Greydon House -Spring 2017
by: Marianne R. Stanton
photography by: Terry Pommett
Wylie L. Collins would not recognize the yellow clapboard home where he raised his family, nor the office which housed his medical practice for nearly 50 years.
When the good doctor died, his Broad Street home and office were sold to a trio of brothers who have succeeded in turning the property into a super-luxe boutique hotel named Greydon House.
Alex, Jeremy and Evan Leventhal are the sons of Alan Leventhal, a Boston developer who Boston Magazine once referred to as “The Next Tycoon.” Super successful, there was plenty of money for this Nantucket venture, which eldest brother Alex called a passion project.
“We are not looking for a return on investment here,” he said.
A visit to the Greydon House starts at the front desk where innkeeper Kevin Withrow comes with a wealth of experience gained from working for his family’s Union Street Inn, consistently named Best B&B on Nantucket by all the top travel magazines and TV channels.
After check-in, head to the library, which doubles as a bar and lounge. Settle in to one of the comfortable yet interesting chairs at the bar, which have an equestrian purpose. Handles on the scoop-seated chairs are for someone to hang on to while another person was pulling off their riding boots.
The feel of the bar and library are Old World clubby, with dark-brown walls, leather, low light and Asian accents. Have one of the signature cocktails like a Dark and Stormy, the Secret Spice, with tequila, Ancho Reyes, demerara and lime, or my favorite, the Little Grey Lady, which is Plymouth gin, St. Germaine, lemon and fortified wine.
Then, if you’re smart, you’ll order dinner.
No one creates plates on Nantucket like chef Marcus Ware. Every presentation is a work of art. Every bite is full of nuanced flavor.
A squash soup is buttery smooth with a delicate autumnal flavor.
Wild-mushroom risotto is bursting with flavors of hand-harvested mushrooms from the forest floor with toothsome yet tender grains of carnaroli rice cooked in broth.
A dish of local scallops comes out with half a dozen sea scallops caramelized on top, surrounded by bite-sized roasted vegetables – baby Brussels sprouts, slivered florets of cauliflower, raisins and capers, pools of essence of something citrusy – a burst of intriguing flavors in every bite. Truth be told, I thought I’d be getting a plate of Nantucket bay scallops, since it was March and the commercial season was underway, but was delighted with what was placed before me.
After dessert, head up to one of 20 snug guest rooms. If you want extra living space, book a suite.
Rooms are small but stylish, clean and spare in design with touches that evoke the island’s ties to the Far East, which seafaring Nantucketers discovered during the Golden Age of Whaling. Nantucket citizens of the 19th century truly were citizens of the world in many ways due to the influences brought back to the island from whaling captains who sailed the seven seas.
Breakfast in the library in the morning is a relaxing Old World affair with an elegant presentation on the bar of petite croissants, pastries and freshly-baked muffins served with bowls of fresh berries, Greek yogurt, granola and honey.
Power up and head out for a day of exploring. The Whaling Museum is right next door. Young’s Bicycle Shop is less than five minutes away on Steamboat Wharf if you are interested in renting a bike for the day. They also have car rentals available. Either way, Nantucket awaits. ///
Marianne Stanton is the editor and publisher of The Inquirer and Mirror, Nantucket’s weekly newspaper, and Nantucket Today. She writes regularly about food and travel.