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PTown Dish

Where To Dine In Provincetown

by Our Editors
Ptown Dish (Photo by Molishka)

As one of the oldest artist colonies in the United States, Provincetown continues to inspire travelers from all walks of life with its breathtaking coastal landscapes, eclectic galleries, and lively culinary scene.

PROVINCETOWN is a magical place, and this includes the culinary wonders that the restaurants and chefs create for locals and visitors to enjoy.

If you love to eat and try new culinary creations as much as we do, then Ptown is the place for you to be. To find out what makes Provincetown such a delectable destination for everyone who loves food, we asked two local chefs to share their insights into the people, places, and tantalizing dishes that every visitor should experience while they are here. So grab a fork and join us as we explore this one-of-a-kind LGBTQ+ destination (ptowntourism.com).

Brandon Quesnell is a 1999 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Brandon’s love of food took him to a 13-year career with Whole Foods Market in the Washington, DC area. A desire to return to cooking led him and his husband, Steve Katsurinis, to purchase and operate the 8 Dyer Hotel beginning in 2013.

Brandon Quesnell, Owner and Chef 8 Dryer Hotel

Brandon Quesnell, Owner and Chef 8 Dryer Hotel

A native of San Diego, California, Brandon is learning to love the Provincetown winters, but not as much as he loves the heat of the summers, and apparently, kitchens. Since 2016, Brandon has been the Executive Chef at the helm at his brunch restaurant, Yolqueria, and now his new dinner spot, Mezzeterranean. The combined restaurants include a staff of over 33 seasonal hospitality and culinary professionals making Steve & B Company one of the largest LGBTQ-owned businesses in Massachusetts according to Boston Business Journal.

The two restaurants have won numerous awards and mentions, including Best of Boston, Cape Cod Life’s Annual Best, which has garnered the team awards for Best Brunch, Best Breakfast, Best Lunch, Best Cocktails, and Best Ethnic Restaurant. Quesnell is very humble about the recognition, always attributing the success of the restaurants to teamwork and commitment.

In addition to operating the two restaurants and the inn, Quesnell has served on a number of local town boards, including a stint as Chair of the Provincetown Planning Board and the Provincetown Recreation Commission. Quesnell and Katsurinis often spend part of the winter in Mexico and Greece garnering recipes and ideas for the restaurants and sometimes hiring new talent for the restaurants.

Please tell us a little bit about your restaurants.
We offer a two-restaurants in one venue concept. In the morning, Yolqueria offers guests of Provincetown a from-scratch breakfast with Mexican influence. We are known for our homemade cinnamon rolls, quinoa pancakes, and pork carnitas served in an omelet or with sunny side eggs on top of our signature breakfast tater tots. At lunchtime, we add Mexican street tacos, grilled elote corn on the cob, and chips and guacamole.

Our dinner concept is called Mezzeterranean and features small, sharing plates from across the Mediterranean; think Moroccan shrimp, Turkish köfte, a deconstructed Greek salad, vegan falafel, Galician-style pork belly, and Aegean fried calamari with preserved lemon. The wines are generally from the Mediterranean region and their salinity and dry minerality pair very well with our menu. We also offer craft-made cocktails that prominently feature the liquors and flavors of the Mediterranean, like Aperol, Metaxa, Masticha, and Limoncello along with pomegranate molasses, salty cucumber, lemon, and orange.

I am also very proud of the diversity of my staff from all walks of life and strive to particularly empower women, both front of the house and in my kitchens. Our management team consists of three women and two men.

Who are some of your culinary role models?
Anthony Bourdain: He taught me to let the ingredients speak for themselves and keep the dishes simple. We search for and use the very best ingredients while focusing on supporting local vendors. Anthony’s attitude and passion were connecting people and food and I try to mimic that experience via our dynamic and global team members.

Michelle Ragussis: The famous television chef/star. When she spent two summers in Provincetown, she shared her time and talent to raise up the entire food scene in Provincetown. I still stay in touch with her and she always gives me the best advice. My lesson was to always be available as a mentor to others, because I learn from them as much as they hopefully gain in knowledge from me.

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (The Too Hot Tamales): Even before I decided to be a chef, these two professional women redefined what was possible with world cuisine. As a Mexican-American person myself, they showed me that Mexican food can be classy and fun at the same time. They made it clear that women and men are on equal footing in the culinary world, and as a gay man that encouraged me to pursue a career in this field.

What is your motto or philosophy when it comes to food?
Don’t be afraid to experiment, never forgetting to let the essence of the quality ingredients be the focus of the dish

What is one of your proudest signature creations in the kitchen?
My Mexican grandmother was a fantastic cook, but growing up she believed boys should not be in the kitchen and therefore was always shooing me out. The sounds and aromas created by her passion always had me sneaking around to see how the magic happened. Her carnitas were the best I ever had, and I was determined to replicate her recipe when I had my own kitchen. When I first started experimenting with it, something was missing. Eventually, I had to come up with my own secret ingredient and my carnitas are great; maybe as good as my grandmother’s. I wish I would’ve had the opportunity to share them with her, but I am convinced she is watching over me.

Which person would you most love to see come in and enjoy your food?
Not some famous foodie! A regular person who is excited to have a great experience and is moved by the food. My joy comes from watching and hearing people enjoying an excellent meal that’s a good value. We do get some fun celebrities to dine with us on occasion—#kathleenturner.

What are some of your favorite local food or beverage products that visitors should bring back home with them?
We have a local tea company called Captain’s Daughters Tea and it is truly amazing. Meghan and Denny followed their culinary passions and created some of the most unique teas I am proud to offer at our restaurant. We are also fortunate to have the worlds best oysters 20-minutes away in Wellfleet. Take all that home!

What are some of the other local restaurants you recommend visitors experience
when they come to Provincetown?
Joon Bar and Kitchen. Audrey expresses her passion for her background through her Persian dishes that occasionally pop-up on her menu and are a delight.

Why is Provincetown such a great destination for LGBTQ+ culinary folks?
Provincetown has been a haven for the “other” since the Pilgrims landed here in 1620. Today, the lesbian and gay-dominated food scene is a place of excellence and diversity. In a place of great acceptance, people are free to experiment and take risks knowing that it is a safe, judgment-free place to be yourself.

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