September 2015

By Rianon Stormer


“There is no sincerer love than the love of food”

~ George Bernard Shaw


The month of September is as glorious as watching the setting sun in Menemsha. You can still frequent the beach and go for a swim without the hassles of sitting in a line of traffic. It’s the time to really enjoy the island and all its splendor. This is also a wonderful time to step out of your comfort zone and try out some new dishes. I’ve chosen some of the best appetizers served in several fine restaurants on the island. So sit back, relax and start your meal with one of these delicious starters.

Sashimi Salad

“Sashimi Salad” at The Seafood Shanty
Even though it’s September, I still have a need to hold onto summer for as long as I possibly can! It’s here at The Seafood Shanty where one can still sit back and relax in the sunshine on the upper deck and enjoy the sweeping views of the harbor. Or have the option to sit downstairs and ogle all the fabulous yachts through their big, picturesque windows. Order a cocktail and start out with the Sashimi Salad appetizer. Fresh, raw tuna, salmon and yellowtail with shrimp and kani is served on a bed of lettuce and topped with a yummy ginger dressing. Light and refreshing, this dish is a constant reminder that there are plenty of beautiful days ahead and the warm weather is going nowhere fast. Gotta love the Shanty for these reasons alone- great food, drinks and atmosphere. What more could a girl ask for?

Shrimp Scampi Appetizer

“Shrimp Scampi” at La Soffitta
It’s a well-known fact that Food Lovers flock to Italy, but here on the island we head to La Soffitta. Be prepared to Fall in LOVE! The newly opened restaurant located in Vineyard Haven is probably the closest thing you’ll find when craving truly, authentic Italian fare. For starters, try the Shrimp Scampi appetizer: A hearty portion of shrimp is sautéed in a traditional white wine, butter, EVOO and plenty of garlic. Cooked to perfection, all of the ingredients are piled high atop thick-slices of Ciabatta instead of pasta, which is Awesome for sopping up the last of the remaining sauce. This simple yet tasteful dish is an absolute delight and a great way to start out the meal. A few other notables to try: the Salumi and Formaggio Board as well as the Salmon Ricotta House Made Ravioli with Spinach Cream Sauce, which after the first bite, you’ll think you died and went to Heaven! Yes, it’s that good!

Wood oven charred brussels sprouts

“Wood Oven Charred Brussels Sprouts” at Rockfish
I love walking into a place that has a subtle city, chic vibe while still keeping that down, earthy feel of being on the Vineyard. Let me introduce you to Rockfish: 2 floors, both with fully stocked bars and large windows for people watching. Exposed brick and dark wood finishes are enhanced by the glow coming from the rustic looking, clear glass pendants. Journey upstairs to find exposed beams, a vaulted ceiling and a wood fired oven. In other words, this place is Perfect. The Brussels Sprouts appetizer is more of a hearty dish. The sprouts are blanched then smoked in the wood fired oven providing an ever so slight smoky flavor. Combined with hearty pieces of bacon and caramelized shallots over creamy mashed potatoes topped with Roquefort fondue- this appetizer is so good you won’t want to put your fork down until it’s finished.

Zucchini Fritters

“Zucchini Fritters” at Slice of Life
At the end of Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, you’ll find this Wonderful little eatery that serves up some of the tastiest food on Martha’s Vineyard, all year long. Aside from breakfast and lunch, dinnertime brings about The Zucchini Fritters appetizer! This popular dish made by Chef Peter starts out with fresh, shredded zucchini, a bit of diced red onion and a little salt and pepper for taste. The mixture is then gently fried in a simple, light batter and served with a side of Basil Mayo. The end result is a perfectly fried fritter: crispy on the outside yet firm on the inside. Red onion gives this appetizer a little extra pizazz and when you add a dab of the Basil Mayo- it’s simply Delicious! Bonus, this is a great way to sneak in some veggies! The Truffle Fries should be on your must-try list as well- you won’t be sorry!

Lobster Devilled Eggs

“Lobster Devilled Eggs” at Lucky Hanks
This charming restaurant has all the characteristics of home- warm and inviting with a relaxing atmosphere. Step inside and you’ll find exposed wood throughout the place, peaked ceilings and large picturesque windows that allow for plenty of natural light. The Lobster Devilled Eggs appetizer are unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. Lucky Hank’s starts off using fresh, island eggs and combines the yolks with lobster, capers and fresh herbs grown from their own personal garden. The filling is exceptionally soft and creamy and the herbs and capers mesh together for a nice, subtle finish on your taste buds. The trio of eggs are topped with a piece of lobster and all are laid on a bed of fresh, lightly dressed greens. I have a penchant for deviled eggs and these are definitely at the top of my list.

Shiitake Mushroom Appetizer

“Shiitake Mushroom Special” at Isola
Venture off the beaten path in Edgartown and you’ll find Isola Restaurant. This hidden little gem delivers some of the finest, authentic Italian cuisine and is one of the island’s best kept secrets- complete with inside and outside seating. Imagine dining al fresco and being surrounded by twinkling lights, while listening to the sounds of Sinatra floating through the air. It’s as romantic as the Shiitake Mushroom Special appetizer. Each of the island grown shiitake mushrooms are topped with melted parmesan cheese, sliced cured egg yolk and micro arugula. Followed by a drizzle of Agrodulce sauce, which is a traditional sweet and sour sauce in Italian cuisine. Rich in flavor, the saltiness of the cheese is offset by sweetness of the Agrodulce sauce, resulting in a beautifully plated, dessert-like starter. It’s no wonder why this dish is their ‘Signature’ appetizer. Take pleasure and savor every last bite, after all you only live once and you might as well live life to the fullest!

Restaurant Information:

Isola Restaurant
19 Church St
Edgartown, MA 02539
(774) 549-9428

La Soffitta
82 Main St
Vineyard Haven, MA 02568
(508) 687-9448

Lucky Hanks
218 Upper Main St.
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 939-4082

11 North Water St
Edgartown, Ma 02539
(508) 627-9967
FB: Rockfish

Seafood Shanty
31 Dock Street
Edgartown, MA 02539
(508) 627-8622

Slice of Life
50 Circuit Avenue
Oak Bluffs, MA
(508) 693-3838