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“Delicious, fun and prices not out of line: earlier reviews don't apply”

The Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant
Ranked #7 of 8 Restaurants in Menemsha
Price range: $13 - $30
Cuisines: Fujian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: North Road
Transit: Vineyard Transit Authority public buses travel directly past the Inn daily along North Road with regularly scheduled stops at the Menemsha Public Beach and Chilmark Community Center
Description: A Beach Plum Wedding is know for unfussy but delicious, thoughtful food sourced from the woods and surrounding waters of Martha's Vineyard. We rely on the tight-knit island community of farmers, fisherman, herdsman and family members for the perfect ingredients to make your wedding unforgettable.
New York
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Delicious, fun and prices not out of line: earlier reviews don't apply”
Reviewed August 23, 2014

We are mystified by most of the earlier reviews of this restaurant. This is an excellent restaurant with a great atmosphere and not out of line with the prices of other excellent restaurants on Martha's Vineyard such as the Chilmark Tavern, State Road and Sweet Life Cafe. We live in NYC and have been to many restaurants there with about the same level of quality and price. We ate there on August 22nd. I have the menu in front of me. There are 5 entrees whose prices are $36, $38, $37, $65 for 2, $70 for 2. So the prices described by earlier reviewers seem wrong or at least out of date. We had 5 appetizers as suggested by a reviewer, sun&sea lover. Of those, 3 were superb, equal to the best: the grilled flatbreads with lentils and smoked bluefish, potted duck and beef with shaved radishes, cabbage and kohlrabi. The combination of superb ingredients, surprising flavors and textures speak to the inventiveness of the chef. And the greens with lemon and parmesan was delicious though not quite as interesting. These were good sized and none cost more than $18. The tuna crudo and lobster tail were good but not outstanding. The chocolate tart was wondrous--very fresh, not too sweet and again a nice combination of textures and flavors with excellent pastry. The chocolate plate was good, with nice toasted almonds but the chunks of Mast Brothers chocolate, though delicious, seemed a bit hard--and in any case one wants more in a dessert than the ingredients for a dessert.
The setting is gorgeous especially if you have a table near the windows. You see the sunset over Menemsha beach. The atmosphere is "country inn" with brown paper on the tables, shelves of books and a cute napkin idea: in the form of traditional dishtowels. We loved the feel of the place. Lively but not too noisy. Waitstaff charming. attentive and knowledgeable. As with sun&sea lover we left happy.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank de_re
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Virginia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“$75 Chicken. Need I say more?”
Reviewed August 15, 2014

Friends and I ate here a few weeks ago. They'd been before and it had been "hit or miss" so wanted to try again, because it was the "toast of the town" or island or New York Times! We had a really good but simple meal of fresh (duhh...) blue fish coupled with some potatoes and a handful of green beans. Don't worry about over-eating here. The starter salad was, again, good but simple. We had to pay for some so-so focaccia. The menu is very limited due to the whole Very Special Farm to Very Special Table thing. But there was some laughter and eye-rolling at the entree offering of a half a chicken for $75. No kidding. I asked our waitress (more about her later) what made the chicken cost $75. She gave me that subtle, "Oh, you unenlightened" kind of look and responded that it was for "half a chicken". Not being one to give up so readily, I replied, "And again, I ask, what makes the chicken cost $75?" Another pause, and then, "I'm happy to tell you..." followed by some blather about it coming from their Very Special Farm and being fed Very Special Food and no doubt housed in some Very Special Coop when it wasn't Free Ranging all day in the Glorious Sunlight. Actually, we could hardly hear her, not because the restaurant was loud (it was a very pleasant level of activity and music) but because she spoke so softly in this slightly-affected manner. We asked her to speak up because we couldn't understand her and she effortlessly cranked it up an indiscernible degree. Might have been our loss since the "specials" were lost in the quiets breathless delivery of, ".....fresh.....with.....field ..... organic.....red.....tossed with....." so who knows what that was. The blueberry cobbler we shared was incredibly tasty, with a perfect crust, but oh, just a dollop of ice cream would have been the best! All in all, a pleasant evening at a beautiful restaurant that costs too much with some good laughs courtesy of the $75 chicken and our waitress.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank KathyinVirginia757
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Paltz, New York
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Laughably Poor”
Reviewed August 12, 2014

If you're going to spend a lot of money on a bad experience, you can only hope to make it up in funny stories; I'm betting we'll eventually get our money's worth of mirth from The Beach Plum.

Preface to say that, in the last 3 weeks, I've had lunch at Bouchon in Yountville, dinner at Al Forno in Providence, and a lot of meals on road sides and in airports in between. The food at the BPI was, for the most part, acceptable...on par with a recent breakfast at the Philadelphia Airport, but service was trumped by the pizza vendor at the San Luis Obispo farmers market. On the plus side, the view was outstanding, exceeded only by the overlook of San Simeon Bay from Hearst Castle.

Blow-by-blow:

Easy to find, beautiful setting, rustic chic, and gorgeous view of Menemsha Harbor sunset.

Alcohol is BYOB and menu is minimalist locavore.

It seems that recent complaints of tiny portions have been addressed, they were sufficient, although over-priced even by standards of any high-end restaurant.

Observations on food:

Eggplant that we cooked all day dressed with marinated cucumbers and mint $15:
Two crostini topped with well prepared eggplant relish, accompanied by fresh cucumber pickles and mint. At this point, I was happy.

Summer beans, chickpeas, bok choy tossed with herby yogurt $16:
Interesting dish, bold move to serve raw beans, they were very fresh and well seasoned, but no sign of yogurt or bok choy. Chef claims to have worked at Chez Panisse and Babbo...apparently not as a cook. There is NO WAY that you could get away with serving beans with stems attached at either.

