Tag Archives: Zagat Nantucket

TOPPER’S Travels…

Fruili Region Italy Wineries

One of the things that Nantucket Insiders do best in the off season is travel.
Higor Valle, one of TOPPER’S certified sommeliers, shares with us notes from the road to his latest wine visit to Cantina Jermann, located along the border of Italy and Slovenia.

Cantina Jermann

This winery is often regarded as one of the most important of it locale, largely due to the innovative and passionate approach of its proprietor, Silvio Jermann. His family has been involved in wine-making in the region since 1881, when his great grandfather came over from Slovenia. Cantina Jermann currently holds several Tre Bicchieri Awards (this award is highly coveted, as it singles out a wine as being one of Italy’s best, and a validation of the winemaker’s craftsmanship). Their latest wine to receive this honor was the 2015 Pinot Grigio.

Jermann Vineyard

Higor was hosted by the winery’s Export Manager and her assistant, and greeted with a glass of wine and some small bites of local cheese, prosciutto and polenta- which were wonderful accompaniments to the wines sampled.

Friuli local cheeses

The three top picks for Higor were Vintage Trunia 2014; dry velvety and well balanced, Capo Martino 2012; intense notes of apricot, dried flowers, and honey blossom- great acidity hold it all together in this wine. Capo Martino 2012 also holds some sentimental value to the family as it was produced from the 1991 harvest commemorating the family’s great father Anton who made the journey to the region 110 years earlier. The grapes used are of historic varieties and even the label depicts elements dear to the hearts of agriculturalists; sun, water, grapes, and fish as a symbol of religion.

Cantino Jermann 2014

Higor also enjoyed the Afix Riesling with its brilliant straw color, vibrant acidity and notes of green apple with a touch of residual sugar.

Higor Valle, Toppers Nantucket

A little bit about Higor; though he’s lived in the U.S. for the past ten years, he is orignally from Sao Paulo, Brazil and this will be his second season as a sommelier at TOPPER’S. Since his first summer on Nantucket, nearly five years ago, he’s always had an interest in working at TOPPER’S because of its vast and impressive wine program. In 2017, Higor looks forward to enjoying the beautiful island and of course, opening amazing bottles of wine for the guests!



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TOPPER’S 2016 Spooky Season Finale

Krug Nantucket

For their last dinner service of the 2016 season, TOPPER’S pops the cork on a special and spooky evening with the second annual “Trick-Or-Treat Dinner”.

toppers dining room october

The dining room at TOPPER’S was completely sold out to a combination of house guests staying at the hotel, and guests who came out for dinner only. As the hotel and the restaurant are closed as of October 30 until April 20, 2017; this was the last chance until spring to enjoy the cozy, yet elegant ambiance of TOPPER’S Dining Room and the exceptional cuisine prepared by Chef Kyle Zachary , with favorites like Lobster Pasta and Tarte Flambe on the menu.

lobster pasta

Dinner guests were treated to discounts of 30, 40, or even 50%, determined by picking a ticket from TOPPER’S Magic Cauldron. From TOPPER’S renown wine cellar, all Peter Michael wine was enjoyed at discounts of 25%.

With end of The Wauwinet’s season typically falling on or around Halloween, and the popularity of the Trick or Treat Dinner, this is a tradition that is sure to continue.

fall at wauwinet


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Summer at TOPPER’S

The Wauwinet is home to one of the nation’s most acclaimed restaurants, TOPPER’S, a favorite foodie destination set alongside the waters of Nantucket Bay. This Nantucket Insider favorite taps into the island’s rich supply of fresh regional ingredients, from land and sea. TOPPER’S dining room offers a uniquely Nantucket feeling of elegant fine dining.
TOPPER's dining room

If you seek more casual fare, you will love TOPPER’s deck, where you can dine under a heated awning with views of the bay.

Nantucket Insider has sampled the summer menu this season at TOPPER’S, and it does not disappoint! See below for a few of our favorite picks from both the dining room and the deck menus. 

