FrontRunners: American Ambrosia
Like the island on which it is located, American Seasons restaurant (508.228.7111, www.americanseasons.com) in historic Nantucket, Mass., is uniquely American, serving cuisine from New England (Atlantic halibut), the South (Vidalia onion bisque), the Pacific Coast (steak and short ribs), and the Wild West (quail with sweet potato). Executive Chef Michael LaScola began his career as a prep cook at the restaurant 13 years ago, before purchasing it last year with his Irish-born wife, Orla Murphy-LaScola, the general manager and sommelier overseeing a selection of 350 wines. LaScola, who works 16-hour days during the busy summer season, often spends the winter traveling the United States with his wife, seeking inspiration for his ever-changing menu. His journeys have led to such dishes as pork chops with cheddar corn bread pudding (the South) and the chef’s spring vegetable tasting (the Pacific Coast).