Martha’s and Chappy
Sometimes its a bit fun to play into stereotypes. For the 4th of July weekend my girl and I headed up to Cape cod for the first time. We had nothing planned except for an epic combination of seaside relaxation and eating seafood.
I’ll be honest, I was sort of (ignorantly) expecting the worst out of people from that area. I thought it would be full of Mass-holes and “those guys” that go to Dorrian’s (the bar, not the fishmonger), wearing red pants and vineyard vines belts.
What I found was a gorgeous part of new england that largely didn’t stand up to the stereotype. I met wonderful people, relaxed along beautiful seasides, and ate the best New England seafood that I’ve ever had the pleasure of gaining weight over.
On Sunday we jumped on a ferry and headed to Martha’s vineyard to meet up with my friend (and chef extraodinaire,) Jake Klein. You may remember him from my Morrell Wine Bar Post. It seems that hanging with Jake automatically results in semi-hedonistic eating experiences.
We drove over to Menemsha, a little fishing village on the island. We walked into a little building right on the dock that housed a fishmonger-slash-seafood shack. Behind the building, fishing boats unloaded freshly-caught seafood directly into the shack. Literally ocean-to-plate.
We sat on lobster traps on the dock, and jake disappeared for a few minutes. He returned with 2 lbs of succulent steamer clams, oysters on the half shell, and 4 steamed lobsters. By the way, all of that only cost $100 buckos.
The four of us suddenly became a pack of ravenous seagulls and devoured everything in minutes. It was the best lobster experience I’ve ever had (sorry, Red lobster).
Apparently this little seafood foray was just an amuse-bouche for the rest of the day. We walked around a bit, check out fantastic antique shops ful of old salty seafaring equipment, and stopped by for some fantastic friend clams, which were eaten too quickly for a photo op.
Round 1 done. Onto round two.
We traipsed across the island picking up supplies for our early dinner at Jake’s parent’s place. Lo and behold, his stepdad is the BBQ master himself, Steven Raichlen. We arrived at their gorgeous house on Chappaquiddick Island and marvelled and the myriad grills and smokers Steve had ready to go.
Grilling was the perfect medium for the food we picked up: Freshly Harpooned Swordfish, Morning Glory corn, garlic scamps, baby leeks, asian eggplant, and more. The fresher and better the ingredients, the less you typically should do to it.
Everything came together wonderfully. Swordfish stands up to grilling rather well, and the simply seasoning on lemon, EVOO, capers, and other herbs I didn’t ask about complimented it to the max. The super-duper-ultra-mega-local veggies where amazing in their own right, and made me understand vegetarianism for about 4 seconds.
While this post makes the weekend sound like a food centric trip, it was more than that (that’s just my fat boy personality taking over). The weekend was a summer mix tape of great people, beautiful scenery, summer breezes, sunfish sailing, kayaking, amateur fireworks, the smell of the ocean, people digging for clams, drinking Dark ‘N’ Stormy’s, and swinging on a hammock while the world goes by.
Living in the city makes you a bit dull to simple experiences, and separating yourself from it for a few days lets you reconnect with the un-manufactured pockets of goodness that are still around if you’re looking for them.
Take a deep breath. it’s the weekend. Life is great (and delicious).
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