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Restaurant Reviews: In and Around Chatham, MA – February 2018

On a recent getaway to Cape Cod, one of our traditional stomping grounds, we went to a few restaurants in and around Chatham, Massachusetts.  The experiences were quite different, some good and some bad.  Here we’ll give you a quick review for your consideration, if you should find yourself in the area and in need of sustenance.

The Wild Goose Tavern – 512 Main Street, Chatham MA

This tavern/restaurant is in the Wayside Inn, a large and quite comfortable inn right on the main drag through the village of Chatham. Goose Painting We have stayed at the inn in the past and enjoyed it  Surrounding the location, on both sides of Main Street, are a host of small shops and eateries.  From a location standpoint it’s great, as you can shop and stroll, then duck into the Wild Goose for a drink and some food.  The drink part is fine, but we have to say that the last few times we have been here the food has been disappointing.  This trip stayed true to form.  We only ordered appetizers, but the flatbread was tasteless and the calamari overly breaded.  There was also precious little calamari.  We left hungry.  Our previous trip was almost identical, except on that occasion we also ordered two uninspiring entrees.  We would say this is a great place for a drink, but we would not plan a meal here.

The Del Mar Bar & Bistro – 907 Main Street, Chatham MA

Just a little outside of the main village, heading back toward Harwich on Main Street (Rt 28), is the Del Mar Bar & Bistro.  This used to

The bar at Del Mar

The bar at Del Mar

be the Roobar a few years ago, and one of our favorite places on the Cape.  For some reason it closed, and stayed that way for a bit.  We were excited to see it re-opened, and in fact it looks almost exactly like it used to.  We made reservations, which we would absolutely recommend as we went on a Wednesday night and the place was jammed.  The table was waiting, but our old, familiar seats at the end of the bar were also open, so we took those.  There is a vibrant buzz here, as you would expect at a good bistro.  The bar is fun, the drinks were good, and the wine list is decent.  Here, however, you would also come for the food.  The pizza menu is different and

My excellent haddock and sticky rice

My excellent haddock and sticky rice

appealing, but we went with our old favorite, the Margarita.  This was tasty and well done.  For entrees, Cheri ordered the grilled ribeye, which came over garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and sprinkled with onion rings.  This was good, although she did think it was over-salted.  I went with a special of the night, baked haddock with sticky rice and a tangy vegetable slaw.  This was wonderful, and the sticky rice was a perfect match.  Aside from the salt comment this was very good.  We like the Del Mar, although my meal was better than Cheri’s.  Definitely worth a second try, and the locals certainly like the place.  We’d recommend it.

The Chatham Wine Bar – 359 Main Street, Chatham Ma

Just outside the main section of town, toward the beach, and right on Main Street, the Chatham Wine Bar is a relatively new addition, and one that aspires to being a fine dining destination.  It is attached to the Chatham Inn at 359 Main, which looks wonderful and very

The main dining room at Chatham Wine Bar

The main dining room at Chatham Wine Bar

upscale.  Inside, the space at the restaurant is elegant, with white tablecloth and a roaring fire, nice on the cold winter evening we were there.  A very, and I mean very, comprehensive wine list is a plus, and you can sample a wide variety of choices in either 3, 6 or 9 oz pours.  The 3 oz offers are great for trying a range of wines, or very expensive ones.  On the food side the menu is intriguing if a bit limited, and we ordered a few different things.  Cheri ordered the crab cake over the house salad for an entrée, after the crab bisque for an appetizer.  I had the grilled romaine salad, and then the 359 burger.  In general the food was good, but not great.  For me the balsamic was overdone on the grilled romaine.  Also, my burger came with a fried buffalo cheese layer, really a

The offending burger

The offending burger

slab, that dominated the burger.  The brioche bun was also very dry.  The worst part, however, was when I picked it up and the pool of heavy grease underneath got all over my hands.  I suspect this was from the cheese not being drained properly after frying, but there was a lot of it.  I went through a napkin quickly, and then left the burger mostly intact and went to the bathroom to wash my hands.  I could not eat it.

From an ambiance perspective, the main dining room is a bit small, and adjoins the lobby with little separation.  It just doesn’t provide that fine dining experience.  It is also expensive.  We must say that the service was impeccable, and our server was on point with everything.  Still, we would not return to the dining room.  We would try this again sitting in the bar area, and treat it more of a wine tasting and light bite night out.  You may have a different experience, but we do not recommend the Chatham Wine Bar.

The Beacon Room – 23 West Road, Orleans M

This is one of our lunchtime favorites, and we have been to The Beacon Room several times.  If you get there a little late for lunch the beacon-header1bar might be open, and there are only a few seats at it.  This is our preferred spot, however the entire front room provides a great, cozy setting.  We sat at the bar, ordered a gin and tonic as well as a glass of prosecco, and settled in.  Lunch was a curry chicken wrap for Cheri and the classic, Cape Cod fish and chips for me.  As with every trip we’ve made here, the food was very well done.  The fish was light and flaky, with a thin batter.  It was also perfectly cooked, not overdone at all.  Cheri thought her sandwich was delicious, very flavorful and tangy.  I agreed after trying a bite.  This is a small, local restaurant in the mid-Cape worth stopping at.  We do recommend The Beacon Room.

The Tavern at The Dan’l Webster Inn – 149 Main Street,  Sandwich  MA


The tavern at the Dan’l Webster

This is an old favorite, as we have been going to the Dan’l Webster Inn for over 30 years.  We’ve stayed there many times, and always stop at the tavern for lunch when we are leaving the Cape after an overnight stay.  It’s a warm, dark, old feeling tavern, having stayed that way throughout the various remodeling phases that have happened over the years.  They have left the core tavern, the area with the bar and the four or so tables in the same room, intact.  We’re very glad they have, as there are many good memories attached to the space.  Here we settled at the bar with some wine and both ordered a staple here, the Lob & Lob, which is a half sandwich of the lobster salad, served with a cup of the lobster chowder.  We have been ordering the lobster chowder at the Webster forever.  It is one of the best anywhere.  The food is well prepared, the ambiance is inviting, and this is a go to place for an enjoyable meal.  We do recommend the Dan’l Webster Inn.  Our last few Cape trips we actually got to the Cape early the first day and started with breakfast here, before heading further down the Cape to our final destination.  It puts a perfect set of bookends on our stay.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Captain’s House Inn in Chatham, MA as well.  Our home base for this trip, and many others, the Captain’s House provides a quiet, relaxing and luxurious spot top spend a few days.  It is also a favorite, and very highly recommended.

This was a bit varied overall from a culinary perspective, but the highlights we encountered, along with the always perfect inn, provided another great offseason getaway to Cape Cod.

A votre santé!

Del Mar Bar and Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chatham Wine Bar and Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wild Goose Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beacon Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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