Written By: Robert Cocuzzo | Photography By: Brian Sager & Wayne Chinnock

CRU serves up the definitive Nantucket cookbook.

Ask just about anyone to describe the quintessential waterfront dining experience on Nantucket and they’ll likely give you three simple letters in response: C-R-U. Since taking over the former location of the Rope Walk at the end of Straight Wharf seven years ago, CRU Oyster Bar has perfected a recipe of exquisite cuisine, impeccable service and an airy ambiance that buzzes with an energy unmistakably of its own creation. This year, CRU’s ownership team—namely Executive Chef Erin Zircher and her partners Jane Stoddard and Carlos Hidalgo—shared some of the ingredients behind their secret sauce by way of a delectable cookbook.

CRU Oyster Bar Nantucket Cookbook: Savoring Four Seasons of the Good Life is much more than just a cookbook—it’s a testament to the fact that CRU isn’t just a restaurant; it’s an island institution. With stunning photography by Wayne Chinnock and enchanting storytelling assisted by award-winning author Martha W. Murphy, this beautiful book adorns a coffee table like a cherished seashell reminding you of Nantucket all year round. But just as with Chef Zircher’s cuisine, savoring the nitty-gritty morsels is what makes this book such a delight.

Her recipes include anecdotes of island characters, historical tidbits and an exploration of seasonal island flavors that will cause you to dog-ear many a page. Take, for instance, the “Surfcasting and Sunsets” chapter, which honors the fall harvest and reads like an ode to September. Beginning with grilled littleneck clams served in cilantro lime butter and burrata with fig and olive tapenade, the Surfcasting and Sunsets recipes smack of the freshness that we all relish in September when the crowds are gone and the water is still warm.

Indeed, the menu moves from land to sea with a classic bluefish dish complemented by a side of saltwater soaked corn. And for dessert, how about vanilla-and-rum grilled plums served over orange-scented pound cake? How could you not? “Wherever you are, you can celebrate summer’s end with the recipes in this chapter,” Chef Zircher writes. “So raise a glass of CRU’s favorite rosé while you make plans to return to Nantucket next September, for a much longer
stay.” We can all eat and drink to that!

CRU Oyster Bar Nantucket Cookbook: Savoring Four Seasons of the Good Life can be purchased at CRU, online at, or locally at Mitchell’s Book Corner and Nantucket Bookworks.

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