Special Event
Michael LaScola
Michael LaScola

Nantucket Christmas
Michael LaScola

American Seasons | Nantucket, MA

Wednesday, December 17, 7:00 pm
Members $90, guests $115

Most of us think of Nantucket in connection with the summer. If we are thinking about islands at Christmas time at all, they’re probably tropical. In actual fact, Christmas is a very special time to be on Nantucket. Not only do the islanders go all-out to make their home cozy and inviting with special Christmas events all through December, but nature, too, conspires to make Nantucket an appealing place: the birdwatching is world-renowned; seal sightings are an everyday event; and the storms are spectacular. Best of all, Christmas in Nantucket offers something that summer never can: solitude, a tranquil interlude for contemplation and quiet pleasures.

American Seasons, “perennially at the top of every ‘not to be missed’ list,” according to Boston magazine, uses that interlude to recharge. The restaurant is closed for the winter months, giving chef Michael LaScola a chance to look in on other kitchens, experiment with new dishes, and travel. This year, he’s also taking his show on the road with a Beard House visit.

A Massachusetts native, LaScola credits his Italian grandmother with sparking his interest in cooking. By high school, he had enrolled in a cooking program and was working in local restaurants. At 16, he got a job at American Seasons, a Nantucket favorite specializing in regional American cooking. By the time he’d graduated from the CIA, Americans Seasons had hired him on as sous-chef. Since then, LaScola has spent the sum total of one season away from American Seasons, and that was to help the then-owners open a second restaurant, Moona. Over the years, he’s worked his way up the ladder to chef. And these days, you’ll find his wife Orla running the front of the house.

It’s an invincible team. After spending a few days in wintertime Nantucket, Bon Appétit writer Nao Hauser called American Seasons the “‘bit of a dream’ that I’ll hang on to,” adding, “The food seemed to represent Nantucket perfectly; it was local and cosmopolitan, sophisticated yet without pretense.” The New York Times described the place as “a lovely, rather romantic restaurant,” and Wine Spectator likes its all-American wine list enough to have given it its Award of Excellence for the last eight years running.

One last thing—LaScola noted on his résumé that “American Seasons is founded on the ideas of James Beard, serving regional American Cuisine, promoting the diversity of American cooking, and celebrating the small and local farmers of America through our choice of ingredients.” We haven’t yet opened our mouths, and already LaScola has brought us Christmas cheer.

Nantucket Bay Scallop Ceviche on Flatbread with Lemon Marmalade, Crème Fraîche, and Caviar

House-Smoked Squab Breast on Butter Brioche with Prune Compote and Sun Valley Mustard

    Perrier-Jouët Brut Champagne NV

Sushi-Grade Yellowfin Tuna Kataïfi with Lemon Pepper Aïoli and Chile Gastrique

     Arrowood Pinot Blanc 2000

Foie Gras Trio: Pistachio-Crusted Foie Gras Truffle with Gingered Cranberry Jam, Foie Gras Crème Brûlée, and Duck Confit and Foie Gras Terrine with Red Onion and Quince Compote

     Terre Rouge Viognier 2001

Braised Niman Ranch Pork Cheeks with Sweet Potato–Cashew Hash, Pineapple Relish, and Star Anise Reduction

     Blockheadia Ringnosii Zinfandel 1999

Roasted Rack of Venison with Celeriac-Potato Pavé, Orange-Onion Confit, Baby Leeks, Turnips, and Chestnut Jus

     Bonny Doon Le Cigare Volant 2001

Grand Marnier Chocolate Gâteau with White Chocolate Sorbet and Eggnog Milkshake

     Steele Pacini Ranch Port

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