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Martha Eats: The Lookout Tavern

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

The Lookout Tavern, located on 8 Sea View Avenue, across from Steamship Pier in Oak Bluff is a definite lunch spot during the summer months. Overlooking Nantucket Sound, its indoor and outdoor seating make it a fantastic restaurant to really enjoy the view and the delicious food.

And when you talk about food at The Lookout, you’re basically talking about the sushi. Sure, their menu boasts chowders, soups, burgers, sandwiches, and the classic New England entree items, but nothing compares to their sushi. Made fresh to order, with some of the best fish available on-island, it’s a foodie haven when it comes to sushi.

Some of our favorites? The Dragon Roll, made with shrimp tempura, avocado, kabayaki sauce and sesame seeds; another favorite is the Volcano Roll, with spicy tuna, cucumber, avocado, tempura crunch, spicy mayo, and tobiko sauce. Order any of those rolls, and you can’t go wrong!


Phone Number: (508) 696-9844

Facebook Page:

Blog: Cooking with Books
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Twitter: @nella22

Strawberry-Basil Refresher

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Direct from Morning Glory Farm, this recipe is a quick and easy way to infuse your regular water with fresh berries and even fresher basil leaves. Add some lime for that  touch of  requisite tartness and serve over ice.

Strawberry Basil Refresher

1 cup fresh strawberries

2 cups cold water

1/4 bunch Morning Glory basil

to taste: agave or honey, and lime juice

  1. Blend strawberries and water in the blender. Add sweetener to taste and reserve in fridge.
  2. Wash the fresh basil and using an ice cube tray, fill up tray with water and place 1-2 basil leave in each cube. Freeze until ice forms.
  3. Serve strawberry water with basil ice cubes. As the ice slowly melts, the basil will infuse the beverage with an herbaceous flavor that pairs perfectly with the sweet strawberries. Cheers!

What’s YOUR favorite herb to use in beverages during the hot summer months?

Blog: Cooking with Books
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Twitter: @nella22

Behind the Scenes @ Hooked

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Today I’m sharing a behind the scenes sneak peek at Hooked, a brand new restaurant that will be opening later this month in Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard. The prodigy son (or daughter?) of Christian and Greer Thornton, Hooked will be offering guests fantastic food inspired by the sea with a slight Southern flair, focusing on simple ingredients and comforting flavors. Chef Christian is all about showcasing seasonal ingredients, simply by letting them shine in their own way and at the same time infusing them with great flavor. We all know how delicious his food at Atria is, so I can’t wait to try Hooked’s menu!

With a variety of spaces, you can enjoy Hooked in one of their cozy booths inside, as well as on the front lawn under the summer sun, or if you’re more of a night owl, head on over to Hooked after dark and dance the night away on their dance club, since they will be hosting concerts, music events, and just about everything to get you on the dance floor and shake what your mama gave you!

Throughout the summer they’ll be offering brunch, dinner, and late night menus that will satisfy your every need. Opening at 4pm daily with $1 oysters from 4 to 6pm! Be sure to check back on their website, currently under construction, but a little bird tells me it will be an interactive page with tons of goodies!

Blog: Cooking with Books
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Twitter: @nella22

Martha Visits: Tisbury Farm Market

Monday, May 7th, 2012

This past week we stopped by the Tisbury Farm Market and were delighted with the immense variety of food items, dinner options, and fresh produce available. Located on 342 State Road, Vineyard Haven, MA, this market provides both locals and visitors with healthy eating options that are perfect for when you’re on the go, either getting out of work and wanting a quick dinner or heading out to the beach for a picnic.

Local produce is one of the best items you can pick up here, with farm fresh eggs from The Farm Institute and Smith Farms, and fresh vegetables from both Whippoorwill Farms and Morning Glory Farm. The produce section, set -up outside, is a breathe of fresh air … just shop around and take in the gorgeous items: this week we found fresh wheat grass at the Market, great for smoothies!

Need fresh coffee? The Tisbury Farm Market freshly roasts their coffee in-store and sells it on site, so be sure to pick up a bag next time you’re there. Pair the coffee with one of their freshly baked muffins, pies, or breads and you will be set for breakfast in the morning.

