This is your modern-day seafood shack with a very lively back garden located on the bay. A super great place to drop in for lunch, and where everything is made from scratch. Their seafood is locally sourced and they buy potatoes for their French fries just up the coast in Maine. They offer warm and cold Lobster Rolls on brioche buns. I prefer the hot buttered version, the cold is prepped more l ike a lobster salad, but both a re fresh and delicious. Made from whole Provincetown lobsters, they are shucked daily and cooked just to the point of doneness, hence, they present the most tender meat that melts in your mouth. A gift from the sea.
I had the good fortune of speaking with Rob Anderson who is the chef and co-owner of the restaurant, with his partner Loic Rossignon. I had to ask what their top-sellers were besides the lobster rolls.
“Our crispy brussel sprouts. Another popular dish is the cod banh mi sandwich. In addition to that, Frose (frozen rose) is a big seller at our bar and this year our Funfetti cake has been rolling out the door faster than we can make it. I’m sure it will be a bit hit this summer.”
Another sandwich that has risen in popularity is the Lobster Grilled Cheese. Chunks of fresh lobster topped with provolone and herbed mascarpone served on sourdough.
Local Grant King shared with me his thoughts about the restaurant. “The Canteen has two of the most community-minded owners, Rob and Loic, and they have wonderfully varied menus. Their weekly International Theme Dinners get raves. I’ve never had a bad meal here.”
Speaking of “theme nights,” past offerings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays nights have featured: Lebanese, Thai, Ramen, Irish, and Indian specialties. 225 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-487-3800. www.thecanteenptown.com
The Red Inn
The Red Inn scores #1 in my book for most romantic Inn and restaurant in Provincetown. Built in 1805 as a private residence, it was Mary Wilkinson who opened up the home as an inn in 1915 just as the roses that surround the beautiful property were in full bloom. Since then it’s been welcoming guests from all over the world.
The restaurant overlooks Provincetown Harbor offering gorgeous views of the bay and further out to Long Point (the absolute tip of Cape Cod’s finger) where its historic lighthouse winks at you throughout the night.
Philip Mossy is Executive Chef at the Inn, and diners rave about his Long Island Smoked Duck, the Pepper Crusted Filet, and the Pan Roasted Local Cod. I think there’s something so elegant about sitting at the bar and ordering the Large Seafood Sampler which includes: 12 oysters, 6 clams, 6 shrimp, two half lobsters, and a drink of your choice. The oysters are from Wellfleet, just two towns south of Provincetown. World renowned, Wellfleet oysters are traditionally long and strong shelled. Their bodies are plump and sweet with the perfect balance of brine. Add a smart cocktail and I’m in heaven. I also adore the Inn’s lobster sliders served on mini buns.
Located a little farther west on Commercial Street, The Red Inn is a quiet haven just a short distance from the celebratory area of downtown Provincetown. 15 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-487-7334. www.theredinn.com
Relish Bakery & Sandwich Shop
Sometimes you need a break, even from Lobster. Relish is my favorite take-away shop in Provincetown. They are known for exceptional confections as well as their crazy delicious made-to-order sandwiches. When I’m putting together a picnic lunch to enjoy at Herring Cove Beach or at Race Point Lighthouse, it’s goodies from Relish I’ll have in my knapsack.
I love their Italian Sandwich: Genoa salami, hot capicola, provolone cheese with balsamic dressing on ciabatta. Their Roast Beef and Swiss with pickled onions and mayo is also fantastic. For a lighter option, they also serve a Chickpea & Quinoa Wrap with Asian ginger, pickled veggies, hoisin sauce, and cucumbers.
Another healthier addition to the menu is their Mediterranean Farrow & Tofu Bowl. Tofu is marinated with apple cider vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, and lemon juice, and white miso, then it’s placed on top of a farro salad comprised of chick peas, red onion, bell pepper, sundried tomatoes, capers, Kalamata olives and pepperoncini. The whole dish is then served on top of greens. It contains all my favorite ingredients and it looks beautiful too.
I asked Frank Vasello, chef and owner of Relish, about the people who are creating this endless array of tasty treats. “My head chef is Mark Buchholz and my baker is Sue Hale. They do most of the production at Relish.”
But we can’t ignore Relish’s plethora of sweet creations. At the top of the list is their Pear & Almond Danish, the Chocolate Espresso Coffee Cake, and their homemade Raspberry Pop-Tart! They also have scores of different cookies to choose from, and delicious fresh-roasted coffee and wonderful selection of teas. 93 Commercial Street. Tel: 508-487-8077. www.ptownrelish.com