All Summer I have been trying to get to Sweet Life Cafe for what could very well be one of the best kept secrets on Martha’s Vineyard. Well, it’s not really a secret but it’s awesome just the same.
Get this, if you go to Sweet Life Cafe in Oak Bluffs, and sit at the outside bar (includes the high top table as well) before 6 p.m., your meal is half off.
You read that correctly. I had always heard it as appetizers but that’s not correct. It’s the whole thing, appetizers, dinner, and even dessert!
I had no idea. What started as a quick stop for starters turned into a three hour culinary experience.
The trick is to get there early, to get a seat — which we were lucky enough to manage. I brought my husband, Matt with me for this assignment.
We started with the Spicy Grilled Katama Bay Oysters with Kimchi butter and garlic bread crumbs. Of course they were delicious.
I love grilled oysters, and with the current shut down of Katama Bay for oystering because of Vibrio cases, this is a safe way to still enjoy these local beauties without concern.
The smokiness and softness of the grilled oyster and the crunchiness of the breadcrumbs were a nice balance. I think I could have had two more orders.
However, I had to save room, because on the menu that night was Buratta Risotto. Buratta is one of my new favorite cheeses since having it at Isola, and hello with risotto. I’m in.
Of course it was delicious as is everything that Chef/Owner Kevin Crowell makes, but I have to say that I think I am a Buratta purist. I prefer it in it’s true form.
Since the food is more affordable, we got a third app, the Seared Yellowfin Tuna which came with hearts of palm, avocado puree, radishes, yuzo kosho (a paste made from chili peppers) and a soy ginger vinaigrette.
Tuna is another favorite of mine, so of course I was delighted with this.
Could we move on to dinner after all that food? But of course, especially since we did not eat the bread provided. One must choose wisely when on a dining adventure.
Dinner and More
What to get for dinner, decisions, decisions. I got the Seared Sea Scallops with grilled corn fregola, and heirloom tomato, charred vidalia onion and herb puree. Amazing.
Matt got the Beef Duo, just the name itself is intriguing. It had seared tenderloin, short rib ragout, braised kale, Gruyere Spaetzle, plum jam, and shaved horseradish.
It was such a combination of flavors, I think I might have liked his more than mine, which is crazy, because I love seared scallops, but that dish knocks your socks off.
Just when you thought it was over, because we were full and had invested some serious time there, Matt orders dessert. I couldn’t even think about dessert at that point, so I settled on another glass of wine.
I can’t remember exactly what it was, but it was topped with peanut butter ice cream but I swiped a spoonful or two, and it was really good.
More Than Amazing Food
When we got to Sweet Life, we were greeted at the door by the hostess Lila, who was very nice and made us feel welcomed. I like having a good impression immediately.
The outdoor space is simply beautiful. The white lights, the lush plants. There’s a reason the Obamas visit Sweet Life when they come to Martha’s Vineyard.
Also, now that it’s tented, you can enjoy outdoor dining no matter what the weather, and there are heat lamps to keep you cozy during the cooler months.
In between all the food, our bartender Ari kept us entertained. He had great stories and was super engaging. Too bad he’ll be heading to Key West in a couple of weeks. In addition, he loves to make fun cocktails, and I think he was slightly disappointed that we were drinking wine.
However, we did give in and Matt got a Light and Stormy which was a play on a Dark and Stormy. Instead of dark rum and ginger beer, it had scotch and ginger beer. Not my fav since I don’t drink scotch but why not try something new.
Luckily, Sweet Life Cafe is going to stay open at least until Columbus Day. Who knows, it may even stay open until New Year’s Eve if there’s a demand which would be great.
Talking with the owner Kevin, he said there might even be a change in the menu, make it more affordable, a little more casual and a little less fine dining which is fine by me. I love more comfort type foods in the chilly weather.
There’s also the idea of small affordable plates. It would be so nice to have another place to eat, even if it was only a couple days of the week. We’ll see what happens.
In the meantime, head to Sweet Life Cafe and indulge, and don’t forget to tip on the full amount. The bartender is working hard. Also, you can go again and again, since the menu has new additions daily. As local foods change, so does the chef’s inspiration!
To add to the joy of dining, the same deal is available at Detente my friends, and the bar there is pretty fun (Kevin and his wife also own that popular Edgarotwn spot). Make sure to go hungry.
Sweet Life Cafe is currently open Monday though Saturday, but I would call to make sure as we move into Fall.
Thanks for reading the On Point Blog. You can learn more about Sweet Life on Facebook. And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.