Featured Stories & Articles from Cape Cod Travel Magazine: From Haute Cuisine to Clam Shacks, Cape Cod has it all
Dining on the Cape is an epicurean’s delight, with restaurants offering everything from haute cuisine, with delightfully elegant presentations, to clam shacks that keep it simple and fresh. It will come as no surprise that no matter where you dine, fresh seafood takes center stage. The only question is, how would you like it prepared?
Just as good as Boston:
When Chef Heather Allen opened Restaurant Heather in Mashpee in 2007, she and business partner Matt Conley wanted to create a restaurant that offers fine dining without pretension.
“We wanted it to be like you were in Boston, New York or LA,” Allen says. “Everybody always thinks you have to leave Cape Cod to enjoy a fine meal and great décor, and I wanted people to realize that they didn’t have to leave the Cape to find that.”
The restaurant’s linen green and coral color scheme is stylish and feminine, with a delicate twist of curtains lining the high ceiling. But the food is what keeps people coming back. On Allen’s menu, the focus is local and seasonal. The ingredients inspire the dish, so depending on the season you might find a garden heirloom tomato tower for starters, or an entrée of colossal caramelized Georges Bank scallops. Whatever you order, you can count on the fact that it will taste delicious and look so gorgeous on the plate that you hesitate in appreciation for a moment before taking your first bite.
If you’re looking for fine dining in a romantic country inn, the Bramble Inn and Restaurant in Brewster is the place to go. The cozy dining rooms are filled with owners’ Ruth and Cliff Manchester’s antique collection, and dinner comes served on antique china in various patterns, some donated by regular customers who can then eat on their own dishes when they visit.
For inspiration for her creative dishes, Chef Ruth Manchester looks to the garden and the sea, and much of the produce she uses comes from daughter Suzanne Plum’s Harwich garden. For example, during squash season, Manchester creates a lovely little gratinee of summer squash with three different cheeses and fresh herbs as an appetizer. The Ruby Red grapefruit tree at her winter home in Naples, Florida, inspired a new Ruby Red lobster dish that is a huge hit for its delectable flavor and the beauty of its presentation.
Flip flops welcome:
A different kind of fresh flavor can be found at local clam shacks, and some of the best are the ones that have been around for decades. The Kream N’ Kone in West Dennis first opened in 1953 as an ice cream and burger joint. A few years later, fried seafood was added to the menu, and customers have kept coming back for more ever since. Owned by the friendly and hard working Argyriadis family since 1990, the Kream N’ Kone serves the freshest local seafood and homemade onion rings made with their own special batter. Both their nautical-themed indoor dining room and outside patio offer views of sea birds and kayakers on the adjacent Swan River.
Sam Vecchione started Seafood Sam’s as a takeout business in 1975 in a former laundromat in Falmouth. A few years later he bought a diner up the street and over the years added locations in Sandwich, South Yarmouth and Harwich Port. When Vecchione retired in 1996, he sold each location to the manager who ran it. Brothers Mike and Jeff Lewis, who worked at the original location in their early teens, own the Falmouth and Sandwich stores respectively. Nephew Paul Colonero owns the South Yarmouth store and granddaughter Lynn Vecchione owns the one in Harwich Port.
Each location is decorated with rustic pine boards and a nautical theme and the menus are similar, with slight differences that reflect each owner’s personal flair. But one special touch remains true at all locations – the same light crispy batter that Sam made famous. And they all pride themselves on quality, consistency and really fresh seafood.
With its trademark red neon sign, the Lobster Pot in Provincetown is neither fine dining nor clam shack, but for tourists and locals alike, summer isn’t complete without a visit to “The Pot.” For close to 75 years, the last 37 under owner Joy McNulty’s deft hand, the Lobster Pot has offered everything from lobster in many forms (of course) to fried seafood and delectable Portuguese dishes. Whether you stop by for a full dinner or just a snack of their generous bowl of steamers and the best Bloody Mary you will ever taste, you will not be disappointed. The atmosphere is casual and festive, just like Provincetown itself, and the two dining rooms offer fantastic views of historic Provincetown Harbor that are especially stunning at sunset.
Whether you’re in the mood for savory bites that explode with exotic flavor on your tongue, or piping hot seafood as crisp and briny as the sea, the restaurateurs of Cape Cod offer it all. Be sure to sample both ends of the spectrum for the full Cape eating experience.
20 Joy Street, Mashpee, 508-539-0025, www.restaurantheather.com.
Hours: Monday through Sunday,
5:00 p.m. to close. Early dinner menu available 4:30 – 5:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday year round.
Bramble Inn and Restaurant
2019 Main Street, Route 6A, Brewster, 508-896-7644, www.brambleinn.com. Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. by reservation in the summer, call for hours in the off-season.
No reservations are needed at their new Bayside Bar which has a bistro menu.
Kream N’ Kone
961 Main Street, Route 28, West Dennis, 508-394-0808, www.kreamnkone.com. Hours: Open daily year round,
11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Seafood Sam’s - 4 locations
356 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth, 508-540-7877
6 Coast Guard Road (on the Cape Cod Canal), Sandwich, 508-888-4629
1006 Route 28, South Yarmouth, 508-394-3504
Route 28 (next to trampolines), Harwich Port, 508-432-1422
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. in the summer. Closes in winter.
321 Commercial Street, Provincetown, 508-487-0842, www.ptownlobsterpot.com.
Hours: Open daily April 1 – Thanksgiving, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.Back to Cape Cod Travel Guide Stories