Now, what I enjoy the most about this farm market is their butchering area, where gorgeously red cuts of meat where displayed proudly and available to be butchered on-site for you. Need steaks to grill tonight? Grab some there, as well as some fresh veggies to grill, some house-made salad dressing, and you’re ready to take on dinner. They also offer a fantastic variety of prepared meals, such as this gorgeous Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. Want to make it yourself? Stock up in their cheese section, with more than 40 varieties of cheeses!

Vineyard Grocer
294 State Road
Vineyard Haven MA 02568
508 696 8914
Store Hours
M-S 7am-7pm
Sun 8am - 5pm
By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

Martha Sips: Hibiscus Candied Cucumbers

Friday, April 27th, 2012

While we wait for summer to arrive, let’s enjoy spring and the warmer nights. Make these candied cucumbers infused with floral hibiscus and use them in your spring cocktails!

Hibiscus Candied Cucumbers
Original Recipe Posted On: Cooking with Books

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dried hibiscus flowers
1 large cucumber

  1. In small sauce pan, stir water and sugar together and simmer until all the sugar dissolves.
  2. While the syrup simmers, thinly slice cucumbers and drop into the syrup, as well as dried hibiscus.
  3. Poach for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove cucumbers from syrup and place on silicone baking sheet. Dehydrate in low temperature oven or dehydrator until they become smooth to the touch.
  5. Reserve hibiscus flavored syrup for future cocktail making or as sweetener for lemonade.

Uses for Candied Cucumbers

Martha Eats: The Grill On Main

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

If you haven’t heard, The Grill On Main has its 2 for 1 Entrees back on the menu! If you live on Martha’s Vineyard year round, it’s one of the places you frequent for a night out on the town when no one else seems to be open, and it’ a fantastic deal that happens Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays!

We stopped by for date night this week to visit Tony (Executive Chef) and see what delicious treats he would have for us. Sure, we didn’t just stick to the deal since it was date night and we tried a few things:

  • Louisiana Fried Chicken Wings - in my opinion, these are the best wings on Martha’s Vineyard. Yes, you can quote me on that! They are crisp with a batter that has some heat to it, and served with a blue cheese dip, it’s the perfect start to any meal.
  • Seared Salmon and Cous Cous - one of the entrees we ordered, the filet of salmon was perfectly moist on the inside with a gorgeous sear on the outside. Served with cous cous that seemed to be cooking in chicken broth (which gave it great flavor!), roasted red peppers, and fresh asparagus. Topped with a lemon aioli, it was a light and nutritious choice for those watching their diet.
  • Apricot Glazed Pork Tenderloin - Roasted tenderloin, sliced and topped with a chunky apricot sauce, this is the dish for the pork lover! Served with traditional scalloped potatoes and a vegetable medley, it was a satisfying entree that combines the savory elements of the pork with sweet accents of the apricot.
  • Chocolate Bread Pudding - no matter how full you are after dinner, make sure to try their Chocolate Bread Pudding. It’s a decadent dessert made with bittersweet chocolate, tender bread, and topped with cream. Simple ingredients that when baked together create a masterpiece in your mouth. The pudding is slightly undercooked, so it feels like luscious fudge mixed in.

Be sure to stop by The Grill On Main while visiting Martha’s Vineyard and say hi to Tony through the open kitchen! It’s located on 227 Upper Main Street, Edgartown and you can call for reservations at 508-627-8344. Cheers!

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

Martha Visits: The Farm Institute

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Most of us think of the Vineyard as a place to just eat lobster rolls, socialize on sailboats, and sit on the beach while reading a book from the Edgartown Public
Library. But deep in Katama, there are farmers growing vegetables to supply  schools as well as raising livestock for some delicious grass-fed beef!

Meet Julie Olson, Farm Manager at The FARM Institute. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Sustainable Agriculture from Sterling College in Northern Vermont and has traveled far and wide until coming back to the Cape and settling in Katama. Growing up in Harwich, her dreams of farming where always less than a few feet away, working at farm stands and with local growers.

