American Seasons in Nantucket, Massachusetts, opened April 4 for its 26th year of celebrating regionally-focused, inventive American cuisine using the island’s finest ingredients. Executive chef Michael LaScola and general manager/sommelier Orla Murphy-LaScola mark their 10th year as the restaurant’s owners with exciting menu additions, updates behind the bar and an official announcement of their newest restaurant concept on Nantucket with chef/co-owner Tom Berry: The Proprietors Bar & Table.
At American Seasons, LaScola’s 2013 menu continues his creative union of regional American fare with local, seasonal ingredients. Long an advocate of sourcing as much as possible from island artisans and farmers, Michael incorporates organic produce from local farms grown specifically for the restaurant as well as Nantucket-raised meats and fish brought in fresh from one of the island’s last remaining commercial fishermen on the Ruthie B boat. Take-home boxed desserts, handmade by pastry chef Natasha Misanko, are among the menu additions, while American Seasons’ popular vegetarian tasting menu makes its return with seasonal accents like house-made local ramp kimchi. Herbs and cherry tomatoes from the chef’s backyard garden, pickled seasonal vegetables, and house-cured charcuterie continue to flavor the menu, while Michael’s ongoing commitment to sustainable culinary practices and “nose-to-tail” preparations playfully influences his dishes. Handmade plates by local potter Nell Van Vorst, specially crafted to fit the American Seasons menu, will also be introduced.
American Seasons’ nationally recognized all-American 500+ bottle wine list, thoughtfully developed and curated by Orla, includes an enhanced selection of small-production wines hand-selected during her off-season travels, where she meets with West Coast wineries to procure wines not available on the East Coast market. An expanded by-the-glass program features exclusive pours of Failla Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as Flowers Winery’s single-vineyard 2010 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. New house-made bitters (coriander-licorice root, orange and others) and hibiscus tea orange soda are also spicing up the beverage menu, while the bar itself sports an updated look with intricate wall designs painted by Evita Caune of Riptide Finishes. And to celebrate the Nantucket Wine Festival this spring, American Seasons will host exclusive wine and whiskey tasting events (May 17 and 19).
Opening its doors this June from the American Seasons team is The Proprietors Bar & Table, a collaboration between the LaScolas and Chef/Co-Owner Tom Berry. The restaurant, located on India Street in the heart of historic downtown Nantucket, will offer a menu of creatively interpreted global cuisines showcasing local ingredients, a tribute to Nantucket’s early cultural exposure from sailors returning home with influences from faraway lands. Diners can expect dishes emphasizing local fish and grains, plus an adventurous small plates menu and a European-focused wine selection.
The “well-traveled palate” will be reflected throughout the completely renovated space, where designer wallpaper meets reclaimed wooden tables and chairs. Serving as its centerpiece will be a sizeable bar, outfitted with generous seating, impressive cocktail, beer & wine lists and a small side lounge. Two floors of seating, a three-season porch, private dining space and a state-of-the-art kitchen round out the property for a dining experience that’s unmistakably Nantucket.