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Cape Cod in Winter discussion....Anything?

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Seriously, is there anything to talk about regarding off-season dining on the Cape? Personally, I'm in a rut. I keep repeating the same ole, same ole. For me that's Alberto's, Misaki, Embargo, Colombo's, Tomato's, The Dolphin, and The Bee Hive, (mostly beause it's so close). All have been consistant, yet I'm feeling a bit ho-hum, especially when I get a chance to visit my nephew who recently moved to Somerville. Talk about an abundance of diverse choice. But no. Here on Cape one has to get excited over the new tapas available at the bar at the Dolphin. About 8 choices that seem to vary over time, running from $4 to $8. I've had roasted littlenecks, mini fish tacos, crab and lobster cake, and all were tasty, but not exactly earth-shattering. I long for something new . Anything. I hear Il Dolce on Main Street, Hyannis is now doing a dinner course. Anyone been?

Anything new to report out there Cape Hounds? Anything?

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  1. You've probably been already, but Soprano's in Mashpee can be very good, and Wicked has very good sandwiches (really like the chicken sandwich with mango salsa, with great fresh cut fries, for 9 bucks, not wild about the pizzas, though).

    Have you tried Osteria La Civetta in Falmouth? The atmosphere isn't the greatest, but the food was very authentic bolognese.

    Also, the sushi at Peking Palace in Falmouth is excellent, and the chinese food can be good, if you like that style of "suburban" chinese.

    -----
    Peking Palace
    452 Main St, Falmouth, MA 02540

    Osteria La Civetta
    133 Main St, Falmouth, MA 02540

    3 Replies
    1. re: winedude

      Although we don't get to Falmouth often, I do love Osteria La Civetta. Truly unique offering for Cape Cod. Not a big fan of Wicked, and never tried Soprano's as there are good red sauce places closer to home for us. (Alberto's or Tomato's). Thanks for the reply.

      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        I'm not a big fan of Wicked either, but for a change of pace, the sandwiches work for me. Also, while Soprano's has its fair share of "red sauce" dishes, it has a fairly upscale atmosphere (and prices to match), with some very good fish dishes and more Northern fare. You might like it.

        Also, have you tried Bleu? I haven't been, but I've heard good things. And Asia in Mashpee is owned by the same folks as Peking Palace, and is closer to you.

        If you want to take a drive, you could head to a nice lunch at PB Boulangerie, in Wellfleet. It's worth the drive just for the croissants and other pastries, IMHO.

        -----
        Peking Palace
        452 Main St, Falmouth, MA 02540

        Bleu
        11 Market St, Mashpee, MA 02649

        1. re: winedude

          I heard that PB Boulangerie would be closed for some weeks in Jan-Feb. I would call before you schlep out there.

    2. I don't have anything new; but, any interest in the Scargo Cafe or the Wianno Grille? We have also had good luck lately at the Black Cat.

      -----
      Black Cat
      165 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA 02601

      Scargo Cafe
      799 Main St, Dennis, MA 02638

      Wianno Grille
      380 Barnstable Rd, Hyannis, MA 02601

      4 Replies
      1. re: Fiona Jane

        Actually Fiona, I consider the Scargo Cafe as one of the absolute worst places on the Cape and the Wianno Grill has been out of business for many months now.

        I never think of the Black Cat, however, so thanks for the mention. It's worth a try for sure.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          Sorry about the bad information re: the Wianno Grille. I'll have to read up on your other posts re: Scargo. I typically agree with your opinions. Thanks to your posts we discovered Misaki and enjoyed a wonderful lunch just before the New Year. And, I think the Dolphin may see us in the near future.

          1. re: Fiona Jane

            Glad to hear I've been some help now and again. Misaki is quite nice and never disappoints. The Dolphin is a good local spot for me. Not sure it's worth a special trip, but I like the feel of the room and the food is typical new England fare generally done right. Service has been reported as spotty but I've never had a complaint.

        2. re: Fiona Jane

          Tried the Black Cat today for lunch, a first for us. Was surprised to see it's the same ownership as Columbo's and The Roadhouse. More surprising were the prices. Very agressive price points for a casual restaurant. Some bordering carzy like $6 for a cup of chowder, $19 for a fried shrimp plate served in a plastic basket, or $13 for Oysters Rock with only 4 oysters per order. Food was pretty good, but just doesn't warrant the high prices. Too bad as the room was comfy and the bar area particularly nice.

        3. I would second Sopranos. I think it is more than a red sauce place.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Chulacat

            What dishes stand out to you?

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              Stand out may be an overstatement but I have enjoyed the veal francois and the pasta sinatra.

          2. DiParma's Table is an excellent Italian restaurant in West Yarmouth. Great food! Located on Rte 28. Oliver's is good in Yarmouth on Rte 6A.

