Thursday, November 3, 2011
Somewhere...Beyond The Sea...A Deal is Waiting for Me
First off, dear readers, an apology for being so behind on this blog! I have indeed been dining on deals and am eager to share them with you, it's just taken a little longer then expected to write about my experiences. But, never fear, I remember each morsel in delicious detail.
My travels in the past few months took me to New England, so I used it as an excuse to slip away to one of my favorite places in the world: Cape Cod. This elegant peninsula is a mix of vacationing families and retirees. While the tourists may get stuck paying top dollar for so-so fare, the locals know that this town is chock full of deals! This being an older crowd, they are mostly found in the way of "early bird specials." So off I went to catch the worm!
My first deal was found at the Cape Sea Grille. Get your order in by 7pm, and for the price of an entree you also get a soup or salad and a dessert. Two additional courses completely gratis! This restaurant perfectly captures the beach side sophistication that is lost in so many tourist traps. The walls are lined with windows with views out on to the tall grasses and sweet cottages that define the area. The colors are plucked from the environment, with sand colored walls accented by sky blue details. We sat on the enclosed patio, the fading sunlight all around us spotlighting the perfect pink rose on each table.
The two types of bread were from a local artisan bakery. While the Pecan and Raisin bread had nice complex flavors, it was slightly burned on top. I much preferred the perfectly cooked Wheat bread. The light and airy texture of the inside contrasted nicely with the substantial crust.
I started with the soup of the day: Gazpacho. Done well, this is one of my favorite soups, and the Cape Sea Grille's version did not disappoint. The acidity of the fresh tomato gave it a nice tang which was offset by biting into the sweet corn kernels nestled within. The abundance of veggies cut into tiny pieces made every mouthful taste like summer's last hurrah. My only quibble was the creme fraiche. While it gave a nice color contrast, the mellow flavor was completely superfluous on top of the bold veggies.
For my entree I opted to go with the $24 Orange and Soy Roasted 1/2 Chicken. (Disclaimer: I thought I took a picture, but I apparently took a video, so enjoy!) The chicken itself was perfectly cooked, the meat was nice and moist. The sauce was subtle, something I did not expect with such potent flavors. What really made the dish shine was all the veggies on the plate. The caramelized onions melted in your mouth. The creamy blue and white potatoes contrasted beautifully with the crisp snap of the peas. Overall, the plate provided a lovely array of textures and a depth of flavors. I'm continually impressed by how great chefs can elevate the lowly bird.
Finally came the Chocolate Bread Pudding. This is like no other bread pudding I have ever experiened because there was no trace of "bread." That little ramekin contained pure unadulterated chocolate wonderfulness. The texture was remarkable, more substantial then fudge but far silkier and creamier then cake. Overall, a very sweet ending to a delicious meal.
The ambiance, the service, and the food all work together to ensure a special dining experience to be enjoyed by the customer. I would give this place four out of five belt notches.
Cape Sea Grille is located at:
31 Sea St.
Harwich Port, MA 02646