As I mentioned in earlier posts, we ventured to Nantucket for our traditional Father’s Day vacation despite a fair amount of uncertainty about dining out under the government shutdown.

It turns out that we had nothing to worry about. The weather couldn’t have been better and although many restaurants were closed, we discovered several great ones with cool outdoor dining.

Our first lunch was on Thursday a few hours after we tied up at The Nantucket Boat Basin. We had “discovered the hard way” that we needed reservations everywhere in Newport last month, so we made one at a new restaurant called “or, The Whale.”

The Garden Patio

or, The Whale (oTW) had three outdoor dining areas. The tables on the front sidewalk and side path were probably temporary – likely to disappear once indoor dining returned.

The third is a lovely back patio that is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Even this little bird enjoys the garden patio…

Thursday Lunch

A quick review of the menu revealed that this place has serious culinary chops…

Faced with several tough choices, I ordered a cold one and began a “what to order and what to share” discussion with Mrs. Horne…

Mrs. Horne has become a big fan of Thai Chili wings and so we started with their house specialty…

Although the menu says they’re fried with Panko, they were very clean and light. The Korean Glaze was excellent, but what was really outstanding was their size. I have no doubt that these were indeed chicken wings, but if you told me they were legs from a smaller chicken, I would have believed you!

They other dish that jumped out at us was the Homemade Pastrami Sandwich…

As a purveyor of fine pastrami, I can tell you not all pastrami sandwiches are the same. There are the big moist “stack em high'”NY Deli style and the dinner style that is braised in water.

The pastrami sandwich at oTW was neither. The Homemade Slow Cooking process resulted in very moist pastrami, but their style is still a little crunchy around the edges. I will probably order this again the next time I come.

Father’s Day Brunch

Last year we made the one mile hike to The Island Kitchen for Father’s Day Brunch. I attempted to make a reservation for this year, but they were booked out. I also made a reservation at Proprietor’s Bar and Table, but their menu looked to be more sandwiches than brunch.

At 9:30 Sunday morning, or, The Whale was still taking Brunch reservations for 10:45, so I canceled Proprietor’s and booked oTW for the second time in 4 days.

We were delighted to be seated in the garden again and kicked off Brunch with a Bloody Mary and a Mimosa…

The Bloody was very good, but quite unique as well. It has an unusual spice that was also in the homemade chorizo sausage. I think it’s a very bold Spanish (smoked) Paprika.

Speaking of homemade chorizo sausage, I ordered it as a side with my eggs “over easy” and Portuguese Bolo Levados…

This was a rather pedestrian Brunch for “my special day,’ so I added a side of bacon – just in case the chorizo was too weird…

Like pastrami, there are all sorts of breakfast bacon; some thin, some greasy, and some so thick and tough like an English Rasher or Canadian. The oTW bacon was none of these. Their side of bacon was thick, well cooked and crispy – just the way I love it!

Mrs. Horne is not a big fan of breakfast, so she opted for the lunch side of the brunch menu. She went with the Lobster Roll and a side salad (rather than fries – GOOD GIRL.)

I make my Lobster Rolls following the Chart Room Recipe – light mayo and tiny bits of celery, but not oTW. They added a dash of lemon juice and a few fresh herbs – Tarragon and Dill I think.

That led Mrs. Horne to declare it to be “The best lobster roll I ever ate…”

On an Island with dozens of great restaurants, or, The Whale can easily get lost in the shuffle, but if you’re looking for serious food at mainland prices, you have to give it a try!