She now spends her days tending to the animals and as we walked around the farm, her love for them is obvious. Julie knows the sheep, cows, and pigs by name and let’s be honest…they all looked the same to us! Roaming freely on the farm are both laying kitchen and meat birds, raised for eggs and meat. These little feathery ladies sure get around! While touring the farm,  we learned that steers are neutered males that have to work 4 years to become oxen; that although the farm is not certified organic, all animal are treated with uttermost respect as are the vegetables; that cows show labor pains by flicking their tails from side to side. . .and that was just a mere 1.5 hour tour!  Just imagine what you could learn and experience of you spent the day at the farm working side to side with the farmhands.

The FARM Institute has for sale most of their meats, as well as cage-free eggs. Stop by and support the local farmers while visiting Martha’s Vineyard - yet another  fantastic activity during the summer at TFI.  For kids, The FARM  summer camps are considered one of the best kid activities on the Cape and Isalnds. Be sure to check out this link for a listing of the camps offered!

And just to get a taste of what the Farm Institute has to offer this summer, check out their Sheepapalooza schedule, going on this Saturday April 21st from 9am until 3pm and only $10/family or $5/individual!


9-10 am:  Morning Chores Dress for the weather and join us for our morning livestock chores on The FARM.  Feeding hay to sheep & cows, collecting eggs, feeding the pigs and checking in on the barnyard poultry is fun and quick work with lots of helping hands.

10 am- 2 pm:  Sheep Shearing with Andy Rice Andy shares his knowledge of shearing and passion for fiber while demonstrating shearing our flock of Cotswolds.

10 am-3 pm:  Fiber Arts Sheep to Sweater, dyeing, spinning, felting and more!  Fiber arts will take place throughout the farm.  Check back closer to the event for an exact schedule.

11 am- 3pm:  Lunch! FARM Institute beef Burgers, lamb sausage, and greens for sale right off the grill.

10 am, noon & 2 pm:  Farm Tours Join us for a walking tour of The FARM.

2 pm - 3 pm:  Herding Dog Demos Andy demonstrates the skill & talent of his herding dog Codfish here at The FARM.

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

Martha Eats: Espresso Love

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Espresso Love, edgartown

Espresso Love, Edgartown

The fantastic thing about Espresso Love is that it’s always there for you: at 7 am before you head to work you can grab a hot cup of coffee, during your lunch break you can stop by for one of their delicious wraps or sandwiches while checking out their specials and picking up a sweet treat to satiate an after lunch sweet tooth, and, if you need an after work drink, there’s wine and beer too.

Located in downtown Edgartown, it’s the ideal place to meet up with friends as well as colleagues, catch a movie or enjoy dinner in town.

A little about Espresso Love from their website:

Carol McManus opened Espresso Love in 1992. She was new to the food business, but she loved to bake and was compelled to make a living – she was the single mother of 5! She set out to make the very best morning treats and coffee and it is this simple goal that has kept the counters busy from 6:30 am until late in the pm. Fresh baked goods, soups, sandwiches, pizza and, of course, great coffee keep the crowds coming all day long.

Espresso Love, Edgartown

Espresso Love, Edgartown

One of my favorite things to do is to grab a quick wrap for lunch at Espresso Love and head on over to The Wharf in Edgartown, where there are benches and  a fantastic view of the water. It’s the perfect way to relax during a busy day. Last week during one of my many stops at Espresso Love that week,  I  ordered  a Chicken Avo BLT, which includes grilled chicken breast, bacon, avocado, mayo on toasted sour dough but I replaced the sourdough with a wheat wrap.

The Espresso Love employees are extremely accommodating and graciously made my wrap, as well as adding a side of one of my favorite house-made mayonnaises, the Citrus Mayo. If you’re around, check if they have it that day. It will make your day delicious!

Follow Espresso Love on Facebook for daily menu updates, as well as specials perfect to enjoy along with this gorgeous Spring weather!

Martha Eats & Drinks: Offshore Ale Company

Monday, March 26th, 2012

offshore ale

Last week, we had the chance to interview Neil Atkins, the Master Brewer at Offshore Ale Company, located in Oak Bluffs, and he shared with us his brewing experience, favorite brew, and beer pairings!

MVOL: We see you were a biologist and then turned to brewing. What tipped you off to the brewing love?

