There are some nights that call for something a little extra special, and Garde East in Vineyard Haven offers just that.
The space, located right on the Vineyard Haven harbor is one of the most beautiful places to dine on the Island. Watching the ferries come and go, evening chasing away the sun, all while dining on truly delicious food.
Not to mention additional space Garde East now boasts. There are additional tables and bar where the old marina used to be. This new space is AMAZING! Loving the new bar where you can get great cocktails with the most amazing view.
After you have taken in the incredible view, it’s time to think about dinner. Head chef and Island favorite, Carlos Montoya, creates locally sourced food that we will make even the most experienced foodie happy.
The menu has three parts, crudo, which consists of items caught by Island fishermen, second and third. I started with the tuna Poke. So light, fresh and delicious, allowing for the beautiful tuna to really shine. I feel as though I could eat this everyday and be happy.
My interest was also piqued by the Cauliflower “tartare”. After all, I love cauliflower and tartare. This dish featured parsnip, cucumber, harissa yogurt, and purple potatoes. What a way to get your veggies – delicate, flavorful, and a surprise of flavors.
For the second course, one has to have the Spanish octopus. I had last year’s version with the clams, and knew that this year’s was a must. Prepared with Iberico ham, shishito peppers, green peppercorns, and possibly some of the best aioli I have ever had, smoked bacon aioli. For some reason I won’t eat the tentacle pieces in calamari, but I will eat octopus like this. I guess it just needs to be from Garde East. I wish the pictures I took came out well enough for the blog, but you can use your imagination.
Having so much seafood recently, which is a good thing believe me, it was time to have something a little different. The Crescent Farm duck breast sounded perfect. Duck from a small Massachusetts farm, with Robert’s vision has to be good. It was, served with a sweet corn croquette, mission figs, and a Valrhona chocolate jus. Yes, chocolate jus! And in case you were wondering Valrhona is a gourmet cocoa powder.
I think on my next visit to Garde East, I will have to get the halibut which is olive oil poached, bacon-clam agnolotti (similar to a ravioli), lemongrass “chowder” or the The Garde East clam bake – a good ole fashioned New England dish with a twist – chorizo, lobster, clams, mussels, smoked seaweed, and corn.
Chef Carlos may have a small kitchen but he’s putting out big flavors in this beautiful waterfront restaurant. If you are making a bucket list for the remaining Summer months, add this restaurant to it. There is something special about Garde East! This second season has seen the team really elevate their food game!
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