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Our stay at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn

Dinner at State Road MV

A Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

We discovered a few weeks ago that Martha’s Vineyard is well-worth an off-season visit, even if that visit comes right after a snowstorm and during the bitter cold of February. Our stay at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn was absolutely perfect for a relaxing weekend away from Boston, and while on the island, we made the most of our time exploring. We were surprised to find out how much was open.

Menemsha Beach After checking in at Nobnocket, we headed straight for Menemsha Beach to catch the sunset in the area. It was incredibly cold and windy, but so beautiful.

Menemsha Beach

Menemsha Beach

Aquinnah

We only lasted a few minutes walking on the beach before heading to the Menemsha Fish Market, which was open and serving piping hot lobster bisque.

snowy lobster traps

Snow definitely added an extra layer of beauty to the Vineyard that weekend!

Menemsha Beach

Still waiting for the sun to set and the Super Moon to rise, we raced over to Aquinnah and made it just in time to see the enormous moon coming up, and the sky turning all shades of pink and purple.

Aquinnah

Bean boots and beaches

It was all so breathtakingly stunning, even if we did almost fall a few times on ice as we ran up to the highest point.

Martha's Vineyard in winter

 

We were glad that we didn’t let the whipping winds keep us from catching this beauty. Only one other couple was out there with us, and other than the wind and waves, it was perfectly quiet.

Martha's Vineyard sunset

Our dinner at State Road was the coziest way to end the day!

The next morning after breakfast at the inn, we set off for the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary with the intention of snowshoeing. There turned out to not be enough snow for that, so we ended up walking for a couple of hours, all alone in the sanctuary, except for the company of deer, otters, and other critters whose prints we saw in the snow. It was magical.

 snowy walk Martha's Vineyard

We worked up quite the hunger, and decided to head to Edgartown’s Harbor View Hotel for some snacks and a glass of wine.

Edgartown

The hotel is beautiful, and I absolutely loved the pops of color on the porch. It was a nice sight against a gray and snowy day.

Harbor View Hotel

Mini lobster tacos and the most delicious Chateau Beaulieu rosé, along with great conversation with Petro at the bar made us want to tuck in and stay for the afternoon, but we had more exploring to do!

lobster tacos

Our next stop was Oak Bluffs. . . talk about pops of color! I absolutely love all of the little cottages there and dream of spending my summer in one. They looked so adorable in the snow, and we were wishing they were year-round properties. Most of them were closed up for the season.

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 Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Oak Bluffs

We headed back to the inn for some time chatting by the fire and then decided to check out the Vineyard Haven dining scene, first grabbing fried oysters at The Black Dog, which I know is a tourist destination, but still, I love it! It was so cozy, and the oysters were delicious.

fried oysters

We finished the night with sushi and sake cocktails at the highly recommended Copper Wok, which was really a fabulous date spot.

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All good things must come to an end, and due to snow on the mainland, we decided to take an earlier ferry, but not before visiting the alpacas at the alpaca farm. If you are an animal lover or have kids, it is definitely a spot worth visiting. The alpacas were cute and friendly and soft, and the store is full of beautiful alpaca fur items.

alpaca farm alpaca farm

Martha's Vineyard ferry

We left Martha’s Vineyard feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, chatting about making a winter trip an annual tradition.

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Our recent weekend at Nobnocket Boutique Inn on Martha’s Vineyard was full of delightful experiences all over the island, including lots of good food, drinks, and beer. We learned that winter on Martha’s Vineyard means some places are closed, but there is still plenty to see and do, all without the crowds of summer!

On our first night on the Vineyard, we came in out of the cold into the warm and glowing dining room of State Road in West Tisbury.

State Road MV

A favorite of the Obamas and Vineyard locals alike, State Road was cozy and romantic with a great wine list and a fun cocktail list using soft spirits. Restaurants currently can’t sell hard liquor, which instead of feeling like a limitation, actually played into their favor. The mixed drinks were like none we had before, in the best way possible!

State Road Martha's Vineyard

I kicked dinner off with a Respect, which was very similar to a Dark & Stormy.

cocktails

We were debating ordering the whipped lardo, when it was presented to us, compliments of the kitchen. I swear, Martha’s Vineyard just reads my mind!

lardo There is something about radishes + fat + salt that is incredible, and this rich, smoky treat made it even better. A little crunch, a little salt, a whole lot of decadence.

