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Food & Drink

Menemsha Opens

Remember summers on the Cape? Clambakes, sunset cocktails, seersucker pants, spinnaker sails on the last leg of the regatta? Truth be told, neither do we (unless Ralph Lauren ads count). Thankfully, a new restaurant has arrived to bring that New England je ne sais quoi to West Coast lives. Well, the clambake part at least.

Opening “sometime this week” (oh, those fickle restaurateurs!), Menemsha is named after a fishing village in Martha’s Vineyard. Determined to bring out the Yankee in us all, restaurateur Brad Johnson (Sunset Room, Georgia, Roxbury) has chosen the right details to evoke Eastern-seaboard culture (lobster tank, paneled wood walls, stone fireplaces) with none of the old tired ones (clapboard structures, weathered shingles, curmudgeonly seamen). The main island flair? The menu, which changes seasonally. Constants include Maine lobster, mussels meuniere, oysters, seviche, and that little piece of heaven called a lobster roll.

The feel — from the candlelit tables on the outdoor patio to the seafood bar — is chic and breezy. The bar stools are white vinyl captain’s chairs, and the clams are quahogs, straight from the Cape. Like the ones at the beach cookout on Nantucket.

Who says you had to be there?


Menemsha, 822 Washington Boulevard, at Abbot Kinney Boulevard (310-822-2550).