Traveling Trends| Autumn In Nantucket:
With its dramatic dunes and rose-covered cottages, Nantucket is often regarded as a summer destination. But fall is just as heavenly—a locals’ best-kept secret, in fact—to savor the island’s quieter time long after the crowds and bumper-to-bumper traffic have disappeared. To celebrate the start of the season, Marissa Collections takes a trip to this chic enclave 30 miles south of Cape Cod. Fuel the jet!
Lark Hotels opened 21 Broad, a boutique property in a rare Victorian home among the island’s uniform, cedar-shingled architecture. Design further departs from Nantucket’s conservative nature through modern furnishings with a bold palette and prints like pedestal tables in canary yellow lacquer and upholstery in chartreuse zebra stripes. So many little details delight the eye from colorful resin art works to a sea of nautically-themed accents including rope sconces and sea urchin lamps. Guests can stargaze around the deck’s fire pits, play vintage games and vinyl records, and book a massage in the subterranean spa. Each of its 27 rooms features a shower head with a vitamin-C filter cartridge for extra pampering.
Like taking a cruise, the all-inclusive Nantucket Hotel & Resort appeals to multigenerational families. The 19th-century property has been renovated from top to bottom with a balance of historical references to Nantucket’s whaling and shipbuilding industries, and modern amenities like the Breeze Bar and Frette linens. Suites with up to four bedrooms also feature Murphy bunks for little ones, who love riding around on the many vintage modes of transportation including a red fire truck from the 1940s. Reserve room 46 for panoramic views, while the Spinnaker suites 23, 33 and 43 add the charming turret. The fitness center offers every kind of class—barre, yoga and ballroom dancing, to name a few. Drop off the brood in the hip kids’ center, which is even open at night, so parents can go out on the town.
Harborview Place combines complete hotel services such as concierge, transportation and kayaks with 10 fully-equipped residences for a personal home experience. Overlooking Town Pier, manicured gardens and natural wetlands, units offer 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms in tasteful contemporary décor. More perks are laundry rooms and locally made, complimentary beer, wine and wildflower-scented bath products. Its location is an easy walk to the center of town.
American Seasons is the latest hot spot from the founders of The Proprietors. Both restaurants excel at their farm-to-table missions, with the former touching on more ethnic notes whether kimchee or chorizo. The fall menu highlights the local harvest—parsnip soup with maple glaze and sage; rye cavatelli with butternut squash, dried currants and a pumpkin seed crumble, and cod in a pumpkin veloute with barley, salsify and brown butter. Cocktails, which are numbered rather than named, are just as interesting and loaded with wellness attributes from kale to quinoa. The former whaler’s abode has been renovated with an old-fashioned tin ceiling and patterned wallpaper by Nantucket designer Audrey Sterk. Mismatched plates and bell jar lanterns lend to the homey vibe.
A trio of hipsters imports Brooklyn dining trends with Asian flair through Nautilus. Even if one doesn’t appreciate oysters, don’t skip their sushi roll-inspired tempura oyster “tacos” wrapped in nori sheets and topped with chili barbecue sauce and wasabi aioli. Other small plates are smoked paprika-grilled octopus in chimichurri and miso-glazed himachi sprinkled with radish shavings and garlic chips. The saam-style 30-oz. grilled rib-eye for two comes with scallion pancakes and Japanese mushrooms. One of the partners is an accomplished mixologist, so it’s a good excuse to try one of his seasonal concoctions such as bourbon and homemade spiced cider, or rum with cream soda flavored with pear juice and vanilla bean.
B-ACK Yard BBQ, a play on Nantucket airport’s code ACK, fills up on games days for its large amount of flat-screen televisions. But most diners come for the gourmet barbecue, too. While sipping pints of Sixpoint Brewery’s Sensi Harvest wet-hop ale and locally-based Cisco Brewers’s Pumple Drunken spiced ale, order apps like lobster and corn hushpuppies, and a signature Kielbasa with candied pineapple. High-quality meats such as Wagyu brisket and pulled heritage pork come with all the fixins sized from the “Selfie” for one to the “Whole Pit” for large parties. Non-meat eaters have their choice of lobster rolls, blackened fish sandwiches and veggie plates of Southern-inspired sides.
Francophile paradise Meursault specializes in gourmet cheeses and charcuterie paired with lovely wines from small growers. Select from international fromages listed by source—cow (Fiscalini cheddar from California), sheep (Manchego Curado from Spain), goat (Gjetost from Norway), plus pungent blues (Fourme d’Ambert from France). Pates of many kinds, chocolate truffle almonds and olives complete perfect plates to linger over within its Lourve-inspired setting.
Better act fast to catch the last sunsets of the season at Galley Beach, which closes mid-October for the cold weather months. The jet-set destination is famous for its outdoor beachside tables and sofas in the sand, where St. Tropez-style celebrations are de rigueur—pop a bottle of the owner’s exclusive Domaine de l’Ile rose from the South of France. Its steady stream of A-listers equally approves of the fare prepared by Gordon Ramsay alumnus Neil Ferguson. Fall stand-outs are game terrine with foie gras, violet mustard and spiced plum, and venison loin with red cabbage and rutabaga puree. Seafood shines here as well, so this is the perfect opportunity to indulge in a lobster roll, sea scallops and warm Jonah crab. At brunch, try the bloody Mary with the house’s own beet vodka.
Stretching along the end of Straight Wharf for excellent harbor views, CRU also closes mid-October. Until then, eat as many platters of its unparalleled oysters as possible. The locally-sourced, daily selection may include Pocomo Meadow and Fifth Bends. A good portion of the menu is dedicated to seafood (lobster bisque, fluke meuniere and cherrystone clams plucked from the waters off nearby Tuckernuck Island). A hummus-style dip made with carrots instead of chickpeas, and salads using the last of the locally grown greens from Pumpkin Pond farm provide a light start to the meal. The wine list is much broader and deeper than most restaurants, with a strong focus on hard-to-find white varietals.
Former Café Boulud Palm Beach sommelier Jenny Benzie took over Epernay Wine & Spirits. Her passions are white burgundies such as Paul Pernot Puligny-Montrachet and champagnes like Pol Roger White Foil, a brut non vintage from the French town and her shop’s namesake Epernay. Among a vast array of 300 international wines, there also are pinot noirs from many regions. Upscale spirits and beers complete the party checklist.
Bodega owners Stephanie Sproule and Anne Becker’s one-stop shop stocks every decor need. Categories range from furniture and textiles to housewares.
Current Vintage for fashions and accessories galore doubles as a wine store. Shop for fall staples like women’s coats dating from the 1950s through the 1970s and men’s Pendleton wool plaid jackets with leather buttons before picking up a bottle of organic red wine from California.
Home of Whale’s Tale pale ale, Cisco Brewers pioneered the East Coast’s craft beer trend. Its courtyard is the place to be during late afternoons when bands play and food vendors set up stations for wood-fired pizzas, raw-bar platters and whole Maine lobsters. Sample their other beers like Grey Lady Ale, Baggywrinkle Barleywine and sour and fruit-infused recipes. The owners also operate Triple Eight Distillery, which won an award for single-malt Notch, an American nod to scotch. They also make flavored vodkas with organic, regional ingredients like blueberries and cranberries, as well as interesting liqueurs—the pineapple jalapeno is a popular souvenir.
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