Located at 137 Main Street, Atria is housed in a large classic New England building thats sits just outside of downtown Edgartown “proper.” Atria features both a fine dining restaurant, as well as a more casual Brick Cellar bar located downstairs.
Besides the large central dining room, the restaurant boasts several rooms available for private dining, as well as an enclosed porch that looks out over the well manicured grounds.
Atria’s menu shows both Asian and Mediterranean influences, with a focus on fresh local produce and seafood.
Our meal started with a wonderfully aromatic tomatillo soup that containing smoked short ribs, fried plantain and grilled ramps, topped with julienned radish, cilantro and toasted pumpkin seeds. Made from fire-roasted tomatillos that are pureed, and then combined with chicken stock and drippings from the short ribs, it had great depth of flavor.
The soup was very well-balanced, the tomatillo’s tartness contrasted by the smoky short ribs and the deep earthy flavors of the crunchy plantains. Tender, with a caramelized crust, the short ribs were rich and meaty. The lightly grilled ramps brought a welcome onion-garlic note, and along with the bright cilantro and sharp radish, added color to the dish.
For our money, the Brick Cellar bar might just serve the best burgers on the Island, offering many different takes on the theme, including burgers made from lamb, shrimp and turkey, as well one topped with foie gras. While not on the more formal menu, it is possible to order a burger when dining upstairs as well. This time, we went with the Atria Classic, served on a soft, toasted brioche bun, with applewood smoked bacon and melted cheddar.
This burger comes with sides of sautéed onions, roasted mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, béarnaise sauce and a mixed green salad. As if that wasn’t enough, a side of thin, salty, crisp fries help complete the burger experience. With so many options, you can customize your burger to your liking, or for that matter, use the toppings to upgrade your salad. The mushrooms were moist, but not wet and full of umami flavors. Seasoned with a healthy dose of oregano, the roasted tomatoes had a sweetness that was echoed by the caramelized onions. The burger itself was surprisingly juicy, leaving a substantial puddle on the plate after we cut into it. With just the right amount of char, it had a bold beef flavor that stood up to the smoky bacon perfectly.
If you’re looking for a visually impressive dish, look no further than Atria’s fried lobster. The whole lobster is dipped in milk, and then a seasoned flour, before being fried in hot oil. When cooked, the lobster is split down the middle, the claws are cracked and it is served with mashed potatoes, a lemon buerre blanc and fresh greens. Because it is cooked so quickly, the lobster remains very tender and moist, with a delicate sweetness.
The light batter mostly stays on the shell, but does add an occasional bit of fried crispy goodness. Acting as a sophisticated substitute for the traditional drawn butter and lemon wedges, the lemon buerre blanc complemented the lobster without overpowering it. This entree manages to combine everything that is fun about eating whole lobster (tearing it apart) with the best parts of fried food (the fried part).
As you dismantle the beast, the juices flow out and combine with the creamy, salty mashed potatoes and buerre blanc, creating second layer of flavors. The peppery greens were a great foil for all the richness preventing things from getting too heavy. This is not a dainty dish, and while we might hesitate to order it on a first date, it’s an experience that we highly recommend.
For dessert, we tried this play on tiramisu, made with Frengelico and espresso soaked ladyfingers, dolche de leche and a caramel mousse. Topped with chopped hazelnuts and chunks of English toffee, it had a really interesting range of textures. The caramel mousse was light and airy, with a flavor that tied in with the thick dulche de leche, and the crunchy toffee. Even when saturated, the lady fingers still retained a bit of chew, and the hazelnut liquor echoed the flavor of the chopped nuts. We were very impressed with how many variations on the caramelized sugar theme were presented in one dessert, both in flavor and in texture.
Along with the excellent burger menu and ample selection of beers, the Brick Cellar bar now has a photo booth, where patrons can take a few pics and instantly post them online. With its exposed brick walls, warm lighting and unfinished ceiling, the Cellar has a cozy, speakeasy vibe with creative cocktails to match.
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