Spring Into the New Season At The Hottest Restaurants on Cape Cod
With the spring season and warmer weather right around the corner, it is officially time to start planning your next getaway to Cape Cod – arguably the most beautiful part of Massachusetts and every New Englander’s favorite place for some R&R. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite restaurants, spanning from casual to fancier dining, that are perfect for your spring and summer 2021 bucket list.
Twenty-Eight Atlantic is likely one of the most beautiful restaurants that I have ever had the pleasure to visit. The restaurant recently became one of the 74 restaurants worldwide to receive the coveted Five-Star rating from Forbes Travel Guide – and for good reason. Twenty-Eight Atlantic offers seating both indoors and outdoors over 27 waterfront acres. The restaurant also offers a menu that includes both elegant and casual options led by Executive Chef, James Hackney. When the restaurant opens back up for the season in April 2021, there are several items on the menu that you absolutely must try.
First is the Native Lobster Carbonara, which is every pasta and seafood lover’s dream. Twenty-Eight Atlantic makes this dish with Bucatini, Craft Pancetta, Egg Yolk, MV Shittake and Caviar, topped with huge chunks of fresh lobster. The dish is aesthetically pleasing and colorful, and tastes even better than it looks. Given that I am Italian, I am a sucker for homemade pasta, and this Bucatini was everything I could have imagined and more!
Next up is the Strube Ranch American Wagyu Strip, with Smoked Oyster Vinaigrette and Carrot Pudding, served with Braised Beef and Dandelion Ragout. This wagyu strip was beyond outstanding – it was tender, flavorful, and truly cooked to perfection. The carrot pudding was a great flavorful addition, adding a nice pop of color to the dish. I was also lucky enough to get an inside look at the process of using the smoking gun, which truly enhanced the meat. Twenty-Eight Atlantic serves The Wagyu Strip with the Braised Beef and Dandelion Ragout on the side, a unique spin on the classic ragout that you may have tasted in the past – and you’ll want to savor every last bite. This dish is sure to be a fan favorite at your table!
Either of these dishes can be paired with the Wequasset Cusco Sour, which is Wequasset’s version of the national drink from the Andes, incorporating a touch of tart, non-sugar added Cranberry juice to give it a special New England, coastal flair.
Del Mar opened up 11 years ago under the operation of John Zartarian. Zartarian has an immense amount of experience (over 20 years!) owning and managing restaurant venues on Cape Cod. Between John’s in-depth experience, and Chef Maria Pollio’s authentic and honest approach in cooking dishes, Del Mar is a must-visit when you are in Chatham. Del Mar is best known for offering native seafood, bistro cuisine and wood-fired, and thin crust pizzas. Not to mention, unique specialty drinks.
One of my all-time favorite salads to order when I am dining out is a steak salad. At Del Mar, you truly cannot go wrong with this choice! Their Steak Salad features Espresso chili rubbed grilled steak, baby greens, fried cherry peppers, grape tomatoes, fresh mozzarella as well as a habanero pepper vinaigrette. For anyone who knows me, I will find any way to incorporate a little extra “kick” and spice into my meals. So, this steak salad is right up my alley.
You cannot visit Del Mar without ordering one of their wood fire thin crust pizzas. While they have a lot of different options for pizza on the menu, some of their best-sellers include their Fig & Prosciutto Pizza, Pizza “alla Bolognese” as well as their Mediterranean Pizza. Their Fig & Prosciutto Pizza is topped with balsamic fig puree, mozzarella, goat cheese and almonds. Their Pizza “alla Bolognese” is topped with house made meat ragu, mozzarella, romano, arugula and basil. And, their Mediterranean Pizza is topped with roasted garlic puree, spinach, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, mozzarella and feta cheese. There is a pizza for everyone on the menu – guaranteed to satisfy everyone’s taste buds!
Dennis is one of my favorite places to be. Scargo Café is always a must when I am in the area. Scargo Café is a casual fine dining restaurant that serves traditional and new American cuisine. In addition to standard New England fare (what could be better)? They feature an award-winning wine list and unique 22 oz. craft beer selections.
One of their best-sellers is their Tuna Martini. This dish served up SO creatively that it absolutely deserves an Instagram post before consuming (as I like to say – the camera should always eat first). The Tuna Martini is sashimi tuna in a honey soy marinade with seaweed salad, sesame seeds, ginger, sriracha, and wasabi cream sauce. If you’re into spice, it’s a must-try. In addition, another best-seller at Scargo Café is the Mongolian Pork. The restaurant grills the pork bone-in chop served with whipped Yukon gold potatoes, braised cabbage, and a creamy mustard sauce.
If you’re looking for a cocktail that can double as a delicious, sweet dessert, order their Key Lime Pie Martini. Scargo mixes this cocktail with Keke Key Lime Liqueur, Stoli Vanilla, pineapple, and lime, served with a graham cracker rim.
Captain Parker’s Pub overlooks the Parker River in West Yarmouth, and serves lunch and dinner seven days a week. This restaurant is best-known for its multi-award-winning New England Clam Chowder, which is perfectly thick and creamy. It’s a family-friendly restaurant and is great for a full lunch or dinner, a quick appetizer or grab a few drinks! Captain Parker’s has participated in the Cape Cod Chowder Festival, Newport Chowder Cook-Off, and the Boston Chowder Festival. In doing so, gathering fourteen first place trophies. Needless to say, this place should move to the top of your restaurant bucket list next time you’re down the Cape.
If you want to take their chowder to the next level, order it in their bread bowl. The pub then serves the chowder in a crusty boule of country white bread. Not a chowder person? Captain Parker’s still has you covered with a large variety of menu items that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
One of their most popular dishes, which doubles as the “ultimate comfort food” is the Lobster Mac & Cheese. This dish consists of fresh lobster meat that simmers in a creamy cheese sauce. Then, they toss the dish with cavatappi pasta and top it with seasoned breadcrumbs. This is basically a carb-lover’s dream. Or, if you’re looking for some classic bar food, order their Captain Burger. This specialty burger is hand-packed, chargrilled beef topped with lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. And, don’t forget to order bacon as an add-on, because, what’s a savory burger WITHOUT bacon?
CShore Kitchen and Bar is Cape Cod’s newest casual-dining restaurant, located in Wellfleet, MA. The restaurant focuses on serving up the most delicious American style cuisine with a southern influence. Notably, something that is totally unique to the Cape Cod dining scene. CShore understands the importance of a beautiful presentation, noting that in their kitchen they make art – not food! Not to mention, they have a gorgeous outdoor dining area, a full-size bar, a fire pit and spacious interior.
One of the absolute staples to their menu is the Fleetian Pizza, which is their version of a white pizza. CShore makes this pizza with garlic oil, ricotta, and a house pizza cheese blend, topped with spinach, mushroom, pesto, and caramelized onions. This is the perfect meal to indulge in at the restaurant, or pack up to bring to the beach! Additionally, the Crispy Fried Sole, is a feature on their spring menu. CShore serves this special dish on a bed of arugula and squash fries with green goddess dressing.
For drinks, the first cocktail you must order is the CShore Cosmo. The staff mixes this beverage with Deep Eddy lemon vodka, Cointreau, lime, and a splash of cranberry. Additionally, this is the ultimate refreshing cocktail, and perfect to sip on as the weather gets warmer.