Everyone likes a restaurant where they can enjoy a tasty and satisfying meal in a laid-back environment, without having to wait for a special occasion.
Although the Town Bar and Grill MV in Edgartown is also a great spot to celebrate a birthday, holiday, or big sporting event, folks don’t have to worry about breaking the bank if they want to have a spontaneous night out on the town.
The relatively recent addition next to Stop & Shop has already found its way into the restaurant repertoires of locals and seasonal visitors alike. Within the past couple of years or so, Town has greatly expanded its offerings, with more than just pub fare at its core.
I’ve been going to the Town since it opened. The large outdoor patio underneath a tent adorned with lights makes for a cheerful and relaxed atmosphere. Inside, a modern bar area filled with colorful decor and plenty of tables offers a new take on a more conventional pub layout.
And, of course, sushi lovers will rejoice at the opportunity to try some freshly prepared specialty rolls made by the Island’s own Andy Jin.
Recently, I decided to treat myself to an impromptu dinner at the Town with a couple of friends.
We showed up in the evening on a Saturday, just as the sun was going down and painting everything outside a shimmering orange. Sitting outdoors at the patio was perfectly comfortable thanks to the heaters, and the sun still had enough strength left in it to warm my skin and start the condensation dripping from my glass of ice water.
For my main course, I was planning to order a raw poke bowl (a favorite of mine) with tuna tempura and sweet, nutty edamame ($23) from the sushi menu. But the fried chicken sandwich with avocado, pickles, coleslaw, bacon, and melted cheddar cheese ($18) caught my eye.
The sandwich included a choice of crispy french fries or a salad — I went with a kale caesar salad with crunchy croutons, and didn’t regret it. The chicken was juicy and battered evenly, and the portions certainly didn’t leave you wanting. To wash down my sandwich, I selected my favorite Wash Ashore beer — Maya Mae ($10).
My friend Joe picked out a seared salmon main course ($28) with herb butter and a substantial side of truffle fries. He said the salmon had that melt-in-your-mouth consistency, and the zesty herb butter was a nice complement.
Two of my other friends weren’t feeling hungry, but were more than happy to sample a few of the house cocktails (each one costs $13).
My grade-school buddy James picked out a Town Mule, and his girlfriend, Carol, went with the Enzo, with vanilla vodka, espresso reduction, and kahlua. A few recent cocktail additions include the Watermelon Sugar High, with vodka, watermelon, and simple sugar. A sweet but hard-hitting Strawberry Fields Forever blends house-infused strawberry gin, vermouth, and Campari.
We also split a serving of popcorn chicken ($13) paired with sriracha aioli to add a little kick to our meal.
While considering my poke bowl upon first looking at the menu, I had noticed a rather enticing-looking specialty sushi roll, called a King Island Roll ($19).
Well, at that point I was feeling rather full already, but I had to try this roll. The King Island did not disappoint. A spicy mayo offset by a sweet and savory unagi sauce, with crab stick tempura, salmon, and shrimp, put a lid on the evening feast.
The restaurant is still new, but it’s already a classic for many folks who enjoy a tasty and affordable bite, and want a fun experience for any occasion, or no occasion whatsoever.
Alex Tamargo, chief operating officer at Good Nu Hospitality, the restaurant group that owns the Town, said it’s all operated by local people, for local people. “We are really all about the local communities we are in,” Tamargo said, and added that restaurant owner, David Rosenberg, lives in Edgartown. “He felt that he wanted something in his backyard that he could really be proud of — something he felt was lacking on the Island was a local bar and restaurant for everyone, that doesn’t break the bank and gives you consistently great food and drink,” Tamargo said.
Tamargo said folks can’t get enough of the outdoor patio, which has been especially helpful for accommodating additional outdoor dining to make up for space restrictions brought on by COVID.
Over the past year, the Town partnered with Island sushi chef Andy Jin, and Tamargo said it’s been a “huge hit.”
“We have a whole separate space for him, and now we offer some of the best sushi I have ever tasted. It’s their business that they run in cooperation with the Town,” he said.
Tim Starzyk, generał manager at Good Nu, said the Town hired a new chef over the winter who has expanded the menu into a varied and never-dull selection.
“We did a new menu rollout: some cider-brined pork chops stuffed with apples that I’m really excited about; a pasta section with some lighter options like homemade pestos and shrimp scampis, then some big stick-to-your-ribs full plates like short rib pappardelle pasta,” Starzyk said. “We are trying to fit that need where you don’t have to just come in for a special occasion. You can come in any night of the week.”