The Sweet Life Cafe on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs was that place I used to love to go to for special occasions. However, somehow with two little ones, I had forgotten all about it, but this Summer, it is going to be one of my favorite places again.
Sweet Life has new owners who are really into good food. Yes, it’s Kevin and Suzanna Crowell, the owners of Detente, and they are bringing their restaurant style, modern seasonal kitchen, to Oak Bluffs.
Kevin and Suzanna have always loved the space, with all the character and how romantic it felt. So, when they heard there might be a chance to buy it last year, they were all ears.
First, they had to make sure that Chef Carlos Montoya would work at Sweet Life again and head up the kitchen. Carlos has worked with Kevin at Detente in the past, and he was the Chef at Sweet Life last year. Without him on board, the dream would have to wait, but he was more than happy to be involved.
Kevin and Carlos work very well together, and share a passion for making innovative food. With Carlos as Chef de Cuisine, it was time to make the dream a reality.
Sweetening Up the Space
Closing on the restaurant sale earlier this month, Kevin, Suzanna, and Carlos quickly began adding their touches to the restaurant. I had never dined inside before, so it was nice to take a tour and talk about the changes. The walls are the most perfect grey/brown. The inside bar area has also been repainted, a welcoming blue, which help relax you immediately, and gets you in the mood for a bevy.
The artwork on the walls is from Zoe Pennebaker, a longtime family friend. Her artwork is clean and modern, and draws you in. I love the large seascape with the small sailboat, and in the front dining room, there is the most interesting painting of a city bridge. Interest piqued? Well, she also has her work in Detente, so chances are you’ve seen pieces already.
An added touch, you’ll find Island jewelry designer, Stefanie Wolf’s signature “Picasso Window” tile beads adorning the lights in the front dining room. As a big fan of her jewelry, this is something I really appreciate, and was happy to see. This is Stefanie’s first venture into lighting. I bet we’ll see more.
The name? Kevin and Suzanna are keeping the name The Sweet Life Cafe. For them, the restaurant has so much history and they love so much about the restaurant, so changing the name was not something they wanted to do.
There are lots of little updates here and there, making the restaurant feel fresh and welcoming. One of the biggest changes is the menu. For Kevin and Carlos, the menu will be dictated by what’s seasonally available. So, things you fall in love with may be on for a week or two, or a month, or more, but go as often as possible, just in-case. So, the menu will be changing throughout the Summer season.
Also noteworthy, Sweet Life will have its own distinct menu from Detente. Through Kevin and Carlos’ shared vision, and Carlos at the helm of this ship, there is going to be a creative, fresh menu all its own.
Something that Kevin, and Carlos as well are known for, is the ability to pair really interesting foods together. Things that you may not consider compatible, they say trust them, and try it. They love to surprise people with their food, and it keeps them excited as chefs.
They are a playful duo these two, and it shows in their food. They hope to surprise you with their food, and make you just as passionate about what you’re eating as they are making it.
Let’s talk a bit about the menu. I got a sneak peek and can tease you with a couple of their creations. For those of you who loved the Halibut at the Sweet Life, not to worry. It is on the menu but with a new twist, including artichoke risotto!
There is a Grass Fed Rib-eye Sirloin served with a Morning Glory Farm fried egg, bacon, jam, shaved Morning Glory asparagus and frisee. A vegetarian? No problem, let’s not forget that there will be house-made fettuccine with roasted broccoli pesto on ginger carrot puree and curry granola.
Be sure to save room for dessert! How about Pistachio Cake with raspberries, raspberry sorbet and creme fraiche. All the desserts sound amazing, which actually can lead to trouble.
Outside Is Where It’s At
It’s here that you may be surprised with clever little snacks like homemade potato chips or gourmet, house-made popcorn. You just don’t know. There might even be a special or two available just at the bar. Don’t forget that you can grab dinner there too or at the inside bar as well.
Not eating? No problem! This outdoor bar is a special little place to enjoy a drink with friends or your honey. It’s off the beaten path and provides some sanctuary from the chaos of the Summer. I think this might be a new favorite spot of mine to visit after work at night.
Lots of “Wining” Here
Besides an innovative menu, something else similar to Detene, will be the extensive wine list. Kevin and Suzanna are true wine enthusiasts. Kevin couldn’t even narrow down a favorite for me, but he mentioned that Malvasia Seco from the Canary Islands currently holds his interest.
I have never heard of this but I might just have to give it a try. Of course they have a great beer selection, including Bad Martha (more details to follow soon) and great cocktails too!
So, it looks like the Oak Bluffs restaurant scene is getting another great restaurant in which to dine and have cocktails. Living in this town, I could not be more thrilled to have Kevin and Suzanna take over a restaurant that holds so many great memories for me.
And I look forward to making a lot of new memories there as well, starting this Friday opening night, when I surprise my hubby by celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary at The Sweet Life. Reservations are already made, and the babysitter is already booked.
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