            6 Replies
            1. re: judyd

              Sorry Judy, as snobbish as this will seem, both Olivers and DiParmas's are mentioned frequently in the "Worst of Cape Cod " thread and for good reason. I 'd be hard pressed to think of two places in the mid-Cape where I'd rather not eat.

              When an "Italian" restaurant mis-spells "Bolognese" as "Bolognaise" on their menu, it's clear that they haven't a clue. The food is as Italian as Olive Garden. Some people like Olive Garden. I do not. At all. Even a little. But I'd go there before I'd go back to DiParma's.

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                Boy, I try and try for somewhere new and I keep shooting blanks. I know there are some nearby gems out there like Lyric, but in the winter I just feel like throwing on some jeans and a pullover and venturing out for a casual meal. Tonight, we decide to give Mahoney's in Orleans a try. Mind you, Orleans is a 30 minute ride for us, so the expectations are higher on the "worth-it" meter. Wife has small ceasar and the tenderloin. I have one cocktail and the drunken shellfish (mussels mostly and three tiny littlenecks) and rack of lamb. Choice of starch is mashed potato (not bad), barley risotto (mezza mezzza) and cous cous (didn't sample). The veg is an uninspired butternut squash. Total tarrif before tip, $92. Nice comfy room with a fine looking bar area . Service was professional and efficient. Value?....Not so much.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  The next time you "travel" to Orleans, try The Beacon Room. We dined at Mahoney's a few times and found it to be OK only. The Beacon Room has a much better menu and the prices might be a little higher for some but worth the money. The room also has a nice feel to it.

                  -----
                  Beacon Room
                  23 West Rd, Orleans, MA 02653

                  1. re: ppmaysa

                    Spot on for the Beacon Room rec! Thanks bunches! Casual, yet somewhat refined. White linens, a comfy and wonderful room. Our service was attentive, efficient, very pleasant, and professional. The menu is varied yet familiar. Prices on par or even a tad less than Mahoney but the result was 10x more enjoyable. The wife had a surf and turf, a small filet cooked a perfect med. rare with two baked stuffed shrimp. I had seafood fra diavlo on pasta which had a bit of heat as it should but not at all heavy handed. Pasta was a nice al dente and the varied seafood (Sea Scallops, calamari tubes and tenticles, 2 jumbo shrimp and 4 littlenecks were all cooked perfectly. Will certainly return. My kinda joint. Thanks again for the rec.

                    -----
                    Beacon Room
                    23 West Rd, Orleans, MA 02653

                  2. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Have you tried Norabella on 28 in West Dennis yet?
                    I've been 3 times over the past 2 seasons and it has yet to disappoint for quality.

                    1. re: foleyd7

                      LOVE LOVE LOVE Norabella..and now Buca's ...two fav spots..

              2. As along time resident of Dennis, maybe I am a little partial, but I would stand up Blue Moon Bistro there against anything sounth of the neponset river. If you have not tried it I highly recommend - chef there is well trained and creative, runs it with his wife. Also in Dennis, Gina's is good Italian seafood, but seasonal only. Red Pheasant has been pretty good too. I can't put Scargo Cafe on the worst of the cape list - it is a solid citizen but nothing amazing. I think when you have been around for 30 years you have a lot of dishes you just have to keep on the slate or your customers kill you, so creativity flags.
                Will try Lyric this weekend maybe thank for the tip!

                -----
                Scargo Cafe
                799 Main St, Dennis, MA 02638

                Blue Moon Bistro
                605 Main St, Dennis, MA 02638

                Red Pheasant
                905 Main St, Dennis, MA 02638

                1 Reply
                1. re: Lownslow

                  I grew up on Whig Street in the 50s thru 70s so I know a bit about the local scene there as well. Blue Moon Bistro is a good thought as I always seem to forget their existance. I love Gina's and have since Larry and Ross (RIP) opened in the 70s. We'll agree to disagree on Scargo. It's never been any good since it's inception so I couldn't care less about "old standbys". Red Pheasant has been getting bad reports as of late. I'm guessing since it's been up for sale for the past 2 years, Bill's gotten a little tired of pushing out decent food. I miss Gracie's Table.

                2. Been lurking up here in the Norht Country, but a couple of thoughts... Total agreement on Oliver's. We have an aged parent who enjoys the personal service, but I try and try and never find anything more than approaching just barely edible. But if you're as far out as Orleans, why not stop in at the Brewster Fish House? We always enjoy this small roadside fine food establishment. We like the off season as the food is always good and the crowds are gone.

                  -----
                  Brewster Fish House
                  2208 Main, Brewster, MA 02631

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Injun Joe

                    I miss Contrast Bistro. Cannot seem to love Blue Moon and man, I have tried. Scargo has a great Grapenut Pudding..that's it, IMHO. I am a food snob for sure. I had a meal at Mahoney's and was not wowed either. Beacon Room is very good as was Abba my last stop many moons ago. Red Pheasant is consistent but is it me or is it always cold in there? Love Lyric..Yuck to Olivers...

