Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nantucket: Straight Wharf

AFter a long and tiring day of exploring the island, including a bike ride of well over 20 miles, we were ready for another delicious dinner. I had made, well in advance, a reservation at Straight Wharf restaurant which is one of the oldest fine restaurants in Nantucket. Having never eaten there in my early, somewhat impecunious visits, I was worried that maybe it was resting on its laurels or reputation, but I needn't have worried as we had a fine dinner there.

While relatively unprepossessing from the outside, the restaurant has a great setting overlooking a back corner of the harbor and the inside is warm and welcoming, with much dark wood in evidence set off by large windows. There was a large crowd at the entrance seeking admittance but we were welcoming and whisked promptly off to a choice table on a semi-enclosed deck overlooking the water (our choice).

Dinner was delicious. I started with a special of bonito while Michael had watermelon-based gazpacho. If I remember right, the bonito was raw and it was sweet and fresh like the best sushi. Even Michael, not one for much raw fish, savored it. For my main course, I could not pass up the dayboat scallops that Nantucket is known for, which were perfectly matched with corn, chanterelles and bacon just muted enough not to overwhelm the scallops. Michael had the wood-grilled chicken which if memory serves, he said was the best chicken he had ever had. For dessert we shared a pain perdu which I suspect Michael chose mostly because it came with peanut butter ice cream. Of course there was no chocolate involved which made it automatically second-rate in my opinion, but if you discount that it was terrific.

Straight Wharf is an expensive restaurant and the wines are very expensive. I don't remember what we was something from the cheaper end of the menu, still stingingly expensive and not memorable. I do concede, however, the logistical issues of getting wine onto the island must add some amount of complication and expense.

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