Summer Harvest Salad
summer harvest salad

Various seasonal vegetables (may include and are not limited to heirloom tomatoes, squash, eggplant, beans, peppers, fennel, beets and carrots) are served raw, pickled, roasted or pureed along with seasonal berries, stone fruits, herbs and herb blossoms.  TOPPER’S adds a crispy quinoa tuile (best described as a “cracker”) for texture. The dish is rounded out with Stracciatella cheese, a fresh cow’s milk cheese, made of small shreds of curd mixed with cream.  This is the filling that you find inside of Burrata.
*Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free with modification, Vegetarian

Seaweed Butter Poached Lobster
nantucket butter poached lobster

 The 1 ¼ pound lobster is first partially poached and the meat is removed from the shell and then poached in nori flavored emulsified butter.  The lobster is served with an heirloom tomato tart (puff pastry topped with tomatoes cooked down to jam consistency and finished with sherry vinegar, topped with African blue basil, chive tips and thyme blossoms), glazed baby squash, pickled baby squash, marinated shaved baby zucchini, a fried squash blossom and a rich lobster bisque flavored with tomato and finished with Pedro Ximénez sherry. The dish is garnished with a dehydrated Kalamata olive crumble.
*Gluten Free with modification, Dairy Free with modification.

Shrimp & Grits
toppers shrimp nantucket
White gulf shrimp are sautéed and served over Anson Mills white grits flavored with cheddar cheese.  There is also a slowly poached egg, sautéed oyster mushrooms and country ham gravy (Edward’s country ham, tomatoes, green onions, coffee, cream and butter).

Roasted King Salmon
Roasted king salmon is served on English pea risotto with glazed white asparagus, marinated pea tendrils and a charred ramp butter sauce.

To reserve your table at TOPPER’S call 508-228-8768 or click here

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Vacations You and Your Valentine Will Look Forward To

With Valentine’s Day approaching, Nantucket Insider is feeling the love with these hotel packages that would make a sweet gift to for your valentine look forward to this spring…


The Wauwinet has long been known as Nantucket’s most romantic escape with its serene privacy, sweeping views of Nantucket Bay, and its exclusive beach. The Wauwinet’s Date Night package would make any valentine swoon. The package includes a one night stay in one of the hotels’ cozy guest rooms, dinner for two at the award winning TOPPER’S, a sumptuous breakfast for two and a $100 credit for a signature treatment at The Wauwinet’s Spa by the Sea. The Wauwinet will open for the 2016 season on April 21. 

WE Spa couples room

Looking for a gift for the valentine who loves to be pampered? White Elephant’s Pampered Elephant package is filled with romantic details both you and your valentine will look forward to, with luxurious accommodations at White Elephant, dinner for two at Brant Point Grill, a raw bar sampler and wine upon arrival, and a couples’ massage at White Elephant Spa – just to name the highlights. White Elephant reopens April 14, 2016.

Cott with bikes

The Cottages & Lofts at The Boat Basin are a great option for a getaway made for two. The Romance Package would suit your more adventurous valentine with a two night stay in a classic waterfront cottage, champagne upon arrival, dinner for two overlooking the harbor at Brant Point Grill, and a sunset cruise. Be sure to take advantage of the unique perks that come with staying at The Cottages & Lofts, like complimentary access to bicycles for getting out and exploring the island! The Cottages open April 14 for the 2016 season. 



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3 Ways to Enjoy Lobster on Nantucket

LobsterCoupleLobsters are an essential part of classic Nantucket summer dining; whether you’re enjoying them at a simple family clambake, on a roll by the beach, or even at the bar, Nantucket Insider has a lobster recipe for every occasion… 

For those seeking perfection in the form of a summer liquid lunch, look no further than Brant Point Grill. The restaurant is famous for its signature twist on a delicious bloody mary cocktail. The Lobster Bloody Mary has been an insider’s request at BPG for years and this year it is officially on the cocktail menu. See below for the recipe for this amazing Nantucket cocktail, featuring lobster meat and a spicy bacon-rimmed glass…

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TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet serves a unique take on this summer classic, with Chef Kyle Zachary’s Butter Poached Lobster. The delectable dish is served with a Sea Urchin Rissotto. Nantucket Insider thinks this dish is best enjoyed on TOPPER’S Deck overlooking Nantucket Bay, or in the comfortable and elegant surroundings of TOPPER’S Dining Room. But if you’re in the mood for some culinary adventures… 

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Nantucket Insider could not let this post go without a shout out to a true summer seafood classic; the Lobster Roll. We love the simplicity of Brant Point Grill’s version, served with a crisp bib lettuce salad on the side. Chef Tom Pearson shares his recipe with us here…

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Retsyo Oysters at TOPPER’S

 Nantucket Insider loves to dine at TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet and one of the favorite highlights of the menu are Retsyo Oysters. These deliciously fresh oysters are truly an “ocean to table” dining experience, as they are cultivated in an oyster bed that is just 300 yards from TOPPER’S Deck.  

