The Chef Shuffle: Changes To The Martha’s Vineyard Restaurant Scene

Martha’s Vineyard is home to a number of talented chefs. Though many call a single restaurant home for years, especially if they own it, many do what I call the “chef shuffle.” Where on the Island could one of your favorites be this season?

Martha's Vineyard - I lost my dog

Each chef has his/her own style and approach to food, so it’s fun to see how their new restaurants change. Here are some of the chefs that are calling new kitchens home this year.

Coming Home

The Home Port Restaurant Menemsha Martha's Vineyard Dining Chef Josh AronieMany changes I am excited about, including this one. Josh Aronie has left Vineyard Haven (Cafe Moxie is no more) and  is now at the Home Port in Menemsha. Kicking off it’s 84th season next week, I think this is going to be a very exciting year.

Island chef Josh Aronie Goes To The Home Port Restaurant Chilmark Menemsha Martha's Vineyard

Josh loves being in Menemsha again. It’s a happy place for him. Home. Remember the deliciousness of his Menemsha Cafe food, just thinking about his food makes my stomach rumble. I have to say that I already miss The Food Truck!

The Home Port is known for it’s seafood dishes. I like the raw bar there, and of course the “Back Door” for take-out. I love sitting on the porch as the sun is setting with a group of friends.

Also, did you know that you can call ahead and have “Car Hop” service? Beep your horn, and they’ll run your order out to you, then you can cruise on down to the beach and catch the sunset.

As the chef at the Home Port, Josh is committed to making great food, and he hopes to add some more choices to the Back Door.

You will probably also see some of the meals more composed, less ala carte. I guess I’ll have to head up and explore the options for myself. Shucks.

Above Par

Farm Neck

Farm Neck has a great kitchen team lined up for this season. The new chefing team is Carlos Montoya (ex-Sweet Life Cafe), Executive Chef with Chef, Michael Rottman (ex-l’etoile). These two are teaming up to bring some amazing food to the greens.

Chefs Carlos Montoya & Michael Rottman Team Up At Farm Neck Restaurant Martha's Vineyard Dining

Serving breakfast and lunch for now, but starting dinner on Friday, May 23rd, and the menu is pretty exciting.

For breakfast, how about Short Ribs & Sweet Potato Hash with  smoked tomato aioli and soft poached eggs or Warm Waffles with maple butter and seasonal fruit (raspberries please), or House Cured Salmon on an everything bagel with the works?

For lunch you can get Pretzel Dusted Calamari (say what!) with a Quinoa & Bean Salad  that has Mermaid Farm feta, local greens, grape tomatoes, cucumber and an oregano vinaigrette.

These guys are taking food at the Farm Neck to a new level. I haven’t been to the restaurant in a long time, but this Spring it is on my list of where to eat.

Local, Refined and More 

Chef Matthew Safranek (ex-Homeport/Atria) joins Chef/Owner Kevin Crowell as the new Chef du Cuisine at Detente in Edgartown.

Detente is one of those places you go when you want an intimate meal that’s going to have a local component and “wow” you. Of course the extensive wine list is an added bonus. Nestled back in Nevin Square in Edgartown (next door to our Point B office), it’s always a hot spot during the Summer. I love enjoying a bite to eat at the bar.

The bar at DetenteKevin Crowell is an incredible chef. Responsible for the food at Sweet Life and Detente, he does not disappoint, and keeps us inspired with his food pairing. Having the super talented Matthew join the team is going to help make for an even better season.

Think delicious, creative modern dishes like Blue Crab Risotto paired with leek, basil and carrot broth or Braised Wild Boar Belly with poached eggs, arugula, and truffle oil — see. Wow!


Lambert's Cove Inn Restaurant New Chef Martha's Vineyard Dining

Somehow I missed this last year. Chef James McDonough is in the kitchen at Lambert’s Cove Inn (ex-Beach Plum Inn). Now going into his second season, he’s working on a true farm-to-table experience.

The inn now has 50 chickens that supply the eggs for all the food. They have planted greens and vegetables for the restaurant to use, and plan to  expand the farm with each year.

Though they can’t yet produce enough to fulfill all their food needs, they hope to use their gardens, and what the island has to offer, to serve up their take on inn-to-farm-to-table.

They even have two baby goats, Zsa Zsa and Ava. Too adorable.

Zsa Zsa and Ava

I imagine this is very exciting for the chef, since he has already been incorporating local ingredients to some of the dining options like the Dijon & Chardonnay Steamed Menemsha Mussels, fig & walnut vinaigrette, Maplebrook Farms fresh mozzarella, mint, basil, Morning Glory plums, hot house tomatoes, cold pressed olive oil, or the Pan Seared Martha’s Vineyard Diver Scallops with scalloped potatoes, braised spinach, cherry tomatoes, lemon-dill emulsion – both sound scrumptious.

I hope this posts helps you find some of your favorite Island chefs who have new kitchens this year, and gets you excited for dining out on Martha’s vineyard this season. Let me know if there’s anyone I missed. Enjoy dining out, and experiencing great local cuisine.

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