Chef Jesse Schenker of NYC’s Recette restaurant says Martha’s Vineyard is his favorite summer getaway. “NYC feels like it is a universe away once you get to the Vineyard,” he says. “Getting there is a journey because we take the train to then catch the ferry, but once you arrive, you feel like you’ve found someone’s secret island. It’s remarkably pristine. Much of the land is preserved and very green. Just renting a car and driving around the winding roads was a highlight.” Schenker says people on the Vineyard take their food very seriously. “Local seafood and produce are everywhere and most restaurants had their own gardens,” he says. The Beach Plum Inn had some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever had in my life and Menemsha was a seafood haven.” Here, Schenker shares his favorite food finds on the Vineyard.

11July2013WanderingChefOystersMarthasVineyardGrace Episcopal Church
“I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb in the church basement, but the lobster rolls were some of the best I’ve ever had. It was $15 very well spent.” Woodlawn Ave. and William St., Vineyard Haven, gracechurchmv.com

Larsen’s Fish Market
“Larsen’s is a small, family-owned shop right on the water. They take your order and then you sit on some old crates facing the water and eat. I had some of the best oysters and littlenecks I’ve ever eaten here.” 56 Basin Rd., Chilmark, (508) 645-2680, larsensfishmarket.com

The Bite
“The Bite is a little shack with the crispiest, most delicious fried clams. The clam chowder was also stellar. It’s cash only and there are just a few seats so be prepared to take your food to go.” 29 Basin Rd., Menemsha, (508) 645-9239, thebitemenemsha.com

State Road Restaurant
“My wife and I enjoyed seasonal snacks, starters, and mains in the warm and cozy dining room, right next to a stone fireplace. The crispy trotters and the fluke were my favorites.” 688 State Rd., West Tisbury, (508) 693-8582, stateroadrestaurant.com

Photos courtesy of Jesse Schenker