We’re in Vineyard Haven in October for a short autumn cruise. It’s the first time we’ve stayed here since the early 1980’s in Aquarius and the first time we’ve ever stayed at The Black Dog Wharf.

This is the closest island port from Mattapoisett (18 miles) which makes it an “all weather” destination. It’s a funny little village in that it was “dry” (no alcohol sales) until recently. It also hosts a number of serious stores along with a few of tourist favorites.

Because of the dry legacy, high quality restaurants have been few and far between over the years (one of the reasons we haven’t visited as much as other ports).

Beach Road opened in 2015 during the transitional era when restaurants could serve beer and wine (it now offers a full bar).

Located on Beach Road at the “edge of town” heading toward Oak Bluffs, it’s no more than a 5 minute walk from the Black Dog Wharf where we were docked.

Buck A Shuck!

Before I get to dinner, I need to mention one of the great features of Beach Road – an hour of $1.00 high end oysters at the bar.

Be advised that this a popular event. Before we arrived I was looking over the yelp reviews and virtually all the negatives were related to not being able to get a seat at the bar during the magic hour.

The bar looks like it seats 10-15, but if you’re hankering for sweet, plump, and cheap oysters with a view, get here by 5:00…

By the way, the view and decor scream casual chic. The wall-to-wall windows look out at Hines Point and the ocean lagoon.

The Food

Beach Road offers the kind of menu I love. It’s full of small plate options along with a half a dozen unique entrees.

They also have something I’ve never seen anywhere else – wine on tap!

I’m not exactly sure how it works, but our server said it tasted like it had just come out of a bottle after being decanted.

I had a glass of Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot (Argyle – $14) and I would fully concur. It did taste like it had been poured from a bottle opened in the last hour.

We ran into another couple docked at Black Dog who had made it for the $1.00 oysters and got a first hand report that the Honeysuckles were plump, sweet, and salty, so we ordered a half dozen.

Not only were they as promised, but they had perfect accompaniments – a tart mignonette, ketchup with a large dollop of horseradish, and a homemade pepper sauce. As is often the case, my appetite wasn’t crying for a big meal, so I ordered 3 Fried Oyster Sliders (Fried Oyster Bao – gribiche and pickled onion $14). It was exactly what I was looking for – almost a mini fried oyster Banh Mi. Of course I couldn’t pass up Hand Cut Fries ($9). They were well done, just the way I like them. Our server brought ketchup, but it was really superfluous since the Chive Aioli was incredible.

Mrs. Horne ordered the Clam Linguine entree.

It was probably the most sophisticated version of this dish I’ve ever tasted. The broth was white wine based with garlic and thyme. The pasta was delicate and clearly homemade.

At this point, I was content, but Mrs. Horne wanted something sweet, so we shared the Butterscotch Pudding…

Not only was it perfectly composed, but there was a unique texture in the pudding. I’m thinking it was either raw sugar or really small toffee chips.

The Beach House is one of the best restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard and a great reason to dock at the Black Dog Wharf for an evening in Vineyard Haven.