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Ahhhh....The Off Season!
A Sampling of Good Eats from some of the Vineyard's Best Year-Rounders

By Lisa C. Belcastro, Photos by Charlie Utz

Winter has arrived and with it longer nights, quieter days, and more time for indoor activities with friends and family. I think we can all agree on one indoor activity that everyone enjoys–eating. The off-season is an open invitation enjoy the restaurants we love without worrying about crowds and long wait times.  

Vineyard Haven has quite a few great year-round restaurants to keep our taste buds happy. I always enjoy the food at Salvatore’s. If you haven’t tried their signature Tagliatelle Shrimp, Lobster, Sea Scallops and Fresh Homemade Pasta, you are missing a culinary sensation. Be sure to save room for their delicious tiramisu. Even when I’m full, I order a tiramisu to take home.

I’m a fan of Little House CafĂ© not only for their yummy meals, but also because Brook Katzen generously donates meals to the Harbor Homes Overnight Winter Shelter every year. Brook and his team at Little House have served the shelter guests their Mango Curried Chicken, Falafel Wraps, Meatballs, and more. My personal favorite is their Maple Roasted Butternut Squash Salad.  

Winter is the perfect time for comfort food. Stop by The @ttic on Main Street and enjoy a scrumptious plate of lobster mac and cheese. There’s always a lot of comfort (food) and friendly smiles. At the Edgartown Diner –whether you’re stopping in for a meal before the movies or just want a family dinner out – Ralston Francis will prepare a meal for you with generous portions and lots of love.

I’ll admit to you, my favorite Edgartown restaurant is Lucky Hank’s. I’m addicted to chef/owner Doug Smith’s codfish cakes. As soon as I walk in the door, I ask Doug if the cakes are on the menu or, heaven forbid, they are sold out.

If you’re headed to Oak Bluffs for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you can always go to Winston’s Kitchen. The small take-out location does a huge business. Locals and visitors quickly discovered Winston’s great sandwiches and meals at reasonable prices. His Jerk Chicken has many fans, some who get the same meal multiple times a week, and don’t forget about stepping out at Linda Jean’s for breakfast and yummy ‘comfort’ dinners.

I can’t talk about great food without mentioning The Pawnee House in OB. Alex and Debbie Cohen are two of the nicest people I know. They also provided meals to the shelter, and they have a fantastic menu–meats, vegetarian, vegan, and fun cocktails. I’m going to be honest and tell you that I eat the polenta almost every single time I’m in there, but my friends and family have ordered just about every other item on the menu so I’ve sampled enough to know it’s all wonderful.  

Keep your eyes open for Goldie’s Food Truck. They’ll be around through the winter and are available for private parties.

If you are doing take-out at any restaurant, please ask for an Island Eats reusable bowl or mug. Jessica Mason is working tirelessly to help each of us take better care of our precious Island by eliminating single use take-out containers.

Visit the Island Eats MV website and become a member: Island Eats MV has partnered with twenty-one restaurants Island-wide, who offer a $1 discount for every item you order in an Island Eats bowl and a $0.50 discount for every item ordered in an Island Eats cup.

Enjoy, and let us know what your favorite winter restaurant is.

Lobster Mac & Cheese with Basil Crumb Topping

The @ttic - Vineyard Haven

Ingredients for the Lobster: 12 oz. lobster meat, 4 oz. butter, 1 tsp. lemon juice

Ingredients for the Pasta sauce: 18 oz. cavatappi pasta, 1½ cups. heavy cream, 1 cup Cheddar Jack cheese,   2 tsp. Minced garlic, 2 tsp. Olive oil

Ingredients for the Topping: ½ cup bread crumbs, 2 tsp. Minced garlic, 2 tsp. Fresh basil, 2 tsp. Parmesan cheese, Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Cook pasta according to package instructions. Cool, coat with olive oil and reserve. Place all topping ingredients together in food processor and mix until fully incorporated. Set aside. To make the pasta sauce, heat a saute pan and cook the garlic in olive oil until aromatic. Add the heavy cream and season to taste. Add the cheese and pasta, cook in pan until cheese is melted. Add pasta mixture into an oven safe dish, top with crumb topping and broil for three minutes. Serve with lobster sauteed in butter and lemon juice.