The Chanticleer
Featured Restaurants

A Magical Destination for Fine Dining

Featured Restaurant: The Chanticleer

by Suzanne Daub

There are so many reasons to visit the quiet village of Siasconset this time of year: roses covering the historic cottages are blooming, their sweet fragrance mixing with salty ocean breezes… the Bluff Walk, with stately homes on one side and dramatic views of the Atlantic on the other…the famous footbridge and sundial… a wide sand beach where you can escape the crowds and take a dip in the sparkling water…and The Chanticleer.

This romantic restaurant is the perfect place for a relaxing lunch or a magical evening meal. It’s known for serving some of the finest fare on Nantucket. Secluded by tall hedges, entry is through a white gate into a lush, meticulously tended garden with cafe-style tables on either side shaded by roses climbing up trellises and cascading down rooflines.

Inside, their formal Main Dining Room is elegant and spacious with views of the rose garden. Just off the Main room is their more intimate Sun Room, with large windows overlooking their back garden, where they cultivate many of the organic herbs and vegetables for the kitchen. The more casual Grill Room has the warm ambiance of a genteel club with its own small bar, and alongside, their Paris Room offers intimate dining for eight. Upstairs, the Salon can be reserved for private celebrations with up to 40 guests.

Executive Chef Jeff Worster is the master behind the magical dining at The Chanticleer. He conjures phenomenal flavor from the best seasonal ingredients. His dishes are beautifully crafted with flawless technique and great attention to detail.

In addition to ensuring that all runs smoothly at The Chanticleer, Partner Susan Handy works wonders when it comes to stocking the Chanticleer cellars with exceptional wines.

This is the 18th year that Jeff and Susan have worked together to make The Chanticleer Nantucket’s fine dining destination. The two of them started in the Nantucket restaurant scene more than 30 years ago and are the geniuses behind the original Black-Eyed Susan’s, now under different ownership.

The wine list at The Chanticleer truly is impressive. The 22-page selection has a French focus—White and Red Burgundy, Sancerre, top notch Bordeaux, Meursault, and more—and includes very fine choices from Italy and other regions. Oeneophiles will enjoy discovering hard-to-find wines here, and guests who appreciate suggestions can call on Sommelier Davide Fabbian, who considers wine “a beautiful universe,” and offered the pairings included below.

We began our lunch with a special starter that filled our bellies and warmed our souls: Chef Worster’s sensational Wild Mushroom Soup. Rich, earthy flavors of morels, portobellos, chanterelles, and porcini mushrooms merge and mingle with fresh chicken stock: the soup is creamy with no cream in the preparation, just a finish topper of chive cream. It takes a special sort of alchemy to transform simple ingredients into something this intoxicatingly good. The soup is served with a grilled wild boar sausage and a pair of delightfully crunchy onion rings. Suggested pairing: Comte Lafon Volnay ‘Santenots-du-Milieu’ 1er Cru 2016.

It’s salad season, and Chef Worster makes marvelous use of the abundant greens available. We sampled both his Seasonal Lettuce and his Caesar. The dewy-fresh lettuces showcased in the Seasonal Lettuce salad are given a whisper of sweetness from an orange blossom honey vinaigrette and generously topped with tangy goat cheese. Mix in the dots of champagne with herbs de Provence, and enjoy the crisp counterparts of golden grissini. This innovative chef puts his own spin on a classic Caesar. Mixing baby kate with crisp romaine, choosing asiago over parmesan, and including sweet piquillo pepper, he enhances the savory, tangy crunch that makes this salad so tasty. Suggested pairing: Vocoret Chablis ‘les Clos’ Grand Cru 2021.

Chef Worster’s lunch menu includes a variety of dishes, cool and warm, light and hearty, all in generous portions. We started with the New Zealand Lamb Bolognese, full of robust flavors that can only be achieved by a talented chef dedicated to putting hours into the preparation. Merquez sausage adds a piquant backdrop to the lamb, which is ground and in chunks, and cooked low and slow with 21 herbs and spices to develop deep taste and hearty texture. The curl of the cavatelli is perfect for capturing the bolognese, and the Grana Padano served alongside adds a subtle saltiness when folded in. Suggested pairing: Tenuta Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore, Toscana 2020.

Today’s Fresh Catch is always an excellent choice, no matter which fish is featured. Salmon was the catch during our recent visit. Perfectly pan-seared, the fish came apart at a touch in large succulent flakes. Served atop satiny, buttery Potatoes Robuchon and surrounded by tender-crisp colorful carrots, yellow and green zucchini, cherry tomatoes, caperberries, and nicoise olives in a pool of tangy lemon-butter sauce, this is an exhuberant mix of flavors that dance across your tongue. Suggested pairing: Quintodecimo Greco di Tufo ‘Jaune d’Arles’, Campania 2022.

Among the more traditional lunch offerings is the Lemon-Garlic Roast Chicken Salad. Don’t confuse “traditional” with “ordinary”—everything that comes out of Chef Worster’s kitchen is extraordinary, and this is no exception! Starting with moist flavorful chicken in large pieces, the chef folds in a mayo enlivened with vivid French curry to add a touch of warm heat along with sliced red grapes for pops of fruity sweetness. The salad is served on toasted gluten-free whole wheat bread, with spinach and sliced tomatoes. Battered onion rings are a tasty treat balanced on top. Suggested pairing: Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey Hospices de Beaune Saint-Romain 2014.

Chef Worster’s Maine Lobster BLT Style is magically good—lush yet simple, elegant without being overly complicated. Thick, warm slices of applewood smoked bacon are folded across buttery toasted brioche to form a base. On top, chef piles large chunks of tender, sweet, and succulent lobster meat, in just enough lemon mayo to brighten the mix. Juicy red and yellow tomoatoes and fresh greens add the L and the T. Hot and cruncy sweet potato tots are scattered around the plate for a tasty, crisp contrast. Forget lobster rolls: THIS is what you want for your summer lunch! Suggested pairing: Trimbach Cuvee Fredrich Emile 2016.

The Chanticleer

Michael, our skilled server, helped us choose a sweet finale. It took just one spoonful of the Marco Pierre White’s Eton Mess to understand why this is a patron favorite. Strawberry gelato is topped with ripples of fresh strawberries and crushed meringue for a light, refreshing finish. Dig deep to get a bit of everything in each spoonful. The Mondo Bossa Tres Leche Cake is a very well-done jazzy version: the moist cake adorned with sweet guava puree and organic blueberries. And the dark, delicious Belgian Chocolate Mousse is fancied up with slices of rich peanut butter whoopie pie, toffee-peanuts, and peanut butter cookies.

Make your reservations now at The Chanticleer: a meal here is an island experience you do not want to miss!

The Chanticleer
9 New Street in Nantucket’s Siasconset Village • Reservations strongly suggested: 508-257-4499
Lunch served from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm Tuesday-Sunday
Dinner served from 5:30 pm to 9 pm Tuesday-Sunday
Impressive wine list • full liquor license • major credit cards accepted
Indoor & outdoor dining • Open seasonally through Columbus Day weekend
Dress is resort elegant • Available for private celebrations

Articles by Date from 2012