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Jul 31, 2012 11:33 AM

where to eat near S. orleans with 9 y.o.

Where to eat lunch or dinner within 20 mintes or so of S.orleans. DS is well behaved in finer restaurants, although I wouldn't push my luck every night. He also loves duck confit, but dislikes pizza, cheese and chocolate...so not your average eater. BTW ultra skinny...
On my list, but not sure if appropriate:
PB Boulangerie
Friendly Fisherman (DH loves lobster, DS and I will take a pass--so maybe bring home cooked?)
Impudent Oyster
Wicked Oyster

I have heard mostly about restaurants in Wellfleet from friends, but am very weak on Orleans and know of a few in Chatham. This will be the week of August 18, so I know the crowds and traffic will be oppresive.

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  1. Hard to comment as your son is clearly not your average 9 year old. That said, I think ABBA might be a bit much for him. PB Boulangerie is wonderful for its bread and Bakery items but gets spotty reviews for dinner. Mac's is terrific (assuming you mean the Shack and not the takeout seafood joint) Blackfish is so wonderful, you shouldn't miss it. Impudent Oyster is excellent although maybe better at lunch. Norabella is very very tiny. No personal experience with the food there though. Add Ocean House to your list in Dennisport. Great upscale food in a nice room with a beachfront view.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CapeCodGuy

      Thank you, that is just the kind of information I needed.

      Am I right in assuming Wellfleet's restaurants are 20-30 minutes away? Doesn't seem like there is much in Orleans itself. Chatham didn't do much for me, I always associate it with my parents and somewhat stuffier, less casual, and more pricey restaurants, but that may be the prejudice of years past.

      Are Mac's Shack, Finely PJ, Friendly Fisherman and Moby Dick similar in food and ambiance?Mac's Shack seems to be unanimous.
      I will drop ABBA, and Norabella, and PB boulangerie just to pick up baguettes and dessert when we go to visit my aunt in Truro!
      Don't know Dennisport, will have to check Ocean House out.

      1. re: bawc

        Driving time will vary greatly depending on the time and day. generally 20-30 minutes is about right. But it could be twice that on say, a Saturday morning. Orleans has a few adequate restaurants and several sub-par. Reviews seem to be pretty mixed, but I've had good meals at the Beacon Room. The dining room is a little heavy with the blue-hair set, so we prefer the lounge. Simple food done well IMO. We've been unimpressed with Mahoney's. Sir Crickets has good fried fare but little seating. Some love Cooke's for that as well. I'm not a huge fan. We like to grab a simple lunch of a sandwich and/or salad at the Orlean's Inn. Mainly because of the view of the cove from their covered deck on the lower level. Nothing special, but nothing will kill you.

        Chatham is a lovely walkable village and beautiful town with vast natural resources. It is, however, a very wealthy town, so I understand your feeling of a stuffier vibe. Eat at the Chatham Bars Inn and you'll reinforce that vibe. Eat in town at The Squire (a pub) or Impudent Oyster and you won't feel that way at all.

        "Mac's Shack, Finely PJ, Friendly Fisherman and Moby Dick similar in food and ambiance?"

        Not at all. Friendly Fisherman is a clam shack with out door seating only. Great for what it is, but it's nothing like the others. Moby Dick's has similar food but with inside seating. It's a family plastic tablecloth kind of place and byob. Mac's Shack is funky, fun, and sometime loud . The menu is simple, think fried and broiled seafood, traditional fare and sandwiches, with a few twists. Nice raw bar and excellent sushi. Finely JPs is the only true fine dining of the bunch, yet has a casual vibe.

        All should have menus on-line.

    2. Orleans has Mahoney's Atlantic, it's not bad. Nauset Beach Club is wonderful, but probably not a great fit for your needs. Harwichport has Cape Sea Grille, they have a duck confit on their menu, but I have not been there for some years. Mac's Shack is good, but gets very crowded, expect a wait. Arnolds in Eastham is a very busy clam shack (the clams were excellent this year) with lots of good lobster and fried seafood offerings, not too busy if you lunch early.

      Brewster has Brewster Fish House, good choice for lunch. Finely JP's and even Van Rensaeler's in Wellfleet may be good fits for your needs.

      Impudent Oyster is about the only Chatham recommendation I would be comfortable making.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Dan D

        Good mentions Dan, although I don't think Chatham is as barren as you do. I forgot to mention Del Mar which is excellent. I had the best duck I've had on Cape there recently. Also, for the absolute best breakfast and maybe lunch on the Cape or anywhere is the excellent Hangar B at the Chatham airport. Down the road in Harwich is Buca's Tuscan Roadhouse for Italian which gets mostly excellent reviews.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          What enormous help you have been! While I would love to wing it, I suspect I will have to make some reservations at those restaurants that take them. How far ahead do I need to call? It is a typical Saturday to Saturday rental, the week of Aug. 18. I am not sure whether to cook the first day we arrive (with food from home), or get into vacation mode, out to dinner, and an evening walk...Does the traffic and congestion ease up during the week at that time of year? And if we go out on a Saturday, are we better off heading south towards Chatham or North towards Wellfllet?

          1. re: bawc

            August is high season, so it can be busy. Most places will still have open reservations a day in advance, some even the same day, but Friday and Saturday should generally be reserved a few days in advance (or a week in advance for a particularly special night out).

            We usually "wing it" the first night on Cape, but make reservations in advance for Friday and Saturday. Allow extra driving time between 9:00am and 7:00pm on weekends, the especially busy road hours.

      2. We're heading to Chatham in a couple of weeks with our 10 year old. This will be our 6th (6th!) year in a row. We have a quirky eater. He does love chocolate, but also won't touch cheese. He has some typical kid tastes, but some fairly sophisticated grown up tastes. We also find a combination of casual places and the occasional nice place works well for a whole week of eating out.

        We haven't had a meal at PBB, but he adores the bread and pastries.

        We took him to ABBA a couple of years ago and he survived perfectly nicely, I think probably on a vastly overpriced plate of plain pasta. Look at the menu and see if there's anything that looks good. He may have been the only child there, but they were absolutely pleasant and lovely to him.

        We ate at Mac's Shack a couple of years ago and didn't get all excited about the food, but I think we're in the minority. It's absolutely child appropriate and family friendly, so see if the menu looks good.

        We've eaten at Impudent Oyster a couple of times over the years and just don't see what everyone is so excited about, but we are very definitely in the minority here. Many people love it. Again, absolutely kid appropriate, so check the menu to make sure it works for your family.

        The Squire in Chatham is possibly my son's favorite restaurant in the entire world. I can't decide whether he's crazy about the hamburger (which is fine, but let's not go crazy) or all the license plates on the wall and the video games, both on the bar side (fine for families - filled with families). I like their steamers and lobsters and my husband likes their smoked fish plate. Their chowder is often, but not always, good.

        I haven't tried any of the others you mentioned.

        We also enjoy:

        Vining's Bistro in Chatham. Years ago we read that they weren't good for children, but we tried them a couple of years ago, when he was 8. He was properly behaved. They were lovely and gracious. The food was very good.

        Pearl in Wellfleet. Maybe we were a tiny bit less enthusiastic last year than the year before?

        Does your son like olive oil, balsamic vinegar and generally tasting and trying things? If you're in Chatham during the day, walk way down Main St. to Gustare, which sells all kinds of flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars. They have them all available to taste. So long as you're keeping a close eye on him, they're nice enough about well behaved children and we always end up buy a couple of bottles. My son loves tasting all the different oils and vinegars.