Our Story

Our Story

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The Nautilus, recipient of Boston Magazine’s “Best Bar in Nantucket, 2014” and officially open as of May 2014, is one of Nantucket Island’s newest restaurant destinations. Located at 12 Cambridge Street, just steps away from historic Main Street in the downtown area of Nantucket, and featuring a completely updated and renovated “rustic meets modern” dining room including a chef’s bar overlooking our open kitchen, a fully decked out craft cocktail drink bar, banquette seating and an oversized captain’s table, The Nautilus is a truly special dining destination, focused on the interplay between food, cocktails and wine, and our feeling that these things are best enjoyed when shared. Our menu gives you ultimate freedom, in a “choose your own adventure” type of way. Come to the Nautilus 50 different times and you can have 50 different, equally amazing experiences. The concept is born from the minds of three young culinary entrepreneurs, well versed in the island’s restaurant scene – from both sides of the table – for many years; Liam, Clinton & Stephen, the three minds and taste buds behind the Food, Drink & Wine of The Nautilus.

The dinner menu from Chef Liam Mackey is focused around unique and vibrant, small plate offerings as well as large multi-person “feast” selections, all with an eye toward engaging our guests with both the food and with each other. The Nautilus will thrive on this concept of sharing more than it will on being “cuisine” specific. While we are very much a New England restaurant with a coastal/seafood base, the inspiration will be well rooted in Asian flavors and ingredients of the haute street food variety, taking ideas from the traditional Japense izakaya type establishment, and will also have a major nod to the tapas style of Spanish cuisine, with additional influences from mainland Asia and Latin America.

Derived from frequently local and predominantly seasonal ingredients, our globally styled dishes are the perfect compliment to our culinary-inspired, craft cocktails, made from locally grown and sourced ingredients as well as home-made bitters, infusions, syrups, sodas and tinctures. Our Bar Manager and Bartender Extraordinaire Clinton Terry has created a constantly changing drink list that branches off into two distinct directions – modern & craft riffs on classic cocktails on the one hand (think negroni, manhattan, grey hound, etc) and seasonally inspired artisan specialty drinks driven by fresh fruit & herbs on the other. Whatever you choose will be made with an eye towards detail – from the preparation and glassware down to the ice cubes and garnishes, everything will have its own function, and the drinks will gravitate towards balance over excess. Our bar will also feature an array of beers including several local and micro-brews, interactive beverages served in Spanish style porrons, as well as a cocktail of the week on tap, and industry standby & favorite Fernet Branca on tap as well.

The wine & sake list, meticulously curated by sommelier Stephen Bowler, features nearly 250 selections from all over the world, with the direction being more about quality, diversity and balance – geographically, financially, varietally, etc – than about a specific region or style of wine. Boundaries are be pushed when appropriate, with several selections from lesser known parts of the world and/or made from lesser known varietals or blends, but the list will still feature many classics, favorites and standouts, thus catering to all levels of wine knowledge, appreciation and budgets. With 24+ selections we also feature one of the island’s largest ‘wine by the glass’ selection, made possible by two separate four bottle wine preservation systems (also the only of their kind on the island) that keep wine temperature controlled and wine fresh for up to six weeks after opening, thus allowing us to showcase and feature limited availability, high end and hard to find wines by the taste, glass or half bottle.

The Nautilus, as previously mentioned, is owned and operated by a young and local trio of culinary entrepreneurs embracing the triumvirate of food, drink and wine. The atmosphere is both relaxed and energetic at the same and the space is perfect for both large parties and private events. Our reservation policy and hours change drastically with the seasons so please stop in, call us, or check our website for the most up to date information.You can also visit us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, or read our reviews (or write your own review) on Trip Advisor, Yelp or Google Business. We are all very pleased, excited, and proud to bring our vision, talent and experience to your table, plate and glass.

Everything’s Better When Shared – The Nautilus Nantucket – Come Get a Taste

The Food
Liam Mackey – Owner & Executive Chef

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Culinary Veteran Liam Mackey is in charge of all food related aspects of the business including managing the back of house team and developing the menu. Liam has ten years of experience on Nantucket, having worked at The Pearl, Boarding House and Corazon del Mar. He spent the past five years as Chef de Cuisine at the Pearl, overseeing all back of the house operations, including menu creation, hiring, costing menu items, regulating hours, inventory, food ordering and managing a staff of twenty. Liam’s has earned rave reviews both on and off the island, a nod from Star Chefs as one of the best young chefs of the northeast, as well as recognition from Best Chef’s America. He has a deeply ingrained love of Asian cuisine, ingredients and cooking techniques and graduated from New England Culinary School with an AOS, class of 2003. He worked in Boston under Chef Ken Oringer at three of his establishments, Clio, Uni sashimi bar, and the tapas concept, Toro. He is well known and well respected in the industry, and maintains many good working relationships with on and off island vendors, as well as a devoted and loyal following among Nantucket restaurant goers.

The Drink
Clinton Terry – Owner & Bar Manager

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Rising mixologist Clinton Terry oversees cocktail menu creation, ingredient sourcing, implementation, preparation & training, and all bar manager duties. Clinton has his roots in the kitchen, being raised in a culinary focused family in VT, and has been cooking professionally since high school. He has a BA degree from the CIA in NYC & has worked in kitchens throughout the country, including Seattle, NYC & DC, where the transition from the kitchen to the bar was finalized at Restaurant Eve, a 4 star ultra-fine dining establishment. He helped this restaurant group open four new concepts, while serving as the GM and head bartender at their speak easy / fish & chips shop, Eamonns/The PX – which was a Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, & NYTimes top ten rated bar in the country during his tenure. Clinton has received multiple awards for his talents both here and abroad. He arrived in Nantucket in 2012 to open & run the bar program for the Fog Island Grille, and in 2013 transitioned to bar manager for the Pearl, Boarding House & Corazon, where his duties included menu development, training, staffing, inventory & ordering. He has been featured at events at the White House, as well as in articles in the NYPost & NYTimes, and his excellence in cocktail alchemy has been honored by Star Chefs, NMagazine and Food & Wine. Clinton maintains excellent connections to local vendors and farmers, and has fostered an on-island following among bar goers.

The Wine
Stephen Bowler – Owner & Wine Director

160802_nautilus_020 Sommelier & wine guru Stephen William Bowler is in charge of all front of the house manager duties, all behind the scenes financial concerns, as well as all things wine related. Stephen brings to the table a B.S. degree in finance from Lehigh University, 2 years as a Capital Analyst for Macy’s Corporate Offices in San Francisco, four years’ experience as a sommelier and two years’ experience as the wine director for the Pearl & Boarding House, where both he and his wine list were referred to as “extraordinary” by Zagat (2013), and where he won “best of” awards from Wine Spectator (2012 & 2013) for his diverse and eclectic wine list. Stephen has significant exposure in the wine industry as well as extensive wine travel both domestically (Napa & Sonoma, including a 4 month stint living in St Helena), and internationally (Argentina, Spain, Portugal & New Zealand), and a long working career in customer service oriented positions. He grew up on Nantucket, graduated from Milton Academy, and spent his childhood helping out in his family owned and operated clothing store, The Bowler Company, on Main Street. Besides his many trips to various wine regions, Stephen has also travelled extensively in South East Asia, India, South America, Central America, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand and across the USA. He has many excellent working relationships with wine professionals and wine vendors across the globe and, having grown up on and around the island, maintains many island based relationship with both seasonal and non-seasonal Nantucket restaurant goers.[/wc_column]