MANtucket says…. I had about 40 hours heads up before the spontaneous trip from mom. Certainly 40 hours is enough time to pick up a few beer cans around the house and sweep the beach sand under the nearest couch but I had to make a big time play for the queen. When your mother travels over six hours from the deep woods of Maine “to give you a hug to help her last through the fall,” then a simple sandwich and beach day would certainly suffice for the matron. Yet, I knew I needed something a little special.
When I need advice on how to crush a day on ACK I go to where any other curious island traveler goes: Miss blACKbook. When the queen bee herself suggested TOPPER’S Restaurant at The Wauwinet I think I spontaneously combusted. The place oozes class. The deck is a fantastic place to enjoy lunch with a beautiful view of the bay from the western shore that gives you that “I-don’t-care-if-this-lunch-takes-three-hours” type feeling. They also serve the deck menu from noon to 9PM so we could get out there as leisurely as we pleased. Needless to say, mom was delighted.
Anybody that has ever taken a bite of food within a three table radius of me knows I suffer from a horrible disease that has been diagnosed by numerous doctors as “food FOMO.” There is no cure in the foreseeable future except tasting everything in sight. No bite is safe. I can’t go to lunch without trying everything on the menu and I certainly can’t walk away believing my counterpart enjoyed a better meal than me. I’m the Nantucket cookie monster of sorts. This plague has been damaging on the funds, but absolutely instrumental in developing a creditable Nantucket pallet.
So at TOPPER’S, we ordered everything. We warmed the gullet up with local retsyo oysters on the half shell and “le banon” unpasteurized goat cheese served with candied walnuts and honeycomb. The soft pastry flavor of the goat paired perfectly with the sweet walnuts yielded my first audible groan of the lunch experience. I could literally eat 100 oysters, so after mom (not the biggest oyster fan) ate her oyster to be polite, I polished off the rest of the half dozen without any remorse. The champagne mignonette was perfect and naturally the oysters’ aphrodisiac qualities left daddy feeling good.
Round Two started with lobster and crab cakes. The crab cake had a nice crispy sear, but the presentation was the award winner. A roasted corn relish and mustard cream gets the best sauce award. There wasn’t a speck of sauce left after I was done trolling my crab cakes around the plate. To finish our mid-course we had the “tarte flambé” with a choice of mushrooms or bacon; we chose both. This delicious flat bread with crème fraiche and gruyere supplying the cheese fix topped with red onions and the aforementioned bacon and mushrooms was the surprise of the meal. This was a classic over order, it simply wasn’t necessary for two diners, but after the waitress said, “it’s the kitchens favorite thing to make,” I felt it would be rude not to order. Now I see why.
About four plates deep it was time for our entrees. The tide had changed twice by the time we were ready for our final course. Mom elected for the swordfish as I went straight WAGOYUUUUUU for the burger. The rich, buttery and powerful feel of the romesco was an excellent compliment to the swordfish served over baby white beans. That’s a heck of a way to finish your lunch mom, proud of you. But what is up with wagoyu? This is the beef of kings. It’s just so damn tender. This was the filet mignon of burgers. Topped with a Vermont cheddar and a side of hand-cut fries this burger will have you saying “how ya doing.”
At the end of the day, great service is appreciated and good food is gratifying, but having lunch with your mom while looking at the surrounding ocean is simply unforgettable. Company is everything. TOPPER’S is an experience reserved for those special people in your life. Enjoy accordingly, and leave no menu item untouched.