Chef Chris Freeman made big news in 2006 when he left Topper’s restaurant at the Wauwinet to take over this romantic restaurant down the street from the White Elephant. Occupying the second floor of a historic house, Òran Mór spills across three light-filled rooms. Freeman, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and also worked at Connecticut’s acclaimed Mayflower Inn, has created a diverse menu that features such simply prepared yet elegant dishes as local Nantucket farm greens with roasted beets and chèvre, velvety Hudson Valley foie gras torchon with black mission figs and crispy roasted striped bass with littleneck clams and sweet corn.
Even if you don’t stay for dinner, the cozy bar is a great place for a specialty cocktail, like Blackberry Brut (Prosecco and blackberry sorbet) or Pineapple Aquavit, made with pineapple-infused rum. With its booth seating (request the one with views of the harbor), the front room is the most jovial space. For an intimate dinner for two, ask to be seated in the back room overlooking the pretty garden.
Chef Chris Freeman, who put Topper’s, the restaurant of the Wauwinet, at the top of the Nantucket dining scene, left in 2006 to run Oran Mor, but new chef David Daniels picked up brilliantly where his predecessor left off. Daniels’s innovative menu is mostly a riff on French cuisine, with the occasional Asian, American or Italian touch. Most memorable during a recent dinner was the creamy lobster bisque, the rich truffled rigatoni and the perfectly prepared Wagyu beef sirloin. Topper’s more formal white dining room has banquette seating, large tables and is furnished with antiques, but the gracious service ensures that it never gets stuffy. More casual is the patio, where guests are seated on cushioned wicker chairs, with sea views in the distance. If you reserve for dinner, arrange to arrive on the Wauwinet Lady, an open launch that leaves from Nantucket Harbor and is complimentary for diners at Topper’s.
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