Monthly Archives: November 2009

Sarah Leah Chase: Nantucket Serendipity 1 – Cider Rules


Sarah Leah Chase

Cider Rules

Over the past few November weeks, there have been numerous magazine and newspaper articles espousing wines best suited to pairing with Thanksgiving dinner. Since I personally have difficulty embracing most of the recommendations in these pieces, I like to retreat to safer ground by opting to pour a kid-and-everyone-friendly jug of local, all-American apple cider along with a spectrum of more potent and adult-soothing libations at my Thanksgiving festivities. Usually I give a lot of careful thought to my dinner wine selections, sometimes struggling thematically to stick with American wines but more often than not succumbing to my weakness and love of French wines, especially those from Burgundy. This year, however, I have found good cause to celebrate cider as the aperitif-of-choice to kick off Thanksgiving and subsequent weekend gatherings.

I lament the fact that founding father Benjamin Franklin preached that one should “never praise your cider, horse or bedfellow” because my family and I have found ourselves singing the praises of the Honeycrisp Apple Cider being sold at Bartlett’s Farm along with the sparkling Cisco Cider bottled by the neighboring Nantucket Vineyard/ Cisco Brewers.

The varietal Honeycrisp Apple Cider, a cross between Macoun and Honey Gold apples, comes from an orchard in Berlin, Massachusetts, and is lighter in color and texture than the New England ciders most of us know. I find it so perfectly delicious and crisply refreshing when poured chilled and straight from the jug that I would never dream of heating it, hot buttering it, or adulterating it with mulling spices and other popular cider additives.

The sparkling Cisco Cider has a mild 7.6% alcohol content and could be a bit of an acquired taste for some. I like its Prosecco-like fizz and unusual faint bourbon taste due to a 6-month aging stint in old bourbon barrels. The apples in the Cisco Cider come from a fruit farm in Greenfield, Massachusetts and I have recently taken to pairing a petite flute of the cider with a few slivers of sharp Cheddar cheese to get me in the mood plus provide a magical burst of energy for the many hours of Thanksgiving cooking ahead. More advanced mixologists may want to offer Thanksgiving guests a “Log Cabin” cocktail made by combining 4 ounces of Cisco Cider with 1 ounce of Calvados or brandy and 1 ounce of pure maple syrup. Pour over plenty of ice and garnish by floating a generous squeeze of lemon over the top. Say cheers, give thanks for local bounty, and don’t fret too much over wines from farther away places to follow as accompaniment to the Thanksgiving feast.

Nantucket Hotel and Restaurant News


Travel and Leisure’s 2009 World’s Best Awards include the White Elephant as the #15 resort in the U.S. and Canada, and the #1 resort in New England.

A Conde Nast Traveler 22nd Annual Readers’s Choice Award went to Nantucket as the third best island in North America, behind Kiawah and Vancouver Island. The ratings are based on restaurants, beaches, activities, lodging, atmosphere, ambiance, scenery, and friendliness.

The Wauwinet was named one of the best small hotels in the U.S., listed number 7 out of 35 and ranked 91.0 out of 100, based on the categories of Food/Dining, Location, Overall Design, and Room Service.


Earlier this year, TOPPER’S restaurant at The Wauwinet, under the expertise of Cellar Master Craig Hanna, was one of 72 recipients of the Wine Spectator’s annual Grand Award, this the 14th consecutive year, and the only restaurant on Nantucket to receive it. The award is given to restaurants that show an uncompromising and passionate devotion to the quality of their wine program. Each winning restaurant offers at least 1,500 selections that include top producers and mature vintages. Excellence and harmony with the restaurant’s menu and superior service are also recognized.

“When mussels are in season, Sfoglia gets the biggest and fattest, and Steven and I must have the voluptuous wild mussels with slivers of spicy salami in a heady broth, fragrant with tomato and fennel…But it’s love of pasta that keeps bringing me back to Sfoglia. The spaghetti with San Marzano tomatoes and strawberry…the tang of the fruit and balsamic vinegar was a revelation.” That’s a quote from Gael Greene of who recently wrote about Sfoglia, New York at 135 E. 92nd St. Excerpts from the full article.

At The Chamber of Commerce Annual Chowder Contest on Saturday, October 17, the winner was Arno’s, Even Keel Cafe took second, and The Dancing Pickle third.


Nantucket Restaurant Menus

Nantucket Headlines 11.7.09

Headlines from local publications, and links to the full story. Sources: Inquirer and Mirror, Nantucket Independent, PlumTV, Yesterday’s Island, Cape Cod Times, and other pertinent sources.


No island swine flu officially diagnosed

Both air taxis ground Cessna 402s over “unusual wear” of engine parts (Inquirer and Mirror)

Changes in island media at Plum, N, others (Inquirer and Mirror)

Garth Grimmer In The Studio (Nantucket Independent)

Owners getting ready for potential restaurant tenant (Nantucket Independent)

Molly Placek – Starlight CafŽ (Nantucket Independent)

Birds campaign with their wings (Vern Laux) (Cape Cod Times)

Local tradesmen lose out on $70 million spent on public projects
(Inquirer and Mirror)

Scallops plentiful, but price low at $8 (Nantucket Independent)


Selectmen chair gets thumbs down on document policy (Nantucket Independent)

School budget proposal targets teachers (Inquirer and Mirror)

Servant vows to consider adding Island Home, ACDC to Sherburne Commons (Inquirer and Mirror)

Servant to take reins at Sherburne Common (Nantucket Independent)

Fall River attorney nominated to Nantucket Probate and Family Court (Nantucket Independent)

Oran Mor

Nantucket Halloween

Halloween 2009. Today’s photos are all from the party at Fifty-Six Union. More from other parties leter in the week. Photos by Amanda Morgan.

Click on any photo to see more photos from this event or an archive of past events. For a high quality digital file you can use to make as many prints as you like, contact us. To order a copy of any photograph, click on the photo, then click on this event on the list on the left and find the ID number. Send an email with the photo number to us at

If you see anyone you know in these photos, please forward the newsletter to your friends and encourage them to subscribe. Go to the very end of this newsletter, and click the “Forward email” link. (Forwarding through your own email program will not send the correct newsletter version.)

Nina Hellman Antiques

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Halloween 2

Hannah Stone

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Halloween 3