UPDATE: Salvatore’s is only open for dinner currently.
There is something about good Italian food that satisfies the soul. I mean real Italian food, recipes that have been passed down for generations, made from hands that have cooked many meals in Italy.
We are lucky to have such food available on Martha’s Vineyard. Salvatore’s Ristorante Italiano opened its doors late Spring on Union Street in Vineyard Haven. Even a pandemic could not stop Salvatore Della Tore and his partner Dusan Veselinovic from sharing their dream with the Island. This is just one of the great stories from our Summer series: WE LOVE MV.
WE LOVE MV: Salvatore’s Ristorante Italiano – Meet The Owners
Salvatore and Dusan have completely changed the space that used to be the home to Fella’s On Union. The space is modern, clean and inviting. They’ve even added a bar. When I was there, inside dining was not yet possible, however, now you can enjoy the space.
There is outdoor dining available on the back patio and on the side patio. It is the side patio I really enjoy. Here you can sit, enjoy a glass of wine and watch the ferries and people come and go. It’s relaxing and just plain nice. A wonderful restaurant to enjoy waiting for my boat. It so close to the ferry and right off of Main Street.
WE LOVE MV: Salvatore’s Ristorante Italiano Food Made With Love
For Salvatore, cooking is in his blood. Born in Naples, his family had a little cafe in Italy, and that is where he spent his time. In the kitchen, learning all about what it takes to make good food. He knew early on that his passion was cooking.
Of course he went to culinary school after high school. He had a restaurant in Paris. It was there, he met his wife. He loved Paris – the people, the food. However, her family had a home in West Tisbury. He, like so many of us, fell in love with the Vineyard. It reminds him of Capri – how beautiful it is, the special people that inhabit its shores.
For him, food is about the quality of ingredients, making everything from scratch. You have to respect the ingredients, the process, and have passion for cooking. When you do these things, the food will be good. If you have good food, your restaurant will be a success.
Salvatore has worked in other kitchens on the Island like La Soffitta and Garde East. At each location, people came for his food, and to see him. He is such a fun person to talk to. His passion for what he does comes through. There is an energy, a liveliness, it makes you excited to eat in his restaurant.
WE LOVE MV: Salvatore’s Ristorante Italiano A Sprinkle of Fate
Last Fall, a friend of Salvatore’s approached him with the potential of the restaurant space in Vineyard Haven that used to be home to Fella’s On Union. This was his chance to have his own kitchen, his own restaurant. Make the food with the ingredients he wanted. Salvatore’s Ristorante Italiano was happening in 2020.
He partnered with Dusan and things moved quickly! They worked over the winter months and made the dream a reality.
WE LOVE MV: Salvatore’s Ristorante Italiano A Taste of Italy In Vineyard Haven
You can get lunch and dinner at Salvatore’s. I went for lunch one afternoon knowing I could enjoy my meal outside and enjoy a little people watching from a safe distance.
The lunch menu offers smaller versions of classic Italian dishes from the dinner menu like Spaghetti Carbonara and Tagailattelle Ragu (pasta is house-made). You will also find a selection of paninis and appetizers like arancini and Insalata Verde.
Choosing was challenging, it all sounded so good, and knowing that Salvatore loves to create delicious food, I knew anything I chose was going to be amazing.
I ordered a glass of Rosé (yes I should have gone with something Italian but the day was so beautiful that’s what was calling my name) and the Parmigiana Eggplant, house-made tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano cheese and an arugula salad.
Sitting outside, watching the ferries come and go, with a glass of wine in the sun was such a treat. How wonderful to just watch the world go by here. I thought I was pretty happy in the moment but then I got my food and was beyond happy.
I find that authentic Italian food is lighter than its American counterparts, and this eggplant parm was definitely a refined, delicious version on most I have had. Not heavy and fried, it was a thing of beauty. Bursting with flavor and color, I ate it with enthusiasm, cleaning my plate. Oh and the delicious cheese – good cheese makes a dish. I was thrilled with this dining experience.
I had a wonderful time by myself at Salvatore’s. I can only imagine how the experience will be when I come with friends or family. I do have to go back and soon. Salvatore and I have a little bet going. My children think my Spaghetti Carbonara is the best in the world, but he says his is. I feel like I am up to the challenge. So we’ll see, but until then, this new restaurant is one to try this season.
Currently, Salvatore’s is open daily, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. for lunch and 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (11:00 p.m. weekends) for dinner, closed on Tuesdays. I bet dining outside under the lights is magical! “Chi mangia bene, vive bene.” Who eats well, lives well.
Salvatore’s is just one of several new restaurants on the island. Whatever you do, we hope that you have a wonderful time. Summer is in full swing! It promises to be a summer of new experiences, finding new favorites — enjoying the Vineyard unscripted. Reimagined. We Love MV is our ongoing series capturing the new spirit of summer.
Also, thank you to all those who voted for us for Point B Realty for Best Real Estate Company 2020 and for the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Best Charity Event Runner-Up 2020, click here to learn more.