                    -----
                    Scargo Cafe
                    799 Main St, Dennis, MA 02638

                    Beacon Room
                    23 West Rd, Orleans, MA 02653

                    Red Pheasant
                    905 Main St, Dennis, MA 02638

                    1. re: phelana

                      Brewster Fish closed for several months of renovations after the New Year. We are hoping that they expand the bar seating. Red Pheasant does always seem cold now that you mention it. Anyone here have thoughts about the Riverway now that the Wimpy's people own it?

                      1. re: Fiona Jane

                        Yes, Brewster Fish House is closed for the winter for renovations. We had a terrific lunch there New Years Eve which was their last day. As I understand it, their addition is just a bump out for the kitchen as now they must go outside to access the walk-in coolers.

                        Agree with Ann on Contrast Bistro. I miss it as well and a quick review of Blue Moon's on-line menu doesn't thrill me. I'll have to give the Beacon Room a try.

                        Riverway is now actually worth patronizing. It's basic, inexpensive, casual food but well done. We've always enjoyed Wimpy's for what it is as well. To me, the Riverway is what Olivers, Captain Parkers, and Clancy's all aspire to be but miss it by a wide margin. We prefer the lounge area to the dining ropom as it just seems a bit less old-fashioned in there.

                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          We are really on the same page, CCG. We had lunch at Brewster Fish on New Year's Eve Day, as well. I had the soup of the day which was a Billi Bi that I'll remember for a long time and wonderfully simple scallop entree. Very nice value, I think.

                          We agree all around about the Riverway, as well. The bar staff is very competent. And, the food always seems to be just what we happen to be in the mood for--a few apps., or basic broiled fish, good fish tacos, too. And, the lounge area feels cozy as long as you don't sit right near the back door.

                          P.S. We miss Gracie's too.

                          Here's a thought for you...Have you tried at the Oyster Company in Dennisport?

                          1. re: Fiona Jane

                            please remind me..which Italian is good in Falmouth and which is not...thanks

                            1. re: phelana

                              The Osteria La Civetta is terrific by many accounts for its authentic Italian rustic cooking. Nice homemade pastas. Simple fresh local ingredients. Here's a link for the menu.

                              http://www.osterialacivetta.com/home....

                              The other place in town, La Cucina Sul Mare, looks nice passing by from the outside but that's the extent of my experience. Don't hear much about it here but they seems to have good reviews elsewhere. Maybe Fiona or someone else can expound.

                              1. re: phelana

                                Osteria la Civetta is not only good, it is unique among Italian restaurants on the Cape -- If you have travelled in Italy many details about a meal at la Civetta will bring back memories, good, bad, and quirky: How the menu and courses are organized and presented, the prices, the portions, what gets pasta and what doesn't, warm but strangely indifferent service! Like travelling to Italy, it is worth the effort.

                              2. re: Fiona Jane

                                We love the Oyster Company in Dennisport, the raw oysters of course, but also the rest of their menu; some oysters and their Cubano sandwich is a perfect light meal for me. They've done a really nice job, it is an inviting place with very friendly and nice staff and entertainment as well. We are very long time summer residents of West Dennis and remember the days when Dennisport was a thriving village. It is now rather a sad place and we applaud any and all who would open a business there; they are in the fifth season now and we are very happy to support them. I understand that Bucky's will be opening Dennisport as well. Hurray! I also agree with Cape Cod Guy about the Riverwary; we, too, have enjoyed dining in the casual tavern and find it all much improved over the years. We also have a special fondness for Villa Roma in West Harwich, somehow they have found the perfect formula of decent food at decent prices in an inviting space. We do miss Harry though, he added so much spice -- shall I say. After a winter that has been more wintry than usual I am so looking forward to opening our cottage and enjoying all the diverse Cape restaurants. And of course the beach.

                                -----
                                Villa Roma
                                278 Main St, Harwich, MA 02645

                                Oyster Company
                                202 Depot St, Dennis Port, MA 02639

                      2. Just got back from a weekend in Falmouth, I continue to be impressed by The Glass Onion. I love the atmosphere, service and of course, the food. I tried to get into Anejo on Main Street, but it was jammed (no reservations, no room at the bar...). I've heard both good and eh reviews for the food, but nothing but good for the homemade guac and great margaritas. Has anyone been?

                        http://www.anejomexicanbistro.com/

                        http://www.theglassoniondining.com/Th...

                        -----
                        The Glass Onion
                        37 North Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Falchas

                          I second the Glass Onion. I went a few weeks ago and found it very tasty and a nice staff. I still really miss the previous restaurant, but i guess he is still running a catering business. I also like Osteria La Civetta. I have been there many times, but only really liked to order the pastas and salads. If you want out of Falmouth there is Inaho in Yarmouth for great sushi or The Raw Bar in Poponessett.

