Lots of people know how great Martha’s Vineyard is in the Summer or Fall. But as year-round residents — and local real estate gurus — we get asked all the time: “What’s there to do in the off-season?” Well, the short answer is, there’s a lot to do. Take a look with our own Guinevere Cramer.

You can find out more about Morrice Florist from an earlier post or on their Facebook page.

The On Point Blog team is your ultimate Insider Guides to the best of Martha’s Vineyard and its magical lifestyle. From on-location videos to frequent blog and Facebook posts, from “Classic Vineyard Experiences” to the latest restaurants, and people who live and work on the Vineyard, ON POINT BLOG has you covered.

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If you look up larder on Wikipedia, you’ll find that it is “a cool area for storing food prior to use.” Interestingly enough, The Larder on State Road in Vineyard Haven offers just that, with a twist.

The Larder Gourmet Food Market Farm Stand Butcher Shop Opens On Martha's VineyardThe Larder is a collaboration between Jefferson Munroe, from the Good Farm, and Daniele Barrick, from Scottish Bakehouse, and this joint venture is going to benefit us all.

The Good Farm & The Larder

For Jefferson, The Larder could be considered his farm stand. Known for his poultry and pig, The Larder offers the perfect location to sell his products. Since he is a farmer and a butcher, he likes to use the entire animal. The Larder will also allow for him to be creative, like offering smoked turkey posole (a classic Mexican soup).

Martha's Vineyard Gourmet Food Local Farm Stand Meat Market The Larder Vineyard Haven

You can even get smoked chicken. Of course, you’ll find an amazing selection of meat to use to creat your own incredible meal, but soon there will even be more. Think about beautiful cured meats, smoked chicken, duck confit, and you’ll even fine a selection of bone broths, like ginger duck, (think healthy).

Local Food At The Larder Meat Charcuterie Farm Stand Martha's Vineyard

The Larder will make it so easy to stop by and get food products with a local history, and I can’t wait to see what Jefferson will create this summer. The space is not only inviting, but in the back, there is a full commercial kitchen, which has endless possibilities.

The Larder Meat Market Butcher Vineyard Haven New Food Market Gourmet Food

Scottish Bakehouse & The Larder

The Larder is a perfect annex for the Bakehouse too. Think about how small their space is, and how much amazing, creative food comes from those four walls, catering, prepared foods, pastries, and more.

Scottish Bakehouse Baked Goods Now At The Larder Food Market Vineyard Haven

The commercial kitchen at The Larder will enable the Bakehouse to do even more, especially catering. I can only imagine how the added space will help Daniele’s inspiration with her menus.

Martha's Vineyard Food Market Local Food Meat Baked Goods The Larder

Also, The Larder is the perfect place to sell the Bakehouse’s goods, like coffee, gluten free cookie sets, bars, prepared favorites and more. I know I am a big fan of their curry chicken salad. So easy to grab and go from The Larder, there’s even parking!

Scottish Bakehouse Daniele Barrick Helps Open The Larder Gourmet Food To Go Martha's Vineyard

Did you know that the Bakehouse has almost two acres of garden space? So much of what they make uses what they grow. I had no idea. When I went to The Larder, Zephir Plume, who tends to the Bakehouse’s gardens was there to fill me in (Jefferson was out of town sadly).

The Larder Gourmet Food To Go Coffee Farm Stand Meat Charcuterie Martha's Vineyard Food To Go

The garden is a great resource and provides extra bounty. You find fun things like fennel rhubarb chutney, hot serrano pepper relish, Wicked Hot Sauce and tomatillo salsa. I bet all of which are delicious, full of flavor, good for you, and made right on Island.

The LarderThe Larder will also carry things like their roasted garlic, house-made soups, orzo salad, banana peppers and so much more. You’ll even find the oh so good Spicy Beer Mustard from Bad Martha’s Farmer’s Brewery that the Bakehouse makes.

The Larder

Even though The Larder is newly opened and evolving, you can get a glimpse of the heart and soul in the products on the shelves. This space is going to be quite the hotbed of food this summer. I see takeaway meals in the future maybe, grab and go for the beach or BBQ.

I love a good collaboration. Daniele and Jefferson raise the bar regarding local food, and this new venture is exciting! I look forward to following up on The Larder later in the year.

The Larder Food Market Farm Stand Gourmet To Go Martha's Vineyard

Currently, The Larder is open Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. If there’s a demand, those hours could expand during the off-season.

The Larder On Instagram @TheLarderMV Martha's Vineyard New Local Food Market

You can learn more about The Larder on Instagram (no Facebook as of yet). And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.

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A chef can be a storyteller with food, and that is what the new chef at State Road is. Chef Randy Rucker came to Martha’s Vineyard from Texas in October, and hasn’t looked back.

State Road Restaurant New Chef Randy Rucker Martha's Vineyard Restaurants

A previous owner of three restaurants in Texas, he is now enjoying focusing all his energy on the food in his new kitchen. Mind you, he has big shoes to fill. State Road’s former Chef, Austin Racine, helped define the now iconic restaurant.

