Cape Cod Report - August 3-13, 2013
My family just returned from a 10 day visit to Cape Cod, August 3-13, 2013. We were staying at a friend’s house in Eastham, so most of the report focuses on the outer cape.
Chatham Squire: We went to Chatham on a rainy Friday and the town was mobbed. We spent some time shopping around while we waited on our table. After we were seated, I tried their Lobster Bisque on the recommendation of a friend. The bisque was okay. It had nice pieces of lobster but was overly creamy for my taste. I felt that it needed a good shot of sherry to lighten it up and give it some punch. I followed this up with a dozen Wellfleet oysters on the half-shells. They were nice and fresh. The rest of my group had lobster rolls or fried shrimp. Both were passable but not spectacular. Overall, I think the Chatham Squire has a better reputation than actual food.
Friendly Fisherman: We ate there once and had take-out once. Both were very good. Great lobster rolls, very large pieces of lobster and very little dressing. The fried clams and shrimp were also very good, not greasy at all, as well as the onion rings. My wife got a fresh tuna roll on her second visit and she stated that it was quite good. The best part of the Friendly Fisherman is the fresh fish market. We got fresh seafood from their twice and cooked on the grill. Great fresh shrimp, scallops, tuna and salmon. We also got lobsters from their one night which we had them cook and crack and took them home to eat on the deck. Very friendly help. Stop by early to get the best selection or place your order for lobsters. You will not be disappointed.
Red Barn Pizza: We went to see the 250th anniversary fireworks in Wellfleet, which were awesome being shot over the harbor. On the way home our daughter decided she was hungry at 9:45 pm. Most places were closed or closing. We called the Red Barn and they indicated they were closing but would take a to-go order. My daughter got a sausage and cheese and my wife and I got a veggie pizza. The sausage and cheese was the better of the two pizzas; however both were good but not great. They get high marks for being very accommodating for taking the late order.
Nauset Light Ice Cream: Great ice cream all made in-house. We made 4 trips to here for ice cream. I especially liked the coconut and coffee flavors. They are usually very busy at night, but have lots of help and it never took us more than 5 minutes to get our order.
Hole in One Bakery: Stopped in here on our last morning. Nice selection of doughnuts, pastries and bagels. I opted for the doughnuts. They were quite good cake doughnuts. My wife enjoyed an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese. The case was filled with nice looking sweet treats; however, I did not try them.
Towne Center Wine & Spirits: Nice selection of well-priced wines; 20% off, if you purchase 12 or more bottles. An outstanding selection of craft beers.
Cookes: I did not actually eat here but my wife; daughter and sister-in-law did eat lunch at Cookes. My daughter reported that the clam chowder was great. They all reported that they lobster roll was the best they had on the entire trip, my sister-in-law would know as this was they only thing she ate while on the Cape.
Lobster Claw: We had gone to see the Orleans Firebirds game and planned to picnic at the game but it began raining after the second inning, so we ventured into town to get something to eat. We stopped at the Lobster claw. Menu was that of a typical Cape Cod seafood house. I had a cup of passable clam chowder and split an order of fried lobster with my daughter. The fried lobster was okay, not great. This was the overall sense I got from everyone that dinner was fine but just average at best.
Ross’ Grill: This is a very nice restaurant in Provincetown which sits on the second floor of the Whaler’s Wharf. It has a great view of the harbor. My wife and I enjoyed a great lunch. We started with ½ dozen oysters and ½ boiled shrimp, both were excellent. The shrimp were delicious and huge. I then had a bowl of steamed littleneck clams which were served in a white wine broth, they were quite tasty. My wife had steamed mussels which were good but a bit gritty. We shared a huge basket of hand-cut fries with our entrees; they were the best fries of the entire trip. They have a nice selection of homemade desserts, we did not try but my sister-in-law destroyed a piece of peanut-butter pie. Best lunch of the trip.
Sam’s Seafood: We went to Sandwich to make jam at the Thornton Burgess Society; it was a great deal of fun and produced tasty Peach jam. Afterwards, it was late and we asked the folks who ran the jam making session where to eat locally and they suggested Sam’s. Sam’s is a typical fried seafood place. I had the fried clam strips and onion rings, both of which were solid, nicely fried and not greasy. My wife had a crab and lobster roll which was very good. The remainder of our group had various fried seafood items which all looked good and everyone seemed satisfied.
Blackfish: Best meal of the entire trip by far. It was our last night on the Cape and my wife stated that she could not eat another fried anything, so we went to Blackfish. Blackfish is an upscale restaurant with excellent food; the one drawback is that it is extremely noisy. I began with seared sea scallops with a parmesan fondue. I know this combination sound odd, but the chef really makes it work. The sauce is a nice compliment to the sweet scallops. My daughter had fried Wellfleet oysters and she actually shared one with me, they were great. In fact, she had a second order for dessert. My wife had a deconstructed clam chowder for her starter. It was littleneck clams steamed in the shell served with smoky cubed bacon and potatoes in a light broth. I thought this dish was brilliant. I had a seafood stew in a spicy tomatoes broth. It had clam, mussels, calamari and fish. It was good, though I thought it was a tad heavy on the amount of calamari versus the other seafood. My wife had a great piece of halibut on top of a corn and fresh veggie mix. The halibut was cook perfectly and it was a very nice dish. My daughter had an additional 2 appetizers for her dinner, duck confit and a pork belly dish. The duck confit was very nice, excellent crispy skin. The pork belly was fine, she did not like the shallot marmalade that was served on it but I thought it was quite good. Overall everything was very tasty, beautiful setting and a nice well-priced wine list to boot.
Savory and Sweet Escape: Nice ice cream store with a huge selection of interesting flavors. We got there just before closing so we had to make a decision quickly which was hard with approximately 40 choices. I opted for the safe coffee toffee which was solid. My daughter had fluffernutter which was good. My wife had some sort of butter brickle ice cream it was good as well. I would recommend stopping by and trying out the ice cream. They also did a shaved ice that looked great.
Nice report! Thanks.
Ha, you were at Blackfish the same night my husband and I were there and had a couple of the same dishes. We could only get a 9:15 reservation so we passed on starters and desserts since it was so late. My husband had the halibut special over roasted corn and chick peas, and really enjoyed it. The fish was cooked perfectly and the veggies were very good. I had the seafood stew and again, really enjoyed it but agree that it was a bit heavy on the calamari. All the seafood components were perfectly cooked, though. There were mussels, clams, calamari and two kinds of white fish if I recall correctly. The broth was tomato-based and had plenty of chourico for flavor and texture. The nice warm roasted garlic bread and the bean spread to start were also delicious and service was great. The whole experience was wonderful, and just what we needed. We will definitely return when we visit again.
We also had ice cream twice at Savory and Sweet Escape. We sampled a delicious pomegranate chip and the coconut almond joy, and loved both. Really creamy and flavorful, some of the best ice cream we've had in a long time.
Savory and Sweet Escape in on the West side of Route 6 and it is north of Blackfish. It might actually be in North Truro. It is across the street from the school. You cannot miss it.
I agree an outdoor seating area would be nice.
Also, the farmer's market in Truro on Mondays and Wellfleet on Tuesdays are great. Try a vendor Wild Truro for outstanding baked goods at the Truro market. There is a restaurant that brings baked goods to the Wellfleet market that are very good, sorry cannot recall the name of the restaurant.
Great report! Couldn't agree more on the Chatham Squire. Nice location, nice bar, good reputation...and they pack them in there. We'll stop in for a drink now and then; but there are just too many other solid dining choices in the general area.
Going to add Blackfish to my must-try list.