September 20, 2012

Oran Mor Bistro (Nantucket, MA)

Have you ever eaten a meal so spectacular that it haunted you in the most wonderful way? In 2006, I took a trip out to Nantucket, where my friend Jen H was working (rough gig, right?) We were looking for a new place to eat, and somehow we ended up at Oran Mor Bistro (run by Chef Chris Freeman and his wife Heather), where we both had the BLT Scallops dish, and quickly found ourselves muted by one of the most awesome dishes we've ever had.
It took me six years, but I found myself back on Nantucket, and I dragged ABF through the DELUGE (what is with the rain this summer!?!?) We had no reservation but it was worth taking a risk-- and we found ourselves at the bar, soaking wet but happy. The chef's wife, Heather, is also the bartender. She welcomed us warmly even though I'm sure we looked like two drowned rats, squishing step by step to the bar. Chef Chris came out a few minutes later and so kindly offered to run our wet sweaters through their dryer. He really, sincerely offered, a few times, but we thanked him and opted to warm up with wine, instead. Still, what a lovely, thoughtful offer!

We ordered a bottle of Domaine de Saint-Antoine Merlot, a lovely, full, lush red table wine from France. Nothing warms you up like a nice juicy red! This was also reasonably priced. I don't remember the exact dollar amount, but a shockingly decent deal!

We ordered the small plates as appetizers. I was determined not to get too full too soon! I ordered the chilled canteloupe soup with peekytoe crab. This came in a shallow dish and was dotted with the most fascinatingly minuscule melon balls.

I mean smaller than a pencil eraser--how did they do that? The soup was even more delicious than it looked. ABF took at least two bites of this.

ABF's appetizer: croquettes. These were sooooo good. Comfort food to the highest exponential.

My main dish was the striped bass. It was stunning and succulent. What a fabulous crust on that piece of fish! Not a bite went to waste. I even ate the mushrooms, and you know I'm still a bit scared of them! I ate Every. Bite.
The BLT scallops which I'd tasted 6 years ago were serendipitiously BACK on the menu (which changes often)... now if that's not a delicious, delicious sign... ABF ordered them. He kind of had to, really. ONE of us was getting them. Imagine the World's Best Seared Scallops placed on some bacon, lettuce and tomato risotto. YES. ABF had heard me talk about this dish for so long that I worried I might have built it up too much. Then he took his first bite and said 'Oh my God, these are the best scallops I ever had.' I KNOW THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN SAYING!!!

We were getting full, but every bite was as good as the last, so we forged ahead and ordered dessert. Lemon meringue tart with raspberry coulis-- yum. I love the bracing, tongue-tingling tartness of the lemon with the smooth, mellow raspberry. But once again, ABF's dish edged out mine just the slightest.

Dark Chocolate Brownie Bread Pudding, Coco Nib Croquant, Vanilla ice Cream, all warm and oozy. "Chocolate cake" just doesn't do justice to this dish. The richest, yet lightest, melt on your tongue and make your mouth happy concoction I've had in, well, maybe ever. ABF is such a sweetheart that he actually shared a bite with me. I liked my lemon meringue a lot (he's not a fan of lemon, really), but his bread pudding? Amazeballs.

Obviously, Oran Mor is a hit with people who live on Nantucket, but if you're visiting for the day, a weekend, a weekend, or heck, 4 hours, I think you should stop by and try something, anything, at Chris & Heather's lovely, welcoming, soul-and-palate-soothing spot. It's a 2 minute walk from the ferry landing and I guarantee you will relish every morsel you're lucky enough to try there. Oh, those scallops....

Oran Mor Bistro

2 South Beach Street

Nantucket, MA 02554

(508) 228-8655

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