Restaurant Report: Nantucket Edition

With all of Boston’s recent restaurant closures, Chowder’s been suffering from a bout of recession fatigue. The remedy? Go where the rich people go, and act like our wallets are fat with cash. And so we boarded the Friday night fast ferry from Hyannis, checked into the lovely Union Street Inn (Marble bathrooms! Frette sheets! Toiletries from Fresh!), and proceeded to eat our way through Nantucket town and ‘Sconset. Here’s what’s new for the 2009 season:

Corazon Del Mar, a fresh spot from The Pearl and Boarding House proprietors Seth and Angela Raynor, brings Latin flavor to town. A ceviche bar plays up the island’s seafood—don’t miss the fluke carpaccio with chives, lime, and chili sauce, or the raw oysters with pineapple mignonette—as do dishes like fish tacos and moqueca, a Brazilian fish stew. The respectable tequila and cocktail selections keep the upstairs bar hopping, too. (We’ll vouch for the strength of the Pisco Sours.)

Meanwhile, chef Todd English plants a flag on the island with the opening of Figs at 29 Fair, in a circa-1700s building owned by friend and lawyer Danielle deBenedictis, who also owns the posh Summer House resort in ‘Sconset (and a handful of cute properties downtown). The menu is like a higher-end version of the Charlestown and Beacon Hill Figs, with rich $30-something entrees like garlicky spaghettini with pan-roasted lobster. But a brick oven is reportedly going in this week, so Todd’s signature thin-crust pizzas should bring the average tab down a bit.

Speaking of Boston chefs on-island, we also got a five-course preview of what chef Marc Orfaly (of Pigalle and Marco) will be dishing out at the Summer House this summer. Think: sweet corn soup with cilantro oil; spicy-tangy shrimp and grits; panko-crusted fried poached eggs with smoked salmon and arugula salad; flash-fried soft-shell crab with a side of frog leg confit. Meanwhile, former Temple Bar chef Tom Berry will head the kitchen at the new Great Harbor Yacht Club, slated to open in August. No word yet on the food, but we’ll be back to check it out.

Heard about any other openings on Nantucket—or the Vineyard or Cape, for that matter? Leave us a comment and help spread the word.

Read about more quick getaways in the June issue of Boston magazine and New England Travel, both on newsstands now.