Martha's Vineyard Island-To-Table Dining At The Harbor View

Artisan, fresh plates are what chef Nathan Gould artfully prepares here at Water Street and Henry's, Harbor View Hotel's vaunted on-site dining venues. But vaunted not in a snooty but genuinely tasty way via small plates that change almost bi-monthly reflecting the island's most seasonal ingredients. Recent choices include pumpkin gnocchi served with house-made lamb bacon and whiskey butter or wood-smoked grilled oysters with fennel butter.

Here, it's equally cool to be chic as well as letting off steam after a long day fitting pipes or remodeling a kitchen. Guests in cocktail dresses mingle comfortably with flannel shirts and jeans. I'm thinking the lack of pretension is somewhat due to Gould's unvarnished preparation of Vineyard bounties starting with a full-service raw bar stocked with fresh-picked oysters from nearby Katama Bay as well as seasonal Island ingredients ranging from seaweed, sassafras, and rose hips to herbs and vegetables sourced from a 600-square-foot garden of raised beds.

Water Street is Harbor View's definitive restaurant, with a graceful Victorian dining room framed by panoramic ocean views and Edgartown Lighthouse, elegant white columns, gleaming dark hardwood floors, and a skylight that floods the space in natural light by day while offering stargazing opportunities on clear nights. The menu is complemented by an eclectic assortment of wines  with a minimum score of 90 as well as regional small craft brews. If you're here on Sunday, don't miss their famous Sunday brunch marked by a wide offering of fresh baked goods from pastry chef Nikolas Mastalerz.