An August Weekend in Nantucket
It's been a long year for me. I work in politics, and the election is slowly wearing everyone down. When I returned from two weeks on the road in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention and Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention, I realized I was in desperate need of a long weekend away. I jumped online, and within about an hour of doing some research, I had booked a weekend in Nantucket. Jet Blue offers easy flights between Reagan, Boston, and Nantucket, and on some summer days they even offer direct flights between Nantucket and Washington.
I left on Thursday morning around 11 a.m. and touched down on the island just before 2 p.m. after an easy and short travel route. Even the airport in Nantucket is darling! It's covered in gray shingles like many of the homes on the island, and it immediately puts you in relaxation mode. I took a 6 minute Uber into town, and before I knew it I was at my boutique hotel and officially on vacation. I opted to stay at 21 Broad which is a Lark Hotel which has been open since 2014. It has 27 rooms and the hotel is bursting with style and appeal. It exceeded all of my expectations and I am already looking at weekends this coming fall to go back to Nantucket and to enjoy another stay at the hotel. The staff is so welcoming and friendly. From the minute I arrived until I left I was referred to by my first name, and they were genuinely interested in what I was doing in town and how they could help me to have a great experience. The rooms are decorated with a sophisticated island style, and the bright blue, green, and yellow hues throughout the hotel create a beautiful beachy palette. My favorite perk about 21 Broad was the homemade cookies that they put out multiple times per day in the lobby. Not only were they divine, but the smell permeated throughout the entire hotel making it impossible to resist the sweet treats.
If you walk all the way down to the end of the Straight Wharf you will hit Cru Oyster Bar. The restaurant is set on the water with boats in view from every vantage point. I made my way to the back bar and snagged the only seat available mid-afternoon. Cru is a lively spot, and during peak season it is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. I started my meal with a glass of rosé and ordered a mozzarella salad with prosciutto and melon as well as french fries for good measure. Cru specializes in seafood, and in addition to their raw bar they have other specialties such as the lobster cocktail with crushed avocado. Cru is a great spot for dinner, but I particularly loved coming for a late lunch while the sun was still out and enjoying the views in the middle of the day. Cru is located at One Straight Wharf, Nantucket, MA, 02554.
At the urging of many regular Nantucket goers, I took a quick Uber out to Cisco Brewers to meet some friends on Thursday night. The place was packed by 5 p.m. with young families, couples, and groups of friends all enjoying the live music. During peak season the brewery is packed with food trucks including Millie's and The Lobster Trap. I had the chance to sample a few of the beers and really enjoyed the Grey Lady Ale which is light wheat ale with notes of tropical fruit that paired nicely with oysters. I loved the low key vibe of the brewery, and it's definitely worth a visit when you're on the island. Cisco Brewers is located at 5 Bartlett Farm Road, Nantucket, MA 02554.
I traveled to Nantucket on my own, so I decided I was going to treat myself to a nice high-end dinner at the bar at American Seasons. I was lucky to sit down next to a woman who was doing the same. We quickly got to talking and clinked glasses over crisp glasses of Albariño. I started with the hamachi loin crudo with ruby grapefruit. The dish was super clean, and I finished the appetizers in just a few bites. I loved the notes of citrus and ended up going for a vegetarian dish for my main course because I was so attracted to the clean seasonal vegetables being offered. I ordered the summer squash casserole with toasted bulgur, gem lettuce, and zucchini hummus. It was a lovely dish. The flavors were fresh and tasted and like summer. I was happy and satisfied but still wanted a taste of something sweet. My bar mate and I decided to order two desserts and share (this is the best part about sitting at the bar and making new friends!) After an awesome night out, I stumbled back to my hotel with a smile on my face and a happy tummy. American Seasons is located at 80 Centre St, Nantucket, MA 02554.
My hotel was located directly across the street from Dune, and I had been told this place was a must. I took my book over around noon, grabbed a table, and ordered a glass of rosé while I waited for my meal. I ordered the crispy calamari with jalapeño to start, and I could not resist ordering the special lobster tacos for my main course. Not only was the food excellent, the dishes were beautifully plated. The lobster tacos were one of the best things I ate all weekend. I loved this meal and can't wait to experience Dune again. Dune is located at 20 Broad Street, Nantucket, MA 02554.
