In New England history, the Proprietors were the original governing bodies of new towns, parceling out the land to settlers for farming, before real governments took hold. The Proprietors restaurant on Nantucket is named for these historic visages and was founded by Chef Michael LaScola and Orla LaScola. (The other original partner and chef Tom Barry tells us he is now in Boston where he will “support younger, talented chefs in the role of Culinary Director at Yvonne’s and Lolita.”)
The menu at The Proprietors is a mixture of appetizers and small plates along with a few larger entrée portions. While the original menus designated these as “half shares” and “full shares,” these labels are gone, but you can figure out pretty easily the size by the price and position in the menu (the smaller ones are listed first).
There are five full-sized entrees: short ribs, scallops, suckling pig confit, buttermilk brined chicken and fluke, all priced in the $30 range. The remainder are priced from $14 to $18, and clearly are smaller portions. We are coveting the beet salad, Quail “Tikka Masala,” Roast Bone Marrow, Crispy Thai style broccoli, and Rock Shrimp for another visit.
You can make a nice meal out of several small plates or one and an entrée. We were so happy to see the fantastic House Made Charcuterie Plate ($29.50) on the menu like that LaScola made while chef at American Seasons, that we ordered it despite the waiter’s warning that it probably could serve four! I probably does, especially if you want another course, but we arranged to take home some of the remaining sausages for sandwiches.
The platter consists of two homemade mustards, smoked duck, chicken terrine, several types of pork sausages, chicken liver pate and slices of Serrano ham along with pickled cucumbers and melba toast slices. Only the ham was not made in the Proprietor’s kitchen. Every bit was delicious and we only finished half of it.
We both ordered the same entrée, Kim Chee Pancakes with pork belly and pickled shiitake mushrooms. Kim Chee, of course, is Korean pickled cabbage, usually somewhat spicy, although the kim chee embedded in the pancakes was pretty mild. The pork belly was meltingly tender and flavorful and the overall dish a big success.
Again, we are delighted with the Proprietors and will be going back. Maybe even as soon as next week!