Breeze at Its Best! - Dishin' It Out!
Josh Shoen, the Executive Chef at Breeze is a rock star, a true rock star! The Nantucket Hotel & Resort is the home of Breeze, a wonderful restaurant set in a historical Grande Dame of a hotel. The double front doors were opened for us by a smiling bellman, and then as we walked into a beautifully decorated lobby we were given a warm welcome by the front desk staff and a really cool steampunk whale that actually moves when you press a button! I mean “What a great first impression!”
The restaurant was already bustling with several guest at the bar and the dining room, however, this restaurant has a secret ingredient called the patio. It’s a protected area off the restaurant that has more dining tables, a seating area with a fire pit and often live music! Just our luck Alan James was playing guitar.
We were offered a perfect table by our hostess with two cozy navy wingback chairs in their main dining area. The décor is nautical yet fresh, navy and white with lovely yellow curtains, and is furnished mostly with comfy chairs. There is a ship model hanging in the middle of the room which I found out later was because the restaurant was originally going to be called the Sankaty Café. Apparently when they took the letters off the front of the hotel that said Point Breeze, the owners decided to name the top penthouse room The Point and the restaurant Breeze. Thus maintaining the historical namesake, but because the owners had the ship made they hung it anyway. It gives the room a bit of a whimsical appeal which is right up the hotel’s alley, like the whale at the front desk.
The menu had many choices and I didn’t know where to start, it all sounded so good. Our waitress, a delightful girl with a fabulous accent from South Africa (I think her name was Natasha) was very familiar with the menu and able to make some wonderful recommendations. The bartender was very chatty with the guests, offering them wonderful advice on the hotel. I have a bad habit of eavesdropping but in this case, I liked what I was hearing from him. This is the fifth season for the hotel and Breeze.
For appetizers we settled on the Caprese Salad and Korean Poke. OMG! The presentation was so beautiful, I didn’t want to eat it. The salad consisted of quick fried basil leaves, just enough to give it a crispness and hold the green color in while sitting among a trio of heirloom red and yellow cherry tomatoes and mini mozzarella balls mixed with a tasty pesto. Sprinkled among this were tiny jell like balsamic pearls. It was delicious! The combination of textures is what I enjoyed the most with each bite until I persuaded my dining companion to share her appetizer with me. The Korean Poke was just as beautiful. Perched on top of a grilled thick pineapple slice was a bounty of marinated tuna and polka dots of something called gochujang, a hot Korean BBQ sauce surrounding the pineapple ring. Gochujang is only hot for a few seconds and then tapers off quickly not to take away from this mouthwatering appetizer.
The people next to me ordered the fig appetizer. They were kind enough to let me take a picture of it and said it was delicious too. Spread out over a toasted crostini were sliced figs with goat cheese spread. Leaning on either side of the crostini were milk braised fennel wrapped in prosciutto. The customer said it was amazing.
Natasha stopped by occasionally asking how everything was and filling up our water glasses, which I greatly appreciated.
We were able to have enough time to settle our tummies before the main entrées appeared like a parade from the kitchen. One by one the plates were placed in front of us and I gasped, I literally gasped. I mean, look at these pictures! The plates were masterpieces in themselves, beautifully prepared, colorful and again, I had to take pictures.
In front of me sat five huge sea scallops. The plate was square, which by itself is a breath of fresh air right from the start for me. At an angle and from one corner to the other was a generous proportion of Coconut Calrose and perfectly placed on top of this were two thin crispy tostones and then three plump Sea scallops topped with mango infused sea foam. The other two scallops were on the opposite points of the plate. See picture. It looked so beautiful, you could almost hear the ocean. My friend had the Pork Tenderloin with a Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce,Cheddar Grits, sauteed kale salad with collard greens and yellow and red watermelon. I begged for a bite and it was delicious!!
I was stuffed, but couldn't resist the dessert menu. This is killing my diet, but I was just going to take a small bite. We order two things from a great dessert menu. We chose the creme brulée with blackberries, which was creamy with fresh vanilla bean flavor. The other choice was a bit more daring and a mystery up until it arrived at the table. Sitting smack in the middle of the plate was a a pineapple donut. I expected it to be a flavored pineapple donut, but in fact it was a pineapple ring inside fried dough topped with crystalized ginger. By its side sat the fresh whipping cream which we generously dolloped on top. Suprise, suprise, suprise! Mystery solved.
If you’ve been reading my articles, you know I can be critical. It’s not my intention to hurt the restaurant if I feel it lacks in one area or another, but in hopes of improvement. I will revisit places again to give second chances. So I’m telling you this because my criticism stems from the fact that I have very high expectations in life and it sometimes takes a lot to impress me. Let me tell you… I was truly blown away by every dish I had at Breeze! I can’t stop telling people how amazing it was. If any of you have ever been in a food coma, you know what I am talking about. I felt like I was going to burst as I relieved myself from this more than comfortable chair I had relaxing in for almost an hour and a half. Make your reservation at Breeze now, you will be amazed!
Ratings: Atmosphere - 5 dishes, Service – 5 dishes, Food – 5 dishes!
Dishin’ It Out has a passion for food on Nantucket.
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