Cape Cod Comfort Food

Surrounded by water on all sides, it’s no wonder that seafood reigns supreme on the Cape’s food scene.

The abundance of seafood in local waters influences the menu at nearly every restaurant, in all kinds of creative and innovative ways. But there are certain standby foods that no visit to the Cape would be complete without sampling. Here is a roundup of some of the best “comfort”  food area chefs have to offer.

No matter how it is prepared, lobster is a food that signals a celebration, making it the perfect special occasion or vacation treat. Whether it is boiled, steamed, deep-fried, baked-stuffed, tossed with pasta or added as a topping on pizza, it is just plain delicious. The following restaurants serve lobster in all sorts of creative ways:

The Flying Bridge
220 Scranton Ave., Falmouth
508-548-2700

Ebb Tide Restaurant
94 Chase Ave., Dennisport
508-398-8733

The Lobster Pot Restaurant
321 Commercial St., Provincetown
508-487-0842

The Ocean House Restaurant
425 Old Wharf Rd., Dennisport
508-394-0700

The Paddock
20 Scudder Ave., Hyannis
508-775-7677

Lobster Claw Restaurant
42 Cranberry Highway (Rte. 6A), Orleans
508-255-1800

Red Nun Bar & Grill
746 Main St., Chatham
508-348-0469

There is no better way to eat the larger species of the shellfish bounty than in a stuffed quahog. The best are light and airy and made with bread crumbs, cracker crumbs or a combination of both and chocked full of plenty of meaty clam bits. The addition of butter, onions, peppers, and bacon or a Portuguese sausage makes them an extraordinary treat.  Some pretty great ones can be found at the following restaurants:

Land Ho!
8 Main St., Orleans
508-240-2321
AND
429 Main St., Harwich Port
508-430-0404

Quahog Republic Dive Bar
97 Spring Bars Rd., Falmouth
508-540-4111

J. R. Brody’s Roadside Tavern
734 Teaticket Hgwy., East Falmouth
508-444-8677

Fried seafood is one of life’s guilty pleasures and a sure sign of summer on the Cape, as clam shacks and seafood huts open for the season. There’s nothing like a piece of fresh haddock or cod, lightly breaded and fried to a golden hue. The combination of moist, flaky fish and crunchy breading is simply sublime. Or how about some nice briny clams (whole belly, of course) or sweet and juicy oysters, the perfect size to just pop in your mouth. You can find tasty fried seafood at these venerable places:

Spanky’s Clam Shack
138 Ocean St., #115, Hyannis
508-771-2770

Cooke’s Seafood
1120 Rte. 132, Hyannis; 508-775-0450:
AND
7 Ryan’s Way, Mashpee; 508-477-9595
AND
One South Orleans Rd., Orleans
508-255-5518

Yardarm Restaurant
48 South Orleans Rd., Orleans
508-255-4840

Moby Dick’s Restaurant
3225 Rte. 6, Wellfleet
508-349-9795

Arnold’s Lobster & Clam Bar
3580 Rte. 6, Eastham
508-255-2575

Captain Elmer’s Restaurant
18 Old Colony Way, Orleans
508-255-3350

Traditionally, seafood cakes were a way for home cooks and restaurant chefs to use up the scraps left over when a fish was filleted or cut, but just because their origins are thrifty it doesn’t mean they aren’t bursting with spice-enhanced flavor. Their soft and creamy interior and crispy exterior make them such a local favorite that they’ve landed on the menus of the following restaurants:

Chatham Squire
487 Main St., Chatham
508-945-0945

Hearth ‘n’ Kettle Restaurant
1196 Main St., South Yarmouth
508-394-2252
AND
Skaket Corners, Rte. 6A & West Rd., Orleans
508-240-0111
AND
In the Cape Codder Resort & Spa
Rte.. 32 & Bearse’s Way, Hyannis
508-771-3000

Captain Frosty’s Fish & Chips
219 Rte. 6A, Dennis
508-385-8548

A cup of clam chowder makes the perfect start to your Cape Cod meal and a bowl could be dinner. Creamy, comforting and oh-so-delicious, chowder is a staple on most menus on the Cape and every chef tries to outdo the next. Below are some places that serve up either award-winning chowder or chowder that takes it to the next level:

Clancy’s Restaurant & Tavern
8 Upper County Rd., Dennisport
508-394-6661
(Winner of 2011 Boston Chowder Fest)

Skipper Restaurant & Chowder House
152 South Shore Dr., South Yarmouth
508-394-7406
(Triple Crown Chowder Champions: Boston, Newport & Cape Cod Chowder-Fests.)

Captain Parker’s Pub
668 Rte. 28, West Yarmouth
508-771-4266
(Triple Crown Chowder Champions: Boston, Newport & Cape Cod Chowder-Fests.) Their chowder is also sold at various stores including the South Chatham Village Market)

Bobby Byrne’s Pub
Rte. 28 & 151, Mashpee Commons
508-477-0600
AND
498 Bearse’s Way, Hyannis
509-775-1425
AND
Rte. 6A & Tupper Rd, Sandwich
508-888-6088
(2011 winner of WCOD Chowderfest at Melody Tent)

Blue Moon Bistro
605 Main St., Dennis Village
508-385-7100

For a more upscale taste of seafood, a large bowl of seafood stew always hits the spot. Whether it’s bouillabaisse, cioppino or paella, the one thing you can count on is fresh seafood blended with vegetables and broth in a manner that is guaranteed to bring out the best flavor. Try one of these specialty dishes at the following locations, or better yet, try several so you can compare the different ethnic variations.

Mattakeese Wharf Waterfront Restaurant
273 Mill Way Rd., Barnstable
508-362-4511

Roadhouse Café
488 South St., Hyannis
508-775-2386

Napi’s Restaurant
7 Freeman St., #3, Provincetown
800-571-6274

Bookstore & Restaurant
50 Kendrick Ave., Wellfleet
508-349-3154

Twenty-Eight Atlantic at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club
On Pleasant Bay, Chatham
508-432-5400

 

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