Moby Dick’s Restaurant on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

Moby Dick's Restaurant

Moby Dick’s Restaurant

We are always excited to try new restaurants and when a free afternoon opened up from inn keeping our two inns, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn, we decided to try a clam shack up in Wellfleet that we had heard many guests mention last summer.

The Moby Dick restaurant has been on Cape Cod since 1982 and serves fresh local seafood that you order from an extensive menu listed on a board when you first walk in. Many, many choices with friendly staff to help you decide.

Greeter at the order desk

Greeter at the order desk

Scallop Sandwich

Scallop Sandwich

We had a great “clam shack meal” that included a shrimp taco and scallop sandwich. Byron was especially pleased that they had some of his favorites including Lemon Freezes and Key Lime Pie….did you notice that all of his favorites were found on the dessert menu?

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos

I was impressed with the menu that included the World famous Wellfleet Oysters, good salads, creative burgers, signature clambake items including clams and lobster and some wonderful gumbos and chowder. The menu was actually very extensive and the service impeccable. We had a nice conversation with the English J-1 student and it was clear that they were preparing for a very busy season as there were many servers ready to please.

What a perfect place to stop after a day of whale watching or beaching at the National Seashore.

National Seashore Beach

National Seashore Beach

Exhaling on Cape Cod and loving the wonderful fresh seafood that abounds on cape Cod.

Summer events on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

Spring gardens at Brewster by the Sea

Spring gardens at Brewster by the Sea

Summer is finally here….thankfully! Our pools are open at Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn, we have planted our vegetable gardens, the hanging plants are up at the Freeman

Petunia Hanging Baskets at the Freeman

Petunia Hanging Baskets at the Freeman

and our gardens are full of color. All of our guests are talking about wonderful walks on the beach as well as some interesting events in the area.

Cape Cod Life magazine just published a new list of upcoming events to celebrate the beginning of summer.  Listed below are some of our favorites:

Through October- Take a tour of the beautiful and historic Nauset Lighthouse in Eastham on Sundays in May through October and on Wednesdays in July and August.

Nauset Light House

Nauset Light House

May 31 through June 8- The Cahoon Museum of American Art’s retrospective of famous Cape Cod artist, Richard Sparre, captures the unique coastal beauty of Cape Cod as seen through the eyes of this former friend of artist Ralph and Martha Cahoon.

Through June 22- Featuring the work of six contemporary Cape Cod painters, “Six of One” is a mid career collective of Joe Diggs, Sarah Dineen, Richard Neal, Jackie Reeves, Andre van der Wende and James Wolf. Referencing the idiom, “six of one, half a dozen of the other” the exhibit implies that despite the artists divergent approaches to contemporary painting, there is a common thread among them. For more information visit ccmoa.org

June 4,11 and 18- Nature lovers will enjoy guided walks led by Cape Cod Museum of Natural history’s Connie Boyce through several Cape Cod trails; all walks leave from the museum’s parking lot.

June 20-22- Bestselling authors Jodi Picoult and George Pelecanos will be among a group of prominent authors scheduled to appear at the Third Annual Nantucket Book Festival, held on the island from Friday, June 20 through Sunday, June 22. Nationally recognized authors as well as local writers from the Cape and Islands will be on hand. The lectures are open to the public and will be held in the Nantucket Atheneum. For more information visit nantucketbookfestival.org

June 29- American Idol contestant and Cape native, Siobhan Magnus, performs in an acoustic concert with other musicians at 4:30pm at South Yarmouth’s The Cultural Center. For more information visit cultural-center.org

Exhaling on Cape Cod!

Sunset at Breakwater Beach

Sunset at Breakwater Beach

Biking on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

Biking near the Freeman

Biking near the Freeman

Many of our guests staying at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa and the Captain Freeman love to bike during their stay on Cape Cod. We have very convenient areas to store your personal bikes and if you don’t have a bike we love to recommend a great bike rental spot just up the street called Cape Cod Rail Trail Bike and Kayak.

The Cape is full of wonderful, safe trails for your to explore and enjoy Cape Cod. Some of our favorites are listed below:

Cape Cod Canal Bike Path

Cape Cod Canal Bike Path

Cape Cod Canal Bike Path

This bikeway follows the Cape Cod Canal through sections of Bourne and Sagamore, respectively. Maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers, it offers fantastic views of the canal’s various boat traffic, along with the area’s quaint shoreline scenery of unique homes and natural beauty.

The path is actually the Corp’s access road, a paved route designated for government vehicles, foot traffic and non-motorized vehicles only. It runs for approximately 7 – 8 miles between both Bourne and Sagamore Bridges. Featuring a generous width with minimal grades, it’s ideal for casual cyclists, especially families with younger children.

