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Casual Seafood Recommendation on Cape Cod?

b
bedn0009 Oct 9, 2007 01:16 PM

My wife and I are coming to NE Oct 25-28.... spending 2 nights in Boston, and then Saturday night on Cape Cod. I am looking for a recommendation for some authentic Cape Cod fare. Specifically, I would like to find a somewhat casual spot for some of the best the Cape has to offer... great local seafood and a few beers.

We will be spending Thursday and Friday nights in downtown Boston, and I am sure I will have had my share of fine dining while there, so I am looking for a recommendation on a well-regarded, casual place to sit down with a dozen oysters, some fried clams, a lobster and a couple of cocktails as we enjoy our last night on Cape Cod.

Thank you!

  1. b
    bedn0009 Oct 19, 2007 09:46 PM

    Thank you all for your replies. We are staying in Chatham, and looking forward to it.

    1. d
      dancer Oct 19, 2007 06:02 PM

      It's not a perfectly complete list, but a reporter for the Boston Globe drove the length of the Cape looking for "authentic Cape Cod" places -- this link should go to the story:

      http://www.explorenewengland.com/trav...

      1. k
        kim dregalla Oct 16, 2007 01:45 PM

        Wherever you decide to go- call ahead as it's off season. Midcape, I believe that the Bookstore in Wellfleet would be my choice for lunch (love the seafood chowder) or Cooke's in Orleans (good whole belly clams, greasy, wonderful seafood platter, great onion rings). Great values can be found late afternoon at Catch of the Day in South Wellfleet- buckets of mussels, steamers, etc. are half price. VR's, right across the street from Marconi Beach and Station is my all time favorite for consistency (plus my husband doesn't eat seafood and they have good beef). They might however be closed by then- they close mid to late October. Finely J.P's should still be open, also maybe the Wicked Oyster. Another thought is the Whitman House in Truro- but I had a disappointing meal there a few weeks ago. The only place I have ever eaten in Provincetown that was worth a Tinker's Dam is Ross' Grille in Whalers Wharf. Have a great time wherever you end up!

        1. CapeCodGuy Oct 10, 2007 07:55 AM

          Many of "the best the Cape has to offer" is closed for the season at this point. You're simply not going to have the same choices in October as you would have in-season, especially for the type of food you seek. To get all that yoy ask for you could try Chapins in Dennis or The Oyster Company in Dennisport. Good places both, but nothing will really blow you away.

          6 Replies
          1. re: CapeCodGuy
            mrsbuffer Oct 10, 2007 01:28 PM

            Wouldn't Baxters in Hyannis be open on Sunday night? I thought they did some jazz thing on Sunday evenings.

            1. re: mrsbuffer
              c
              cape year rounder Oct 10, 2007 06:17 PM

              These places are different from each other, but they all seem to do a lot of business in the off season, which may be why their seafood is consistently fresh:

              Classic New England: If you want very simple seafood, prepared in a very old-fashioned Yankee way (your breadbasket will include ritz crackers and some potted cheese for spreading), in a setting that is very comfortable, then the Dolphin on Rte 6a in Barnstable Village is a good choice -- baked scrod, fried clams, scallops will all be fresh, basic, good. Haven't tried their lobster, but it's probably good too (this place is a good value for the $$, so we never seem to order the expensive things there). dine late -- all the senior citizens fill the place up early.

              Island merchant in hyannis has very good fish tacos. That's not something I'd normally ever ever order, but these were fresh and tasty. They come on a big, sectioned plate, and you assmble the fillings with the fish pieces and tortilla yourself. There's other seafood on the menu, but lots of other things too. Never had a bad meal there.

              If you would like to do some shopping or strolling in a nice area, then go to Siena in Mashpee Commons (not much else to do out there). It's Italina, but it seems like almost all of their appetizers are seafood -- Oysters, Huge bowls of steaming mussels, fried calamari, crab cakes, lobster salad. They have an excellent bouillabase-style seafood stew. I have had fresh striped bass there, but it was a daily special. Cocktails are good -- the bar is a good place to eat, in fact.

              Re: comments on Baxter's and Chapin's: Both have great atmosphere (Baxter's has an incredible location right on the pilings in Hyannis harbor; Chapin's is on the road to Chapin beach, in a real beach house setting), but their food is mostly fried, and uninspired. I wish the food was as good as the settings.

