Memorial Day weekend (and, accordingly, summer) are right around the corner. In the spirit of the season, we’ll be featuring reports on the restaurants of popular weekend getaways all week.
Martha’s Vineyard has the rare distinction of totally living up to its hype. It’s gorgeous, there’s enough to do that you’re never bored, and it’s mellow enough that you don’t feel as though you need a vacation from your vacation. Although laying out on the beach, hitchhiking, riding on the Flying Horses, and snickering every time someone says “Gay Head” are entertaining diversions in and of themselves, no trip to the Vineyard would be complete without sampling some of the island’s excellent food offerings. Below, five of the best bets for a wide range of prices.
•L’Etoile (22 N. Water St, Edgartown, (508) 627-5187): L’Etoile is widely considered to be the Vineyard’s top destination for haute cuisine. Chef Michael Brisson (formerly of L’Espalier) turns out consistently excellent French-inspired dishes. They don’t come cheap, but devotees swear they’re worth every penny.
•The Sweet Life Cafe (63 Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs, (508) 696-0200): The Sweet Life Cafe is the Vineyard’s answer to Chez Panisse. Head down to the gorgeous Victorian house that houses the restaurant and munch on an ever-evolving menu of gourmet classics made from impeccably sourced local ingredients. As you might imagine, the seafood entrees are especially excellent.
•Art Cliff Diner (39 Beach Rd, Vineyard Haven, (508) 693-1224): This tiny breakfast and lunch joint manages to feel like home the first time you walk through the doors. The atmosphere is perfect, the servers are great, and we’re still salivating over the goat cheese and fig concoction we had there two years ago. The food is just that good.
•Lattanzi’s Pizzeria (Old Post Office Sq, Edgartown, (508) 627-9084): Fine dining is all well and good, but sometimes you just want a good old-fashioned pie, you know? Fortunately, Lattanzi’s is around to satisfy all your pizza yearnings.
•The Bite (29 Basin Rd, Menemsha, (508) 645-9239): You didn’t think a list of great dining in Martha’s Vineyard could be complete without a seafood shack, did you? The Bite boasts the best fried clams on the island. Get an order of fried clams or fish and chips and walk it over to the beach. On a summer evening, things can’t get much better than that.