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Chef Daniel Finger Living his Passion at Lucky Hank’s Photo: Jill Dye

This review of a new cafe in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard is by one of our guest contributors, and our friend, Marguerite Jill Dye. I once lived on the Vineyard and cannot wait to return to Lucky Hanks. I have been enjoying Chef Danny’s creative cuisine for years. ~Brenda C. Hill

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To discover one’s passion in life is a gift.  To live it is a blessing. The stars have aligned for Restauranteur/Owner Doug Smith and Chef Daniel Finger to follow their life-long passion for the culinary arts  in opening Lucky Hank’s Restaurant and Cafe on Main Street.
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This cozy and charming gathering place for gourmet comfort food and good company is already becoming a destination for Islanders seeking a comfortable, welcoming home away from home.   Tasty dishes are prepared on the spot using the freshest local ingredients.
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Between the pre-opening and first night’s dinner (right before Hurricane Sandy), we sampled a variety of dishes that tickled our taste buds.   We found the crispy cod cakes crowned with lobster sauce to be heavenly, and the nutty, crunchy/creamy chicken salad (wrapped in mustard greens at the opening) to be delectable.  Mini lobster rolls sent “oohs” and “aahs” throughout the restaurant, and a lovely cheese plate was served with crusty baguette slices, sugar-roasted cashews and the Chef’s own fig jam and black currant compote with reduced red wine vinegar.
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At the opening dinner, we began with a bowl of rich, chunky and clam-packed chowder (big enough to share),  sure to win awards in island competitions; wickedly good Devils on Horseback — warm Mission Figs stuffed with melting Roquefort and wrapped in Applewood Bacon on a bed of tangy fresh greens with reduced balsamic sauce – yum!
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My husband had a hankering for meatloaf (a half pound!) which turned out to be sensational, made with ground up Applewood bacon, veal and beef and topped with a heap of creamy, caramelized onions served with a chewy, nutty bulgar wheat ragout and Boston baked beans.   This dish takes comfort food to a new level.
I chose the Farmshare plate in order to sample the Chef’s take on what the season has to offer.  Although I am not a vegan or vegetarian, I found the flavors and textures  immensely satisfying — from balsamic roasted Brussel sprouts and caramelized baby carrots to the bulgar wheat ragout, and pave or layered root vegetables baked in buttery, bubbling goodness. Lucky Hank’s Farmshare plate will change with the weekly harvest of Whipporwill Farm, although 90 % of the restaurant’s produce comes from Morning Glory Farm.
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The Chef’s Dessert Creation of the night was not to be missed — a Spanish Hot Chocolate-inspired ganache — incredibly rich and creamy, served with a melt-in-your-mouth, paper-thin shortbread pinwheel.  The passion came through with every bite and the winning atmosphere and decor added to the pleasure of dining at Lucky Hank’s.  I can’t wait to return and sit on the heated deck, wrapped in one of their snuggly shawls, to try the Lobster Pot Pie, and the breakfast and lunch menus are very tempting, too.
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Lucky Hank’s is open 7am-9pm daily, closed on Mondays. It is across from Stop and Shop at 218 Main Street.   (508) 939-4082
By Marguerite Jill Dye