The Homeport restaurant has been closed since 2019, and this is a restaurant that has been greatly missed. When we heard that it was going to reopen this season with a new chef, and new owners, our interest was more than piqued. So many of us have special memories that took place at this restaurant that has been an Island staple since 1930. Over the years, things have changed, but that view and comfort of classic New England fare have remained the same. The Homeport Restaurant And Oyster Bar In Menemsha Reopens On Martha’s Vineyard
The Homeport Restaurant And Oyster Bar In Menemsha Reopens On Martha’s Vineyard – What’s New?
We noticed changes right away as we drove up — the patio looked fantastic, the same but with a refresh — twinkly lights on the trees, a new raw bar set up, and more. Driving into the lot, we were met by a very nice young man who told us where to park. The Homeport lot is now for Homeport dining only.
Before heading to an outside table, we had to check out the inside. Here, things still look very similar to the way it did over the years. There is a new ceiling, new recessed lighting, and new ceiling fans, but otherwise, it looks like the Homeport – including the wall of fish.
Outside, the patio feels even more welcoming. We got a table with a fabulous water view, which is one of the best things about this restaurant. We were greeted by a number of delightful staff members. We settled in, admired the view, and knew we were in for a wonderful evening.
The Homeport Restaurant And Oyster Bar In Menemsha Reopens On Martha’s Vineyard – Meet The New Chef/Owner
We were lucky enough to sit down with Chef/Owner, Seth Woods, to learn about how this new Homeport came to be. Seth Woods is a well-known name in the Boston restaurant scene. As a longtime Aquinnah seasonal resident, it pained him to see this restaurant he loved shuttered. He thought about all the memories he and his friends and family have had there, and how much they missed it.
With Covid, Seth began to see things a little differently. He had a successful, demanding career, and wanted to get involved with something that he had an attachment to. He decided that the Vineyard was where he wanted to be doing that. Conversations began with the Nixons, the previous owners, and his friend, business partner Eric Burke. In April of 2022, the plan really came into play. The Homeport was going to be a reality.
In eight weeks, Seth, Eric, and a ton of support from the community worked a little Vineyard magic and got The Homeport ready for Summer 2022. This is Seth’s passion project, and you can see the pride when he speaks about it. The fact that they were able to accomplish this speaks volumes to the dedication people have to this restaurant. The goal is to keep the special feel of the Homeport, its charm, and its unfussy way of delivering a truly memorable meal while moving the restaurant forward.
The Homeport Restaurant And Oyster Bar In Menemsha Reopens On Martha’s Vineyard – The Dining Experience
With its Menemsha location, you can bet that there is local seafood and other locally sourced ingredients on the menu. The menu is a carefully curated pre-fixe menu ($75) that hits all the high notes. It offers you the choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Not to worry if you have children, there is a great kid’s menu. There are also options for sharing at the table like Smoked Bluefish Pate and the well-appointed raw bar. Oysters fresh from the Vineyard waters anyone?
According to Seth, it is rumored that The Homeport served up the first fried oyster in the US. Now that could be a “fish tale,” but I love it! With that news, I knew my appetizer would be the Fried Local Oysters with Jalapeño Lime Slaw and Remoulade. The entree selection was easy. There was a scallop dish with fresh fennel and summer corn that caught my attention. For dessert, it had to be the Burnt S’mores Pie — more on that soon.
Before our order, we had to get some oysters and shrimp from Quinn at the raw bar. There is something so nice about freshly shucked, cold oysters on a warm Summer evening. The oysters were well shucked and Quinn was downright charming. The whole feel of the patio was just pure summer joy. You could tell that people were so happy to be there at that moment. I think I always feel happy when I am here.
Back to the food. The fried oysters were lightly fried and delicious. I am a big fried oyster fan and was very happy with these. The scallops were fresh and cooked to perfection. The sweetness of the oysters, the earthiness of the fennel, and that fresh corn all together were scrumptious.
Before I go to dessert, I have to also talk about another dish — the one my husband ordered — the Fried Fluke. It’s summer flounder lightly fried with onion rings, fries, and slaw. THE BEST FRIED FISH! Wow did I love this — a classic dish elevated!
Ok now to dessert. Pie Chicks Pies are offered in addition to The Homeport signature dessert, Burnt S’mores Pie. This happens to be a family recipe of The Homeport manager, Kayla Foster. It is a chocolate tart with a graham cracker crust topped with Fluff. Yes – think about all of that.
Sadly I missed a picture of this delicious creation, but I did get a picture of the delicious Bass and Clam Chowder. It’s a great twist on the traditional New England Clam Chowder. The Grey Barn Smoked Bacon is so good. I think I may like it better than clam chowder.
We had a really nice time that was complimented with an amazing view. Thoughts on the prix-fixe aspect . . . we both felt as though it was a good value. We had multiple courses. It made it easy to order, which I like, and there was something for everyone on the menu. I could have done without a dessert, but every once in a while it’s fun to just go for it. We will definitely go back again.
The Homeport Restaurant And Oyster Bar In Menemsha Reopens On Martha’s Vineyard – What’s Next?
The Homeport opened in eight weeks — an unprecedented timeframe for such an undertaking. You can bet that this will be an evolution that may involve a la carte, lunch, and more. It’s just great that it’s open for the season! Congratulations to everyone involved — this is a foodie win for Martha’s Vineyard.
PRO TIP: Don’t forget that Menemsha is a DRY town, BYOB accordingly. There is a wine set and cocktail set available for the table if needed. Also, you can book a reservation! How great is that during the height of the season!
The Homeport has a long history in Menemsha, Will Holtham and so many dedicated families made this an iconic Martha’s Vineyard restaurant. It is wonderful to see the doors open again.
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