Straight Wharf Restaurant is one of Nantucket’s absolute gems: an excellent seafood restaurant with four star food and service overlooking the harbor. It is great for special occasions or anytime, considering the prix fixe pricing structure they introduced this spring. For $78, you get the choice of any appetizer and any entrée from their extensive menu. There are a couple of items with supplemental charges, like their famous clambake, but they are worth it. It is still a terrific bargain. Dessert are extra, but not terribly expensive.
Our service began with a bluefish pate as an amuse-bouche served with excellent crackers
followed by some excellent bread and butter.
On this visit we each had to again experience their (shell-less) clambake of lobster, littleneck clams, spicey chorizo, fingerling potatoes (as potato chips) sweet corn (as a delicious emulsion) for a $17 supplemental charge. This is nominally a half-sized portion, offered as an appetizer, but it is still a fantastic (and filling) dish, as shown in the photo above. This is their signature dish and we’ve had it several times in the past, and it never fails to amaze.
For one entrée, we had scallops. Now scallops are usually presented as just sautéed and served with little else. But here, in this outstanding restaurant, the scallops were served on a sunchoke mole`, that is a puree of sunchokes with some unsweetened chocolate added for richness, and served with green beans sugar, snap peas and some more sunchokes, along with a mango and gooseberry salsa and some bits of oranges as well. What a delicious and imaginative presentation.
It’s hard to get decent salmon in restaurants, as it is often dry and overcooked. But this salmon was slo-poached, and incredibly juicy and tender. It was served with a tarragon toum, a sort of tarragon-based mayonnaise, roasted beets, hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, fennel, arugula, garden herbs and a preserved lemon vinaigrette. It was outstanding, and our only regret that after that capacious appetizer, we couldn’t finish it all.
Finally, for dessert, we had a delicious warm chocolate-cherry tart. The pudding itself was actually hot, right out of the saucepan, served with a bit of vanilla ice cream, to top it off.
The amazing thing is that including two cocktails and two sodas, our bill, including tax, was only $289. Compare that to some other restaurants and you’ll know what a terrific deal this was. And the service was warm, friendly and attentive.