Martha's Vineyard Restaurants: State Road Restaurant New Chef

For Randy Rucker, State Road is the perfect fit. This Modern Day Tavern sets the scene for a menu rich with food that has a story, even history. The move to State Road has been an easy one for this James Beard Award nominee. He has been doing farm-to-table for years. He believes “food should taste like where you live.”

Dining At State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

However, having four distinct seasons will make Randy have to be resourceful. Upon arrival to the Island, he began pickling and preserving local foods. You’ll find a number of his creations as part of menu items.

Chef Randy Rucker In The Kitchen Of State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

Soon you’ll also find a number of curated meats. Randy got a whole pig, butchered it himself, and is making smoked meats, including ham and curated meats like salami too. On the menu now, you might see buckboard bacon, which is bacon he’s made, from the butt of the pig. I have to say that I was impressed with the fact that he can butcher his own animals.

One of his ventures out was with the previous chef to Menemsha Fish House. There he met Mikey Rottman and Mike Holtham, who showed him a 600 pound tuna that was just brought in. Randy was almost shaking with excitement. Having such fresh seafood so close opens up a whole new world of opportunities.

Randy has always been a seafood guy. He loves to fish, loves to cook, and loves to introduce different types of things from the sea, including raw fish and sea veggies, such things really contribute to the story of where you’re eating.

Martha's Vineyard Restaurant State Road Chef Randy Rucker With Kitchen Crew

You might also find him foraging. When he’s not in the kitchen working with his stellar team, he likes to go on walks with his girlfriend. He is excited for the things he’s found and knows will be available in the warmer weather. Not to mention the awesome kitchen garden State Road has in back.

Don’t get used to any signature dishes, Randy likes to change the menu as often as possible. He is the chef who’s food is created by the food he can source locally. Ingredients first, menu second. His days begin with a call to let’s say Grey Barn to see what proteins are available. From there, the menu is created. It’s important for him to have a relationship with the local farmers.

It’s also important to him as a chef to show respect to the animal, use it entirely. Philosophy dictates what’s on the menu.

Another added bonus to being on the Island, Randy has met and now works with Glenn Roberts. Glenn is the founder of Anson Mills, where you’ll find heirloom corn and rice grown and milled. Ancient grains reborn — grains so different from good ole Uncle Ben’s rice. Grains that you will find on State Road’s menu, one of the few places in the country.

Anson Mills Rice Grains Cornmeal Served At State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

All of this is really working for Randy. He’s excited to continue to grow State Road, excited for what the summer will bring. It’s all a big change. It’s the first time in 16 years that Randy has not been the owner/boss. One of the best things now, is that he can focus his all his energies on the food, and he can continue to make the State Road kitchen his own.

Eating At State Road – Off the Menu

Before the restaurant opened, Randy served me some incredible dishes that were not on the menu. Starting with raw black bass with lime and radish. Not only was it beautiful, it was so fresh and delicious. A balanced crudo.

black bass with lime and radish crudo at State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

The crudo was followed by gently poached Katama Bay oysters with seaweed from Maine in Japanese Dashi broth. I’ve never had poached oysters before, but such a different way, and the seaweed and broth were so good.

State Road Restaurant Randy Rucker poached Katama Bay oysters with seaweed from Maine in Japanese Dashi broth

The seafood was followed by housemade ricotta gnocchi with Randy’s pickled blueberries and buckboard bacon. My dinner date, Catherine, said the blueberries offered a “spritely” bite, and we were both intrigued by the clever mix of flavors. Neither of us had even heard of pickled blueberries, but would gladly have them again.

State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard: Housemade ricotta gnocchi with pickled blueberries and buckboard bacon

It was fun sampling Randy’s dish of the moment, what he was inspired to create in the moment, a wonderful tease of what’s to come.

Eating At State Road – On the Menu

Then it was time to order from the menu. By this time, we were not super hungry. So, we decided on two starters, a veggie, and a main dish, all to share.

State Road Restaurant New Menu: Roasted Katama Oysters, with lard, almond gremolata and bread crumbs

We had the Roasted Katama Oysters, with lard, almond gremolata and bread crumbs. The oysters were fresh and light. I love the brine in Katama Bay oysters and what a great way to prepare them.

State Road Restaurant Chef Randy Rucker: Maine Shrimp, popcorn style

Also, we ordered the Maine Shrimp, popcorn style. We were told the heads were still on the shimp, but also, manager Maura Martin told us that the best part of the shrimp was the sweet brains.

Once we got the shrimp, Catherine and I chickened out. We did not eat the heads. I am not proud of this, but I just couldn’t do it. We did have a lot of fun “playing” with them though. This is something I don’t think either of us would venture to have again, but we tried.

Chef Randy Rucker State Road New Menu: Fried Brussels Sprouts With a fish caramel and peanuts

A friend messaged me that the Fried Brussels Sprouts were life changing. She was correct. Perfectly fried, served with a fish caramel and peanuts. It was rich and flavorful. I want to try to replicate this recipe at home!

