are, i'd go for a few sharing plates at cinco's before I'd do that - and the various bar 'rooms' at cinco's are fabulous, just to enjoy a drink before eating.
escargot is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 05:54 PM
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Oh, yes, we definitely enjoy eating outside - especially on the water or in a nice garden. How is the whaling museum and sailing on the Endeavor? We're trying to decide if we want to take in some activities or just spend our time relaxing...
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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Well I don't know how long they serve by the pool, but it is always nice to take the bus ride out to Siasconset (or ride bikes) and eat lunch around the Summer House pool which also overlooks the ocean and then take a walk... I like the Whaling Museum (never did the Endeavor), love the light house tours (if you are into that), or just bike riding or walking and getting lost in the streets -

The island is pretty, I hope you do not just stay on Main Street the entire time - do a bus tour, lighthouse tour or hop on and off the buses, or ride bikes-

If you really like eating outside, check out the menu for the Galley / Cliffside I mention in the 07 post - it is not inexpensive, but it is casual and you can ask them to move your table onto the sand - depending of course how warm it is in Sept - but you would certainly be dining overlooking the ocean either way - and if it is nice, you can after lunch grab a chair out of the wooden chair bin and sit on their beach for awhile and enjoy the view.

You can also choose an island spot and grab a picnic lunch at somewhere like Provisions and make your own view - there's plenty of little spots with benches along the boat basin - and straight down past to the end a spot overlooking the water with a few picnic tables too.
escargot is offline  
Sep 5th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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kealalani
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Glad you chose Nantucket which has fantastic food options. Gotta book that room for us and the hound at the boat basin soon! Loved Lola41. Everything has been said, so nothing to add, but have a blast! Good for you!!!!
 
Sep 6th, 2007, 06:46 PM
  #10  
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Thanks, guys - you've been a big help! I booked us on a sunset sail with the Endeavor - maybe we could pick up some things at Provisions and do a little picnic on board. It almost looks like you can't go wrong - all the places sound great.

I got us tickets to see Shear Madness too - that should be a fun night out in Boston.
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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Shear Madness is always fun - casual, good, inclusive theater with lots of laughs. Enjoy your trip.
escargot is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 04:25 AM
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Yes, the Endeavor with a picnic and/or bottle of wine is a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. In fact, we are planning to do just that on Sunday. I am prejudiced, however, since our son was Jim Genthner's mate for about 6 summers when he was in college and just after, and everything he learned about sailing and much of what he learned about life was from that wise and good man and his wonderful wife Sue.

I didn't mention The Galley because you specifically said "casual", but it is delicious food in a wonderful setting, though "not inexpensive" may understate the actual damage.

Cinco's is out of town, so you would need to taxi. I haven't eaten there. The food is said to be good but people find the portions very small.
Ackislander is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:48 AM
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Nothing to add but a lament about the way things change....our first idyllic trip to Nantucket was in 1977. We biked all over the island and there was no such thing as---

>It is not a pleasant walk, all on busy roads.<

At least not for bikes anyway...it was an almost car-free wonderland, and that was in mid-July!!

Our most recent trip, about 3 years ago, was a study in contrasts. Not only was biking much less fun b/c of the heavy traffic everywhere, but even the views were diminished. We stayed at the Jared Coffin House and from the porch, the street was jammed with an interminable line of parked SUVs. It really was---and I don't mean to be dramtatic, but this is the only word that comes to mind--heartbreaking. A place so lovely as is Nantucket has been so diminished by the automobile. However, I would still encourage anyone to go visit b/c it is a treasure!

And many thanks to Ack..for all the useful info provided. Have you lived there long enough to have seen the changes to which I refer?
socialworker is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 08:41 AM
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Portions are small at Cinco's because they are served tapas style - they are meant to be shared, so everyone just gets a taste of each thing, if you want more, you order a second round - the wait staff is incredibly adept at helping you decide how many plates to order and if you need duplicates depending on the diners preferences and tastes -

I think in my 07 link I may have mentioned some of our favorite dishes - I could be happy there with just a few plates and some wine - and they had a fabulous wine list too -

the decor and atmosphere is wonderful, they have done an amazing job and in Sept , you may still be able to eat in the tented/heated area which feel slike being outdoors and is if warm enough -the decor and feeling is wonderful and warm, but not your typical "cape cod inne type feel" -

but if you go leave time to enjoy the inside for a pre or post dinner drink-

depends on individual: we walked out and took taxi back, but we were only at the boat basin. I don't know where you are staying, so can't comment on the walk for you.

escargot is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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We're going to be staying at the Martin House Inn, so not sure how close we are to things. We like tapas - have several restaurants here in Houston that offer them.

socialworker, it's sad to see things change, isn't it? We love Costa Rica and the same thing is happening there; I guess no paradise stays undiscovered for long. Just look at Hawaii.
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Yes, socialworker, I have seen many of the changes you write about and find many of them difficult to accept. I have been coming here only since 1984, but we have owned our house (in town) since 1990 and I have been lucky enough to live here full time since 1999.

Living here is very different from visiting here. We live about five minutes from Black-eyed Susan's, but it is very quiet on our street unless there is construction nearby.

We walk to the post office, to the
Grand Union, the the Atheneum (library), we sit on our front porch.

You learn _never_ to drive to town on a bad beach day because the streets will be packed with people who could not go to the beach, and you never go to the grocery in a car after 9 AM. We go to the beach at 4:30 or at 9 in the morning. We rarely go out to dinner in the summer, never in July and August. We know lots of shortcuts to places, and lots of places we won't tell you about. Sorry.

I can live with SUV's because there are so many dirt roads where they are useful, but I often can't deal with drivers who are discourteous and incompetent, even when they are not talking on cell phones. Just as annoying are supermoms dominating the sidewalks with their jogging strollers. Now it's day trippers for a month, peaking when the leaf peepers add Nantucket to their New England tours. They get off the boat, walk from one end of the shopping district to the other, then wonder, "Now what?" But I lived in a tourist district on the Boston Waterfront and owned a winter condo in Naples, Fl, and it wasn't very different.

But guess what? On Labor Day Sunday, five of us took a picnic and a bottle of wine to Madaket beach to watch the sun set. There was a middle aged couple nearby (75 feet) and a couple with two young children (60 feet) and that was it on our section of the beach on a busy holiday weekend. The sun descended magically, one of us saw a green flash and insisted it wasn't the wine, and it was good. In November, I will go there to watch the sunset, and there may be one other car. In February, I will be alone.

I am very fortunate.
Ackislander is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 09:26 PM
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kealalani
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Gosh dang it Ack!!!!
Just when I think my autumn schedule is filling up and I don't have time to think never mind consider returning to your hellhole.......alas you remind me.

I promised myself I would return to the Boat Basin, rent a jeep, bring the hound and savour excellent meals for a couple of days at the Woof cottages.

Getting very busy, life is very hectic.......but if not now - when???

If I manage to make it on island, perhaps we should meet for a cup, or a glass, or a shot- LOL!

Oh those islands call me!!!!
 
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