Thursday, April 2, 2015

Move Over, Pucci, There's a New Wing in Provincetown, and a Best Bite!

When chefs Tom Pucci and Rob Anderson opened their new kitchen at The Canteen a couple of summers ago, they brought back those legendary Pucci Wings of days gone by, and the town rejoiced. Those amazing wings won TheYearRounder's Best Bite award that summer because they are unique, and, quite simply, the best Buffalo style chicken wings on the planet.
Now, skip forward a couple of years to the seasonal reopening of The Central House at the Crown & Anchor, at 247 Commercial Street.

The smoky chicken wings served at The Central House earn TheYearRounder's
Best Bite award for the Crown & Anchor, and Executive Chef Michele Ragussis.

Coming on the heels of the snowiest winter in recent PTown memory, Chef Michele Ragussis creates a cozy culinary oasis on Commercial Street as the town begins to thaw out, and she brings us an entirely different sort of wing. And, once more, the town rejoices.

With a flavor and character that is, again, unique, these smoked chicken wings will give Pucci's a run for their money. These are very different from Buffalo wings. Personally, I'll be eating them both, because the two recipes are so diverse, but I know I'll be unable to resist stopping in at The Crown for a wing fix, often. There's no reason not to, since these lip-smacking, smoky wings aren't fried, so they're a bit healthier for us, too.
To get all of that audacious flavor into these splendid chicken wings, Michele seasons them up with her special, mildly spicy blend of seasonings, and slides them into the oven to brown. Then, she finishes her wings by smoking them, right on the grill. You can't get this kind of flavor any other way.
She serves them with her chipotle bleu cheese sauce, which gives this dish's piquant flavors that final little kick, making this plate one you'll want to order again on your next visit. In fact, it's that robust flavor that makes this dish the winner of TheYearRounder's first Best Bite award of the 2015 season, and it's all I can do not to order them every time I walk into the joint. It takes real discipline on my part, folks, to order something different every time, wherever I might eat, so I can really discover the best of Provincetown, and share it all with you.
Right now, the Central House at The Crown & Anchor is open Thursday through Sunday, with an "all day" menu, so you can order these Smoky Wings for lunch or dinner. Great chefs generally like to change up their menus with the seasons, or even more often, but I'm hoping the Smoky Wings will become a staple, remaining on the menu. In any case, you'll want to get yourself to The Central House and taste these glorious Smoky Wings, found on the "small Plates" section of the menu, while you have the chance.
These wings also make a great accompaniment to a drink at the bar. In fact, I'm pretty sure I'll find myself at The Crown again soon, for another plate of wings. I'll ask award winning sommelier Peter Miscikoski to recommend one of his unique wines to go with them, and next week, I'll tell you about the wine he chose for me.
As the saying goes, it just doesn't get much better than that.

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