I should also mention that fresh, baked bread is also served with your meal. House made, it was delicious.

New Menu At State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard: Orecchiette with duck confit, mushrooms, black kale and parmesan broth

For dinner, we opted for Orecchiette with duck confit, mushrooms, black kale and parmesan broth. I had not had duck and pasta before, but enjoyed the combination with the earthy kale. Of course anything with cheese is a good option. At this point, we were beyond full!

Chef Randy is very creative and original with his menu options. Fresh, creative, and definitely filled with items that will expand your culinary horizons.

However, we had to have dessert too. After all, I adore the pastry chef at State Road, Leslie Hewson. Her desserts are worth the calories!

State Road Restaurant Dessert: Ice Cream Cake - chocolate and cinnamon red hot gelato, brownie crust

We chose the Ice Cream Cake – chocolate and cinnamon red hot gelato, brownie crust. Don’t tell my husband I got this. It’s right up his alley and he’d hate to miss this. This was one crazy dessert. The flavor combos were so fun, and what big kid, like me, doesn’t want to have ice cream cake! Sure beat a Fudgy the Whale (for all you who grew up with Carvel).

Before I wrap up, I have to also mention that the bartender PJ Kron was so fun and great to us. We sat at the bar, and he was so good at helping us with wine choices for our meals. Also, it looked like he can make so really delicious wine and champagne cocktails. The beer menu was good too, with lots of good options.

Good Bar & Wine Menu At State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

Dining at State Road is truly an experience. Even before you dine, the space, the music, the decor all envelops you in the “New American Tavern” feel. It’s casual and full of friends and neighbors, but elevated and a culinary adventure.

State Road Restaurant Martha's Vineyard

State Road has now closed until spring, the end of March. However, once it’s open be sure to check out what chef Randy is up to!

You can learn more about State Road on Facebook. And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.

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Sundays are usually quiet for restaurants this time of year. Not the case at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company (ChoCo). It’s busy. Why? Sunday Bloody Sunday, where you’ll find The Classic burger is only $4 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., then $5 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Burger Sunday At Martha's Vineyard Chowder Company Frugal Foodie Dining Specials Oak Bluffs

How crazy is that? It’s a burger lover and/or Frugal Foodie dream. The burger is basic, half pound, comes on a grilled Brioche Bun, served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and fries.

However, you can make it your dream burger if you want. From cheese (American cheese, cheddar, swiss, ricotta or blue) to caramelized onions, banana hots, sweet pepper relish, roasted tomatoes or roasted peppers, and of course, bacon ($1 to $2 a piece). You can be as basic or deluxe as you like, and it’s still going to be a good deal.

Sunday Burger Sunday

We decided to head to ChoCo for lunch on Sunday Burger Sunday. It was a cold, rainy, yucky day on the Island, but when we walked in to the restaurant it was full or people. It was great to see a number of friends and people enjoying lunch out.

Burger Sunday At Martha's Vineyard Chowder Company Frugal Foodie Oak Bluffs

Even though it’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, the lunch menu is available, but most of the people were definitely there for the burgers. There were burgers, burgers, everywhere.

Perhaps you’re looking for something different or are a vegetarian, do not be dismayed, there are burger deals for you. I know that I am a fan of getting restaurant’s signature burgers, and was glad to see options.

The Classic Burger Martha's Vineyard Chowder Company Burger Sunday Dining Deal Martha's Vineyard

Since we were there for research, we agreed to get different items. The kiddos split The Classic, but with cheese. My husband opted for the Mix Up, ground sirloin and andouille sausage with smoked gouda, crispy onion straws, ancho bbq sauce, with sweet potato fries. I really liked the sweet potato fries, get them instead of the regular!

Mix Up Burger Martha's Vineyard Dining Deals MV Chowder Company

Though not $4 (because that would be ridiculous), it was only $9. All the other burger options at ChoCo are half off on Sunday Burger Sunday. Matt loved the burger. He said he would gladly pay $18 for it. He said we have to come back so he can have it again.

ChoCO

For me, who’s “trying to eat healthy,” I opted for The Chick. A falafel burger (with beet juice) topped with baby arugula, pickled onions (mine on the side), and roasted red pepper dijonnaise.

The Chick Burger At Martha's Vineyard Chowder Company Frugal Foodie Dining Deals

I liked this burger, even though I am not a fan of beets. It was a nice change and I felt a little better about consuming the entire thing. However, I do have to admit I was definitely eyeing my husband’s Mix-Up.

This burger comes with truffle fries, which are usually my favorite. These did not have enough truffle oil on them for me. I preferred the sweet potato fries instead, and was lucky Matt was willing to share with me.

Family-Friendly Dining Deals Oak Bluffs Restaurants Martha's Vineyard Chowder Company

Evaluation: Sunday Burger Sunday is great deal, and it made our Sunday a little more fun. Our bill was really low. We did not have beverages, which helped, but a serious deal still! Just remember, when the food is discounted like that, you have to tip the servers on the original amount. They’re working just as hard.

You can learn more about Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company on Facebook. And speaking of social media, don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and Youtube.

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