Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winter Weekend on Cape Cod

On a rainy Saturday two weeks ago, with a craving for chowder and a change of scenery, we packed an overnight bag and headed for Cape Cod.  Thanks to my parents’ timeshare investment at the Edgewater Beach Resort in Dennis Port, we took advantage of the discounted, off-season rate and reserved an ocean-front room with a Jacuzzi for the night.

It is such a joy to drive to the Cape during the off season (no traffic!) and as we crossed the Sagamore Bridge, I felt the all-too-familiar feelings of happiness and glee.   Never mind that it was too foggy to see the Cape Cod Canal dotted with boats from the bridge…we were just happy to be on the Cape!

Before we left Boston, I googled Jamaican food on Cape Cod and learned about Chef Shrimpy and his Jerk Café located on Route 28 in South Yarmouth.  Being jerk food junkies, we decided that clam chowder could wait until Sunday.

The small but cheerful, reggae music-filled eatery smelled of homemade jerk sauce and slow-cooked meats. We chatted with Jamaica-born Chef Shrimpy and chowed on a jerk chicken plate with rice, veggies, a banana frittata as well as a jerk pork sandwich. Chef Shrimpy also served delicious-looking fruit smoothies, even though we didn’t try one.  We bought a jar of his homemade jerk sauce to go and have used it twice since – highly recommend!

Since it was still drizzling and raw, we bought some bait at the tackle store and headed to the Edgewater Beach Resort.  Our room was located in the south wing, room 136, overlooking the small sand dunes and Nantucket Sound.

Given the stormy day, the ocean had some small surf, which I love in the summer. Our cozy suite featured a living room with a gas fireplace, a bedroom, a large bathroom and an enclosed glassed porch with a high cocktail table with four stools.  And a fabulous oversize Jacuzzi in the corner.

After a nice soak, the rain stopped and we walked down the beach to the rocky jetty.  Jason fished while I walked the beach, looking at the cockle and scallop shells and broken bits of horseshoe crabs.  

After an amazing sunset, we walked back to our room to shower up for dinner.  We were meeting my parents and heading to Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse in Harwich.

Bucca’s Tuscan Roadhouse is amazing!  Good portions, fresh and very delicious. Call ahead for a reservation – even in the winter!  In addition to Buca’s amazing basket of crusty, warm bread and a bottle of Chianti, we split arciofi ripieni alla buca, grilled artichoke hearts stuffed with gorgonzola and mascarpone cheeses wrapped with prosciutto and then baked.  We also ordered bruschetta di salame, grilled Tuscan bread with fresh mozzarella, Tuscan salami, roasted red peppers, balsamic and olive oil drizzle.  Oh la la!

For dinner, my mother and I both ordered sogliola e gamberetti picatta, sautéed sole and shrimp with capers, preserved lemon fennel butter sauce and grilled asparagus over fresh pappardelle pasta.  I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a piece of fish that much, so fresh.  Jason ate seno d’anitra, grilled duck breast with a cherry Chianti wine sauce, roasted butternut-goat cheese risotto and grilled asparagus.  My father ordered merluzzo di marliano, line-caught native cod with a pistachio crust, a grilled, stuffed tomato and parpadelle pasta tossed with roasted garlic, peas and pecorino cheese. Are you drooling yet?

Dessert was a large piece of Italian Wedding Cake, covered in coconut, whipped cream and hot fudge.We headed back to the hotel and after a restful sleep, we drove to Buckie’s Bakery on Main Street.  Trying to be healthy, I ignored the beautiful assortment of biscotti and ordered a multigrain bagel with avocado and cream cheese and Jason ordered a chocolate croissant.  As I ate my bagel which had a microscopic amount of cream cheese on it, I looked jealously at Jason’s croissant, which was warm and gooey.  Coffee was a little bland.  Usually we love Buckie’s! 

After breakfast, we drove to Sheep Pond in Brewster, which we had discovered last summer while riding our bikes along the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a paved bikeway that runs 28 miles from South Dennis to Wellfleet (my favorite place in the world).  We stopped to buy some bottled water at Pleasant Lake General Store, home to a bench for Democrats and a bench for for Republicans.

The water at Sheep Pond is clear as can be and loaded with fish.  I read my book while Jason fished (he caught one perch) until the rain returned.  It was a bummer – according to the weather forecasters, Sunday should have been a sunny day!

Because we still had to satisfy our chowder craving, we wasted an hour walking around the Christmas Tree Shop in Yarmouth and a shoe store across the street.  Finally, we headed to Kream’n’ Kone for two steaming hot bowls of clam chowder, so creamy, thick and full of potato and clams.  YUM!  We usually indulge in some perfectly fried clams from Kream'n'Kone but we were still full from breakfast.  Next time!

The drizzle slowed again so we stopped at Long Pond in South Yarmouth, where Jason threw in a few more lines.  No luck.

Jason heard that the DEP is stocking the ponds with trout which means another trip to Cape Cod will happen soon.  A visit to Cape is a relaxing treat any season of the year. To learn more about Cape Cod, click here

Next week’s report will be on my honeymoon in Rome.  Thanks for reading!

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