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“Fantastic dinner on Fathers Day” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Red Cat Kitchen at Ken N' Beck

The Red Cat Kitchen at Ken N' Beck
14 Kennebec Ave, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA 02557
+1 508-696-6040
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Ranked #3 of 49 Restaurants in Oak Bluffs
Price range: $20 - $40
Cuisines: American, Seafood, Contemporary, Bar
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Fantastic dinner on Fathers Day”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2013

I was in town to see my daughter for Fathers day and she ended up working most of the time I was there. We did manage to have a dinner together here and so glad we did. I own restaurants in Florida but still was amazed at the quality of the food. Both our dinners were excellent. This will be my restaurant of choice when I come back.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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274 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    199
    42
    17
    9
    7
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Needham, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013 via mobile

We were surprised by the excellent service, drinks and food served at this tiny house in Oak Bluffs. Everything was fresh and local. Scallops with corn and basil risotto were especially flavorful and not overcooked..
This is the second year they have been here. We hope they will be here for many more. A great place!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Disappointed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2013

When you have celiac disease and a limited menu, I got a salmon surprise which in one bite was raw!! It was taken back and I got a veggie plate but was very disappointed with the waitress and the managers service, especially on my 30 wedding anniv!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Your Place for a Vineyard Restaurant Review”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

I have been a seasonal resident of Martha's Vineyard for 20+ years and when here, I dine out almost every night. So I manage to eat at almost every restaurant on the island each year but I dine here (or wherever chef/owner Ben deForest cooks) the most frequently.

Ben is one of the few chefs who has a natural and uncanny ability to fuse flavors perfectly and get everything right. If you see something that sounds good yet question the blend of ingredients, you will wind up being delighted. There are many good restaurants out there but they do not possess this inherent talent in the kitchen. If you appreciate the art of marrying unlikely food combinations to create delicious flavor, this is something you must try. And this goes beyond comparisons just to other Vineyard restaurants; I would place Ben's cooking in categories with some of my best eating experiences (O ya, Per se, Spago, Commander's Palace, etc).

And yet there is no pretentiousness here; quite the opposite which is nice in a casual island vacation spot like Martha's Vineyard. There is duck, foie gras and truffle oils, but be sure to try some of the best onion rings you've ever had (with ranch dressing on the side). Or tater tots with cold ketchup. There is something for every one and every mood.

This is the first review I have ever written on Trip Advisor. Unlike others apparently, I do not consider myself a restaurant critic. But I do peruse other reviews from time to time and was inspired to write this after actually seeing a negative review of The Red Cat Kitchen. Reading further, I felt someone searching for a good food find on the Vineyard might be very wrongly persuaded to avoid this place based on what appears to be some amateur observations almost wholly rooted in service issues as opposed to the quality of the food. Indeed, the place does have attitude all the way down to the verbiage on the menu. If creative and cocky descriptions of dishes will ruin your meal, then you might want to try something else. If you think tuna should not be served rare, then perhaps you should try somewhere that cooks all of the flavor out of it. I would just hate to see visitors convinced to avoid a place by someone who not only erroneously believes there is such a thing as "sushi grade tuna," but then arrogantly opines that it was not "sushi grade tuna" when one could never draw such a conclusion because there is no such thing! (There are only standards for freezing raw fish--"sushi grade" is only a marketing term). Or that the "gnocchi was doughy" not realizing that fresh pasta is often much softer than pasta out of the box served al dente. If you're looking for box pasta, there are other places. Again, although there are only a few negative reviews, they do a tremendous disservice to visitors with mature and knowledgeable taste buds looking for some outstanding food creations. When traveling myself, I always rely on locals to give me good advice and I know how important that is to me. So I thought I would chime in here so as to pay-it-back for all of the good advice I have received in other locations over the years.

