Repeat eats: The President and the Governor last visited the tavern together during the 2011 summer vacation...
Martha's Vineyard, MA - President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday evening continued their tour of favorite island culinary haunts, visiting the upscale State Road restaurant in West Tisbury for a late dinner with friends that lasted more than three and a half hours, until 11:30 PM. Their party included longtime Democratic ally Governor Deval Patrick (Above, with the President in the Oval Office)of Massachusetts.
The President and Mrs. Obama arrived by motorcade at State Road at 8:05 PM, making their third visit since 2010 to the seasonal eatery in a converted house that bills itself as a "contemporary American tavern," and offers vegetables plucked from its own lush garden, fresh local seafood and artisan meats, and a $20 grilled sirloin burger.
The White House did not release the names of those joining the First Couple, but an aide for Patrick confirmed his attendance.
"As he has from time to time in the past, the Governor joined the President and First Lady for dinner on Martha's Vineyard last night," said Patrick's spokesman Heather Johnson in a statement on Thursday.
The Governor "enjoyed the visit and is always happy to welcome the First Family to Massachusetts," said Johnson.
The last time the President and Mrs. Obama vacationed on the Vineyard in 2011, Patrick joined them for dinner at the very same restaurant.
More recently, Patrick had dinner with the First Couple at the White House in November of 2012, days after President Obama was reelected; he served as a
national campaign co-chair, and devoted himself to the effort. In June of this year, the President and Patrick grabbed lunch to go at Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in Boston's South End as they stumped for Rep. Ed Markey's bid to win a Senate seat in the special election to replace former Sen. John Kerry (Markey won).
Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Vernon Jordan, a
former advisor to President Bill Clinton, were among the guests for the Obama-Patrick dinner in 2011, and they are likely to have attended Wednesday's dinner. Both are longtime
Vineyard summer residents, and President
Obama has spent time with each since arriving on the picturesque island
Saturday, lunching with Jarrett at her home and playing golf with Jordan.
State Road guests hear Jordan's voice greeting them on the answering
system when they call the restaurant for reservations.
The First Couple arrived at State Road on Wednesday after stopping by the lavish summer home of Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, located up a winding dirt road amidst fields of baled hay. The broadcast honcho was part of the President's golf foursome earlier in the day at the members-only The Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown. Mr. and Mrs. Obama visited for more than an hour and a half with Roberts and his wife Aileen Roberts before heading off to dinner.
The Obamas first dined at State Road in 2010, a year after the critically acclaimed restaurant made its debut. The President and his party on Wednesday selected from a menu that features the names of providing farms, and included Local Quahog
Fritters; Lobster Salad with corn, fava beans and cherry tomatoes;
Merguez Sausage made with local lamb; Pan Roasted Menemsha Fluke with
romesco, salsa rustica, broccoli rabe, and local pea greens; and
Berkshire Pork Ragout with Royalton Farms pork, Morning Glory Farm Kale,
housemade farfalle and Oak Knoll Farm goats milk ricotta. Entrees range
from $20-$42, with appetizers priced at $12-$16.
Certainly President Obama would love that $20 burger, a house specialty, served on a brioche roll with Port Onion Jam, Grafton cheddar cheese, pommes frites, and garlic dill pickles. Chef de cuisine is currently Austin Racine, and owner is Kenworth Jackson.
The Obamas no doubt feel at home at State Road: The rustic interior, featuring dark wood furniture, was created by designer Michael Smith, who decorated their private residence at the White House. Update, Friday: The restaurant wrote a thank you note on their roadside sign after the President and his party, who were not seen by the press pool, departed at 11:30 PM. The eatery tweeted the photo, above, on @StateRoadMv.
The President and Mrs. Obama arrived back at their rental residence in Chilmark at 11:40 PM. The modern, open-plan compound is owned by a longtime Chicago friend, private equity guru David Schulte. The $7.6 million spread features six bedrooms and expansive views of the sea.
The President is scheduled to return to Washington, DC, on Sunday, August 18th.
CLICK HERE for links to all vacation posts.
Info: State Road is at 688 State Road, West Tisbury, Mass, 02539. Phone: 508-693-8582.
*Top photo by Pete Souza/White House, taken in the Oval Office in November, 2009; second photo by State Road.