Helmed by chef and owner Weldon Fizell, the gastronomic gurus at The Regatta of Cotuit infuse a menu of classic ingredients with inventive twists, earning accolades from Zagat, AAA, and Boston magazine. After finding seats in the 218-year-old mansion, taste buds stockpile rich flavors of seared Hudson Valley foie gras garnished with grilled rosemary bread and blackberry-brandy compote to rival luxurious stores inside Fort Knox. Tender Georges Bank sea scallops land on tables with a caramelized coat and an entourage of butternut-squash ravioli and pea tendrils dressed with brown butter. Ovens slowly roast lacquered half ducks to ensure a crispy skin that complements sides of ginger-scallion pancakes and sautéed asian vegetables. A sorbet intermezzo cleanses palates of edible echoes from previous courses before entrees and further represses memories of fallen soufflés from ages past. Postmeal cool downs commence as forks ferry dollops of key-lime mousse into mouths to surprise unsuspecting sweet teeth.
The aromas of hickory-smoked meats and rotisserie sauces spiral upward from the dark, wooden tables at Porky's BBQ and Grill, a haven for lovers of all things barbecue. Here, tangy tastes range from St. Louis–style ribs to Texas-style beef brisket to slow-baked beans culled from the bubbling pit of barbecue sauce that lies under Kansas City. As patrons dig into Southern sides, rustic aluminum siding and tree-trunk poles conjure the atmosphere of a country hideaway. In the winter, Porky’s opens its doors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and serves dinner Thursday–Saturday during the warmer months of May and beyond.
Live music frequently fills the air at The Island Merchant, evoking the freewheeling vacation lifestyle that inspired the menu of Cape Cod Magazine’s Best Chef of 2011. On the menu, tangy fruits play foil to spicy meats: the jerk-chicken skewers laze aside a mango-pineapple coulis, and mango-papaya relish accents the potato-chip-crusted tuna steak. The seaside feel of the eats suits the space. Terra-cotta-colored tiles bedeck the backsplash behind the restaurant’s bar, where overhead woven fans mimic an island breeze or a giant with asthma. The restaurant’s tables surround the bamboo-fronted bar, which glows beneath low, golden lighting.
Just steps from the shores of Provincetown Harbor, it's not unlikely to find a fresh batch of fudge being hand-stirred, poured, or cooled. The list of accolades at Provincetown Fudge Factory runs long, but the shop's lasting appeal boils down to one simple, rhetorical question: what's not to like about fudge? The old-school fudge here is always fresh, rich, and satisfying, regardless of the particular flavor or iteration (though the Oreo and maple-nut both come highly recommended). The shop's perfectly normal, not-elvish-in-any-way fudge masters also create a variety of other sweets, including taffy, truffles, and their famous homemade peanut-butter cups.
Like a flower garden or the Beach Boys, Summer Stock blooms during the warm months, with its chefs crafting seasonal New American fare from April to December using locally sourced ingredients from Cape Cod fishermen and farms. Sumptuous starters such as flatbread, crab cakes, and raw-bar selections lead into a menu of traditional sandwiches and entrees of pasta, seafood, and steak. Imaginative cocktails and carefully curated wines please adult palates, and little ones choose from a simple kids’ menu and ply sweet teeth with cake, pie, and ice cream. Live music fills ears as diners take in the relaxed New England atmosphere and sights of the nearby Dennis Cape Playhouse, Cape Cinema, and Cape Cod Museum of Art.
The chefs at Acapulcos Mexican Family Restaurant & Cantina aim to cook authentic Mexican dishes unaltered by any Tex-Mex influence. Their recipes reach back generations within the owners' family and several miles into their underground tortilla vaults. Spanish-speaking servers deliver simple combinations of protein or veggies, topped with vibrant sauces: carne asada steak dressed in green pepper and guacamole, tender pork loin in tomatillo sauce, chicken in chocolate mole. The chefs' adherence to tradition doesn't preclude experimentation. Case in point: the dessert burrito, a lightly fried tortilla wrapped around apple-cinnamon or creamy cheesecake filling.
Both the menu and the decor change slightly from location to location—a painting of Mexico here, a tiled mosaic there. Each one, however, has a full bar where bartenders mix margaritas and flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports overhead.