Archive for June, 2020

Picture-Perfect Picnic Places on Cape Cod

Friday, June 26th, 2020

With concerns about coronavirus continuing, many of our guests are looking for a different kind of Cape Cod vacation, one that includes less time spent among crowds. Last month we shared suggestions on nearby restaurants that offer outdoor dining. Since then, Massachusetts has entered Part II of Phase II in its reopening plan, which means that restaurants are now offering indoor dining as well. If you’re thinking of visiting Cape Cod, but just aren’t quite ready to dine at a restaurant, consider making the most of the expanded to-go menus many restaurants continue to offer (most offer beer and wine to go as well), and head to a picture-perfect picnic place.

Harwich Port: Mad Minnow Bar & Kitchen @ Bank Street Beach Jetty

With Bank Beach Street at our doorstep, you needn’t travel far for a picnic. Mad Minnow Kitchen & Bar, in downtown Harwich Port, has an extensive to-go menu, and you can order online. Place your order, run into town and pick up your food and a bottle of wine. Back at the inn, grab a couple of our beach towels, then head up the beach to the jetty.

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Chatham: Del Mar Bistro @ Forest Beach

When restaurants were ordered closed, Del Mar Bistro immediately started offering a to-go menu and online ordering. Since then, they’ve learned to absolutely nail it. Their to-go menu changes daily and features creative dishes that have been chosen, in part, because they travel well. You had us at wood-roasted peach and burrata salad. Add an entrée or a gourmet pizza and you’ll be in heaven. After picking up your food, head back toward Seadar Inn. Forest Beach Road will be on your left as you enter South Chatham. At the end of the street is a delightfully deserted beach. Check out the trail along the back side of the beach before you leave. Don’t forget to grab towels from the inn!

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Brewster: Kate’s Fried Seafood @ Paine’s Creek

In our humble opinion, every Cape vacation must include fried clams. If you’re in agreement, head to Brewster. First stop is Luke’s Liquors (15 Lower Road, Brewster) for an icy cold four-pack of Cape Cod Beer. Within 100 yards of Luke’s, you’ll find Kate’s, a proper roadside, no-frills “old Cape Cod” clam shack. Queue up at the counter and place your order (diet be damned, get the fried clams!). Fried clams don’t travel very well; they quickly lose the all-important crisp factor. Luckily, one of the most picturesque beaches on the Cape, Paine’s Creek, is at the end of street. Bring towels!

seadar inn cape cod

Orleans: Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse (Harwich Port) @ Paw Wah Point

One of the Cape’s true hidden gems, Paw Wah Point, is less than 10 miles from our Cape Cod beach hotel. It is a secluded conservation area, with a trail leading through the woods to bayside beach, that no one seems to know about. It is so secluded that aren’t any restaurants nearby, so best to plan on a cold feast for this picnic. Luckily, Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse, which is on the way, has several tempting chilled choices on their to-go menu. Prosciutto-wrapped artichokes stuffed with gorgonzola, and an arugula salad with pancetta and pistachios are just a couple of the options on the menu that sound very appealing. Order online well ahead of time or risk getting shut out (orders accepted from 7:00 a.m.). Plan on picking up your food early; you’ll need daylight for the short walk to the beach at Paw Wah Point. No need to bring towels, unless you plan on swimming; there’s a picnic table with a view of the water waiting for you.

Cape Cod inns and hotels

Outdoor Dining on Cape Cod

Monday, June 1st, 2020

As of this writing, we are awaiting guidelines for the phased reopening of businesses in Massachusetts, with June 8th currently the target date for opening for many businesses including hotels and restaurants. It is quite possible that the permitted capacity will be reduced, at least initially. While we begin to explore the much-discussed “new normal,” you may feel more comfortable dining outdoors. There is talk of some towns permitting restaurants to add outdoor dining. Luckily, there are many restaurants that already offer outdoor dining, some of which are quite close to Seadar Inn by the Sea.

Ember

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Ember, at the corner Bank Street and Main Street, nearly doubles their typical seating capacity with a roomy terrace complete with a fire pit and its own bar. The afternoon après-beach and post-dinner hours draw a young singles crowd on the terrace, but dinnertime is more family oriented. Ember is best known for wings and their coal-fired gourmet pizzas. Creative appetizers, epic burgers, and unexpected entrées round out the offerings.

Mad Minnow

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Another option right in the center of Harwich Port is the Mad Minnow. Like Ember, the Mad Minnow already has a spacious outdoor dining area. The menu here is eclectic. The usual suspects – fish and chips, lobster rolls, fried calamari – are well represented, but it’s the “unusual suspects,” such as crab cake tater tots, duck poutine, and nikiri-glazed tuna, that keep us going back. An extensive kids’ menu make this the perfect spot for families.

The Port

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Afternoons are all about buck-a-shuck oysters and an outdoor “adult play area” with a petite bar and corn hole at The Port. Evenings offer an upscale elegant vibe with seating at tall tables on the deck, and a creative menu that runs the gamut, from fish tacos and an excellent wagyu burger to a Portuguese stew filled with local seafood, and filet mignon that redefines “meat and potatoes” in the very best way.  You had us at hand-cut truffle fries.

The Beach House at Chatham Bars Inn

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For the ultimate sand-in-the-toes outdoor dining experience, nothing tops the Beach House at Chatham Bars Inn. With the deck set directly on the beach, the views of the water are unsurpassed. And with what is typically a well-heeled crowd, the people-watching is nearly as beguiling as the location. While the menu isn’t especially long, or very daring, everything is artfully prepared, and the service is absolutely topnotch. You had us at lobster nachos.

All photos via respective websites.