Did you know that the Right Fork Diner has been serving up dinner during the Summer months for four years? I had no idea.
How did I miss out on this amazing experience for so long? I am slightly ashamed with this realization.
To make matters worse, the last day to have dinner at the diner is Monday, August 31st. The diner will still be open for breakfast and lunch until Columbus Day, but you need to go there now for dinner.
You should definitely schedule this into your evening plans this week.
It felt strange driving past a close Katama General Store, heading on the right fork to go to the Right Fork Diner as the sun was making its descent. It’s such a morning ritual for the Cramer family.
I went on a Sunday night which is BBQ night. There was parking and no wait. I was by myself so, a small luxury for a mom of two. With this freedom, I chose to sit on the railing, looking out onto the Katama Airfield.
The view was wonderful. The sky was full of clouds and sunshine, you could smell rain coming. It was perfect. So relaxing and such a change from the breakfast scene at this hotspot.
Though thankful for some quiet time to do my research, I wished I had brought the family. The Right Fork Diner is perfect for families for dinner. Parents and kids are playing corn hole while waiting for their food. Parents have wine and beer, smiling as the kids ran around. There was so much laughter. I couldn’t help but smile and revel in their Summer moments.
However, I had work to do and after three straight days at the Ag Fair, Illumination night, and the fireworks, a beer and a good dinner by myself was pretty awesome.
Listening to a little Neil Young, savoring an Allagash White Ale, and the view, all added up to a great Island experience. I was blissful and I hadn’t even ordered food yet.
As I mentioned, Sundays are BBQ night which is fine by me. The menu has some great BBQ options like the Pulled Dinner. You choose dry-rubbed, slow smoked pulled chicken or pork on brioche roll topped with coleslaw and a side (tomato basil corn salad, potato, salad, baked beans) and of course corn bread.
There were ribs and more — a cold night for some savory finger licking good comfort food.
I however did not order BBQ. I had Local Smoke and Loco Tacos at the Ag Fair a couple of times, so I was a little BBQ’d out. Not to worry because I opted for the Lobster Roll.
Of course there’s a special twist to their lobster roll. It’s the classic lobster and mayo but with the addition of lemon aioli and chimichurri on a torpedo roll, and there was even a little piece of crisp Romaine lettuce.
The lettuce added a nice crunchy texture, and I really liked that there were flavors that complimented the lobster. It was so much more interesting than a regular ole lobster roll. And to make it even better, the sandwich came with fries that were outstanding. I ate it all, without remorse.
Clearly the Sunday BBQ is a hit. The place was packed. The menu during the week makes me want to come back ASAP.
There is a Lobster Carbonara with spring peas, asparagus, applewood smoked ham, pecorino cream and fresh egg noodles. Sounds amazing! There’s also a beautiful Lobster Cobb Salad, which looks so fresh and healthy.
One of the biggest hits of the year is the Cauliflower Steak. So robust, says owner Jamie Langley, you think you’re eating a steak. It’s a spicy blackened cauliflower steak, sweet corn, barley risotto and green onion pesto. How about that for a vegetarian option?
The chef, Kate Erwin, a Summer transplant from Baltimore, creates fresh, flavorful Summer food that is delicious and not too heavy.
She uses the bounty the Vineyard has to offer in her meals, and loves cooking food here. Jamie says Kate is hooked and will be back next year for sure.
The crazy thing is that the food is really good and it’s really affordable. My lobster role was $18. The Cauliflower Steak is $16 and the Lobster Carbonara is $26. I was really pleasantly surprised.
In addition to the dinner and BBQ menu, there’s a kid’s menu, of course, and let’s not forget to mention desserts. Jamie is a big fan of SoCo Creamery ice cream, made in the Berkshires, which makes it pretty local.
SoCo ice cream is amazing on its own, but at Right Fork Diner, they tempt your with SoCo Frappes. There’s also the Grown-Up Ice Cream Bowl which features, get this my friends, lemon poppy-seed SoCo ice cream, served with a Val’s Cakes shortbread cookie and house made hot fudge. WHAT!
I had to leave shortly after hearing about that. I just had a huge dinner and could not have dessert, though so much of me wanted it, and I still do. As I typed this, my stomach began to growl. That’s a sign of effective dessert creations.
Jamie has owned the diner for 10 years. For her, one of the best times at the diner is in the evening. There is something calming about it.
The light is amazing. Purple and pink hues take over the sky. The pace is not as frenetic as the day. People are unwinding from their day, not gearing up for the self imposed pressures of making an epic Vineyard day.
Dinner was the perfect way to share this beauty and show a different side of Right Fork, energy and food. It used to only be served four days a week, but now it’s seven. Chef Kate Erwin has created some really great dishes, and chances are there will be even more added to next year’s menu.
The Sunday BBQ night is a homage to Everett Whiting and his Local Smoke which used to be served for dinner at the diner.
It was introduced this year as a way to alleviate the burden of dinners on Sunday after all the marathon Sunday’s spent on South Beach.
Jamie says she “Thought of all the families driving off Norton Point, sandy and hungry after a long day spent, and how nice it would be to have a place to drop into on the way off, that was as informal as pulling up to a take away counter, wrapped in your beach towel or coverup.” A thoughtful gesture that is a delicious success.
Now that you’re excited about dinner at Right Fork Diner, there are more things that might be added to this iconic Vineyard restaurant.
There is a new hanger being built at the airfield. Once this is completed, the Right Fork Diner can take over the airfield office. A new deck can be rebuilt.
Perhaps one that can have a raw bar? Sushi? Perhaps this will lead to a full liquor license, where the biggest request Jamie always gets, for a Bloody Mary breakfast, could finally be fulfilled? How awesome would all this be? I’ll keep you posted on this for sure.
Two more things. Do you dislike waiting for your table? Well, you can use the No-Wait App to make a reservation. This way you can plan your dining experience accordingly.
Also, the staff is awesome. So friendly and happy, even at the end of August.