OCEAN CITY – Just in time for the holiday season, Nantuckets Restaurant is expanding its operations and will now be shipping some of its signature menu items.
Nantucket’s, located on Route 1 in Fenwick Island and owned and operated by David and Janet Twining, has been a favorite restaurant for locals and visitors for the past 17 years. After years of hearing requests from customers to send food to their homes, the Twinings decided to expand on their business and offer a few of their menu items to be purchased and shipped.
“We have had so many people ask us to send them stuff that we decided to take it on,” said David.
Popular items such as the lobster mac n’ cheese, Nantuckets Quahog Chowdah, Nanny’s crab cakes, Maryland blue crab meat and maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing will be offered via shipping. Orders can be placed anytime and will be shipped next day delivery on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
David and Janet selected some of the seasoned favorites for the recent expansion, selecting some of their more popular recipes. The chowder, a locals favorite, made its debut on the menu in 1991 and has been pleasing customers’ taste buds ever since. “That’s really what we’ll probably get hit the most for,” said Janet.
The crab cakes, lobster mac n’ cheese, and maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing are all David’s secret recipes. The dressing, which has been the house dressing for the past 15 years, contains 100 percent pure maple syrup, adding a twist to the traditional balsamic vinaigrette. The Maryland blue crab meat, all jumbo lump meat from the Eastern Shore, will also be available.
“It’s all based out of here, everything is made in our kitchen,” Janet said, assuring that the process is all in-house and identical to the recipes featured at Nantucket’s.
Nantuckets first opened its doors 17 years ago.
“We’ve been in the restaurant business practically our whole lives,” David said, referring to the restaurant he owned and operated for nearly 10 years in Lake Placid, N.Y. Janet had prior restaurant experience as well with her family’s restaurant in New York.
The menu ranges from burgers to lobster tails, with each item presenting a unique flavor. The crab cake recipe, a popular menu item, has remained the same for 17 years.
“People appreciate that consistency,” Janet said, noting that many customers express their satisfaction that they can return to Nantuckets and get the same quality food and service that they received a week ago or 10 years ago.
The chowder is also a menu item that has maintained a consistent recipe over the years.
“We’ve been selling quarts and quarts of it to go for years,” Janet said.
The Twinings attributed most of their success to their employees. Head chef Mike Priola, a Culinary Institute of America graduate, has been with Nantuckets for eight years. “He is a very big part of our business,” Janet said.
Food isn’t the only thing offered at Nantuckets. There is also a full bar and an extensive wine list to accompany appetizers, salads or entrees. A large bar area is also available for a chance to have a drink and relax with friends.
When asked what it is that sets Nantuckets apart from other restaurants, David replied, “We buy the freshest ingredients available from many different purveyors all over the East Coast.” Janet noted the consistency of their product over the years as one of the strongest selling points, maintaining the menu’s consistency has kept people coming back year after year.
Both Janet and David agreed that organization, presentation and customer service are key ingredients to running a restaurant.
The Twinings classified the atmosphere at Nantuckets as “casual fine dining,” explaining that it was a place where you could relax with a drink and a salad or take it up a notch with the lobster shepherds pie or the Nantucket’s bouillabaisse.
With the expansion of the restaurant into the shipping world, David explained that special packaging would be used along with insulated boxes to ensure the safe delivery of the food items, which the Twinings concluded would be a great addition to the holiday season.