Friday, June 28, 2013
Vacationing In Provincetown: Dining & Drinking (Part 3)
Overall, I enjoyed plenty of delicious food in Provincetown, at high end restaurants as well as small cafes. Many of these places would be welcome additions to the culinary scene of Boston. Besides the food, I was pleasantly surprised by the wine lists, which were far more diverse and interesting than I expected. In fact, they were more diverse and interesting than some Boston restaurants I have visited. Wine prices were also generally lower than what you find in Boston. Though I only scratched the surface of the culinary world in Provincetown, I was impressed by what I found and want to explore it more, maybe at the Food & Wine Festival in October.
Harbor Lounge, located on Commercial Street and facing the ocean. A small lounge, I still was pleased at the diversity of wines available by the glass. They have a full bar and I chose to drink a Dark n' Stormy, with Goslings Black Seal Rum. We received a large platter of cheeses, meats, dips, crackers, grapes and more. Fresh, high quality and tasty, this was a pleasant way to start off our evening. With a great view, this is a nice spot to stop by for a cocktail or glass of wine.
The Mews Restaurant & Cafe, which is co-owned by Ron Robin, who we met during dinner. Known as Rockin' Ron, he also works as a radio personality on Dunes 102.3 FM. The original location of the restaurant, in 1964, was discovered to have once been a stable, and the old English word for stable is "mews," hence the restaurant's name. In 1993, the restaurant was moved to its current location.
The upstairs area is for the bar and cafe, while the downstairs is the main dining area, though the downstairs is really at street level and you have a great view of the beach. All of the art and stained glass windows in the restaurant were created by local artists. Local carpenters also designed the tables and benches. The dining room has a cool and casual vibe, a homey place which will appeal to couples, families and groups.
The wine list is interesting, though I was especially impressed with their vodka list, which contains over 260 selections from all over the world. Who would have thought you would find such a vodka selection in Provincetown? I enjoyed a couple of vodkas, including a Chopin Rye and Belvedere Rye, which I had never tasted before. I could come here dozens of times, just to taste through the intriguing vodka list.
Executive Chef Laurence DeFreitas has worked for The Mews for 24 years and Ron mentioned that the chef seeks to create "flavorful food," and not "vanilla" cuisine. Despite his lengthy position at the restaurant, Chef DeFreitas is not dwelling in the past and his menu remains fresh and interesting, often relying on fresh and local ingredients. A number of the dishes have an Asian flair to them. The menu is divided into Starters ($10-$16), Salads ($9-$14) and Mains ($22-$35). Begin with a Starter like a Wild Boar Naan Pizza or a Tuna Sushi Tempura and move onto a Main like Mongolian Style Grilled Lamb Chops or Pork Vindaloo.
I continued with The Wedge ($10) a salad of baby romaine, topped by cracked black pepper & Parmesan vinaigrette strewn with pancetta crumbles. Fresh romaine with lots of salty pancetta and a very pleasant vinaigrette. Simple but tasty.
Patio American Grill & Cocktail Bar, which is also located on Commercial Street. It serves plenty of seafood dishes, New England cuisine, and sandwiches. It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a wide range of cocktails and wines. I enjoyed a glass of Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose with my lunch.
The Purple Feather Cafe & Treatery, where you can find lunch, gelato, desserts, chocolate and more. It is owned and operated by Peter and Ann Okun, year round residents, and Ann has about 25 years of chocolate making experience. The Purple Feather has gone beyond just chocolate, selling a wide range of enticing sweets.
Ptown Parties, and they did an excellent job in arranging the event, as well as providing plenty of delicious food. For example, they had blankets for everyone, in fact two per person, so that you had one blanket to lay down atop the sand and another to wrap around yourself if you were chilly.
cost of such a clambake is roughly $62.50 per person, with an added cost for the staff, dependent on the number of people at the clambake. There are plenty of extras you can order as well. In addition, they have a more budget option, for only $47.50 per person. For this type of event, and the quality of the food, I think the prices are reasonable. We had plenty of delicious food, and the setting and experience are quite memorable. If you want a true New England experience, then you have to have a beach side clambake.
Cafe Heaven, which turned out to be an excellent choice. It is a small, casual spot, with windows looking out on Commercial Street. Their breakfast menu has plenty of the usual offerings, with some of their own more unique items, from homemade English muffins to linguica. Everything is reasonably priced too.
The recommendations for Cafe Heaven were spot on, and I add my own hearty recommendation for this restaurant.
Lucky Dog Ptown, which primarily sells gourmet hot dogs and lobster rolls. They sell ten different hot dogs, the the hot dogs are made from their own special recipe. You can get your dog ($4.95-$10.95) topped with items like chili, mac n' cheese, slaw, bacon, baked beans and more. There are six different lobster rolls ($15.95-$19.95), made with simple mayo or butter, or topped by items like bacon or mac n' cheese. You'll also find a few other sandwiches, from pulled pork to sausage, as well as sides, such as baked beans, potato salad and chili.
Provincetown Portuguese Bakery, which not only is a bakery but also serves breakfast and lunch. With Tibor Bago as the main chef, the bakery sells a variety of appealing Portuguese pastries, breads and more, and they all look enticing. I had to order the Malassada, a type of Portuguese donut which resembles fried dough, and it was well worth it, especially if they are still warm. It is far better than a carnival fried dough, being lightly sweet with a great, flaky pastry. This is a must stop if you visit Provincetown!