Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Seafood Trio Puttanesca at Pepe's Wharf Earns TheYearRounder's Best Bite Award

Seafood Trio Puttanesca at Pepe's Wharf, full of local scallops, mussels and shrimp.
This beautiful Seafood Trio Puttanesca, served at Pepe's Wharf, was the best  thing I ate in PTown this week, and I think this might be my favorite new dish of the season.
I don't know if I'd call it a putanesca, though the menu lists some traditional ingredients like capers and olives in a spicy tomato sauce.
I didn't find the dish to be very spicy, with the usual long-simmered, thick sauce. Instead it was much more delicate, with an abundance of subtle flavors and a slight bit of sweetness that was perfect with the gorgeous seafood that went all the way to the bottom of the bowl.

Pepe's round, rustic loaf of crusty bread comes to your table warm from the oven.
Served over spaghetti noodles that were cooked perfectly al dente, this meal had very generous helpings of large shrimp, big, plump mussels, and succulent scallops, fresh from local waters.
All of the juices from the seafood added another depth of flavor to this rather unusual "puttanesca" and its light, luscious sauce that I've been craving ever since I tasted it. I soaked up every drop of it with some of the warm, crusty bread that Pepe's serves with their dinners.
The wonderful flavors, generous portion and very reasonable price of this splendid dish all combine to earn a Best Bite award from TheYearRounder, recognizing the quality and value of this great PTown meal.
Add to all of that the unparalleled views of Provincetown Harbor from Pepe's, with two outdoor decks, right at the edge of the water. You'll see why another meal here is a "must" for visitors returning  to Provincetown and for locals alike.

Granny's Butterscotch Bread Pudding is Pepe's elevated twist on a humble dessert
I had my eye on the chocolate cream pie, or maybe the coconut cake with ice cream for dessert, but when I was invited to sample Granny's Butterscotch Bread Pudding, even though I never have cared much for either bread pudding or for butterscotch, I had to taste it.
I know that Pepe's new owners, who bought the restaurant last spring, have a penchant for creating memorable desserts, so I knew they would make me like it.
Sure enough, it was a rectangle of tender, tasty bread pudding with just a bit of crustiness near the edges, perfectly baked. I smelled it from ten feet away, as my server carried it toward me. It was dusted with a bit of confectioners sugar and topped with a mound of lightly macerated,  thinly-sliced, fresh peaches, served in a pool of delicate, velvety sauce, a bit like a light crème anglaise. I will definitely want to order it again.
I'm eager to have more from Pepe's new menu, including the rustic lobster bisque. That has got me quite curious. I try to eat everywhere each summer, but I have the feeling I'll be eating again at Pepe's a time or two before I make it all the way around the rest of the town.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Authentic Mexican Food Hits PTown, at Rosie's Traditional Mexican Cantina

It was love at first bite when I tasted Rosie's simple, traditional Mexican flavors.
I was so excited to find actual Mexican food on Commercial Street that I didn't even think of adding a squirt of hot sauce or asking for sour cream, or any of the other stuff that a typical Americanized taco needs to give it some personality.
I actually let out a rather audible sigh of contentment upon my first bite at Rosie's Traditional Mexican Cantina, at 331 Commercial Street. I started out, of course, with a couple of tacos. From the list of available fillings I selected pastor (marinated pork) for one, and chorizo (a mildly spicy Mexican sausage) for the other.
Each had my choice of meat, sprinkled liberally with chopped, fresh cilantro and onion, nestled into a double layer of thin, fresh, lightly fried tortillas. I just drizzled each taco with a little juice from the wedge of fresh lime that came with my order, and devoured them. The flavors were bright, and, well... authentic! The food at Rosie's is the real deal.

This spicy tamale sold out twice as the special this day.
From there I moved on to a good-sized tamale, the daily special, which had already sold out, but another batch was just being freshly made from scratch, and just in time for me to get in on it.
I was surprised by this tamale on two counts (three if you count the fact that it was chicken instead of the more usual pork filling.) First, the masa harina (the corn dough) was a reddish color, fairly spicy, and, secondly, the filling wasn't just a little bit of shredded chicken, but a nice chunk of tender, juicy chicken breast rolled into the tamale's center.
I had never had a tamale like this one, and hope to find it as a special on the menu again sometime. There's a good reason why that menu is listed on a big chalkboard every day. I can't wait to see what else might pop up, for a day at a time.
Rosie's took over Burger Queen's former spot (a moment of silence, please, for the loss of some of the best burger bargains in town, not to mention those fine mac-and-cheese nuggets!) So this new little "cantina" is a walk-up, counter service joint with plenty of picnic tables, under a big awning in case of a little rain or too much sun
On Rosie's menu board, some items come and go all day. 
Another PTown website erroneously reported table service here, but instead, you'll order at the window, and they'll holler your name in a few minutes when your food is ready, to eat there or to take out. I feel like they'll be hollering my name on a fairly regular basis.
Perhaps their hours are still evolving, as I couldn't find them listed anywhere, but they are open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want to go again soon for Mexican style eggs or a breakfast burrito, or a dinner of flautas served with rice and beans. And I'll certainly need to taste the carne asada taco, and the carnitas variety, and the burritos, and enchiladas, tortas, tostadas, and with any luck, a few dishes I've never heard of.
I'm going to need more days in this short summer, so I can work my way through the menu at Rosie's Traditional Mexican Cantina. Bring on the homemade sangria!