                          -----
                          Osteria La Civetta
                          133 Main St, Falmouth, MA 02540

                          The Glass Onion
                          37 North Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540

                          1. re: perks25

                            How fancy is the Glass Onion? Would one be comfortable or out of place if dressed casually?

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                              I think you'd def. be fine going casual. Every time I've been there, I've seen people in everything from khakis and dresses to jeans and track suits (grrrr!). No one has ever seemed out of place.

                              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                We ate at the Glass Onion last night. It's as fancy or as casual as, say, Bleu or Abba. I didn't have a jacket, but no one wore jeans.

                                Fancy/not fancy in other ways? No reservations (but no wait at 7:45 on a friday). White tablecloths. Server knowledgeable about many details of each dish. Kitchen sent a little plates of amuses bouche with the bread basket. waiter supported by a back waiter or busser and a food runner, both silently going about their jobs, professional and unobtrusive.

                                BTW it was an excellent meal for all four of us. I am told the winter flounder was superb, but no one would share a bite with me. Short rib and accompanying vegs were perfect; sauce was a natural reduction, excellent. Salads nicely composed, interesting ingredients, thoughtfully balanced mixes of textures and flavors. Chocolate dessert had a crumble of english toffee that was a memorable contrast. Lemon dessert was rich, not too sweet, sophisticated. We have had very good meals there before, but last night was a standout.

                                -----
                                Bleu
                                11 Market St, Mashpee, MA 02649

                                The Glass Onion
                                37 North Main Street, Falmouth, MA 02540

                            2. re: Falchas

                              Thanks for the review and the two links. Both look interesting. As I live in W. Barn I don't get to Falmouth often for dinner. When we do, we tend to go to Osteria La Civetta, but perhaps it's time to widen our driving radius to broaden our choices.

                            3. A little late to the discussion, but Cape Cod is not my backyard, since I'm up here in Marshfield. With that said, my parents are in Chatham, so Sandwich seems to always be a good mid-way point for us. I'm surprised I haven't seen more postings of Beth's Tea House in Sandwich, not far from the Brown Jug and Daniel Webster. It's a sunny little tea room with delicious homemade pastries, cookies, cakes, scones, delicious quiche, sandwiches, and really good coffee. My mom does love the tea, so I'll go on her referral on that. The prices are great and I never feel rushed, so it's a lovely place to meet a friend for a chat and not get the angry glare for staying too long. Seriously, her display case of pastries and goodies reminds me of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

                              My mom and I love to have lunch at the Beacon in Orleans, but I think Cape Cod Guy has covered that great place admirably....I am just adding a little extra oomph :)

                              Is the Nauset Beach Club open in winter? If so, this place has always been solid for a good meal, and not necessarily just seafood.

                              How about Quick's Hole in Woods Hole? They stock some of my favorite wines by my friend Marco Montez's Urban Winery in New Bedford, so that was enough to draw me in. It's right near the MV Steamship Authority. Very fresh mexican, five or six homemade salsas....worth a try if you are there when Pie in the Sky is not open for a pastry and coffee.

                              I'm new to writing in to chow hound but not to using it, so please be kind if you disagree with my posts :)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: flashmarshvegas

                                I was in Sandwich this weekend, I have only been to Beth's Tea House shortly after it opened. We were happy with it, and I'm not exactly sure why we haven't been back, so thank you for your review. Will have to stop in next visit.
                                Friday night we stopped into Aqua Grille in Sandwich for cocktails and apps. We had never been, but were looking for something different and I remembered good reports some time ago on this board. I have to say despite the fact that it seems to have undergone a renovation fairly recently it seemed like the decor was similar to an upscale fast food restaurant (could be because I was there at night and it was dark inside?) My husband had the calamari which he enjoyed but thought too much for one person- I have an aversion after a bad experience. I had the tuna carpaccio which was served with a lovely vegetable/salad mixture and very nice uzu sauce and a wasabi cream. I also had a Caesar salad (no option for anchovies) dressing had a pleasant lemon tang. Nice attentive, waitress and generous martinis. We'll be back.
                                Will also now try The Glass Onion.

                                1. re: flashmarshvegas

                                  Quick's Hole is only open May-October, but I do think it has the best food in Woods Hole, which is unfortunately not saying much. It's good, local ingredients, efficient, fresh, no-nonsense, but not a place to linger over a leisurely dinner.

                                  I wish they could combine their food with the location and ambiance of Phusion (down the street with a lovely view of Eel Pond and the bridge).

                                  Quick's Hole
                                  6 Luscombe Avenue
                                  Woods Hole, MA 02543
                                  (508) 495-0792