Fried food at Nancy’s to go, eaten at friend Valerie Jarrett’s house in Oak Bluffs. Dinner out alone with the first lady at the Beach Plum in Chilmark. A round of basketball in the middle. These were the benchmarks of President Obama’s vacation (day four) on Tuesday as he plied what have become familiar haunts.
After a quiet, rainy morning, President Obama departed from his rental house in Chilmark en route to Nancy’s Snack Bar in Oak Bluffs, a place he has visited on each of his previous three vacations.
Wearing a Chicago White Sox cap, Mr. Obama shook hands all around and greeted about 40 people gathered outside the restaurant. He posed for pictures with the staff and said, “Good to see you man, thanks for feeding us.” People crowded the windows of the upstairs restaurant, taking pictures with smartphones and waving as the president picked up his order of fried shrimp, fried oysters, onion rings and french fries.
The motorcade then traveled to the East Chop home of Valerie Jarrett, a senior advisor and longtime friend of the president.
After lunch it was time for another Vineyard routine as the president headed to the Oak Bluffs School to play basketball. He was joined by friend Eric Whitaker, aide Marvin Nicholson, chef Sam Kass and other staff, according to the White House.
The day ended with a date night in Chilmark, as President Obama and the first lady went out to dinner at the Beach Plum restaurant.
The Obamas arrived at the inn and restaurant overlooking Menemsha harbor at 7:30 p.m. Mrs. Obama wore a blue tunic and white pants, the president a long-sleeved button down shirt and dark trousers.
They chatted with people for a few minutes in the lounge area of the restaurant before being seated. A pink dahlia graced their table.
Kids colored with crayons on the long center communal table at the restaurant run by Chris Fischer, the Chilmark native and young celebrity chef on the Vineyard this summer.
The staff found out about their special dinner guests about an hour before the arrival. Bob and Sarah Nixon are the owners of the Beach Plum.
The menu changes daily. Tuesday’s menu included Menemsha mussels, black sea bass with eggplant and chick peas and pork shoulder for two with great northern beans. Food comes directly from Mr. Fischer’s family-owned Beetlebung Farm.
The Obamas both had salads; for dinner Mrs. Obama had mussels and Mr. Obama had lobster. They shared blueberry cake for dessert.
Surrounded by Secret Service, Mr. Fischer presided over his kitchen with a cool hand.
“I saw Obama!” one little girl said as she left the restaurant.
The Obamas left the restaurant at about 9:15 p.m., shaking hands with fellow diners and posing for pictures with staff before they left.
There was a round of applause in the restaurant for the staff when the President and Mrs. Obama departed.
Remy Tumin contributed reporting.