The Company of the Cauldron remains one of Nantucket’s most unique restaurants, offering a single meal to all diners at one or two seatings each night. The restaurant helmed by Chef-owner All Kovalencik (and his wife Andrea), along with Chef Matthew Zadorozny and Chef de Cuisine Jason Montigel, and each night they produce four course prix-fixe dinners for the about 45 diners in their cozy restaurant.
And three days a week, harpist Mary Keller plays baroque and classical harp music while you dine. (She also plays her classic harp arrangements of Beatles tunes on Wednesdays.) It’s always amazing to watch this unfold each night in an open kitchen that might be smaller than yours. They take your wine order, bring some bread and then quickly plate and deliver each course.
Since the tables are quite close together, you have the opportunity to talk with neighboring diners between courses: this is always a very interesting experience.
We ate there about a week ago and confirmed that the food and service are as excellent as ever. The first course was Seared Georges Bank Jumbo Scallop with Country Ham Risotto, Bartlett Vanilla Corn Emulsion and Smoked Vanilla Oil, an excellent variation on the always prevalent scallop dish everyone serves. This large, sweet seared scallop was served on a delicious, flavorful risotto with bits of country ham and corn in it.
Following the appetizer course, they brought a salad of Field Greens with Saffron Poached Cherry Tomatoes and a Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette. The salad may have looked ordinary enough until you tasted the cherry tomatoes. They had been individually peeled and poached in a saffron-based broth to give them a unique heightened flavor, contrasting well with the preserved lemon vinaigrette. A real surprise success.
The main course features tournedos of beef at least once a week, and these tender, sweet pieces of beef tenderloin were served with two sauces: a Red Onion Bearnaise on one, and a Green Pepper au Poive sauce on the other. They were served over Citrus Thyme Fingerling Potatoes.
Finally, the dessert course was Chocolate Indulgence Cake with Salty Peanut Ice Cream, and a small smear of Red Grape Gastrique. Again, an imaginative take on a fairly standard dessert offering.
And what does all this cost? Most nights, the cost is only $67 per person, although Lobster Mondays are usually a bit higher priced. How can they offer such excellent food so inexpensively? Well, of course, there are some economies of scale in having but a single menu each night. In addition, their wine list is clearly profitable, since they offer just a few half bottles, and their full bottles of white wines are mostly over $50, and their reds mostly around $90, although we did find an excellent Elyse Zinfandel for only $75. And, of course, coffee and tea are charged separately. Our bill with tax, but before tip was about $220.
The Company of the Cauldron menu changes daily, and is posted on line each Friday afternoon for the next week or so. You can also pick up a list of the menus as a flyer from a little boxjust outside the restaurant. The restaurant is very popular, and you should look over the menu in advance and make reservations as soon as you’ve made your decision. It’s definitely one of Nantucket’s best restaurant experiences.
- The Summer House in ‘Sconset
- Dinner at Sophie T’s Pizza
- Dune restaurant
- Nantucket Pasty Company
- The Rose and Crown: the island’s best burger
- The Chanticleer: lovely decor and weird food
- Galley Beach: Exceptional food and prices
- Fusaro’s: a welcome new family restaurant
- The great Nantucket Bagel Munch-In
- Oran Mor: still one of the island’s finest
- Sea Dog Brew Pub
- American Seasons continues inspired cooking
- Pazzo: Mediterranean cooking on Nantucket
- Met on Main: breakfast on Nantucket
- Millies in Madaket: always a great meal
- Cru Nantucket continues to delight
- Arno’s: a huge disappointment