Posts Tagged ‘Cape Cod Travel’

Serene Beauty of Cape Cod

September 18, 2020 8 comments

The Cape Cod always was one of my favorite places to visit – I make no secret out of it. This year, it became literally the only place for us to visit to escape the maniacal joy of virtual confinement – and I have no complaints about it.

Mere three and a half hours ride and you are in the world which offers a chance to relax, unwind, and clear up your mind. Clearing up of the mind requires one to disconnect from the moment, to forget that reality exists. I can only envy people who can do this through meditation – I had a friend who would not even hear the doorbell ring once he was in his deep meditation. This is not me, unfortunately – I tried many times, but never was really able to disconnect from all the daily chatter. Thus I need the help of Mother Nature when looking for tranquility.

The three options which would work for me in that quest for tranquility would be the trees, the mountains, or the ocean.

Talking about the trees, I need a clean and open forest, full of 150 feet Eastern white pine trees – beautiful Redwoods would do the trick either. Have you had the pleasure of laying down on the thick layers of long pine needles, looking at the tall, impeccably vertical arrows touching the clouds far, far away? That is the feeling I’m talking about, but there is no place to experience it where I live.

Have you ever experienced the deafening quietness of the mountains? When the time stops, leaving you one on one with the universe, offering you an opportunity to get lost in your dearest thoughts and dreams? I have, on Mount Evans in Colorado – but this is 2,000 miles away.

That leaves us with the ocean. The closest beach is only 7 miles away from where we live, but to call that setting tranquil in any shape and form would be a huge exaggeration. The Cape, especially in the off-season, is offering unlimited amounts of tranquil bliss – just come and get it.

The Cape Cod is a narrow swath of land, extended into the Atlantic ocean – in no time you can move from one side of The Cape to another one, as the distance between the “coasts” ranges between 1 and 20 miles. We have family living in the town of Dennis, so this is where we stayed, the same as in the previous trips this year. In 3 days, we visited 5 or 6 different beaches – it appears that the town of Dennis (population under 14,000) offers a total of 20 (!) beaches on both sides of the Cape. While the beach is the beach at the end of the day, they all still have different charm – and some would even allow you to bring your car directly on the beach.

Combination of off-season (tourists are practically gone after the Labor Day weekend), warm weather, and low tide allowed us to enjoy hourlong walks with only sand and water in sight. A perfect place and time for self-reflection and pondering at life.

The only way I can share this experience with you is through the pictures, so here you have it, my friends.

A little flower intermezzo:

More of the water and sand:

This is not the beach, obviously, but beautiful morning on the backyard:

And a few words about wines, as the wine was an unquestionable part of the daily routine. The 2014 Turley White Coat was an absolute delight, offering Chardonnesque complexity and layers of acidity and fresh fruit. 2010 Diadema Rosso Toscana, a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, was offering a lot more than just a pretty bottle – plums, cherries, tobacco, mouthwatering acidity – delicious, nicely mature Italian wine treat. We also enjoyed the line of Terra Noble delicious renditions of Chilean Carmenere, which I just tasted before leaving for the Cape Cod over the virtual tasting (this will be a subject of the separate post).

And here is more of the Cape Cod beauty for you:

Restaurant Files: Off The Chart Experience at Portside Tavern in Hyannis

June 29, 2016 4 comments

Poolside TavernYes, I love food. This never been a secret in this blog. And yes, I get overly excited when I come across really tasty experiences.

Concept of “food” is multidimensional. At home, tasty food and family (and friends) around the table is usually all you need. Mix in a bit of ambiance and a glass of a good wine, and you got a great experience, right there.

When it comes to visiting the restaurant, you need a bit more than just food for the great and memorable experience – good service is important; another element which is near and dear to me is cost. This is not even the “cost” in the absolute terms – it is more the perceived value which matters, the infamous “price/performance” – an amazing burger for $20 might be a great experience, and tasteless, rubbery steak for $15 will not be the one.

As you can see in the title of this post, I want to talk about “off the chart” experience. The source of this exuberant designation was our recent visit at the Portside Tavern in Hyannis on Cape Cod (love weekend getaways, even with 5 hours in traffic). To go along the lines of a great experience in the restaurant, I was with the family, food was amazingly tasty, service was great, and the value was unbeatable – that’s all.

