So with this barrier in mind, I began to hatch a plan to somehow launch myself into Nantucket's botanically-inspired banquette seating anyway. I'd halted on a walk past the venue one evening, the tree outside bewitchingly pretty with its fairy lights. Oliver Twist-style, I peered in through the windows to see what I was missing. It was pure Cape Cod class - all white walls, dark hardwood floors, slow circling fans, fresh flowers and foliage. Elegant New England-style furnishings that looked like they'd swept in on the latest Atlantic Ocean current. And people. Lots of people. Enjoying lots and lots of beautifully-presented food. My determination to dine here only continued to grow.
Eye fillet topped with Béarnaise sauce. Author image.
But first things first: the Nantucket menu. This stretches from leisurely breakfasts to lingering late night dinners. Begin the day with vanilla panna cotta with apricot jelly, poached peaches and granola, fruit loaf with honey butter and jam, or perhaps the blistered cherry tomatoes with poached egg, salsa verde and toasted rye.
Later in the day, lunch, dinner and 'linner' (which I gather is somewhere between the two, much in the same way brunch straddles breakfast and lunch) comes into its own. Starters include clam chowder with sourdough, pan-seared scallops, or potato gnocchi with green peas, lemon, ricotta, salsa verde and crisp sage (the latter of which you can upgrade to a main if so desired). The charcoal oven forms the centrepiece of the main course offerings which include 18-hour braised beef short rib, slow-roasted lamb shoulder or market fish of the day with roasted fennel, green peas, baguette leeks, broad beans and shellfish emulsion.
I did eventually have the opportunity to dine at Nantucket. In the end, it was just a matter of waiting till I was a year older, and invoking birthday privileges. While my companion had the tender pork loin, I opted for the Hereford gold eye fillet. It arrived cooked to medium-rare perfection and topped with Béarnaise sauce - I was certainly not disappointed.
If you've got a sweet tooth, there's good news on that front too. Desserts range from chocolate tart with salted caramel and honeycomb ice cream through to New York baked cheesecake. However, we both chose the cherry pie served with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice-cream. This somehow managed to feel both indulgent and comforting at the same time - a fitting finale to a fabulous meal.