Shining Sea Bikeway

Shining Sea Bikeway Path

Shining Sea Bikeway Path

The Shining Sea Bikeway (SSB) was named for a line in the song America The Beautiful, written by Falmouth native Katharine Lee Bates. It follows the original route of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad that used to run from Buzzards Bay, through North and West Falmouth, around Woods Hole and into Falmouth Station. In the early 1970′s the Town of Falmouth purchased the right of way, tore up the tracks and officially opened the 3.3-mile Shining Sea Bikeway in 1975.

In 2009, a new 7.4-mile section was added, extending the trail to North Falmouth. This addition was built with a $3.2 million federal grant. Now the SSB runs 10.7 miles from County Road in North Falmouth all the way to the Steamship Authority parking lot in Woods Hole.

Cape Cod Rail Trail-

Biking on the Cape Cod rail Trail

Biking on the Cape Cod rail Trail

This trail runs right through our lovely town of Brewster and close access for both inns.The Cape Cod Rail Trail (CCRT) is a paved bikeway that runs 25 miles from South Dennis to Wellfleet. The terrain is relatively flat with some minor grades in certain sections in the Lower / Outer Cape areas, specifically Orleans and Wellfleet. It easily offers the greatest variety in scenery and natural landscapes of all the regional bike paths.

Nickerson State Park- located right in Brewster with many walk paths as well as beautiful paths around pristine lakes in the park. The bike path is challenging in that there are many hills.

Exhaling on Cape Cod…….

Dining on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

Monk Fish

Monk Fish at the Brewster Fish House

I love good food and  always pay attention to guest’s comments about their dining experiences while visiting Cape Cod. We feel very fortunate to have so many great restaurants that are close to our two inns, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa and the Captain Freeman Inn. I thought it would be fun in this blog to summarize some of our favorites.
28 Atlantic at the Wequassett Inn Resort, Chatham- whenever we have guests that want a very special place to celebrate a birthday or anniversary we love to recommend 28 Atlantic. The restaurant boosts beautiful views of Pleasant Bay and the food is top notch…fresh fish that is brought daily to their docks along with  many creative dishes.

BlackFish, Truro- modeled in a British pub style of eatery featuring Italian and French cuisine. Really unique dishes including rabbit ragu. $$

Brewster Fish House, Brewster- still probably our favorite restaurant ever and we are lucky to have it right up the street from the Captain Freeman. Many of our guests walk for their evening meal or light lunch. The Fish House boasts a menu full of top notch seafood and a loyal following that reflects the quality of the food and service. Guests will wait several hours for an evening meal, all for good reason.

<em>Land Ho, Orleans -sometimes one just craves a good hamburger and if so, this is the place to go. The Ho serves a combination of Cape Cod cuisine with a pub atmosphere including great chowder, fried clams and daily specials.

The Lobster Claw in P”Town- it’s always a special treat to spend the day in P’town where we love to recommend to our guests that they go whalewatching, see the sights and have lunch at the not to be missed Lobster Pot. The restaurant has beautiful views of the harbor along with a true Cape Cod lobster experience.

Steak at Mahoney's

Steak at Mahoney’s

Mahoney’s Atlantic in Orleans- we have been recommending this restaurant to our guests for years. It’s just a short drive form both of our inns and the food is always fresh and creative. The atmosphere is upscale pubby with plenty of great martinis to choose from. They do not take reservations but handle crowds very well. The menu has basically stayed the same for years but we understand why the chef owner has kept it over the years….the menu has plenty to choose from with great seafood and salad choices. My husband is always happy as they always have great beef.

Salad at PB Boulangerie Bistro

Salad at PB Boulangerie Bistro

PB Boulangerie Bistro- PB combines local flavors with traditional French dining. They offer a lovely neighborhood feel with an elegant French menu. The restaurant also includes a fabulous french bakery where you can purchase a croissant or baguette for your home dining.

Red Pheasant in Dennis- creative classic American cuisine with emphasis on native seafood, lamb and game. Romantic cozy atmosphere with a large old fashion fireplace in the winter.

Abba’s in Orleans- a unique fusion of Mediterranean and Thai cuisine. Specialty dishes include curries and sauces…..this is a real favorite for our adventuresome diners.

Ocean House  in Dennis- what separates this restaurant is the beautiful Atlantic views along with fabulous unique dining that has a slight Asian infusion.

Bucas Tuscan Roadhouse in Harwich- i I had to choose one restaurant for my last meal I think it would have to be Bucas. This restaurant is sooooo romantic and the food so true to Northern Italy cuisine, with just a touch of Cape Cod twirled in. My only problem when I dine here is what to have for dinner……so many great choices!