One example sums up why one should try this place first: there are 2-3 other restaurants just on the island that boast about how their pork shank falls off the bone. Ben's is the only one that actually does.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marion, CT
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Good, yet disappointing.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We have been to Ken N' Beck's a year ago and loved the food. We returned this past weekend and, sorry to say, we were disappointed. First, after ordering our entrees, our waitress told us that "On Saturdays, we recommend ordering an appetizer as the kitchen gets backed up." Not only were we surprised by this comment, but we couldn't figure out how appetizers can be prepared on time but not entrees. We were even more surprised when everyone around us, who arrived after us, received their entrees while we continued to wait. Second, to put it mildly, the service was atrocious. At times, we never saw our waitress for extended periods, and couldn't figure out where she went. The longer we sat in the uncomfortable, garage sale chairs without getting service, the angrier we became. Third, the food was good but not what we expected. I ordered a Ribeye steak and got a filet instead, even though the hostess (our waitress was AWOL and didn't serve it) claimed that it was a ribeye. I really don't think she knew anything about steak. Again, the filet was good, but not what I ordered, or wanted!. It was served with tiny strands of asparagus that resembled broccoli rabe and lacked the taste expected of beefy asparagus spears. My companion ordered the scallops, and again they were good, but she only received two and a half scallops plopped on top of risotto!! We were surprised at getting an appetizer portion for the $32 price tag. Fourth, and this is a real pet peeve of mine, wine is served in something other than wine glasses -- here I think little jelly jars that resembled the "water glasses" that were larger jelly jars. Not sure if that is done to be "cool" or to better survive the dishwasher, but c'mon, when you're charging $10 to $12 for a glass of wine, serve it in fine stemware, please!

Unfortunately, I think this restaurant has dropped the ball because we liked it on a previous visit. While the other reviews here are good, I did see some reviews in Yelp that were similar to mine. This restaurant is not cheap and prides itself as fine dining in a colorful funky OB house. But they need to improve before we return there. The only saving grace for our evening was that it was a short walk across the street to "Back Door Donuts" for a fabulous apple fritter!

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarah O, Owner at The Red Cat Kitchen at Ken N' Beck, responded to this review, June 10, 2013
Dear Sir,
We are sorry to hear about your less-than stellar experience at our little eat joint.
I would like to personally apologize for your server giving you such misleading information and for being inattentive. Please be assured this will be dealt with accordingly.
Your Steak that night was the Heart of a Rib Eye (as it is listed on our menu). It is simply a rib eye with the fat cap removed. Though it is sometimes referred to as a rib filet, it differs from the traditional filet mignon because it is cut from the rib portion of the beef instead of the tenderloin so it has a nice marbled texture. Filet Mignon is a leaner cut of meat, and the Rib Eye Heart still has the intense marbling you are used to finding in Rib Eye Steaks. I assure you, the cut of meat you had for dinner on Saturday was the Rib Eye Heart- just as you ordered it- cooked medium with no potatoes and extra asparagus. The asparagus is young asparagus- it is flavorful and delicate- not the fat old stringy stalks found elsewhere.
The Rib Eye we serve takes 18 minutes from the time it hits the grill- and a steak ordered anything but rare even when preceded by an appetizer- hits the grill the moment the Kitchen receives the order. I don't know how the guests surrounding you ordered, but it is quite possible that they ordered items that take far less time to prepare.
The Scallops we serve are U-10s and are the biggest scallops available, and we serve 3-4 depending on weight. Occasionally scallops may be slightly misshapen or an odd size, but I assure you we don not serve half scallops.
We like serving drinks in jelly jars because they go with our casual and unpretentious atmosphere, and are more space friendly (we are a tiny spot with not much storage), and recently decided to switch over to small jelly jars for wine for the same reasons. The prosecco at your table was in a flute- But we have stemware available and are more than happy to serve your wine in stemware! Or whatever else you'd prefer to drink it in! Just ask!
I regret that when our manager visited your table to ask you how everything was you responded with fine" and didn't relay some of this to him then so we might have been able to turn your experience around. We need to know when someone isn't happy otherwise we can't fix it.
It sounds to me like your night started off on the wrong foot, and I know that when that happens to me, nothing feels right. I wish I could have prevented that, but I invite you back to allow us the opportunity to make it right. Please Introduce yourself to me (Sarah), Ben (the chef) or our Manager Tomas on your next visit and allow us to provide you with an excellent experience.

Sincerely, Sarah
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