Friday, May 10, 2013

From the Red Inn to The Red Shack, PTown Restaurants Reopen for 2013

The Red Inn remains one of the Cape's most charming restaurants.
These last couple of weeks there have been opening days at a number of restaurants all over town, and at many of these, opening parties with hors d'oeuvres and tidbits, and samples from their menus. I call it hors d'oeuvre season. It's a great time to wander the town and taste signature dishes or new offerings for the coming season in some of our favorite restaurants, or to become familiar with a new spot as the doors open for the first time ever. Watch for upcoming posts about the new Brazilian flavors at the Aquarium Marketplace, as well as the great new coffee shop right next to Town Hall, both mentioned briefly below. 
Each year, one of the town's most anticipated "opening" parties is held at the Red Inn, found at 15 Commercial Street, in the Far West End of Provincetown. The deck that runs the length of the inn looks out over spectacular Provincetown Harbor, which creates the perfect backdrop for the traditional spring gathering at this charming, romantic inn on the edge of the beach. At these opening events we all get a chance to converse with old friends we haven't seen since the end of the last season, we sample some remarkable food, and at the Red Inn's party there's always music and the chance to spin around the dance floor with friends old and new.
As usual, well-wishers were wowed by the constant cavalcade of comestibles coming out of the kitchen all evening. The waitstaff deftly swirled through the crowd with tidbits, appetizers, platters of oysters on the half-shell, filet mignon, and other favorites such as the Red Inn's famous herbed lamb chops. One of the best tastes of the evening was the mascarpone grits topped with Cajun crawfish. This luscious, creamy, slightly spicy side dish will be on the dinner menu this summer, served alongside a lightly blackened rainbow trout. It's sure to be a Townie Favorite.
Further along Commercial Street, at number 99, Sal's Place has reopened for their 51st season, serving Italian food (the real thing,) dreamy desserts (including homemade selections from Lora's own recipes) and there's a wine bar with varieties from around the world, many of them available by the glass, and some special menu items and bargains as well. All this and more, and that fabulous view, right on the edge of the harbor. Always a great opening party, with a stunning spread served banquet style for the whole community. It's coming up on May 22nd. See you there.
As always for a party in Provincetown, some folks wore casual
attire to Saki's opening and some dressed up for the occasion.
Another happening spot this week on Commercial Street was Saki, in the center of town, serving up trays of sushi and other Asian delights to a throng of elated Townies. Skewers of beef satay, morsels of their candied chicken, and the stellar sweet potato roll (my favorite, seasoned perfectly and rolled up with crispy tempura crumb) were just a few of the tasty offerings at their opening.
Also now open for the 2013 season are a number of casual spots near the center of town, some with walk-up counters, some that are sit-down restaurants, and all are favorites in one way or another. I've written recently about The Coffee Pot and their ever-growing menu of homemade specialties, and the Portuguese Bakery, home of the best fried dough in town, hands down. Read about one of my all-time favorite meals, at Native Cape Cod Seafood, now open in the Aquarium Marketplace. The Fortune Cookie is open, and I can't wait to have the scallion pancakes, the Thai chicken wings and other favorites we've missed so much over the winter. Connie's Bakery is open, too, with some big changes, but I think you're going to like them. More about that excitement soon, along with an update on Uma Loucura, the new Brazillian spot serving a great stew of black beans and turkey sausage, and other flavors new to PTown. The Aqua Bar has reopened, with Dante and Ronna serving cold beers and specialty cocktails on the deck at the edge of the harbor.
I had my first steamers for the season the other night at the Mayflower Café, and if you click the link you'll find the post I wrote about them last September. I visited John's Footlong for their terrific fish sandwich, still one of the best deals in town. Click this link to read my October post about John's lobster roll.
I stopped by Blondie's new digs at 214 Commercial Street last week as they were putting the finishing touches on their new dining room (YAY!) and they promised their same menu would be available, but now with a full bar as well. I'll write about them as soon as I can get there for a meal.
When the new P'town Café opened with hors d'oeuvres the other night, at 258 Commercial Street,
I tasted their fabulous herbed pork, and can't wait to try the sandwich that will feature it. Fresh baked goods and excellent coffee there as well. More on this spot soon.
Of course, the Lobster Pot is open, and you can read the post I wrote about them on April 16th, or click this link to read about another favorite PTown meal of mine that's served there, posted last September. You can also type any key words (like lobster) into the search box above to find past articles on specific topics. Go ahead, try it out and see where it will take you...
The Red Shack is back, and the neighborhood rejoices!
And that brings us to The Red Shack, across from the Chamber of Commerce at Lopes Square. Lunch and supper for now, but soon breakfast, too, and hours will go longer into the evening. They serve a little of everything: pizza, sandwiches, soups, dogs, and lobster rolls served half-a-dozen different ways. All are served with a quarter-pound of fresh lobster. The Mexican adds cilantro, lettuce, tomato and salsa. Try the Moroccan, with curry, mint, pineapple and a touch of mayo. The Californian adds lettuce, tomato, bacon and avocado. All of these are served on a Portuguese roll, and all of their breads are baked fresh each morning at the Portuguese Bakery, right around the corner. You can't get any fresher than that.
Mylan and Pamela will be whipping up some daily specials as well. My mouth still waters when I think about the roast pork sandwich they made me last autumn. Mylan spent time working as a personal chef while living in California, and cooked for various country clubs as well, and it shows in the quality and imagination in the food served at The Red Shack.
We welcome back all of these great PTown eateries, with more to come in the weeks ahead.

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