Stewart's Seafood Restaurant Eastham? comments?
I'm moving this over from another post.........was just informed that "Woody's" on Rt. 6 in Eastham is now Stewart's. Has anyone tried it? I'll be there for a week at the end of August, so I can report back if need be, but it would be nice to hear any thoughts before then. Interesting looking menu w/Asian and Mediterranean influences on many items. Do they pull it off?
I was at Stewart's on Sunday night 7/25 at 9. The hostess was very pleasant, the waiter more than accommodating and the food was great. The mussels in red sauce were delicious and salads were fresh and huge! Went back on Friday night and it was not the same! We were told the wait was 40 minutes and there were empty tables! When asked the response was "We can't handle big crowds. The kitchen is overwhelmed." If you plan on being in business on the Cape, in the summer, you had better hire a staff that can handle big crowds. Especially on the weekend..come on! Needless to say if Friday had been my first experience it would have been my last. However Sunday's meal could convince me to give it another try. That is if they can stay in business long enough.
The wife, the 9-year-olds and I were there July 25th, our first full day at our week-long stay at a cottage inside the National Seashore. Spent all of Sunday on the sand and didn’t haven’t any dinner plans – and waiting 90 minutes at our No. 1 choice Arnold’s, wasn’t one of them -- so we decided to wing it and try the new guys, Stewart’s Seafood Restaurant and Tavern. … What is this, like the 3rd new restaurant at that location in 4 years? (Including the year the Lobsterpound sat dormant.)
At about 7 p.m., the local prom queens at the hostess desk told us it was a 35-minute wait, which sounded very reasonable. The waitresses were hustling, the bar was packed, stereo music over the sound system was eventually replaced by some 60-something-aged local musicians -- the whole place had a pleasant beachy/island vibe, and the energy was strong.
Two drinks and 45 minutes later, however, my wife started getting mildly irritated that there were so many empty & clean tables and booths visible. Five minutes later she asked the prom queens how much longer they thought our wait was going to be – they told her 15 minutes. … And they were right – we waited 15 more minutes. And as a bonus, it was 10 more before we were seated. At one of those empty tables we’d been staring at for a while.
Our waitress made her first visit to our table 10 minutes later. We had now been at Stewart’s for nearly an hour and a half! Had we known the wait would be that long, we would have went to Arnold’s!!! …
But no real harm done. We’d only been at the Cape for a day and a half. We still had that We Just Arrived Here On Vacation cheerfulness and glow going. Plus we knew what we were bargaining for when we started our search for food at 7 p.m. on a weekend, and that we were trying a new place that we had yet to get a recommendation for.
Our waitress was a cheery sweetheart -- and clearly swamped. ... Our table was outside, up front and underneath the covering. Weather was beautiful, as it would be all week. Soon enough the focus became the food, at least for a bit. And we were famished at this point. Wife started with the steamed mussels (thumbs up) and I had the Cape steamers (thumbs up). Tho we’ve been working to steer the twins away from the usual Kids Menu garbage when we go out, we relaxed the rules because of the long wait. And tho I don’t remember what they ordered, I’m sure it was the usual crap that 99 percent of restaurants feature for kids.
While waiting for our food – wife had pan-seared scallops with lemongrass, ginger sauce and rice (thumbs up) and I had the fried oysters with fries, slaw and according to the menu description, “lots of lovin” (thumbs down; attractive plate, but ultimately simply an enormous serving of tiny, tasteless oysters) – we couldn’t help be haunted by the frowning faces around us, people who were also duped into an hour-plus wait and who were also staring at a handful of empty tables, and glaring at the prom queens, wondering what kind of sick joke this was.
Funniest part was when a giant group showed up – I’m guessing possibly 2 dozen people together on a retreat or something – and watching the prom queens turn pale. One of them literally struck the pose of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”
As a son of a chef, I grew up old-school. Meaning, if you’re down a waitress or two, and it’s a weekend night during the high season, your manager on duty or one of your TWO hostesses on duty need to grab a notepad and take some orders. There is NO excuse for having perfectly empty, clean tables simply sit there with an hour-long line. But that’s just me.
At one point my wife thought she saw a middle-aged woman patrolling the floor -- a manager maybe. Or Karen Stewart herself? Who knows. In an instant she went back to where she came from. Nodding over to the prom queens’ direction, my wife said, “Those two girls are contolling the tempo of this entire restaurant tonight. Scary.”
Would I go to Stewart’s again? I want to say Maybe. But in reality, it’s No. The place has plenty of potential, as I'm sure the Lobsterpound and Woody's had at one point. ... Food was solid enough. The vibe was there. Problem is, there’s not a lot of room for “working out the kinks” at a locale like the Cape. I’m only there for a week. And I’m spending really good money for food, and there are a LOT of options.
Stewart’s was lucky they got my family for the night. But they didn’t hook me.
re: Son of a Chef
Regarding the line at Arnolds, two things: 1) the line moves faster than you think it will and 2) if you really don't want to wait in it, pick up a takeout menu and call your order in. Show up at the appointed time and take your food to a table and eat it. it's not exactly kosher but it works great, saves lots of waiting time
Thanks for the detailed review of Stewarts but i won't be trying it, i've yet to have a good meal or a good experience in that location regardless of ownership.
BTW--oysters in the summer are gonna be tiny. it's not the time to order them.
i wouldn;t consider it jumping the line. i actually like the tradition of waiting in the line (as i've said it moves quickly) then sitting & waiting in arnolds. i have some raw bar & a glass of wine & look at the visitors. i've actually done the phone-in routine all of one time. no one seemed to care. it's an option for anyone who cares to exercise it.
The gist of my Stewart’s report is that they picked a tough night to have staffing glitches – a beautiful weekend night during the high season – and they didn’t react very urgently about it. I hope, for their sake, it’s a rare occurrence. They serve decent food as far as I could tell. But now I know I'd rather wait in line at Arnold's.
Soupy, I’ve been stuffing myself with summer oysters on the Cape for quite a while now, and I can tell you that those were some of the tiniest I’d ever come across (AND they didn’t taste like anything). They were at least one-third the size of the bivalves they were frying up at other places during the same week. …
Also, I would never EVER dream of pulling a stunt like the one you suggested, Soupy! I’ll leave that for the hard-boiled, tourist-hating locals. And all of those nasty visiting New Yorkers.