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.
Inside emBargo, a martini and tapas bar located in downtown Hyannis, servers arrive at lamplit tables with trays of hot and cold small plates, oysters on half shells, and seafood sliders. Each order of tapas resembles a work of art: applewood bacon and arugula add color to a plate of pan-seared scallops, and delicate drizzles of pomegranate molasses sauce spell out the word "Art!" on the grilled lamb so there's no mistaking what you're seeing. After dining on marinated artichokes wrapped in Serrano ham, diners can sip one of 20 signature martinis while listening to live entertainment, including jazz on Saturday nights and after-hours karaoke on Wednesdays.
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.
Since 1970, Cape Cod Vacuum has been furnishing homeowners and commercial cleaners with the requisite equipment for tackling household messes. Across their four locations, the shop boasts a large inventory of upright, canister, cordless, and central vacuums from Dyson, Miele, Electrolux, and Hoover, as well as commercial vacuums, cleaning products, and floor care equipment. In addition, an onsite team of technicians reconditions and repairs vacuums by most major brands.
Growing up on a New York dairy farm and rural Maine town, respectively, Sailing Cow Cafe co-owners Robyn Thibodeau and Sandy Jessup were always proud of their landlocked homes, but each longed for the sea. The pair eventually opened their waterside Sailing Cow Cafe in 1998 to serve up the tastiest catches the waters could provide, plus land-raised specialties. Nestled along Nantucket Sound, the eatery concocts breakfast, lunch, and dinner coupled with the fresh sea breeze on its open patio during fair-weather months or inside its protective walls during the rest of the year. During dinner, guests can sup on lobster loaded with a homemade crabmeat stuffing, broiled scallops, or country-classic liver and onions. Live blues, folk, and rock occasionally fill the dining room, while out on the patio guests can enjoy a cocktail as seagulls audition for local bands. Early risers can grab breakfast starting at 7 a.m. or pop in between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to take advantage of lunch specials.
Cape Cod Lollicakes' gingerly sets moist, handcrafted cake spheres atop the traditional lollipop delivery system. The cakery incorporates premium ingredients in the creation of decadent flavors, including a rich Ghirardelli-chocolate cake, a dark belgian-chocolate buttercream, and a classic red velvet, each dressed in a candy coating. Like the world's laziest ballerina, specialty lollicakes rotate seasonally, decorated to celebrate themes such as Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas. All lollicakes are available as cake truffles, descending from their signature sticks to grace the platters of sweet seekers with a fear of heights, and orders can be shipped for an additional $15 fee.