First Bite: Four New Massachusetts Restaurants to Try This Summer

A preview of what’s new on the out-of-town summer restaurant scene.


Dazzlers from the Short & Main raw bar. (Photo by Ekaterina Smirnova)

Short & Main, Gloucester

If freshly shucked oysters and Neapolitan-style pizza sound like a good way to end a day at the beach, then this new year-round spot from the team behind Gloucester’s Market Restaurant has a seat at the raw bar waiting for you. Here, chef-owners Nico and Amelia Monday, along with their partners, Howie Correa and Matthew Cawley, are keeping the focus on wood-fired pies—baked in an oven imported from Italy—and the fruit of New England’s waters: East Coast oysters, lobster, cherrystone clams, and more. “They’re the sorts of things that can be communal eating,” says Amelia, who worked alongside Nico at the acclaimed Chez Panisse restaurant before the couple opened the Market Restaurant. “You get a dozen oysters and a pizza, and it’s something that you can share with people around a table.” The restaurant’s libations, meanwhile, are a fine collection of aperitifs, punches, and cocktails crafted with house-made syrups and juices, plus local beers and Italian wines by the glass.

36 Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-0044.

Karoo Restaurant, Eastham

Chef Sanette Groenewald’s latest addition to the Lower Cape restaurant scene once again brings the worldly flavors of Cape Town to Cape Cod. “The South African food is very much from everybody who has colonized [the country],” says Groenewald, whose first eatery, a counter-service spot in Provincetown called Karoo Kafe, has been offering a taste of her native cuisine since 2002. At Groenewald’s recently opened sit-down spot in Eastham, the diverse dishes of her childhood in the Little Karoo region of South Africa remain front and center—think curried-lamb stew, peri-peri shrimp, and the traditional dish of pap and wors, a South African porridge paired with sausage.

3 Main St., Eastham, 508-255-8288,

Copper Wok, Martha’s Vineyard

It used to be that vacationers on Martha’s Vineyard had to hop the ferry back to the mainland for a plate of pad thai or a bowl of pho. That changes later this month with the opening of Copper Wok, a year-round spot from restaurateur J. B. Blau, of MV Chowder Company and Sharky’s Cantina fame. The pan-Asian menu from executive chef (and part owner) Alex Nagi will focus mainly on Chinese, with the cuisines of Japan (in the form of sushi), Thailand, Vietnam, and India also represented. “It is going to have the core roots of classic Chinese restaurants with a chef-inspired approach to the dishes you’re familiar with,” Blau says. The pair also plans to get creative with Vineyard Haven’s alcohol restrictions, mixing up wine-centric concoctions like “sake sazeracs” and champagne-based scorpion bowls with fresh fruit purées. “[Alex and I] are addicted to Asian food,” Blau says. “This is a passion project for us.”

9 Main St., Vineyard Haven, 508-693-3416,

The Proprietors Bar & Table, Nantucket

Fans of chef Michael LaScola’s snout-to-tail fare at Nantucket favorite American Seasons, take heed: This month its sister restaurant, the Proprietors Bar & Table, lands on the island, serving up seafood-focused plates with a global twist. This time around, Tom Berry (an alum of the Great Harbor Yacht Club) will be running the kitchen, taking a farm-to-table approach to the menu. Dishes like sea scallops with carrot hummus, Nantucket squid with cured pork belly, and crispy rare tuna with grain salad and shaved fennel will take center stage in both the bright dining area and on the three-season porch. “The important thing about this restaurant to us is that it has a very solid sense of place in Nantucket,” says Orla Murphy-LaScola, who co-owns Proprietors with Berry and LaScola, her husband. “We want to give people food created in Nantucket—as much sourced here as possible.”

9 India St., Nantucket, 508-228-7477.