Lost Dog Pub in Dennis- there logo says Come Sit Stay and that’s exactly what you want to do at this pub. We love to sit in the bar and order their chicken barbecue pizza, all home made. There are plenty of TV’s if you want to keep track of your favorite team.

Fin in Dennis- this is a great seafood restaurant that does take reservations. The chef owner’s husband has his own oyster farm so you know you’ll always enjoy the very freshest oysters around. Farm to table philosophy that really stands out!

Chillingsworth in Brewster- creative modern French cuisine in a very formal atmoshere with old fashion attention to detail. The mac and cheese and creme brulee are to die for!

Bramble Inn in Brewster- wonderful traditional American cuisine with plenty of Cape Cod touches. Dining room is set in an old fashion building with china that you may remember from your grandmother’s house.

We love to help our guests make their dining choices during their stay at the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa.

We feel so blessed to have so many wonderful choices close by. During the high season advance reservations are recommended for many of the fine dining spots, and we would be glad to help plan ahead.

Bon Appetite to all of our special guests staying on Cape Cod.

April happenings on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

I think everyone is ready for spring this year. All of our guests staying at the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa are commenting on what a long winter it has been on the east coast. It just feels like the cold, snow and winter winds will never go away.

I have seen a few hints around the inn which includes some of our bulbs sprouting the first signs of green in our gardens.

tulips and hyacinths- soon to come!

tulips and hyacinths- soon to come!

It’s so encouraging that the days are getting longer and I was thrilled to see so many activities on Cape Cod for the month of April. What a great time of the year to come to the Cape to enjoy the quiet before the crowds arrive, to see the gardens come to life and to walk our beautiful beaches. Listed below are some events to enjoy during your stay on Cape Cod:

April 1- Opening day at the Pilgrim Monument- Open to the public and a tribute to Provincetown’s rich whaling heritage. A tribute to the whalers, called Forgotten Port will be on display in the East Gallery. The exhibit will feature tools and artifacts from whaling vessels, photos and art, whale bones and other objects that represent the whaling legacy on Cape Cod.

April 5- In search of the Right Whale- North Atlantic Right Whales, the rarest and most endangered of all of the whale species, stop over in Cape Cod bay each spring to feed in the zooplankton rich waters. Join Mass Audubon members at Herring Cove and Race Point in Provincetown for a chance to observe right whales from the shores of local beaches. Preregistration is required. Call 508-349-2615.

April 5-6 Letting Go- Conductor Jung-Ho Pak will lead the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra as they perform a symphony featuring a fusion of classical, jazz, country and funk. Call 508-362-1111 for tickets.

April 9- Wildlife on Tap Lecture- Join NPR “Bird News” host and birding expert Vern Laux for his lecture on “Bird Life of the Cape and Islands, the Common, The Not So Common and the Megas!” to learn why the Cape and Islands are so good for birds and why so many vagrants (bird spotted well outside their normal locales) have been and continue to be detected here. A donation of $10 is requested.

April 19- Opening Day at Heritage Museum and Gardens. Visit the museum on opening day and browse a collection of permanent and traveling exhibitions that represent the best of American culture.

April 26-27- Sandwich Daffodil Festival- Celebrate Sandwich’s 375th year at the Daffodil Festival which will feature food, music, gardening and a local artists sale.

April 30- Meet the Fleet:Conch – Given how hard it has been for local fisherman to catch cod, many have switched to fishing for channeled whelk, or conch as it is commonly called. Conch is in high demand in Asia and Mediterranean countries, but is has gone through boom and bust cycles. Cape fisherman will share their stories and discuss their conservation efforts for this important fishery and Chef Tony “Scungilli” Pasquale will share tips on how to prepare this local delicacy. Held at the Fisherman’s Alliance headquarters in Chatham.

Can’t wait for April to arrive….Happy Spring!

 

Right whales are back on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

Whale watching on Cape Cod

Whale watching on Cape Cod

Thar they Blow!……..as recently quoted in the Cape Codder. The Right Whales are back on Cape Cod and are attracting attention. Eight right whales were sited by the naked eye of off Herring Cove in Provincetown last week by employees from the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. Herring Cove is the perfect place to watch as the cove is situated just south of the Atlantic’s gate, offering optimal viewing of these rare and endangered creatures as they enter and move around Cape Cod Bay in search of food. Over the last few years, more and more Right whales have made the bay a destination, with scientists estimating that up to half of the North Atlantic population has congregated to Cape Cod bay. That means that summer whale watching will be especially popular and an event that we encourage our guests staying at Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn to enjoy during their stay.