I love anything with a French theme. I passed by this adorable bakery every morning while in Nantucket and decided to make it my morning spot. The coffee is great, but the baked goods including homemade croissants, scones, and muffins are fantastic. I grabbed an almond croissant and a large iced coffee and sat outside on the porch of 21 Broad to read my book in the breezy August weather. It was a perfect morning spot. Petticoat Row Bakery is located at 35 Centre Street, Nantucket, MA 02554.
For another nice solo dinner out, I opted for the bar at the Italian restaurant Ventuno. I immediately knew I had made the right choice as the entire staff was incredibly friendly, and it was clear that most people dining at the bar were regulars. In fact, the people next to me had been coming to the island for 30+ years and insisted that the food at Ventuno was their favorite. I felt validated. I had one of the most beautiful salads I have ever eaten-- the panzanella with juicy tomatoes from Bartlett's Farm, red onion, crunchy bread, and ricotta salata. It was stellar. I ordered the famous spaghetti alle vongole for my main course. I was able to get the half portion and barely left a speck in the bowl. Ventuno is a high-end restaurant that has a gorgeous interior and would be a nice spot to make reservations for a sit down meal. However, I loved the bar and felt like it was a great choice to have a dinner out with a fun group of locals. Ventuno is located at 21 Federal Street, Nantucket, MA 02554.
Do not be fooled by the name. There is no juice here. However, this is the spot for ice cream. You'll smell the homemade waffle bowls and cones being made from multiple blocks away. The line is wrapped around the corner and it is well worth the wait! The Juice Bar is located at 12 Broad St, Nantucket, MA 02554.
The White Elephant is the most exclusive hotel on the island. My friend Lauren took the ferry into Nantucket for the day and we decided to have lunch at the Brant Point Grill at the hotel. The outdoor patio is stunning with a view of the boats on the water. The atmosphere alone is worth choosing this for a lunch spot, but the food is also quite good. I indulged in the fish tacos while my friend Lauren had the lobster salad. We both enjoyed glasses of Whispering Angel rosé and soaked up the sun for as long as possible. Brant Point Grill is located at White Elephant, 50 Easton St, Nantucket, MA 02554.
I didn't have the chance to have a meal here, although everyone says it is a must. Instead, I stopped by here with my friend Lauren in the afternoon for a drink. It's located at the end of the dock right across the street from Cru and has an awesome menu. Straight Wharf offers brunch on the weekends, but I am eyeing the lobster roll for the next time I visit. Straight Wharf is located at 6 Harbor Square, Nantucket, Massachusetts, 02554.
My friend and I stopped into Proprietor's for a drink before dinner, but I was so enthralled with the menu and decided I had to order a small plate. The space is inviting with drink lists plastered on chalkboards and a cozy bar area with lots of room to linger. The chefs and owners previously came from American Seasons, and the menu is filled with eclectic small plates including pig ear fries and quail tikka masala. I ordered the ricotta toast with muhammara, mint, and peaches and it was absolutely delicious. The toast was topped with all sorts of fresh herbs and the mixture of ingredients made the perfect small bite. In fact, it left me wanting more! After a glass of rosé we made our way over to another spot for dinner but I definitely still had my mind on Proprietor's. Proprietor's Bar and Table is located at 9 India St, Nantucket, MA 02554.
This restaurant is a newer opening where Corazon del mar used to be, and it's the sister to Lola 41 and Lola Burger. They serve Italian food, but its a casual and comfortable atmosphere with reasonable prices. My friend and I each ordered a pasta for dinner and split both. We enjoyed some wine, and we were in and out on the earlier side before things got too busy. The space is very pretty with a stunning chandelier that you see immediately as you enter the restaurant. It was a good choice for an early laid back dinner. Station 21 is located at 21 South Water St., Nantucket Island, MA 02554.
I still have a large to-do list with restaurants on Nantucket including The Pearl, The Nautilus, Lola 41, Black Eyed Susan's for breakfast, and Something Natural for a sandwich. In addition to the amazing food, I fell in love with the shop Flowers on Chestnut that is filled with the most beautiful things.
Nantucket is a special place. The island is idyllic, quaint, and breathtaking. Every corner you turn is another beautiful home lined with hydrangeas, and the restaurants and shops are unique and charming. I loved my time on the island and plan to be back very soon to knock more spots off of my list. My weekend on Nantucket was a perfect way to savor some of the last days of summer. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!