We are very fortunate to have a wide variety of dining on Cape Cod to please the foodies staying with us. Last year, we had a lovely couple, Ron & Joan, staying at the inn from Michigan. They were very savvy travelers, and I was immediately impressed with their organization and love of experiencing new things. Once they were settled in we visited for awhile and Ron asked me to make their Fine Dining reservations for them for the week. He said he trusted my knowledge and that he wanted fine dining every night. He also told me that he didn’t want to hurt our feelings but he wanted to let us know that they never stayed at the same place twice as they were always looking to try new things. I was happy to take on the challenge of their nightly dining and booked them at all of our favorite eateries. On their last night Ron came into our kitchen smiling and said he was breaking their travel rule and wanted to book a 14 night stay with us the following year. We took that as quite a compliment and starting thinking about the new dining we would recommend the following year.
Fast forward to 2019, Ron & Joan just left the Captain Freeman after staying with us for 14 nights and were traveling on to Martha’s Vineyard for 4 nights. We had so much fun talking about their dining experiences each evening and knowing that they appreciated good food wanted to share their comments with our readers.
(Added note that I found interesting, on year one they dined at 28 Atlantic which is waterfront dining at the acclaimed Wequassett Resort. I recommended that spot for their first visit as I knew the quality of both their food and service. During their recent visit the only restaurant Ron asked me not to repeat was 28 Atlantic. He said he appreciated the food but found things a little stuffy and overly priced:) Just had to smile but that comment helped me to choose their dining spots this summer.)
Night One- Spinnakers, Brewster- we love to recommend this restaurant, especially on guest’s first night as they take reservations and are only a short walk from the inn. Their menu is Mediterranean with lots of fresh seafood and healthy choices. Ron & Joan loved the atmosphere and thought the food was very good. They did comment that the service was slow during their meal there but thought it was worth the wait.
Night Two- Cape Sea Grill, Harwich Port- this restaurant is just a short walk to Nantucket Sound and has consistent well prepared food. Ron & Joan enjoyed their seafood specials and thought the service was very good. Ron commented that they were VERY busy and alive with good energy! In the end though, we both laughed as he could not remember what he ordered:)
Night Three- Fin, Dennis- this restaurant is known for their fresh seafood and creative salads. Ron’s commented that they were not busy, he enjoyed his meal but found it did not stand out in his mind.
Night Four- Viera, Harwich- we love this small chef owned restaurant that pays extra attention to details that are always homemade using ingredients from local farm and fishing communities. Ron was impressed with the knowledge of his server that described every detail of their meal. He loved the house smoked salmon and thought their meal was very reasonably priced for the quality and presentation.
Night Five- Black Fish, Truro – I made all of their reservations and for some unknown reason this reservation was lost. Lucky for all involved they were able to seat our guests within 10 minutes. Ron found the restaurant to have a great menu and he enjoyed his meal very much but did notice that the restaurant was very noisy and he had a hard time talking with Joan.
Night Six- Impudent Oyster, Chatham- This was one of Joan’s favorite dining spots during their stay. Ron loved that the menu was so extensive and he could not decide what to order as everything sounded so good. They thought the restaurant was fun and the food exceptionally well prepared. Joan wanted to go back for lunch.
Night Seven- Vers– Orleans- This was one of Ron’s favorite meals. He thought the food was exceptional and very creatively prepared and the service impeccable. He also liked the formality of the dining experience and felt very relaxed and special during his time there.
Night Eight- Pain D’Avignon, Hyannis We love this place as we get our weekly croissants from them. Their formal Bistro is VERY French and since both Joan & Ron like French cuisine I thought they would enjoy a meal here. Ron’s comment was that they were very busy, he enjoyed his meal but something was missing. He could not put his finger on it but mentioned that the food was good, well prepared, very French and maybe the atmosphere just a little bit cold!
Night Nine- Brewster Fish House, Brewster On this day they were off to Nantucket and I wanted to keep their dining close to the inn as I know they would be tired. They loved the Fish House and thought their meal was really good. They compared menus from the Impudent Oyster which was quite large to the Brewster Fish House which is very small. They suggested that our guests checkout the menu first at the Brewster Fish House to make sure they found something on the short menu to their liking.
Night Ten- Abba, Orleans- this restaurant is Mediterranean with a Thai infusion. I personally love their their Lobster Pad Thai. They enjoyed their meal but said the slow service really affected their overall experience. They were perplexed at the organization which seemed very inefficient.
Night Eleven- PB Boulangerie, Wellfleet- keeping on with the French Theme they enjoy, I included this local french eatery. They were impressed with the complexity of their food and that the chef came out to inquire whether Joan’s lamb chops were cooked to her preference. They mentioned that the meal took a very long time- over 1 1/2 hours but Ron thought that may be due to the nature of French cooking being prepared properly.
Night Twelve- Bucas Tuscan Roadhouse, Harwich- this is one of our favorite restaurants and where our kids want to dine when they visit. I was tickled when they came back so excited about their evening here. They loved the food, loved the wine and loved and atmosphere and service. Way to go Bucas!
Night Thirteen- Clean Slate Eatery, West Dennis- Byron and I had dined here when it first opened and loved our meal. It’s a very small and intimate Farm to Table experience. After realizing how much Ron and Joan liked to visit with other guests and how much they appreciated freshly prepared creative food I knew they would enjoy this place. I moved some reservations around when I called and they had a last minute cancellation for their later seating at 8:30pm- perfect as Ron & Joan like to dine later in the evening. They loved their meal here and found it to be one of the best food experiences during their stay with us.
Night Fourteen- Nauset Beach Club, Orleans- this place has been around for years and is not as popular as it once was. I thought they might enjoy it for their last night as they could visit Nauset Beach before their meal for a Prosecco toast of their stay on Cape Cod. Joan’s comment the next morning was that she felt like she was back in the 60’s- the decor, the atmosphere and the food presentation. They enjoyed their meal but honestly thought Bucas was better food and atmosphere.
On their last morning I asked them for their favorites- Joan’s was definitely the Impudent Oyster- Ron liked several for different reasons- Vers for the creativity, Clean Slate Eatery for the incredible flavors and Bucas for the delicious Northern Italian food that had a wonderful infusion of Cape Cod seafood.
They inquired about our favorite places for lunch and once they experienced Sesuit Harbor Cafe in Dennis went back there just about every day to enjoy a lobster roll- way to go guys!
Thank you Ron and Joan – for sharing your thoughts and for staying with us and for breaking your travel rules and booking a new reservation for Summer 2020.