The Beach Plum Restaurant & Chef Chris Fischer: Farm-To-Table In Menemsha – Martha’s Vineyard Dining

New Dining Room At Beach Plum Restaurant MenemshaThough the Beach Plum Restaurant may look the same on the outside, the inside is completely different.  When you walk through the doors, you feel at home.

Gone are the white tablecloths and in its place are great handmade rustic tables with mason jars and brown paper placemats — crayons for doodling too.

Communal Table At Beach Plum Inn Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

Another great addition is the long communal table in the center of the dining room, a bold move but one I love, especially for the Vineyard.  After all, you never know who you might sit next to, and everyone who is here has an interesting story or two. You can see and feel the change but wait until you try the food.

The Place To Grab A Seat

Chef Chris Fischer - bringing Farm to Table to the Beach Plum Restaurant MenemshaThere’s a small 4 person see “bar” in front of the open kitchen, where you can sit an watch in wonder all that goes on in Chef Chris Fischer’s kitchen.

Yes, the well known chef and 12th generation farmer (Beetlebung Farm) is busy whipping up fresh, local food.  I don’t know if it gets any more local.

The greens on the menu are from  his farm or Mermaid Farm, both down the street. The eggs are from the hens that live at the Inn, and the fish were caught not long ago, and picked up right from the dock.

It’s really something to watch someone so passionate and talented, work so close to you.  You get even more excited about what’s going to be on your plate.

Bar Area In Front of the Kitchen At Beach Plum Restaurant MenemshaI am claiming this little “bar” area to be one of the best places to have dinner this Summer.  Once you go, you’ll know what I mean.  However, don’t get me wrong, every seat is a great seat here, but that spot is very cool.

The Beach Plum Experience

Chef Chris Fischer Prepares The Bluefish I was about to eatWith the open kitchen, I was able to watch Chris fillet the most beautiful bluefish.  The greens were so fresh, many still had their roots on them, and the smell of all sorts of good food was enough to make you crazy.

Stunning View Of Menemsha Harbor From Beach Plum RestaurantBefore sitting down to dinner, my friend Danielle, my partner in crime for this adventure and I had to take a walk outside on the patio.  There is nothing better than that view of Menemsha Harbor.

Taking a moment to sit and take it in, is almost priceless.  Such a magical spot – grab a little ride on the tree swing and you’ re just about in heaven, but thoughts of good food call you back to reality.

For those of you who may not know Chris Fischer, I can tell you this, he has been a huge proponent for farm-to-table dining for years, and he has brought that tradition to the Beach Plum.

This chef can take the most ordinary foods and make them delicious.  He has a knack for flavors, and combinations.  For example, since I saw him fillet the Bluefish, I had to try it.  Not my favorite fish by any means, but Chris made it to-die for.  The seasoning, the olive tapenade, it was just so damn good.

The Asparagus and polenta special At Beach Plum Restaurant MenemshaThe menu is conservative in size because of the availability of the local products, and differs pretty much every day.  We had to try one of each of the featured items, which by the way, were generous in size much to my surprise.

So, we had the Bluefish, the sweetest Butterhead lettuce salad with fava puree, the poached egg, polenta and asparagus salad, and the fusilli, herb and ricotta salad.  I don’t even like poached eggs, but this dish knocked my socks off!  I don’t know if it’s the up-Island hens or what, it was so good, as was everything.

Beach Plum Restaurant Pastry Chef Olivia PattisonI know a lot of people don’t like to eat a ton of bread anymore, but you’re foolish if you don’t ask for the house made focaccia bread.  So soft and delicious – dipped in a little olive oil, it’s hard to stop.

Also, be sure to save room for dessert. The Pastry Chef responsible for the baked goods and desserts, Olivia Pattison, is quite the talented woman.  The fromage blanc tart with strawberry and rhubarb compote was so fresh and creamy.  Also, I used to babysit Olivia when she was a toddler growing up in New York.  So, I am especially proud of her and her talents.

A Sunday night in June and the restaurant was packed.  It was full of laughter and clinks of glasses and people of all different ages.  It was a diverse crowd, where up-Island and down-Island friends gathered for food and a little fun.

Being there, I felt as though I was a part of something special.  There was almost a celebratory vibe to the place.  Perhaps because the Island is still ours or just because you feel at home at the Beach Plum.  Whatever it is, I want to go again.

Beach Plum Restaurant Supper series is the way to go if you have little ones!And I think I can, since the Beach Plum is continuing its Supper Series through June.  The Supper Series is every Sunday night.  It’s a homey, family friendly, prix-fixe meal.  A regular menu is available but the Supper Series is an option.

When I went, it was rib night.  You got ribs, radish slaw, potato salad and banana cream pie for only $25.  It was so family friendly, and there were a number of kids there.  Granted, this was around 5 p.m., but as it got later, there was definitely a fun, adult crowd there.  But, it’s nice to know that there are some more interesting options for families.  I think this series may come back in the Fall if you miss it this month.

I don’t even know what more I can say about the new Beach Plum except try it.  Yes, it’s a special place, but it no longer feels like it’s reserved for date night or for a special occasion.  It’s a place to go to sample real farm-to-table cooking and a great atmosphere.  Remember your drinks though, since it still is BYOB.

Noteworthy – Chis and Jonias (who has worked for the Beach Plum for years) made all the tables.  Also, the delightful cow paintings that will catch your eye were done by the amazing Eleanor Hubbard.

Thanks for reading On Point.  You can learn more about The Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant including the menu for the Super Series on Facebook.  Speaking of social media, don’t forget to  “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterLinked InPinterest and YouTube.

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