The Right whales that have been recently seen early in the season can be observed by the naked eye or with binoculars from the beaches in Provincetown. It’s an opportunity to see one of the rarest animals on earth. The spring action of these whales may not be as spectacular as whale watching during the summer months when the whales breach high in the air near the whale watching boats. But to the naked eye straining from shore, the whales head appears as dark wedges plowing slowly along the surface. They are actually skim feeding where they graze on dense patches of zooplankton. Their whole game now is food as they have not eaten a good meal all winter long. Other clues to identifying the Right whales are in the tail. At this time of the year, if you see a whale lift it’s tail before it dives, it’s almost certain that it is a Right whale. Humpback whales do the same thing but they have not arrived yet. And if you see a lot of thrashing at the surface and flippers flashing into view, that’s likely a group of Right whales engaged in heavy flirtation.

During the summer months we have created a wonderful whale watching package that includes  a care package for your adventure, tickets for two for a whale watching boat ride and a harbor view lunch afterwards.

Summer whale watching on Cape Cod

Summer whale watching on Cape Cod

The whalewatching boat tours begin in April but what a wonderful adventure to come early and see these spectacular whales with your binoculars while relaxing on a beach chair while sunning and relaxing on the beach. You can also enjoy unhurried dining and off season rates at both the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa.

Here’s to a wonderful whale watching season on Cape Cod.

 

It’s a tough job on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

As mentioned in the title, it really is one of the hardest parts of our careers as innkeepers…regularly checking out all of the restaurants on Cape Cod so that we can give our first hand experience to our “foodies “…… kidding aside, we really love dining out and would do it 7 days a week if our budget and middles would allow.

Brewster Fish House

Brewster Fish House

Last night we dined with good friends at our favorite restaurant just down the street from our two inns, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn, the Brewster Fish House. We always laugh each spring as during the quiet season we travel all over Cape Cod checking out the restaurants, and we always come back to saying that we are very blessed as our favorite is just down the street.

Oysters at the Fish House

Oysters at the Fish House

Guests staying at the Freeman can walk to the Fish House and we love to give them flash lights so they can meander back to the inn the old fashion way. For our guests staying at Brewster by the Sea it’s just a short drive back to the inn. (3 miles)

Last nights meal was really extraordinary, and we were so pleased to learn that the Fish House owners have just hired Toby Hill as their new chef. Toby is an accomplished chef who did great things at some of our other favorites including the Ocean House and Lyric.

First let me start out by talking about the ambiance at the Fish House. It’s a humble yet elegant atmosphere that was instrumental in guiding us in our two inn’s ambiance twelve years ago. Just before we purchased Brewster by the Sea many years ago we had lunch at the Brewster Fish House. As we sat there being a little nervous about our upcoming purchase we both talked about the feeling that we had sitting at our table as the sun shined in. It was a feeling I have embraced with all of the decorating I have done at both inns. You might think me crazy as with most dining establishments the decor is mainly made up of tables, but this was more about a feeling. The food was light, fresh, flavorful but very gourmet. The service was friendly and helpful but not over the top formal. The decor on the walls was soothing yet joyful. I summarize my decorating style as casually elegant and that is exactly how you fell at the Fish House. During the summer months you could walk in with flip flops and shorts and feel comfortable or if it was a special occasion you could dress up and feel totally comfortable as well.

Well on to the important part and as my husband would say, let’s talk about the food and not the feelings.

We decided to share an appetizer and ordered the beet salad. I love beets and grow them in our gardens during the summer months. We love to pickle them and enjoy them in our salads year round.

Beet salad

Beet salad

The Fish House served theirs with a delicious goat’s cheese and lemon grass and chives. The combination of flavors was unique and delicious. I also enjoy the Fish House’s portions as they are a healthy European size. We do hear complaints now and then that their portions are not large enough. For us they are perfect!

Calamari at the Fish House

Calamari at the Fish House

Our friends shared the Calamari. They loved the flavors as well, and we noted that recent guests said this dish was their favorite part of the meal.

Everyone loved their main courses as well.

Broiled salmon

Broiled salmon

I had the broiled salmon that was served with Broccolini, all perfectly prepared.

Byron had……”where’s the beef” as his eye always goes to the beef choice. They served a perfectly prepared sirloin. Needless to say he was very happy:) p.s. his portion was very large and nothing was left at the end of his meal:)

Brewster Fish House Sirloin

Brewster Fish House Sirloin

I was debating about having the Cod which was encrusted with something delicious that I cannot remember.It looked extraordinary as well.

Cod

Cod

The last entry was Monk Fish that our chef extradianaire, Carol had. She has remarkable taste buds and was very pleased with her meal. Carol is the chef for our culinary classes as the Captain Freeman.

Monk Fish

Monk Fish

Thanks Brewster Fish House for such a wonderful evening.