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Nantucket Notes

September 15, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments


Our annual stay in Nantucket came to an end a week ago, and six weeks ago we flew back from New York to Seattle. In past years, I always had a lot to say about our time in Nantucket. This year, not so much. But I think that’s more a function of the general slowdown of Ron’s View this summer than the lack of items to write about.

Early in our Nantucket week, I had written most of a post on our first dinner there, at Topper’s. Before I could finish it, we had eaten another dinner out, and then another, and another. Suddenly I had half a dozen posts to write about Nantucket restaurants. I seem to have given up. Which is too bad, because I really wanted to say a few words about our dinners at Ventuno and Company of the Cauldron, our two favorite restaurants on the island.

Then again, I don’t have much new to say about either of them. Ventuno opened two summers ago in the location of our previous favorite restaurant, 21 Federal. I wrote about it at the time, then again last year. The first post made reference to our sitting not far from John and Teresa Kerry. They didn’t make it this year. Or we didn’t see them anyway. I’m sure he was occupied with Syria. We did sit at the table they had occupied, and had a fabulous meal.

Well, I may as well say more. Here’s a link to the menu. To start, we shared the polpette (meatballs) and the fritelle de ceci (chickpea fries). Then we split an order of pasta: the strozzapretti with chicken sausage, broccoli rabe, and pecorino. Though I don’t think we had broccoli rabe, online menu notwithstanding. It was some other green. Gail followed with the duck breast, while I had the Nantucket fluke, but again not as described on the menu. It was placed on top of the most delightful mix of beans and vegetables. For dessert, the bomboloncini: bittersweet chocolate doughnuts, a small scoop of ice cream, and chocolate sauce.

As for Company of the Cauldron, each night they serve a fixed four-course meal at a fixed time in a gorgeous setting on the lower level of an old building, lit mostly by candlelight. Menus are listed online each week, but our week is long gone, and I’m going to have a hard time remembering what we had. Bread and hummus await. Then the first course. Gail, you’ll have to remind me in the comments section. Then a salad with goat cheese. Then halibut. And then an apple and crust dessert of some sort. A perfect meal, despite my inability to remember or describe it.

Not that our meal at The Pearl the next night suffered much by comparison. We shared golden pork and shrimp potstickers and Vietnamese lettuce wraps. Then we had the Lemongrass & Cilantro BBQ Beef with a side order of fried green tomatoes.

That was Saturday, eight days ago. Earlier in the day, we took our not-quite-annual bike ride from Wauwinet to Sconset, seven miles to the southeast. Gail’s bicycle chain came off two miles into the ride and I didn’t seem to know quite how to get it back on. Fortunately, Joel was just a phone call away. With the time zone difference, we called him a little early, but he was kind enough to answer the phone, and able to tell me what to do. We were thus fortunate to continue our ride.

Sconset is such a lovely village to wander in, with its great beach and superb views out over the ocean, not to mention the unbelievable homes that line Ocean Avenue. After a light lunch at the Sconset Cafe (closed already for the winter, I see at the website), we wandered down Ocean Avenue a ways, coming back to shop at the Sconset Market, check out The Chanticleer (some day we’ll eat there), and go into an art gallery before climbing on our bikes for the ride home.

Maybe I should add some photos.

At the top, a view from the inn where we stay, looking out over the east end of Nantucket Bay, with the ocean just beyond the thin strip of land you see that separates it from the bay.

Here is a shot looking up Main Street in town, away from the harbor.


We always make it a point to stop in at the Nantucket Historical Association‘s Whaling Museum. (We’re members.) We made it our first stop when we got into town this year and took some photos from the rooftop deck. Here’s one, looking out over the entrance to the harbor.


And one more, looking back toward town from Straight Wharf.


Clicking on any of them should yield a higher resolution photo.

Below are two pictures of lower quality that I took in Sconset with my iPhone. The Atlantic from Ocean Avenue:


And part of Sconset’s small commercial area, including the cafe to the right.


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