Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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Chesca’s Restaurant – A Delight to the Senses

BY VSH | 20 August 2009

chescas1-150x150No one can come and stay at the Colonial Inn, or indeed in Edgartown, without knowing Chesca’s. This restaurant is an island institution and has built a very loyal following over its 16 years anchoring the porch of the Colonial Inn on North Water Street. ‘Urban Italian’ is how they describe the cuisine – to me that means lots of yummy pastas, great risotto, lots of fresh fish and seafood and a lot of other good stuff besides.

The atmosphere is always hopping – lots of activity and people having fun. They don’t take reservations unless there are 6 people or more, so don’t show up starving and expect to sit straight away – the average wait runs at about a half hour but this leaves time for a cold beverage in a rocking chair on the porch and some good old people watching time. In fact, most of the regulars feel a bit put out if they don’t have to wait as the waiting on the porch is all part of the experience.

At Chesca’s I’m a creature of habit – I know that there are many great items on the menu, but I have my favorites! (Full disclosure time – I work there as a hostess a few nights a week). They have many fantastic entrée options but I like to go the appetizer-salad-dessert route, otherwise I don’t have room for the dessert and it is not-to-be-missed (there are 10 to choose from – the most extensive list I’ve come across!).

I’m a sucker for the Mussels (with leeks, fennel, shallots and white wine) and I ALWAYS need extra bread to go with them to soak up all the delicious broth. Next, I go for the warm Goat Cheese Salad on baby spinach – toasted hazelnuts give it a bit of crunch and the raspberry lime vinaigrette is perfect. I said I always leave room for dessert and my favorite is the Snowball – vanilla bean ice cream, rolled in sponge cake crumbs, surrounded by caramel sauce and crumbled Chilmark Chocolate pieces – simple but DELICIOUS!!!!

If you just can’t get enough Chesca’s during your visit, you can now have the taste of Chesca’s at home all year. Chesca’s Kitchen Table sauces are available at the Farmers Market, Cronigs, Morning Glory Farm and other Island retailers as well as straight from the restaurant. The Thai Chili Glaze, House Balsamic Dressing and yummy Chocolate Sauce are all available to take back home. I use the chili glaze in lots of ways, not just on salmon – on fish, pork or chicken as a glaze, thinned out with some olive oil as a salad dressing or as a warm dipping sauce for egg rolls or other little hors d’oeuvres.

What’s your favorite dish at Chesca’s?

Image courtesy of Chesca’s.