2toppers oysters(4)

Chef Kyle Zachary of TOPPER’S loves working with the unique flavor profile of Retsyo Oysters. “Similarly to wine, oysters get much of their flavor from their environment in which they are grown, or ‘terroir’.  This means that Retsyo Oysters taste like Wauwinet.  They are a true representative of our terroir and give us a sense of place unlike anything else we can offer.”  

Nantucket Insider caught up with the Roberts duo of Retsyo Oysters for their story …  (more…)

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Ways to Wed, White Elephant & The Wauwinet…

Wedding season is on the horizon and Nantucket Insider has caught up with Mark Holland-Leggieri, “in house wedding pro” for White Elephant and The Wauwinet, to get his thoughts on what makes each of these beautiful venues so special and so versatile! 

White Elephant Weddings

Nantucket weddings

A couple enjoys a harborside moment at White Elephant

 An ‘Exclusive White Elephant Wedding’, where the wedding party reserves the entire hotel property, is of course a spectacular way to show your family and friends a most amazing experience at the hotel. 


White Elephant wedding with a tent overlooking the harbor

All guest rooms are occupied by your group and you have so much flexibility to host various events thought the course of your stay; welcome reception, wedding celebration, after-party and a brunch. White Elephant can customize every event space on property; including the Harborview and Shoreline lawns to reflect the vision you want! Top rated White Elephant services and amenities make the experience truly unforgettable.


Watch the sunset and then party into the night

Harborview Terrace weddings provide the wedding party with the majority of space White Elephant has to offer, without the need to fill every hotel room with your wedding guests. This still allows for flexibility wedding design on the Terrace, Sundeck and Lawn. Add lights, fire pits, bring in a photo booth for fun memories and you have the perfect event!

White ElephantTerrace with long tables and rounds

Crisp white linen and dining furniture provided for your wedding at White Elephant

 Intimate Sundeck weddings are smaller scale a way to celebrate with the fabulous view, a portion of the Harborview Lawn and more intimate dining and dancing spaces.  White Elephant has the ability to customize these spaces to your liking for décor, set up and flow of your event.  This smaller style wedding allows for more freedom of menu selections:  adding courses, pairing with special wines, creating tasting menus or even doing specialty stations that work amazingly well for groups from 20-60 guests.  Semi-private, and completely enjoyable and memorable!


White Elephant Sundeck has beautiful views of the lawn and harbor

 Wauwinet Weddings


The Wauwinet is an exceptional wedding escape

An ‘Exclusive Wauwinet Wedding’ is an incredible experience; the elegant private settings and atmosphere of the hotel lend itself beautifully to the concept of your own personal wedding location. With thirty two guest rooms at The Wauwinet, an exclusive wedding can still feel very intimate. 

For larger parties at The Wauwinet, a tent for a lawn reception sets the scene and creates the space needed for accommodating 100- 150 guests. 


Exclusive Wauwinet wedding with a tent and bay views

 TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet can host your group inside the dining rooms for up to 100 guests, with dancing on the covered Bayview Deck.


An intimate Wauwinet wedding for 8 guests

 The lower terrace adds a great location for food stations and cocktail mingling. Comfortable wicker furniture, lush gardens, and amazing views of the bay, create a sense of truly being a world away. The side lawn of The Wauwinet is ideal for lawn games, and even an added bar location and a place to enjoy the open air around a fire. 

WauwinetBay View Lawn

Unique ways to enjoy and entertain your wedding guests

Wedding ceremonies can be held on The Wauwinet’s private bay side beach, the Zen Deck (for up to 50 guests) or the lawn, depending on the style you have in mind.

