Greydon House: Nantucket’s extraordinary new restaurant

The remodeling of the old sea captain’s house, most recently occupied by Dr. Collins, took place last year, and the Greydon House hotel (17 Broad St) opened last fall. The restaurant, helmed by chef Marcus Ware did not open until late fall and it is only now that we were able to experience it.

Chef Ware was the executive chef at Charlie Palmer’s restaurant in Chicago, and more recently at the Michelin starred Aureole restaurant in New York. In this small, elegant restaurant decorated in a plain, Nantucket Federal style, he has created a menu of eleven appetizers from $16 to $32, eight entrees from $36 to $48, four sides ($8 to $12) and two sharable entrees: a seafood tower at $59 for two and a 32 oz Wagyu Ribeye for $125.

The appetizers included Tuna Nicoise, Pumpkin Pond Farm Salad, Heriloom Tomato Salad, Oysters on Ice, Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine, Tuna Crudo, Beef Carpaccio, Fresh Fusilla Pasta (with veal Bolognese), Black Ink Gnocchi (with octopus), Lobster Tortellini and Crispy Calamari.

The entrees included Halibut , Monkfish, Scallops, Salmon, Poached Lobster, Roast Chicken, Black Angus Steak, and Grilled Pork Chop. And the sides were asparagus, roast potatoes, sautéed kale and spinach and caramelized Brussels sprouts. As usual with restaurants of this class, the brief menu descriptions don’t begin to describe the imagination in each dish.

Note that this differs considerably from the online menu.

Our meal

Our meal began with warm rosemary focaccia brushed with olive oil and sea salt, served in a little wooden box with the GH logo on the side. And they brought real butter to go with it!

For appetizers, we ordered the Pumpkin Pond Farm Salad ($16) which was made up of yellow corn, peaches, blue cheese, pine nuts, radishes and lettuces. This was an excellent version of this fairly common island salad with corn kernels as well as miniature corn adding to the novelty.

Far and away our favorite dish last night was the Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine ($24) where the foie gras was “sandwiched” between a peanut butter crust and a cherry gelèe, and served with brioche, strawberries and figs. We lingered over every delicious bite.

About this point in our meal, a guest at a neighboring table came by carrying a small plate with a zucchini flower stuffed with lobster that the chef had just made for him.

For entrees we ordered their amazing scallops ($44, shown above) served with three colors of roasted cauliflower, one of them pickled, raisins, pecans and verjus (pressed grape juices). Not only were the scallops perfectly prepared, but the accompanying vegetables were gorgeous as well as delicious.

Our other entrée was their Grilled Pork Chop ($45), with broccoli Rabe, plantain puree and a sauce charcutiere. It is always a risk ordering a pork chop, since most restaurants cook them to be dry as leather. That, of course, we not the case here as nearly every bite was tender and juicy, since the chop was well-marbled as well as aged to enhance the porky flavor.

For this dish, we asked for salt and pepper in case we needed it (we didn’t), but imagine our surprise when we found that both the salt and pepper mills weighed about 2 pounds: apparently the silver was real!

We also ordered a side of roasted new potatoes ($7) which were perfectly prepared. Each potato had a tiny dab of pureed squash on it as well to add a bit of color and interest.

Since we were too full for dessert, our waiter brought us each a little box of chocolates. A really lovely touch!

All in all, an exceptional experience we will be happy to repeat. The bill, with 3 glasses of wine as $210 with tax but before tip. For the food and service we received, this was quite reasonable. Our waiter had a culinary education from Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island and was taking time off from cooking to learn about wine and the front of the house, and his knowledge of how the ingredients were prepared made the evening all the more interesting.

More about Greydon House

The right hand part of Greydon House is the original sea captain’s/doctor’s house, and the room where the restaurant was created was apparently the doctor’s surgery. The developers got permission to move the building a few feet to the right and built an accompanying addition, painted gray in the photograph, to add the guest rooms of the hotel.

The elegance of the hotel is best appreciated by looking at photos of the library and bar in the main section of the hotel. Dinner is served 5:30 to 10:30 pm, 7 days a week, and the Library Bar is open Fridays and Saturdays until 1:00 and Sundays through Thursdays until midnight. Don’t miss this Nantucket gem.

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