Neil: I got the opportunity to work as a Microbiologist/QA/QC for Anderson Valley Brewing in California. In order to do that job you need to learn about the entire process. From there I just wanted to get out of the lab.

MVOL: How long have you been brewing for Offshore Ale Company?

Neil: I’ve been brewing at Offshore Ale for what’s going to be 4 years in September.

MVOL: How are brew types decided at Offshore? What do you generally have on tap?

Neil: We have just about 6 standard beers. East Chop golden ale, Amber Brown Stout IPA and Hop Goddess. We also run about 3 more and what they are depends on what I feel like making for the most part.

MVOL: What’s the most popular brew at Offshore Ale?

Neil: Probably IPA!

MVOL: What’s one of your favorite beer and food pairings?

Neil: Beer and Cheese!

offshore ale

After chatting about delicious and local brews, it was time to tackle the Offshore Ale menu, which currently includes some new dishes! Try some of the culinary creations below and you won’t be disappointed:

Grilled Brie rubbed with Basil Pesto: This is the perfect appetizer to share between friends! The Brie is rubbed with pesto, which brings herbaceous freshness to the melty and fatty cheese. Served with Roasted Garlic and Toasted Baguette, it’s a great spread to start your meal.

Buffalo Wings: These are the classic wings, made to perfection! Served with Blue Cheese Dip and Celery, these wings are crispy on the outside and moist on the inside with the traditional buffalo sauce.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken: The traditional Southern meal, in New England! Plump chicken breast is dipped in buttermilk, breaded and fried. Served with Roasted Vegetables, Mashed Potatoes, Pan Gravy, and flaky Biscuit, this is the ideal meal after a night of drinks!

Wood Fired Pizza – Tartufo: Known for their wood-fire oven, Offshore Ale offers a variety of toppings. Everything from the classic cheese pizza to one topped with baked potato fixings! We tried the Tartufo, which is their classic Roma cheese pizza, drizzled with the precise amount of truffle oil.

Visit Offshore Ale Company while on the Vineyard, it’s the perfect place for the family, as well as date night! Sit at the bar and check out the daily fresh oyster offerings, as well as what’s brewing upstairs. Stay connected with Offshore Ale Company by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

Welcome Spring with Avocados!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

avocado lime pie

And by avocados, I mean an Avocado-Lime Pie with a Brown Butter Almond Crust! In celebration of the arrival of Spring, let’s forget about thick stews and roasted root vegetables, and let’s embrace cooler  dishes, like this Avocado Lime Pie.

Have you ever had avocados in a dessert? It’s the perfect canvas for tart limes and the smooth, sweet fruit is available now! You can find different varieties of avocados, including Hass, Pinkerton, Gwen, Fuerte, and more!

Avocado Lime Pie with Brown Butter Almond Crust
Makes 1 pie, or 4 mini pies

8 tablespoons of almond flour
2 tablespoons butter

1 large, ripe Avocado
1/2 cup lime juice
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin, hydrated in 1 tablespoon of water
zest of two limes
pinch of salt

mint leaves
whipping cream


  1. Melt the butter and let it simmer until it begins to turn light brown. Drizzle over almond flour and stir until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Press into greased pie pan or mini-pie molds.
  2. In a blender, add chopped avocado, lime juice, condensed milk, vanilla, lime zest and salt. Blend until smooth.
  3. Melt your gelatin and drizzle into avocado mixture. Whisk until incorporated.
  4. Spoon mixture into crust[s] and level with an offset spatula. Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for 3-4 hours.
  5. In the meantime, steep mint leaves in the whipping cream. Simply place whipping cream in container, add crushed mint leaves and let sit as your pie sets.
  6. Whip cream into submission.
  7. Top pie with mint whipped cream and sprinkle with lime zest. Enjoy!

Some places you find fresh avocados on the Vineyard are: Cronig’s, Stop & Shop, Reliable Market, the Tisbury Farm Market and others. Remember you can stock up on avocados and freeze them, without losing their ripeness. If you need them to ripen quickly, place them in a brown bag with a banana or an apple!

By Marnely Rodriguez

Blog: Cooking with Books
Facebook: CookingwithBooksBlog
Twitter: @nella22

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