Somehow, JB Blau found some time to fill me in on what’s happening with Copper Wok, his new Asian restaurant opening in Vineyard Haven. Let’s talk first about why he and partner/Chef Alex Nagi decided to open a Pan-Asian restaurant.
Well for these two, it’s somewhat a selfish (though smart) move, both of them love Asian food. So much so, that if JB had to have a last meal, it would involve dumplings, made by Alex of course, who currently works with JB at MV Chowder Company.
Though they had been wanting to open a restaurant like this for a while, they did not expect it to happen so quickly, but both are glad that it did. Also, they are glad to be opening in the Spring season.
This way, they can work through any growing pains. They will be opening end of June and the old Zephrus restaurant space at the Mansion House Hotel completely re-worked and will be almost unrecognizeable I bet. One of the most exciting additions will be a full Sushi bar where you can watch your sushi being hand-rolled for you.
Copper Wok’s Food Menu
The menu is going to feature a lot of people’s favorite foods. It’s not going to be chocked full of strange and eclectic dishes, though you might see a couple of interesting things as specials.
There will be Thai, Vietnamese and a heavy Chinese presence. A couple of items that are definitely going to be offered: Crab Rangoon’s (yum), spare ribs, Alex’s Pad Thai (apparently to die for), and Pho soup, a Vietnamese broth based soup with noodles and your choice of meat. A staple in the Vietnamese diet — light and healthy, as JB says .
Another exciting tidbit, Chef Alex Nagi has worked with one of the most sought after Asian cuisine chefs in the country. Knowing that Alex has this type of experience with Pan-Asian food and has cooked with one of the best, makes me even more excited to try the Pad Thai and everything else that will be on the menu.
Not to worry if you’re a steak or lobster kind of guy, there will be a section of the menu that will appeal to people who are not as excited about Asian cuisine as I am. But, I think people are going to feel really comfortable with this menu. I think there will also be a substantial amount of takeout, since it will have a lot of traditional Chinese food on it.
Speaking of takeout, it is Alex & JB’s goal to have some sort of delivery program in the next three years, during the off-season. Now we’re talking, as if Copper Wok hasn’t already won me over, even before the doors open. This is something to look forward to, how they’ll do it, and we’ll have to wait and see how it goes.
With the menu, it’s designed for sharing. Many things will be served family style, which is a great way to enjoy Asian food, since it’s the best way to get a little bit of everything.
Let’s talk cost. JB says that the food will be affordable for people. We’re talking entrees that are $10, $12, and $15 dollars. The goal is to really make this a place, that is for the year-round crowd, but also enjoyable for our Summer visitors. Sounds good to me.
Copper Wok Cocktails
For all those who thought JB and Alex were crazy to open a restaurant in a beer and wine town, I think we’re in for a big suprise. Actually, JB is really excited to have only those options, and be in a town where the restaurant has to be closed by 11p.m. at the latest.
For the last six months, the ChoCo team has been working on Saki based “Sak-tails.” If you’re not familiar with Sake , it’s a rice wine which comes in a lot of different types and flavors.
Copper Wok will have a cocktail menu that will rival, if not surpass that of its sister restaurants. Think Sake-tinis (not to worry South Beach Martini drinkers), Sake margaritas, a SakeChoco-tini, Sake Sangria and more, including the sought after Scorpion Bowl. A big component of a lot of these drinks will be fresh fruit and juices that will make them even tastier. You’re going to be amazed with what they have come up with, and don’t forget all the Asian beers too!
I can’t believe that in a couple of months, I’ll will be asking friends to meet me in Vineyard Haven for a drink! JB also said that the glassware is going to be amazing for these specialty drinks — nothing like it anywhere.
Once the opening night is confirmed, fingers crossed for sooner rather than later, American Idol and the Vineyard’s own Erica VanPelt will be doing karaoke that night. Oops, did I forget to mention that Copper Wok will be having a karaoke night? Yes, there will be an option to indulge in this past time now that Seasons is closed.
Changing Vineyard Haven’s
As I mentioned, JB is particularly excited about being in Vineyard Haven. As a business owner in this town, he has seen things change a lot over the years. When he had Jaba’s, it was originally open until 10 p.m. at night during the Summer months. It became a struggle to keep it open past 5 p.m. in the last couple years it was open.
With the addition of Copper Wok and some other restaurant changes, JB is hoping that it will help Vineyard Haven’s evening business a little more. I personally think that this will provide a serious injection of energy into the town. Copper Wok is going to have a big personality, and Vineyard Haven will become a dining destination.