Every year for the past 10 years, my closest friends (Kim, Christopher and their 2 gorgeous young children) who rent a house in Martha's Vineyard and invite me. I have never been, until this year. It is a beautiful island, scenic, soft sandy beaches, quiet, and great seafood! For years I heard tales and names of places like Chilmark and Menemsha, but now I know these places.
Menemsha is a small fishing area where one goes and chooses their favorite fish house and orders what they want, fresh from the days haul. Then, with your food and your bottle of wine, glasses, etc. that you bring with you, since this is a dry part of the island, you sit on the shoreline and enjoy them. It doesn't get much better than that does it? Well this sounded just perfect for me so off we went, just after we had arrived. Her favorite place, and where we went was Larsens. A tiny little place that backs onto the harbour. In you walk into their shop, the left side is for ordering your fish that you can prepare at home, the right has a tiny little window where you order your seafood...oysters, little necks, lobster bisque, etc.
We ordered oysters, lobster bisque and little necks. Reaching into buckets of ice right in front of you, the fish monger chooses your selection and shuck them right there placing them onto the most lovely...paper plates. Yes, you heard it paper plates Nothing fancy abut this place. It's all about the haul. They don't need to gussy it up with fancy plates or seaweed. It is real simple, with your plate of fish, you choose your acoutrements, lemon wedges from a tupperware container, jarred horseradish, cocktail sauce. But all of this...just adds to the experience.
Well, if this wasn't enough, Christopher added to the meal by heading just across the street to The Bite, where also using fish from the daily haul, he brought deep fried scallops, clams and zucchini and their famous clam chowder.
Larsens. The oysters, you could still taste the salt from the ocean in them. A little gritty, they don't clean them maybe quite as much as I am accustomed, but it doesn't change how delicious and fresh tasting they were. They weren't the big meaty ones nor were they too metallic a flavour either. The little necks, my first time having them, were quite tasty, not too fishy with a neat texture, kind of crunchy. As for the lobster bisque, I have never had a lobster bisque like that. It was AMAZING!! Not too rich, good lobster flavour, not too thick, and had a little spice in it. We only ordered 1 to share amongst David (my partner & I) and I ended up eating almost all of it. I just couldn't get enough of it.
As for The Bite, being deep-fried helps, since we all know everything is better when its deep-fried. But not everybody can deep fry well. The Bite does. I was a little weary on deep-fried clams, the rest I knew could be good, but clams? Ok, these were like little deep fried candies, so good. Nothing tasted greasy, it was all just good. The only thing I didn't love, and that doesn't meant it was bad, was the Clam Chowder. I am not a big fan of potato and I could taste more potato than I would prefer, but the texture was good, like the lobster bisque from Larsens, not too rich, I would still recommend it if you like Clam Chowder, but if I had to choose one, go with the Lobster Bisque from Larsens.