Nantucket Restaurant Review: Ventuno

Ready to be briefly transported from Nantucket to Italy? Indulge in traditional Italian delights at the island’s European inspired eatery, Ventuno.

With over seven unique dining spaces and three bars, this local classic welcomes all— and like a true Italian-style home— aims for guests to leave with full hearts and stomachs.

Bring your whole family, or that special someone, for rich, homemade Italian flavors, fresh seafood, diversely-corked wines, and some old world charm.

A Table for Everyone

Ventuno Resto Nantucket

Located next to the Atheneum on Federal Street, Ventuno takes inspiration from Italian farmhouse restaurants and the spirit of welcoming all. Since their doors opened in 2001, co-partners Taylor Oliver and Scott Fraley have stood behind Cesar Chavez’s famous words “the people who give you their food give you their heart”— even printing them on the top of their menu.

This team prides themselves in creating authentic-style Italian cuisine and warm ambiance. Featuring over forty tables spaced between two floors, as well as an outdoor seating area, locals and travelers alike enjoy Ventuno’s versatility. For those with larger parties, the upstairs dining room has its own bar and offers an intimate, private space for group gatherings.

From dimly lit, tucked away corners to family-sized booths, this classic antique townhome was repurposed to foster these diverse dining atmospheres.

What’s On the Menu

Culinary chef Andrea Solimeo’s artfully prepared entrees drive their unique flavors. Born in Italy and having spent time in Bologna to learn the age-old tradition of making pasta by hand, Solimeo embodies Italian authenticity.

With a diverse menu and moderate portion sizes, guests can savor (and share) the flavorful, artfully paired plates and leave more than satisfied at this seasonal eatery.

Duck Ventuno Resto Nantucket

From their Burrata, featuring locally made cheese blends, charred eggplant puree, cherry tomatoes, arugula and basil, to their unique Ostriche, with five chilled Nantucket oysters and campari-grapefruit italian ice, Ventuno offers a variety of appetizers you won’t find anywhere else.

These sharable bites include options for meat or seafood lovers and vegetarians alike. Enjoy their homemade pasta, made daily, al dente style, paired with your choice of seasonal herbs, vegetables or meat. Ventuno recommends these Primi dishes as a hearty prelude to the main course and for sharing.

Tuck in your napkin and prepare for what locals call some of the most authentic Italian bread on the island. For entrees, their Bistecca Ai Ferri, with balsamic-marinated grilled prime ribeye, smashed fingerling potatoes and gorgonzola dolce dressed salad is a popular platter. But with pan-seared local fish like bass, swordfish and scallops, slow-cooked lamb and even chicken, you have many options to choose from.

For dessert, pair a crostata or any one of other baked goods with their frequently changing house-made gelatos. While it’s not on the menu, consider the locally recommended affogato, made with a vanilla gelato and steamy, hot espresso.

With owners frequently introducing themselves to tables, Taylor and Scott are committed to making guests feel welcome and will often offer their personal menu recommendations.

A Look at their Wine Bars & Vino

At Ventuno, the atmosphere is really all about your timing. Their wine bar transforms from an intimate dining corner in the evenings to a speakeasy-style local hang-out at night. For those who want a cozy, romantic setting, have your wine inside before the dinner rush. Families enjoy the outdoor setting on Ventuno’s back bar and garden patio between 5:30-7, where vino is served by the glass and the bottle, before the evening crowds.

Ventuno Resto Nantucket Wine and Cocktails

Because of how intimate the interior dining rooms can be, the outdoor patio setting is recommended for anyone dining those with young children. After the sun goes down, bar areas may get louder more lively as the crowd swells and celebrations get underway.

Ventuno’s bar staff is known for their extensive knowledge of Italian, local and regional wines— and with a wide selection of aged and freshly corked varieties, guests can sample both classic and unique tastes from their wine list, or as the Italians call it, Carta di Vini.

Sample Favorite Island Flavors

Like most sit down eateries on Nantucket, it’s recommended that you make reservations to guarantee seating at Ventuno. And while you’re sure to love this quaint restaurant's warm Italian home-style cooking and atmosphere, this is certainly not the only place to indulge on the island.

Download our Restaurant Guide to explore the best dining experiences on Nantucket and plan your must-stops today.

Nantucket Restaurant Guide

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Stephen Maury

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