Tucked into a hole-in-the wall on India Street is a Nantucket staple that continues to gently push the envelope while honoring tradition. Black Eyed Susan’s is the island’s cozy little getaway that doesn’t break the bank and always packs tons of flavor. The restaurant is known by many as the best breakfast joint town has to offer, but in addition, Black Eyed is a go-to spot for date night. And, best of all, it’s BYOB. I had quite the memorable experience Tuesday, as always, and wanted to share my experience.
Fog was blanketing the cobblestone streets as we strolled into Black Eyed Susan’s for date night. We were engulfed by the scent of garlic and the sights and the sounds of the open kitchen. Regardless of the fact that the place was bustling inside and out, we were greeted warmly by the crew with attentive smiles and hellos from both the chefs and servers. The staff that has graced the space for years had our table waiting and ready for our late seating. The counter top, tables, and patio were all full and the room was flowing with laughter and excitement.
I’ve always admired the way the team at Black Eyed Susan’s is perfectly attentive while also letting you be completely immersed in their cuisine and your company and Tuesday night was no different. Our server, Roz, went over the menu in detail and helped us through some tough decisions while she opened our bottle of Sicilian red. We chose light Italian red because we knew it would pair well with our favorite, the capellini. This dish is in my Nantucket top five. The combination of sweet pomodoro, asiago, black pepper, butter, and tons of garlic takes me to a special place. It’s a wonderful representation of Italian comfort food in the least pretentious way. It’s perfect, and there’s a reason why it never leaves the menu. The capellini, vongole, caesar salad, and tuna tartare are the menu’s core and the rest is up for experiment.
Chef’s Todd and Mike have always been big travelers and it’s evident in the ever-changing eclectic menu. While the classics always dazzle my palate, it’s the adventure the rest of the menu takes me on that keeps me coming back. Diners are always in for an escapade and dishes like the cheeseburger pupusa take you on a trip while looping in nostalgia. It’s their El Salvador meets USA dish; and the sesame crust over the ground beef-stuffed corn griddle cake with special sauce is, well, special. We also enjoyed the beef suqaar, a Somali beef stew done with a Black Eyed twist of adding crispy yucca cubes to the dish. The diverse flavors and textures had us crossing continents in every bite.
We capped off dinner with their famous pot de creme topped with the most generous dollop of house-whipped cream and served with cookies. It was the perfect ending to the perfect meal. As we sat and finished up our meal we chatted with the staff and neighboring guests that were happily lingering. The room and the team were host to the most perfectly mellow party of red wine drinkers who were all enjoying being cradled in a wonderful embrace of hospitality.
Black Eyed Susan’s is open for breakfast from 7am-1pm daily, and dinner from 5:30 -10pm everyday but Sunday. They take reservations day-of, starting at 4pm via phone or in-person. I recommend going in person as this popular spot’s phone is always ringing off the hook. Also, as of June 15th they’ll be back to cash only.