Lo La 41°
Southampton-style chic officially arrived in Nantucket when this 60-seat hot spot opened in 2006. The concept behind Lo La 41° (devised by David Silva, Geoffrey Silva, and Marco Coelho—the team that runs The Galley) is simple and fun: the menu draws from destinations all along the 41st parallel (“Lo La” is short for longitude-latitude). The result is an eclectic mix that includes sashimi and sushi rolls, along with other Japanese-inspired dishes (we loved the poke salad of marinated octopus in a soy-sesame dressing); classic Italian pastas; and North American favorites like braised beef short ribs and pan-roasted halibut. But though the food is excellent (as is the list of sakes and creative cocktails), and the cozy, wood-paneled space with its long curved bar is soigné and inviting, none of this fully explains Lo La’s outrageous popularity. Reservations—available only by calling the same day at 4 p.m.—are fully booked within the first 10 minutes after the phone line opens; at night, the restaurant is the only one in town where a line of hopefuls dressed in their South Beach best forms outside.
Tip: Lo La’s signature burger—made from Black Angus sirloin, and served with a red-onion compote and foie gras dipping sauce—has garnered enough of a following to inspire a spin-off: Lo La Burger (508-325-0282), a tiny take-out counter on Steamboat Wharf, opened in the summer of 2008.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.