Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts is a great relaxing place to visit in the summer. It is filled with small towns with excellent eating establishments. Here are some of the places we have visited over the years, sorted by location. As and menus and chefs change, check their websites for updates.
On our 2023 visit, we celebrated Joyce’s birthday dinner with pan-seared duck foie gras on sunchoke puree and pomegranate with red verjus gastrique. Then came a sautéed 1-1/2-pound lobster with lemon-pepper pappardelle with mushroom and farm vegetables with chardonnay, garlic and parsley sauce. Both were very good dishes that were made even better with a bottle of 2018 Thomas Pico Patterloop Vent d’Ange Chablis. After perusing the dessert menu, we ended up at Mad Martha’s (see below), our favorite Edgartown ice cream shop where we split a hot fudge sundae with peanut butter cup ice cream.
This continues to be one of our favorite places dinner places. We had many good dishes here. The seared foie gras with butter poached lobster, goes well with a glass of sauternes. Some of the main dishes we have enjoyed include grilled swordfish with dill whipped potatoes, a two-pound crispy wok-fired lobster with citrus butter and potato puree, and fried calamari with red pepper aioli. And, as usual, we add a bottle of wine, the most recent of which was a pleasant Shale and Stone Chardonnay.
19 Prime Cast Iron Steakhouse (Edgartown)
Tom had a lovely veal chop with a side of creamed spinach with nutmeg and panko and Joyce a pair of Maine lobster tail with fingerling potatoes. Wine was bottle of 2021 Melville Santa Rita Hill Pinot Noir and a glass of 2021 Domaine Pascal Mireille Renaud Macon-Villages Chablis.
We shared an appetizer of pan-seared scallops with English pea puree, poached rhubarb, and speck, and a side of fried cornbread. Our shared entrée was roasted cod with potato gnocchi, lump crab, snow peas, and finnan haddie sauce. And we wouldn’t resist and a s’more with chocolate torte, espresso ganache, milk chocolate chemeaux, graham cracker praline, Italian meringue brulee and raspberries dessert. The scallops and cornbread were the best of our choices. Our Qupe Marsanne (from Los Olivos) worked well with the scallops and cod. But our glass of Castelnau de Suduiraut Sautern was disappointing.
The Seafood Shanty (Edgartown)
We have had lunch at this casual dockside spot has a rooftop view of the harbor multiple times. We always enjoy the generously endowed naked lobster roll. Sometimes our fried Ipswitch clams have been tender and juicy. But one time they were somewhat tough, but still very tasty.
19 Raw Oyster Bar (Edgartown)
We shared a messy, but tasty lobster roll with lemon aioli and PEI mussels steamed in red curry cream broth.
Mad Martha’s Homemade Ice Cream (Edgartown and additional locations on the Cape)
If you like ice cream, this is the place. We stopped several times to split a cone or a hot fudge sundae with peanut butter cup ice cream. A great way to end an evening.
The Harborview Hotel (Edgartown)
A nice place for a drink is The Harborview Hotel. They offer a wide range of beers and wines by the glass (or bottle) and a magnificent wrap-around porch with rocking chairs and comfortable cushion chairs. Rock and sip while enjoying the lovely views of a park, a lighthouse, channel, and Chappaquiddick Island. While one is already unwound after a day in the island paradise, a drink on a rocking chair to the shoreline views will positively mellow you out.
Nancy’s Restaurant (Oak Bluffs)
Nancy’s has an ideal location next to a formal restaurant and bar overlooking the Oak Bluffs Harbor and the old “campground” dormitory. While we enjoyed the venue and the drinks at lunch (Mad Martha Brewing’s 508 IPA), we wish we could say that about the food. The fried belly clams and fried onion rings were both disappointing. Go for a drink but skip the food.
Lobsterville Bar and Grill (Oak Bluffs)
The name says it all. This is right by where the ferry from Nantucket docks. We happened to stop on a Monday Madness special day on lobster rolls just in time for lunch. We enjoyed a large serving of lobster salad on a toasted bun. What’s not to enjoy?
Nancy’s has an idea location next to (and formal restaurant and bar overlooking) the Oak Bluffs Harbor and the old “Campground” dormitory. While the drinks (Mad Martha’s Brewing’s 508 IPA and at the bar were pleasant, our “healthy” fried lunch (fried belly clams and fried onion rings) were both disappointing.
We began by sharing a dozen local oysters, a cup of clam chowder (which was, disappointingly more like clam broth with a little milk, potatoes and a generous dose of chopped clams, than a true chowder), followed by a large fresh lobster.