Cape Cod Notes
With thanks to all who post reviews to help the rest of us in making choices - I offer my reviews/observations based on my recent trip to the Cape:
Naked Oyster gave us an excellent lunch. We enjoyed all of the varieties on the oyster sampler. Luckily we had thought ahead and gotten two of three options rather than the menu's offer of one type of six varieties. Otherwise we would have tortured each other with descriptions of oysters the other couldn't taste (oysters bing among the foods that just don't divide in half). Our entree salads were also terrific - fresh and beautifully plated. Even my son's grilled cheese was a rave. It wasn't cheap but we felt it was worth every penny.
Both lunch and dinner at Aquagrille were hits. The menu isn't much diferent so go when your schedule suits you. The seventies style dining room isn't much to look at but the view of the marina was diverting for all ages and the food was great. All of the fish we ordered was super fresh, the dishes were interesting without being fussy and service was excellent. It was nice to see a restaurant put so much attention to the side dishes - for instance the fish tacos came with four small sides of salsa, slaw, beans etc - all done well even though only a small portion was offered (a time when lazy chefs seem to slide).
Sesuit Harbor was a perfect shoreside lobster house. Rough tables, paper towels on table mounted spindles for napkins etc. But the fish was so fresh and the batter so light; We licked our fingers clean and didn't even complain about the porto-potties. A perfect site and wonderful food for a classic fish fry.
Cafe Chew satisfied several times for interesting breakfast foods. The place is busy but we never waited a long time. Everything we got - eggs, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes, even oatmeal! was fresh and hot and delivered quickly. We liked it enough to go three times.
We twice got pizza from Sweet Tomatoes - once take out and once at the Sandwich restaurant. The crust is amazing and the pizza was super. The salads (no surprise) were very ordinary. But the pizza's the thing and it is grand.
Nice but nothing special is a good description for Mattakeese Harbor - we had a good meal, the setting was nice, the food was good. Nothing was bad but nothing jumped up to say "hey - wow." Still, we were nearby at lunchtime and it was a perfectly acceptable choice. I wouldn't rush back - I wouldn't rule it out for a return.
Dunbar Tea Room on the other hand was fine but I wouldn't bother going back. The tea concept was nice, the dining room lovely. But the meal was only okay. I have a serious sweet tooth - yet I wished for more savories and found the tea boring. The slow service was another point off - do they really, as the server implied, do each table's order one at a time?
Pain D'Avignon disappointed as a lunch spot. The staff were very unhelpful and we had a tough time navigating the menu/counter etc. Partly our fault, we came late in the day when many items were gone. But still - what we got was good enough. It was just one of those experiences where you feel no one cares if you are happy. I wouldn't hurry back.
Lack of planning landed us in Orleans at lunch time without a restaurant chosen. We ended up on the lovely deck at the Orleans Inn. Ordinary food, good service, excellent view. I wouldn't go back but I was content with what we got.
A side trip to Fall River took us to Sagres. We all enjoyed it very much but agreed we had liked Antonio's in New Bedford more.
Our one truly awful experience was a lunch at Salty's. Everything was vile - I felt as if each item had come from a Sysco box. My son rejected the hot dog (an item my grandfather always ordered in dubious restaurants in the belief that it was the one thing that couldn't be ruined - well, now we know, he was wrong). The waitress was nice and we got a free frisbee but nothing could redeem the food. We were glad to have the chance to warn some folks on their way in!
Our one regreat was not making it to Hangar B for breakfast. But - that gives us a goal for our next trip!
177 Columbia St, Fall River, MA 02721
Sesuit Harbor Cafe
357 Setucket Rd, Dennis, MA 02638
20 Independence Dr, Hyannis, MA 02601
Orleans Inn & Restaurant
3 Old County Rd, Orleans, MA 02653
421 E Falmouth Hwy, East Falmouth, MA 02536
Nice report, thank you.
I have yet to go to Aquagrille, though it is on my list. Agree 100% on the Dundar Tea Room.
Cafe Chew is in Sandwich. I go often, their breakfast is the best I've had out on the Cape (though we don't go out too often for that meal.) My favorite omlette is the French (I think that's the name.) Goat cheese, spinach, nicoise olives, side of hash browns (done in the overn with herbs de provence and onions.) You need to order at the counter and they bring your food to the table, but that is my only issue. In the winter it can get crowded, but in the summer they have outdoor seating which more than doubles their space. Their sandwiches are good at lunch, but to me nothing spectacular, it's the breakfast they really do well, IMHO. They have talked about dinner but I don't know if they've done it yet.