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Nantucket off-season?

My husband and I were in Nantucket the week of Presidential Weekend. A lot of restaurants were open. Here are the ones we visited and my review:

Pi Pizzeria: We ordered the Great Italian pizza. Wine is very expensive here so be careful. My husband liked the pizza. I liked the toppings/sauce but thought the crust was really tasteless.

56 Union: great Portuguese bread (next time, we're on Nantucket during the regular season, will definitely try it out from the local bakeries), but unfortunately the rest of the meal was just okay.

Seagrille: Just okay. Not a great one for atmosphere, felt like a chain.

Centre Street Bistro: just okay. Dessert was this awful mess of overloading ingredients. Cute place though and you definitely want to make reservations because there is very limited seating.

Queequeg's: my favorite of the restaurants we visited. I had some very tasty short ribs. Recommend it. We lucked out as they had a $25 for appetizer and entree combo that night.

Sfoglia: Just okay. Expected my spaghetti carbonara to have peas or something green in it and maybe a slightly thicker sauce. They screwed up our coffees and gave us not the decaf that we had requested, but regular - oh boy, I was up til 4:30am as a result.

Lola: I had a mac and cheese dish, it was fine. My husband had some rather mediocre sushi and they chintzed out on the portion for his soup. Nantucket during the off season generally has an older cliental, but this place was definitely attracting a younger hipper crowd.

I must say that the service at all of the above restaurants was great.

Bonnie Doon Cellar Door Café, Santa Cruz

My husband and I had lunch here today and it was very good. Inventive food, nice service. There's a very cool decor using various elements from a winery, although wish their chairs were a little more comfortable on a winter's day and that the music they played was a little more soothing (a bit too hard rock for us). They are a bit on the overpriced side, but then one is paying for the inventiveness of the cuisine and I'm okay with that. Their desserts could use a little more imagination (at least the ones they had at lunch time). Definitely try their fingerling potatoes with the aioli sauce. If it wasn't such a scary drive over Hwy 17 at night, we would definitely try dinner there. As it is we'll definitely drop by for lunch on the weekend.

Jan 24, 2010
namewithheld in California

A Dissenting Opinion on Manresa

I shall join too the dissenters of Manresa. My husband and I were one of the first to dine at Manresa when they opened and the price of the 3 or 4 course was in the $50s. We were blown away by the food and could only compare it's creativity to Manka's at the time. We've probably been to Manresa 8 or 9 times over the years since they've opened, and I feel it's been going downhill in terms of value. I have no problem with the 4 course being priced $95, at Cyrus it's worth it, at Manresa it's not. They've cut back on the number of amuse bouche which was part of the fun and interest and they don't have the petit fours at the end of the meal anymore, instead substituting with this tacky caramel that they pass out in a bowl as you leave. Dessert too is a disappointment - I've never found it to be a strong point with Manresa, but the last 3 times we've eaten there, it just simply didn't taste good.

The service is still superb, but again the food quality for all courses needs to be there and to raise prices while simultaneously cutting out the amuse bouche and petit fours doesn't cut it for me. I used to enthusiastically recommend this place to others, but now, I think Manresa doesn't believe it has to try with its food anymore, now that they've received James Beard nominations and won Iron Chef.

Manresa Restaurant
320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Arrows or White Barn Inn

We ate at both White Barn Inn and Arrows last week of September 2009. Hands down recommend White Barn Inn. The service was fantastic, food superb and worth the price. Arrows was a disappointment, the appetizer was neat and inventive, main was okay but not to the standards of the price and then dessert was bland to the point of being almost tasteless. I'm sure the service was fine, but don't remember it out of the ordinary as I found WBI.

Both establishments have a very cool decor.

XYZ, Mount Desert Island (Acadia National Park)

Agree with the post that kicked this thread off. I do give praise to the decor which has a high energy/kitschy in a fun way vibe and the staff whom we found to be friendly. The restaurant is now located in a residential neighborhood - it's like someone converted their outdoor rec room into a fun restaurant. Restaurant was only open Fridays/Saturdays but maybe this had to do with our being there last September, so not at peak season.