Roasted whole duck with rice, herb salad, and watercress.
You never know when inspiration is going to strike. For friends Stephen Bowler, Liam Mackey, and Clinton Terry, the thunderbolt came during lunch when they were working together at The Pearl on Nantucket: They undeniably, unequivocally, unquestionably had to open their own restaurant. So they did! The trio recently launched The Nautilus, a 53-seat eatery in the former 12 Degrees East spot. The culinary program focuses on Asian, Latin American, and Spanish flavors in the form of small plates (such as the tempura East Coast oyster sushi tacos with nori wrap, sushi rice, crispy oysters, and chili barbecue sauce) and family-style dishes (think whole roast duck for four). “My family has a small farm in rural Vermont, where we produced livestock for our personal use,” says executive chef Mackey. “It taught me respect for ingredients.” Chef de cuisine Emmanuel Rojas, most recently of The Pearl and before that Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York City, brings a deft hand with eclectic flavors to those top-quality ingredients. Bowler (a Nantucket native) is handling the nearly 200-bottle wine list while Terry, as the bar manager and lead mixologist, aims to make the best cocktails on the island. If you hear a thunderbolt or two, you now know why. 12 Cambridge St., 508-228-0301