I’m usually good about skipping the bread, but not when it’s buttery, lightly sweet, house-made brioche with Foie butter. We could have happily existed on the lardo and bread/butter for the evening!

brioche We read about State Road’s burger night, which happens on Thursdays, so we had to add a burger to our order. A good burger and excellent fries is one of the ways we judge a restaurant, and we can say we will definitely try to come back for burger night!

State Road burger

farm salad

We also shared and devoured a farmhouse salad with an incredible buttermilk dressing (ranch-like, but fresh and way better) and the roasted Katama Bay oysters with a flavorful Gremolata. When on Martha’s Vineyard, you have to have oysters!

roasted oysters

We rounded out this freezing night with a perfectly tender beef short rib with farro and pickled mustard.

Oof, it was a lot of very good food!

short rib

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Because I wanted to try the entire cocktail menu, I went with a nightcap before heading back to our cozy home-away-from-home, where we enjoyed one of State Road’s famous chocolate bars. As we enjoyed our dinner, we saw people leaving with stacks of these chocolates, named for Martha’s Vineyard towns. They are one of the hottest and most delicious items on the island, an a must-taste souvenir.

State Road was the perfect spot to spend a winter evening, and I can just imagine how fantastic it must be in warmer weather as well. They generously provided a gift card toward our dinner; all opinions are my own.

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In addition to being beautiful and filled with incredible art and music, Galway Ireland is a dining destination that just continues to add to its world class culinary scene. Restaurants in Galway take advantage of their island home, serving some of the best seafood around. A somewhat mild climate means year-round local vegetables, and all of that glorious Irish farmland results in the best milk, cheese, butter, and meat you can find.

People from around the globe have discovered this, and you can now find a huge variety of cuisines in Galway. On our last visit, we had a cozy evening at Il Vicolo in the Bridgemills before heading to Salthill for a Christy Moore concert. . . which was fabulous, by the way.

The Bridgemills location is important to note, as it means the restaurant is nestled along the banks of the River Corrib. We visited on a raw November day, but I had to step outside to soak up the views and cozy outdoor space, which would be glorious when the weather is nice. In the summertime, the sun sets super late in Galway, and I can picture us out there for a late dinner, 10:00 even, with beautiful evening light. Maybe in July!

Galway Bridge Mills

The building, which is over 430 years old, has been impeccably restored and is a must-visit on your trip to Galway. In addition to Il Vicolo, it houses a variety of shops and other businesses.

Il Vicolo Galway

Il Vicolo’s interior reflects the building’s history, and it is just incredibly cozy and romantic. It’s perfect both for a date night or for a group get together, where lots of red wine and pasta are consumed and chatting happens late into the evening.

Il Vicolo Galway Cannonau di Sardegna Speaking of red wine, I was in charge of choosing a bottle, and with two recent Sardinian wines on my mind, I went with a Cannonau from the island.  A little jammy, with notes of cocoa, this wine was like a big warm hug on  chilly, rainy night. We sipped it in the glowing candlelight while talking about one of our group’s upcoming wedding in Italy.

   mussels Il Vicolo is the perfect place to share plates, and while I only got photos of two dishes, we dove into several of their specialties, focusing on seafood. Mussels are  go-to in Galway, and I almost always order them. These were no exception, plump, juicy, tasting of the sea and of the martini and shallot broth.

Calamarata, pasta shaped like calamari, was dotted with fresh clams and squid and just a kiss of sauce. With pasta like this, you really barely need sauce!

seafood pasta

Not pictured: earthy and delicious wild mushroom bruschetta and homemade meatballs

It was hard to decide on what to order at Il Vicolo, but with the experience being so deliciously memorable, we know that it will be a regular stop on our visits to Galway.

If they could deliver a bowl of pasta and a glass of red right now, all would be well!

 

 

Eating in Galway

Kai Cafe

Galway cocktail bar, Tribeton

Aniar

Ard Bia at Nimmo’s

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Tags: Food, food blog, Galway, Ireland, Ireland blog posts, Travel, travel blog, travel blogger

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