5 Top Nantucket Restaurants
At just 14 miles long and three-and-a-half miles wide, Nantucket, 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, is a small, summery haven of luxury resorts, stunning beaches and world-class restaurants. Here are a few spots to enjoy the bounty of fresh-caught seafood and seasonal produce.
Photo By: Daniel Krieger Photography
Photo By: Antoinette Bruno
The restaurant at the gorgeous 16-room Greydon House hotel, (opened since 2016), is as impressive as the unique property itself, with Chef Marcus Gleadow-Ware helming the kitchen. Gleadow-Ware, who earned a Michelin star at New York City’s Aureole, offers a menu featuring the freshest seafood he can get. Dishes like tuna tartare with watermelon, mango, tomato, dashi, ponzu, crispy ric, and avocado ice cream are not only creative, but beautifully plated; seafood pasta in shellfish sauce is hearty, but fresh, and ideal for fortifying after a day of biking the island. Cocktails are equally innovative, including the Greydon Lady, made of vodka, ginger beer and pomegranate simple syrup and lime, a perfect beverage for the hotel’s veranda.
A favorite with both locals and visitors, Dune is one of the island’s most-beloved restaurants, known for its impeccable service and innovative menu, which changes with the seasons and according to whatever local produce is available. Diners can choose to eat in one of three dining rooms or outside on a cozy patio. Dishes might include something like a salad of grilled local carrots with fresh lemon ricotta and fried quail egg; poached Scottish salmon with spring leeks, English pea puree and local snap peas; or grilled swordfish, with farm squashes, zucchini puree, pearl onions and carrot vinaigrette.
The luxurious Wauwinet resort, about 20 minutes outside town, faces Nantucket Bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Its excellent restaurant, Topper’s, is well worth the trip to dine, especially if you arrive in time for sunset. Tasting menus range from three to seven courses, including a well-thought-out vegetarian version, and optional wine pairings. Entrees typically include a rich butter-boached lobster, but regardless of what you order, don’t miss the locally harvested Retsyo oysters, served on the half shell, which are cultivated 300 yards from the restaurant. There is a more casual deck, with summer fare, including lobster rolls, smoked bluefish pate and lobster-and-crab cakes. Get there early to enjoy drinks on the lawn if you have time.
The Sea Grille
Since 1991, the Sea Grille has warmly welcomed seafood lovers through its doors, offering an elegant atmosphere that’s also family-friendly (and very popular with locals). Though there are plenty of non-fish dishes, including filet mignon and roast chicken, seafood is the star here, including the rich island quahog chowder, grilled lobster fettuccine and Nantucket bouillabaisse. There’s a healthy-sized wine list, and fun drinks like the Mid-Island Mai Tai and the dACK & Stormy, can be found on the cocktail menu.
Oran Mór Bistro
Located on the second floor of a historic building on South Beach Street, this intimate restaurant is another local favorite. Like many of the island’s best restaurants, seafood shines here in seasonal preparations like chanterelle-topped lobster gemelli in spring, and a Moroccan fish tagine using the local catch. The menu draws from all different cuisines, so diners could find themselves feasting on pork with spätzle next to steak with shishito peppers and romesco. The “Mortini,” a cocktail of Plymouth Navy Strength Gin, Dolin Blanc vermouth and lemon, is the go-to before-dinner house specialty drink.