              1. re: mrsbuffer
                CapeCodGuy Oct 11, 2007 05:58 AM

                Yes, Baxters is likely open but I'd never send ANYONE there, a total rip IMHO.

                Mashpee Commons is to Cape Cod as Epcot is to Italy....nothing authentically Cape Cod about it. If you want to shop or stroll in a nice area I'd go to Chatham Village.

                The Dolphin's the best rec here I'd have to say. The baked stuffed lobster, at under $30 is a good value and not too shabby. Can't comment on the clams and not sure they even serve them. All seafood dishes are rather good though, and yes, it's a good value and a nice setting.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy
                  c
                  cape year rounder Oct 11, 2007 06:48 PM

                  I'll agree with your sentiment about Chatham village, and I'd add P-Town, Osterville (for Christmas stroll), and even Hyannis to the list.

                  I'll agree there's something not quite right about Mashpee Commons -- a bit too Instant Village in atmosphere. BUT, I am a grudgingly appreciative visitor because of the truly good quality of some of the shops there. We bought some furniture at a store that's now gone, and my wife likes the Coldwater Creek that replaced it -- that company does not have many actual stores. The Williams Sonoma is small but good, with a sale table near the door that usually has something interesting. Toy store is excellent. The bookstore is good enough to keep me occupied while my wife goes to other stores that I don't pay attention too. If you walk around, it's actually low-key and peaceful.

                  Oh yeah -- this is a food board -- the restaurants are pretty good, with good outdoor patios. Bobby Byrne's has slipped a bit, but it's still a good pub, with outside barstools in the summer. Siena has been a real surprise, especially compared to the place that used to be there.

                  The old Main Streets in the villages have much more character, but as a year round resident, if I really need to buy something, I'd rather go to Mashpee Commons than the mall. At least the owners didn't build another bunch of big box stores.

                  1. re: cape year rounder
                    CapeCodGuy Oct 11, 2007 08:45 PM

                    No arguements here regarding P'Town, Osterville, (even) Hyannis and Falmouth, too, for that matter, as nice villages to stroll and shop. The Commons has some nice national names and a few locals as well. It's just not a place I'd direct someone seeking a flavor of Cape Cod. Sienna is good, but have you tried Tomatoes on Rte. 130 in Sandwich lately? Very fine indeed. Even the Bee Hive on 6A is turning out far better food than in recent past and is worth a visit these days.

                    I haven't been to the Mall in years as I can always find what I need in the villages or along 6A in all the little mom and pop shops along the way, some of which existed since I was born here. It's a throwback way to shop but quite a bit more enjoyable for my tastes.

                    1. re: CapeCodGuy
                      c
                      cape year rounder Oct 13, 2007 01:26 PM

                      Haven't been to the Beehive in years, but recent postings here have caught my eye -- will get there soon. As for Tomatoes -- too many problems with the service overshadowed the food.

            2. Science Chick Oct 9, 2007 04:17 PM

              Where on Cape Cod.....? Big place................

              4 Replies
              1. re: Science Chick
                b
                bedn0009 Oct 10, 2007 09:50 AM

                Honestly... since we plan on traveling the entire cape during our 2 days, I am up for most any suggestions. I haven't finalized lodging yet for our night there. Someone mentioned The Beachcomber... and I have read several other threads on this board for suggestions, but many of them reference more fine dining than I am looking for.

                1. re: bedn0009
                  CapeCodGuy Oct 10, 2007 12:19 PM

                  Beachcomber is a fun casual joint. Closed for the season.

                  1. re: bedn0009
                    Science Chick Oct 11, 2007 07:22 AM

                    I prefer Chatham to the more built up Hyannis area....much more quaint. The Chatham Squire is open year-round. Nice pub atmosphere with excellent quality fare. Nice execution on the seafood. Not sure if the Impudent Oyster is still open, but it is excellent (and more pricey). If you go, take a ride over to the Chatham Lighthouse. Beautiful vistas of the ocean.

                    1. re: Science Chick
                      k
                      kim dregalla Oct 16, 2007 01:47 PM

                      Oh- and I agree with Science Chcik about the Impudent Oyster- it's good too!

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