Focaccia with rock salt, tuscan olive oil $5:
Good. Served gratis at most places, but...ok, good bread is worth paying for.

Whole roasted fluke for 2, crispy potatoes and aioli $65:

Well prepared whole fish, moist and tasty. Roasted potatoes were weird... Large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in half, roasted until crumbly. Good, but difficult to eat - sort of what you might expect at a seaside town firehouse on "all you can eat" night with fried fish and corn on the cob for $10.95,1 oz of aioli was also good, but barely enough to accompany 1/2 of one potato.

Although the menu indicates that the fish is served "whole", at $65 I don't think it's unreasonable to expect the server to remove the bones at table...they don't do that here - you may want to view a video on table side service of flat fish before dining. The "share plates" are old, shabby, 8" salad plates one would expect to see at a long-in-the-tooth diner - probably where they got the wine glasses from.

BTW -
Today's wholesale auction price for fluke is $2.65/#
( http://nefsc.noaa.gov/read/socialsci/daily.php)
Ours was whole, head and fins on, probably weighed about 2# - you do the math.

Wine "service":
It's a "Dry" town, BYOB...not their fault, I get it; but removing a screw top and giving you a pair of 10 oz. Libby glasses doesn't warrant an $8 corkage fee...especially when the server places your bottle in a common ice tub, 10 feet away, and then lets you retrieve and serve yourself for the rest of the meal.

Dessert

Rhubarb and almond puff pastry $13:
Incredibly bad...in my partner's words "An abomination". Rhubarb is barely peeled, cut lengthwise, instead of across the fibers, and undercooked. The puff pastry is old, stale and soggy. Really, really bad.

Chocolate tart $13:

The Ganache filling, by itself, was good. The pastry was sub-standard - the chef has, most likely, never worked in a pastry section; the whipped cream was "whipped cream"; the accompanying "meringue" was, again, an abomination - hard as a rock, over caramelized, and flavorless.

If you want good food with a view, check out the Menemsha Galley. You'll be much happier than we were tonight.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank mpardus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West New York
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Highway robbery”
Reviewed August 5, 2014 via mobile

The best thing that can be said about the Beach Plum is that the view of Menemsha Pond is lovely and it's BYOB. The food, on the other hand, is a huge disappointment. We were aware before we went that the menu was very limited but thought that we would find something to our liking. It was not to be. We settled on a shared portion of T-bone steak, priced at a whopping $80, which arrived lukewarm and was not the least bit tender and was flavorless. The waitress offered to have it reheated, but that would only have made it worse. The steak was accompanied by a few bland roasted potatoes. We had started with a bluefish crudo (which required a microscope to see) and a salad that consisted of local greens, a bit of mint, and 3 or 4 slivers of carrot with an unremarkable vinaigrette dressing. And did I mention that they charge $5 for 2 pieces of focaccia dripping in olive oil? The desserts were probably the best part of the meal but sounded a lot better than they tasted. The service was pleasant enough but rather amateurish. All in all, this was an expensive disappointment and we won't be returning.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank Beth T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
94 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Pack a Fat Wallet and Some Breadcrumbs”
Reviewed August 5, 2014

... because after you pay the bill your bank account will be that much lighter and so, too, your tummy.

OK -- let me just say that this restaurant has a nice view and some excellent service, however, once that thrill is gone (or the sun has set) you will be sorry you ever went to this place.

Menu is limited. As in extremely limited. 1 bread option. 5 appetizer options. 3 entree options (chicken, fish, or beef). 3 dessert options. And no espresso drinks, only drip coffee.

Now, I've been dining for years and a limiting menu is no reason to give a poor review. I find if the menu is limited, the taste of that food makes up for it.

BUT I was wrong. As in off the map wrong. I wish my GPS had told me to make U-Turn.

The Bread = Focaccia. Ok, not my first choice in the starch category, but since it was the ONLY choice, we ordered it. Two small slices. $5. [The bread was the best of the part of the meal, by the way, since they drowned it in oil and grilled it up, but the amount served was too measly].

The Apps:
Beetlebung Lettuces from Beetlebung Farms. I think you pay $1 for every letter in that app. Small plate with leaves of green, transparent red onions, lightly drizzled in oil.

Polenta soup. No idea on taste as it wasn't mine to try. But a soup should not be $15 a bowl unless it's a lobster bisque.

Carrot salad. Um, tell me where were the carrots?

Something carpaccio. Looked inedible to me. A plate of mush?

Razor Clams drowned in parsley springs and fennel. 5 clams = $18. (if I wanted a parsley appetizer, I would have ordered it, thank you!). I thought I ordered clams!?!? And the clams are not even local. They come from the cape. Ergh.

The entrees:
Bluefish. The person did not comment on the taste. $36
Chicken. A small leg on a bed of nothing. $35
Beef. 2 almost inedible bites of brisket. I will comment most emphatically on this since it was my dish. This might have been the worst tasting dish in my life. Two wimpy strips of brisket that had been boiled of all taste, except the slight musty taste of being "overripe". The 4 spoonfuls of black eyed peas straight from the can were appalling (and I happen to love black eyed peas, but come on -- you can't do anything amazing with them?) $38

The Sweet Ending:
chocolate plate didn't even bother to use local chocolates -- preferring 2 slabs of Brooklyn Chocolates
chocolate tart -- yum
rhubarb napoleon -- passable
coffee -- dude, whatever

the best part? how dimly lit the place was because, trust me, you don't even want to see this bill.

and keep in mind the corkage fee ... even for beers!

Would I go again? NO. Would I recommend this place to anyone? NO.

FYI: should you happen to leave after the sun has set, beware that the outside steps are dimly lit and there are no handholds. It is easy to miss a step, as one in our party did!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
5 Thank mizlgw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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