Vineyard Haven isn’t just for lunch anymore

Try a night out at the Attic for cocktails, apps, and a delicious dinner.

Having grown up on Martha’s Vineyard, getting to see the slow and steady transition of our primary port town has been exhilarating. V.H. used to be the place you would go to grab coffee, sit down for a quick lunch, peruse some local retail outlets, or drive through on your way home from the boat. Now it has become another Island dining hub, with bustling restaurants serving all kinds of cuisine. While it is thoroughly exciting to have a number of dining options to choose from in Vineyard Haven (even in the off-season!), I have to say that the Attic has become one of my favorites.

I am a huge fan of Waterside Market, and being its upstairs neighbor/sister restaurant, the Attic has been on my list of restaurants to try for a long time now. It was the half-price appetizers from 4 to 6 pm daily that got me in the door, and it did not disappoint. My husband and I made a mad dash after work to make it in time for the half-price apps, and while they were delicious enough that we would’ve happily paid full price anyway, the restaurant fills up quickly, so I am glad we did! That being said, even with the place going from almost empty to a line at the door within its first hour and a half of dinner service, our server was still incredibly attentive, and everything arrived at our table quickly.

We started with a Cosmopolitan and an Old-Fashioned, and while these classic cocktails are seemingly simple, they are easily fumbled as well, and the bartender did not disappoint. Next, we ordered Buffalo Chicken Wings to share. Having worked in the restaurant business for years, with a few summers at Coop de Ville in the mix, I consider myself a bit of a chicken wing connoisseur. These wings achieved that perfect balance of crispiness, while still being smothered in sauce. The Buffalo sauce spice level might not bring you to tears, but it provides enough of a kick that you find yourself grateful for the generous side of blue cheese for dipping. Next, my date ordered the Smash Burger, and I combined two more appetizers for my entrée — the Tuna Tartare and the Sweet Chili Brussels Sprouts. I would love to be able to report on the Smash Burger, but my husband, who is usually pretty generous, wasn’t willing to give up a bite. It looked beautiful, cooked to perfection and smothered in “special sauce,” with a pile of golden-brown and seasoned french fries on the side. My Tuna Tartare was bursting with fresh flavor, and balanced nicely by the wasabi aioli. Not to mention the tortilla crisps it is served with — I am gluten-free, and the crips were so delicious I had to call the waitress over to double-check if they were safe for me, a feeling my fellow celiacs know all too well. The crisps were in fact gluten-free, as the menu promised, and my palette disagreed with, in the best way possible. Which brings me to the crispy, spicy, chili-glazed Brussels sprouts. Usually I have to sadly avoid a good chili glaze, but this was made gluten-free as well, with no compromise of flavor. The wonderful crispy leaves and soft savory inside of the sprouts made for the perfect vessel for the delicious sauce.

I wanted to order dessert, or maybe even the signature espresso martini that I had heard rave reviews about, but my date was reaching a blissfully uncomfortable level of fullness, and asked that we save that for next time. I mean, he should’ve just shared some of his burger and fries with me to avoid this problem, but I will take any excuse I can go back. Perfect cocktails (and a beautiful-looking mocktail list!), delicious and reasonably priced food, a cozy atmosphere, and impeccable service have made the Attic a place I see myself frequenting. And that’s not to mention a menu that is incredibly accommodating of dietary restrictions, in a creative and delicious way.

The Attic is currently open 4 to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, and 4 to 10 pm Friday and Saturday, 82 Main St., Vineyard Haven, on the second floor; 508-687-9448.