For years, we had been waiting for Cafe Moxie on Main Street in Vineyard Haven to re-open. Knowing that there were new owners, everyone was curious. In October, it finally opened its new doors. Of course I was excited, and was thrilled to meet the Chef Willy Wannamaker. Chef Willy is a classically trained French chef, which had a big influence on the menu, think Coq au Vin.
However, being new and so busy, owners Mike Ryan and Mariola Ryan needed to get a little help for breakfast and lunch. Luckily, Josh Aronie was available to join the Cafe Moxie team, where he put his spin on the menu items he made.
Cafe Moxie saw an increase in business during the times when Josh was cooking. Not that he likes to admit it, but he has a following. People really enjoy his cooking — myself included — and once again, I’m glad to not have to go all the way to Menemsha to enjoy it.
About a week ago, Josh was asked if he would like to become the Chef of Cafe Moxie. Already enjoying his experience there, he accepted. So, the restaurant closed down for about three days, and re-opened decorated for the holidays on Thursday night, December 6, with a big party, open to Martha’s Vineyard residents.
People were invited to come and try Josh’s cooking. Of course there was a huge turn-out, after all, he really does have a following. That night, people celebrated Josh’s new role, and sampled numerous culinary treats prepared by him. I also have to mention that baker Leslie Hewson’s items were enjoyed too. She makes all Cafe Moxie’s baked goods each morning. Apparently her warm popovers and blue cheese only lasted about 60 seconds.
The party was a clever way to introduce the new Cafe Moxie, and get people hooked on the food. The restaurant is on track to establishing itself as a destination, not just an in-town convenience.
Knowing that Josh was the new head Chef, I had to see what Moxie would be like now. When I went downstairs to the kitchen to talk to Josh about this new exciting change, I was just in time to be invited to sample a new dessert that Leslie was trying out — freshly made semi-fredo, crushed pistachios on the top, and a drizzle of raspberries on the bottom.
Unfortunately, somehow a spoonful led to four spoonfulls. I had to get rid of the spoon before I ate it all. It was really amazing! It was even a little festive with the red and the green. Sometimes my job really is tough.
Once I was done almost devouring that little piece of heaven, I could get back to finding out all the new things happening at Cafe Moxie.
For all you Cafe Moxie fans, don’t worry, it’s still open 7 days a week, with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, don’t forget that you can stop by for a coffee and a pastry or a cup of soup between lunch and dinner service.
This is a great new spot to spend a little time. There’s people watching, Leslie’s fresh baked goods and wi-fi. Hmmm, I feel as though I should have maybe kept this to myself for my own use, since it’s pretty awesome.
New Menu Lower Prices For Cafe Moxie
Of course, there are some menu changes, but once again, not to worry, I think the changes will make people happy. For starters, entrees have a lower price point. Where dinner used to be in the $30 range, its now in the $16-$27 range. Also, entrees are complete meals, no more à la carte.
So, with that remarkable braised roasted half chicken, you’ll be getting some scrumptious kale and chick peas. Also, there will be nightly specials, like last night’s meatloaf with homemade mashed potato and sautéed spinach, full of comfort and taste, perfect for a cold Island night.
Also, the lunch menu is better priced – you can grab a Moxie burger with pommes frites or mixed greens for $10. The fish sandwich is only $12. Both of those are nicely priced (Vineyard) I think, and perhaps Moxie will become the new hot spot for lunch. I see a packed house, filled with people skipping out on work to enjoy a little holiday fun.
Because of Cafe Moxie’s location right on the corner there on Main Street, Josh believes the menu really needs to appeal to a broad mix of people, and needs to be priced to be welcoming. His food is delicious. It’s is uncomplicated and familiar. The kind that you crave because something always sticks with you.
He is far from boring with his food, and likes to mix it up a bit. During the Winter, the proteins will most likely stay the same, but prepared in new ways, and the sides will continue to surprise and delight your palate.
For Josh, Cafe Moxie is an exciting opportunity. For starters, its open year-round, and he is really happy about being able to focus on what he loves, cooking and working with people. He has a lot less stress, since he is not the owner of the restaurant. He has the freedom to be creative and have fun with the food. This means that we’ll all be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Cafe Moxie Now Serving Beer & Wine
In case you are wondering, Cafe Moxie just got their beer and wine license, no more BYOB. As of Tuesday, December 11, they are set to go. Whoohoo! A great place to have a bite and a drink. Once again I have visions of having the Moxie burger at the bar with a beer. Now it can be a reality! As you can imagine, the whole Moxie team is thrilled!
So for all of us who complain that nothing is open this time of year, it’s time for you to give Cafe Moxie a try. I think you’re going to enjoy this new little gem.
Thanks for reading On Point. Check out Cafe Moxie on Facebook or Cafe Moxie’s website. Let me know how you like the new Cafe Moxie. Please don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, on follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest and YouTube.