Ken Wright CellarsFirst, of course, was the wine. Don’t get me wrong – the restaurant also offers full bar with interesting cocktails, but my attention was on the wine list, which offers lots of great options, both by the glass (most of the wines priced in $7 – $12 range), and by the bottle (prices starting from $30 and some even for less). I couldn’t pass by the 2013 Ken Wright Pinot Noir Willamette Valley for $50 – talk about value – even if you can find this wine in retail, which is not easy, it will cost you at least $25, so I consider $50 at the restaurant to be a great value. After a bit of the breathing time, the wine was gorgeous, dense and powerful, with the signature Oregon aromatics of earth and cocoa.

Next, there was a pure indulgence from start to finish. Chowder (Local clams, new potatoes, applewood smoked bacon, cream) was not too heavy, not too thick, very well balanced in flavor.
Watermelon Gazpacho (Sweet basil drizzle, whipped feta) was different and refreshing – outstanding on any hot day, light, and again, very tasty.

Watermelon gaspacho
One of my favorite ways to cook chicken wings is to slow roast them at a low temperature (say 215ºF or so) – they develop great flavor and then easily fall off the bone this way. I was happy to find the same style chicken wings at the restaurant  – Confit Chicken Wings (Choice of harissa, rhubarb BBQ, or sweet basil sauce – we chose BBQ sauce) were super-tasty and the chicken wings were literally melting in the mouth. Continuing to deliver a great dining pleasure was Poutine (House cut fries, cheddar curds, foie gravy) – love this interpretation of French fries. This rendition was on par with best of the best I had in Quebec – flavor, texture, cheese, gravy – everything was just spot on. Finishing our divine appetizer experience was perfectly executed Mac & Cheese (Gemelli, local cheeses, buttered crumbs) – again, very tasty.

Our main course dishes were equally delicious. Chicken Risotto (Asparagus, prosciutto, baby tomatoes, balsamic reduction) was very well executed, great smokey flavor, nice contrast of balsamic, very tasty. Half-Pound Burger (Caramelized onions, bacon, garlic aioli, tomato jam, brioche) had an excellent fresh beef flavor, was cooked as requested and overall was very enjoyable.

Cuban (Braised pork, ham, Gruyere, dijon aioli, house-made pickle, grilled french bread) was done exactly as I like it – good amount of meat, flat pressed bread, great combination of flavors – one of the best Cuban sandwich experiences. It was also served with a side of Wedge salad (one of the available choices), which is one of my favorite salads any time I see one. Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza (Bacon, red onion, cheddar) was delicious, good crust and again, great flavor combination.

As you can imagine, we were absolutely full at this point. But considering how good all the food was, we had to try at least one dessert. After back and forth, we settled on Double Chocolate Cookie (Vanilla Ice Cream), which was more resembling a chocolate lava cake, and was instantly devoured with the help of four spoons.

Double Chocolate Cookie at Portside TavernThere you have it, my friends. If travel will take you to Cape Cod, make sure not to miss Portside Tavern – and then leave me a thank you note here. Cheers!

Portside Tavern
72 North Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Ph: 508-534-9600

Portside Tavern Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Restaurant Files: Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House, Cape Cod

August 16, 2015 12 comments

Sipper RestaurantAnd we are back again to the wonderful and relaxing Cape Cod. No, I’m not lucky enough to visit Cape Cod again, but I get to re-live some happy and tasty moments while writing this post.

Skipper Restaurant (full and official name: The Skipper Restaurant and Chowder House) first opened in 1936 in South Yarmouth, and it had been around ever since, opened from April to October. I’m not sure how we found The Skipper Restaurant last year – I guess by reading some of the online reviews, but I can tell you – when we were planning this year’s trip, visiting Skipper Restaurant was unquestionable, mandatory part of the Cape Cod vacation.

Skipper Restaurant serves quintessential New England food. I’m using the word “quintessential”, which sounds big and imposing, but to me, there are few dishes which say, or better yet, scream “New England” – New England Clam Chowder, Baked Seafood, Fish and Chips and Lobster Roll would be my perfect list. You can find all these dishes at the Skipper Restaurant, and boy, are they tasty!

