Yesterday's Island Today's Nantucket
Volume 41 Issue 16 • August 25-31, 2011
now in our 41th season
In This Issue

Town - Go to Town & Travel the Globe

Town Restaurant

There are two things we love about dinners at Town.  The outdoor patio that provides a quiet escape in the heart of downtown Nantucket, and the adventurous spirit Chef Geoffrey Woodman shares with his eclectic global cuisine.  His appetizers and entrees can take you to Japan, Portugal, Korea, Bankok, India, Mexico, Thailand ... or you can stay closer to home and still enjoy the accents of France, Italy, and the American Southwest.

Tucked on a side street in the center of town, Town offers both indoor and outdoor dining.  Their brick patio has comfy couch seating with tables sheltered by market umbrellas and soft blankets should the evening air carry a chill.  Bamboo plants add a garden feel, and the music is jazzy and eclectic. 

Inside, the decor is Southeast Asian, candlelit, and chic.  The tall lounge tables and cafe tables with cushioned benches and chairs encourage a relaxed mood.  There’s even an intimate corner nook that can accommodate 6 to 8.  Off-season, the indoor bar and dining room of Town is a favorite, but while the weather is still warm, their patio is the place to be!

New this season is a patio bar shared with sister restaurant Queequegs that has become a lively and casual gathering spot.  Their bartenders have come up with an assortment of fun and unusual cocktails to match the menu: Sake Blossom, Lemongrass & Lychee Martini, and our favorites: the bright and clean Zen T and the spicy Asian Pear & Ginger Splash.  Town also has an wide ranging wine list (with wines by the glass starting at just $8), a respectable sake selection, and beers that range from the local Whales Tale to the less common Chang, Kirin, and Sol.

By day, Town’s patio is a bright spot to enjoy a hearty breakfast of Lobster Eggs Benedict, Buckwheat Pancakes, Turkey & Sage Hash or another of their dozen tempting choices.  Midday you can savor a classic Lobster Roll, fresh Fish Tacos, a Na’an Pizetta, or even a hearty Short Rib Panini.

As the sun begins to go down, the urban alfresco feel of Town sets the tone for a fun evening out.  With a dozen tempting appetizers including sushi, and several sides that make tasty bar snacks, Town is a great destination for small plates and cocktails.  Dishes are seasonally-driven with stylish flair—the  perfect antidote to a jaded palate!

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Summery and substantial, the Ahi Tuna & Avocado Stack earns high praise.  Big chunks of sushi-grade tuna, glistening red with freshness and anointed with a light chili soy dressing, are tossed with fresh pieces of creamy avocado and sesame seeds.  Crispy fried wonton chips separate the stack and add a fun crunch to the appetizer.


Beet salads are ubiquitous this season, but no one does it like Chef Woodman.  In his version of Beet Salad, large pieces of heirloom beets from local Bartlett’s Farm truly are the star of the show.  They’re presented on a bed of baby arugula, tossed in a citrusy herb vinaigrette.  The salad is finished with a handful of crunchy toasted pepitas and crumbled feta that adds a salty twang.


The vivid flavor of the Thai Chili Shrimp brings an instant rush of pleasure from the very first bite.  The shrimp are pan-fried just till curled, served over a cool slaw and topped with a sweet-spicy Thai chili aioli.  The heat lingers but is easily quenched by a swallow of chilled Stella.


Chef Woodman offers a fun twist on a south-of-the-border favorite with his Korean Street Tacos.  This appetizer was a table favorite during this week’s visit to Town.  Each mini tortilla is grilled and then slathered with hoisin barbecue sauce.  On top of that goes a generous spoonful of beef short ribs, braised till the meat is meltingly tender.  Kimchi, crisp pickled vegetables, and baby greens finish each stack.  They fold into neat little three-bite packages that are sweet and spicy and crunchy and cool.  The contrast in temperature and texture is a delight.  Be warned: with three to an order, if you share this appetizer, you’ll have to move quickly to score the final taco.


Although the Moules a la Portugaise are listed under Appetizers, this dish makes a satisfying light meal.  Chef Woodman skillet roasts the plump mussels with red and yellow tomatoes, big slices of spicy chorizo, garlic, and white wine.  The flavors meld beautifully and the resulting broth resonates with deep flavor and just a spark of heat from the sausage.  This comes with grilled bread, but we suggest you order a side of the fresh Tandoori Na’an Bread and spicy Poppadoms to accompany.


Town has a well-deserved stellar reputation for its Vindaloo (lamb or chicken), but if this traditional curry dish is too hot for your palate, then go for their Bankok Curry.  We tried the vegetarian version (you can also order the Curry with shrimp), and found it to be vibrant and full of flavor, with a tantalizing aroma that had the guests at a nearby table asking what we’d ordered.  Broccoli, edamame, mushrooms, pineapple chunks, and cashews give the dish an exciting variety of tastes and textures.  The red thai curry sauce is light but powerful.  A bowl of fragrant basmati rice, each grain separate and tender, is served alongside, and we found the best approach is to spoon some of the curry onto the rice and eat them together.


Chef Woodman’s inventive approach to fish is deliciously illustrated in his Pan-Seared ACK Fluke.  For this entree he pairs perfectly seasoned and cooked filets with woodsy wild mushrooms and tender braised baby bok choy on a backdrop of cauliflower and parsnip puree.  Tracings of Asian vinaigrette add tasty hints of sesame oil and spice.


He does traditional dishes just as well as the more adventurous, and if your tastes run more to the mainstream then you’ll find both the Duck Breast and the Grilled New York Sirloin very satisfying.  The duck is sliced and fanned out across a tasty autumnal mix of lentils, lardons, and butternut squash and topped with a rich port demiglaze. 

Town The Grilled New York Sirloin is seductively simple...cooked perfectly to temperature, sliced and served with BOTH bearnaise and bordelaise sauces that combine for lavish flavor.  The steak is served with a pile of hot, crisp, and salty frites—perfection!  And if even a drop of sauce is left, you’ll definitely want to mop it up with the fries.

Desserts change frequently at Town.  We tasted a Blueberry Cake that was moist and flavorful without being overly sweet, its blueberry topping the every essence of fresh berries. 


We highly recommend the Raspberrry Sorbet.  Made on the premises, it is intensely flavorful and very refreshing—the perfect ending for a meal of exotic flavors and spice.

TownYou can enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or cocktails at Town.  No matter what time of day or night, it’s a short trip to enjoy flavors from around the world.


4 E. Chestnut Street  •  508-325-8696
Breakfast and Lunch daily
Open every evening for dinner from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Bar open from 5:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Dinner entrees range in price from $22 to $28
indoor & outdoor dining  •  MC, Visa, Amex accepted


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