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.
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.
Tommy Doyle's menu whacks hunger on its horned head with a delicious shillelagh of Irish-influenced pub grub. Starters include colcannon cakes ($6.99)—the traditional Irish appetizer made from hand-crafted potatoes, cabbage, and scallions—and the famine-fighting potato skins ($6.99). Cow-consumers will have no qualms with Tommy Doyle's array of burgers such as the bacon-and-cheese-crowned Hill 16 ($9.99) and the Kitchen Sink ($10.99), topped with mushrooms, jalapenos, onion, cheese, and a fried egg. Wayward Leopold Blooms missing the cuisine of fair Erin can opt for traditional Irish dishes such as a shepherd's pie ($11.99) and corned beef and cabbage ($10.99), or discover how seafood tastes on this side of the Atlantic with Tommy Doyle's most popular dish, the fish 'n' chips ($12.49). In honor of the Coyote Grill, the restaurant that preceded Tommy Doyle's at its Kendall Square location, Tommy Doyle's also serves fajitas in chicken ($11.99), steak ($12.99), and veggie ($10.99) variations. If your NASA training requires that you eat all your food for the day by mid-afternoon, stop by Tommy Doyle's for its weekend brunch.
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.
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.
In 1941, AJ and Rose Bonatt started baking the sweets that would delight the tongues of Harwich Port for generations to come. Whether serving Communion breakfast for Holy Trinity students or perfecting the recipe for their famous meltaway—a horseshoe-shaped pastry kissed with a light touch of icing—the pair won over hearts and mouths with goodies baked using natural, locally sourced ingredients. Originally open only during the summer months, the restaurant now serves the community year-round under the guidance of Alice Bonatt. In addition to their desserts—which include cakes, cupcakes, pies, and more—the eatery slings diner-style bites for breakfast and lunch. Pancakes and french toast help sweet teeth shake off morning grogginess, and lobster salad rolls and bacon cheeseburgers give bodies the strength they need to discover the fish-stick reef hidden at the bottom of Cape Cod.