It’s a pleasure to see how year-round restaurants reinvent themselves during the off-season. Winter is the season for testing new ingredients and techniques, discovering new ways to offer products. This winter, Chef Justin Melnick is exploring a fresh approach to off-season dining at the Terrace at the Charlotte Inn in Edgartown. He is taking advantage of the quiet pace to create an artisanal prix fixe menu that changes from week to week, introducing new dishes and refining a few familiar favorites.
The new menu will offer three choices for each of three courses: appetizers, entrées, and desserts. Available now, the prix fixe dinner is $59 per person, while individual items from the prix fixe menu will still be available à la carte. Chef Melnick will also offer, on occasion or by advance request, a “Chef’s Whim” tasting of seven courses for $95, which I look forward to experiencing on a snowy day this season. How picturesque would it be to sit in their gorgeous dining room, tasting your way through Chef Melnick’s creations, watching the snow fall around Edgartown’s twinkling lights?
“We get to relax a bit in the off-season” Chef Melnick said. This allows him a touch of freedom to do just what he should be doing: experimenting and creating new creative combinations. Even though the bounty of summer produce is gone, he is still committed to sourcing locally as much as he can. Menemsha Fish House, Grey Barn Farm, Morning Glory Farm, and Northeast Family Farms are some of his main suppliers.
Dining at the Terrace is quite an experience, and with the more relaxed dress code during the fall and winter (although why wouldn’t you want to get dressed up and treat yourself to a gorgeous dinner?!), it’s the perfect spot for date night.
Not only is the Terrace culinarily driven, but it’s service driven as well. Comparable to some of the best city fine dining restaurants, service here is delicate, professional, and elegant, which makes the night even more romantic — you don’t need to leave the Island to get white-tablecloth, fine-dining service. And when I say white tablecloth, don’t fear — the prix fixe prices are affordable, and it’s worth the extra effort for my husband to throw on a collared shirt!
“The entrées will always have a choice of fish, meat, or pasta,” Chef Melnick said. “We’ll take the best of what the Island has to offer and elevate it with some classic techniques that we might not have time to do in the busy summer months. It gives us the flexibility for some interesting add-ons, too, especially as we head into truffle season.”
The Terrace is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner through the end of the year. For information or to make dinner reservations, call 508-627-6227 or reserve online at opentable.com/the-terrace-at-the-charlotte-inn. The Terrace at The Charlotte Inn is located at 27 South Summer Street in Edgartown, one block from Main Street. For more information, visit theterracemv.com.
This article by Marnely Murray originally appeared on mvtimes.com.