WAU Beach Ceremony

Say ‘I do’ in the sand on The Wauwinet’s bay side beach

The Wauwinet is not just for large scale weddings though! Smaller, more intimate weddings work beautifully in TOPPER’S interior spaces. Dining for up to 50 guests in TOPPER’S Main Dining room is perfectly elegant, with music and dancing in TOPPER’S Room and a bar set up in TOPPER’S Sunroom. 


A fun, nautical twist on a TOPPER’S Dining Room wedding reception

Even more intimate dinner-style weddings for up to 16 guests can enjoy TOPPER’S Sunroom, a romantic ceremony on the beach or the Zen Deck, and cocktail hour out on the Library Terrace. 


Small, elegant reception in TOPPER’S Sunroom

 We’ll pipe in dining music of your choice.  This is also a perfect opportunity to create your ‘Tasting Menu’ or ‘Wine Dinner’ with several smaller courses and paired wines, something that Cellar Master Craig Hanna has been enjoying creating at TOPPER’S for over 25 years.


The Zen Deck at The Wauwinet is a special place for a ceremony – or a first dance!

 The spectacular bay views from The Wauwinet lawn, Zen Deck, and beach are unparalleled on Nantucket!

Mark Holland-Leggieri, Conference Services Manager Nantucket Island Resorts


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Bronze Fennel- an Herb to Spring For…

Wauwinet TOPPERS Nantucket

The Herb Garden at The Wauwinet

Nantucket Insider catches up with Chef Kyle Zachary of TOPPER’S on this wintry day for some thoughts of spring… 

In these cold months it is hard to believe that soon all of that snow that has piled up is going to start melting away and the first herbs in our garden will start bravely sprouting from the thawing earth with the promise of a new season.

In most years the first to arrive for the party are the bronze fennel plants.  It’s a delicious and hearty herb that is low maintenance and easy to grow but many people are not familiar with it.  So how do we use it?

Bronze fennel is not the bulb variety that you are used to seeing as a salad or vegetable side, it is an herb variety that can be completely utilized.  
We like to use the stems to infuse stocks and sauces with the plants flavor.  You can also dry them and roast a whole fish or rack of lamb on them.

We use the tender fronds in green leafy salads or chop them and add them to potato salad.  You can steep them in hot water for a fennel tea or add them to a summer cocktail that could benefit from a sweet bite of anise.  We might also steep them in an ice cream base for a dessert.

The blossoms are my favorite part of the pant.  When they are picked at the right time, usually mid to late summer, they are bright yellow and full of pollen.  Fennel pollen sells for about $20 an ounce in gourmet shops but you can get about an ounce of pollen from one fully bloomed plant.  Just bunch the blossom clusters by the stem in one hand and use your other hand to shake off the the pollen from the blossoms.  The pollen is powerful and heady so you don’t need much but it is great on roasted carrots, pizza, in sausage or on seafood. Pictured below is TOPPER’S Wild Atlantic Sea Bass with bronze fennel blossoms as a colorful garnish. 


So if you haven’t grown bronze fennel in your herb garden, you should give it a try.  I think you’ll be surprised how versatile it is!

Kyle Zachary, Executive Chef, TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet



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Cheers to The Wauwinet

Wauwinet hotel Nantucket Each year, Andrew Harper’s readers vote on the best hotels, resorts, safari lodges and cruise ships based on a number of criteria including service, location, dining, accommodations, and activities. The Wauwinet is a multi-year Andrew Harper award winner and has previously been included in the Hideaway Report’s list of “Rooms with Best Views.”
Portfolio 2.09
No stranger to accolades, The Wauwinet has also been recognized as one of the five resorts and inns in the U.S. and Canada for World’s Best Service by the readers of Travel + Leisure and in Condé Nast Traveler’s U.S. Top 50 Small Hotels.
TOPPER's dining room
On-property restaurant, TOPPER’S, has been honored with the Wine Spectator Grand Award, the publication’s highest honor, for 19 years running and is rated the best overall restaurant on Nantucket by Zagat. 


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Deal Alert: Weekly Specials!

Check out the latest weekly specials for stays at your favorite Nantucket hotels. These last minute deals for your next Nantucket visit are sure to please with great perks like low in-season rates, upgrades and even complimentary breakfast at top Zagat-rated TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet! Click the links to the hotels below to view the Weekly Special.



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