When it comes to the New England Clam Chowder, I don’t know what places have better bragging rights than the Skipper Restaurant, which is a triple crown holder, as the winner of Cape Cod, Boston and Newport Chowder festivals. If you like New England Clam Chowder than Skipper Restaurant is a must stop for you, as the Clam Chowder doesn’t get any better than the one which is served here. It doesn’t have anything extra, like bacon – just cream, clams and potatoes, honest, dense and delicious. I know this picture will not do justice to the dish, but then taking pictures of the soup is not that easy in any case:

Clam ChowderIt is not only seafood which is tasty at the Skipper Restaurant – they are also famous for the overabundant appetizer of onion rings – a very dangerous dish, as once you start eating those, you can’t stop! And the bread basket which shows up on the table first, belongs to the same “dangerous” category – I think we went through three of them before the main dishes arrived (and it was not because we had to wait for the long time 🙂 ).

And our main course included all the best dishes New England cuisine can offer – Baked Seafood Sampler, Fried Calamari, Fish and Chips and of course, the Lobster Roll:

Each and every dish was excellent in its own right – fresh, succulent, flavorful and delicious – let’s leave it like that to avoid excessive drooling on your part. And of course, I have to mention the service, which was friendly, attentive and helpful –  exactly what you need to make it for the great restaurant experience.

If you plan to visit Skipper Restaurant (and if you are on the Cape Cod, I would say this is simply a must), just a bit of advice. The restaurant doesn’t accept the reservations, therefore you need to prepare to wait – but the experience worth the wait. If you are okay with an early dinner ( and considering the amount of food you will be offered, early dinner is a great idea), come to the restaurant at around 4:30 or 5 – your wait will be quite reasonable. Another “duh” advice – if you can, avoid Friday and Saturday nights – those are the busiest and your wait will be the longest.

We are done here, my friends. If you would like to experience quintessential New England cuisine, you don’t need to look further than Skipper Restaurant – I’m sure you will not be disappointed. Cheers!

The Skipper Restaurants and Chowder House
152 South Shore Drive
South Yarmouth, MA 02664
Phone: 508-394-7406

Click to add a blog post for Skipper Restaurant on Zomato

Leaving Cape Cod

July 15, 2013 12 comments

All the good things come to an end. So was our stay on Cape Cod. I don’t know exactly what makes me feel differently when I’m visiting Cape Cod. I love vacations (who doesn’t!), but I typically want to avoid going to the same places over and over again. However, not when it comes to Cape Cod.

There is a genuine tranquility in that Cape Cod lifestyle. Little shops which are made out of the old houses. Little bakeries, which make cookies to die for. Little motels and inns, none of them more then two stories high. Lighthouses and water towers being the tallest structures around. The low tide on the beach, which allows you to walk and walk for hours. The beach which is never crowded. The waves in the sand which water leaves behind when it descends. The abundant flowers and greens of all kind. The special smell which is constantly in the air. There is something magical in the Cape Cod air, which lures you back…

We are back home now, so here are a few (okay, a lot) of the pictures I want to share with you. There will be more posts coming – we visited local Cape Cod winery, called Truro Vineyards, so I will talk about this experience, but for now, I just want to leave you with these little impressions of Cape Cod. Enjoy and cheers!

Quintessential Cape Cod

Quintessential Cape Cod

Dream on...

Dream on…

Cape Cod freedom

Cape Cod freedom

imagine the air...

imagine the air…

busy bee

busy bee

more flowers

more flowers



Alpaca from Marta's Vineyard

Alpaca from Marta’s Vineyard

Curious Alpaca

Curious Alpaca

Baby Alpaca

Baby Alpaca

JT's - Excellent seafood in Brewster, right across from our resort

JT’s – Excellent seafood in Brewster, right across from our resort

JT's entrance

JT’s entrance

Warm lobster roll at JT's

Warm lobster roll at JT’s

And Lobster Roll zoom in

And Lobster Roll zoom in

Whole fried clams at JT's - Yum!

Whole fried clams at JT’s – Yum!

Fish and chips at JT's - delicious!

Fish and chips at JT’s – delicious!


Lucky Hank's in Edgartown. Don't know about Hank, but we enjoyed the food

Lucky Hank’s in Edgartown. Don’t know about Hank, but we enjoyed the food

Local Marta's Vineyards beer excellent amber, light, touch bitter and sweet, very refreshing

Local Marta’s Vineyards beer – excellent amber ale, light, touch bitter and sweet, very refreshing

Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Heaven. Unfortunately, only fish and chips were tasty...

Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Heaven. Unfortunately, only fish and chips were tasty…

Butterfly on the sand...

Butterfly on the sand…

One of the few operational Lighthouses on Cape Cod. This one is located in Chatham

One of the few operational Lighthouses on Cape Cod. This one is located in Chatham

lighthouse - picture perfect

lighthouse in Edgartown – picture perfect

I just can't get enough of this lighthouse...

I just can’t get enough of this lighthouse…

Roses zoom in

Roses zoom in

and more zoom in

and more zoom in

Yes again picture perfect lighthouse on Marta's Vineyard

Yes again picture perfect lighthouse on Marta’s Vineyard

I always wanted to take picture of these waves in the sand...

I always wanted to take picture of these waves in the sand…

and again quintessential Cape Cod (for me, at least)

and again quintessential Cape Cod (for me, at least)

What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?



Cape Cod Chips and Cape Cod Beer

July 7, 2013 10 comments

What goes better together than potato chips and beer? This is definitely a winning combination, especially if it is a rainy day on Cape Cod, or you had too much sun and you just need to do something else.

Both Cape Cod Chips factory and Cape Cod Beer are located in a very close proximity from each other, in the area of Hyannis. We decided to start with the Cape Cod Chips factory tour, just to keep the kids happy (besides, they are open earlier in the morning than the Cape Cod Beer).

cape cod chips DSC_0044Cape Cod Chips factory tour is self-guided, where you walk along the glass wall and can see the whole process of potato chip making, starting from inspection of the potatoes, slicing, frying in the huge kettles and then packaging and sorting the packages. There is a lot of fun facts which you can read during the tour, but – photography is prohibited, and my son became super upset when I said that I will ignore it and still take pictures, so here is the only informational picture I was able to get:

cape code potato chip info

cape code potato chips info

It is a pity that the Cape Cod Chips web site doesn’t list any of the fun facts (for instance, they can only use the potatoes which have the least water content for making of the chips), and they only provide minimal general information (sigh). Anyway, if you are on Cape Cod, especially with the kids, this is a highly recommended attraction. At the end of the tour you visit the shop where you get two small bags of chips for free (few different flavors are available), but you can also buy a few different kinds of chips in the big bags.

Once you done with the potato chips, a short 5 minutes car ride will take you to Cape Cod Beer brewery:

cape cod beer DSC_0049

There is a once a day tour of the brewery, which takes place at 11 AM. But even if you will miss the tour, you can still do the best part – taste the beer! This is what was on the tasting list ( sorry for the picture quality : ( ):

Beer tasting list at Cape Cod Beer

Beer tasting list at Cape Cod Beer

Cape Cod Beach Blond was very good – light, citrusy and refreshing – this is the beer you can (or you think you can) consume by the gallon – perfect beer for the hot summer day. Cape Cod Red didn’t leave any lasting impressions, and Cape Cod Porter was… well, just another Porter. Porter is one of my favorite styles of beer in general, but again this particular Porter was not worse, but also not better than any others. Cape Cod IPA was good, with nice sweet undertones and not as bitter as many IPAs can get. My favorite beer was Cape Cod Summer – while it was retaining all the lightness and freshness of the Cape Cod Beach Blond, it also had substance and and very unique taste – you could clearly taste a fresh barley in this beer, almost like you are standing in the middle of barley field. Definitely a great beer.

I also enjoyed an opportunity to experience (read: smell) different types of hops and malts. I wish one day we will have an ability to record and then share tastes and smells – using words and images is clearly deficient for this purpose. Why am I saying that? Here is the Chocolate malt, which one actually have to smell to believe it (the smell of chocolate was unbelievable to me!):

picture doesn't do the justice. Just imagine how pure chocolate smells...

picture doesn’t do the justice. Just imagine how pure chocolate smells…

And here is the chart which shows you how different kids of malts and hops are used in the different beers:

Hops, malts and beers chart

Hops, malts and beers chart

Here are few pictures just to complete the experience:


Beers and hops

Beers and hops

There will be beer!

There will be beer!

Kegs are ready!

Kegs are ready!

Oh yes, and I fully endorse the message underneath (note that we can use “beer” interchangeably with “wine”, “scotch”, and other tasty concoctions):



Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay cool! Cheers!

Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2013 12 comments

Happy 4th to all! Enjoy the great American BBQ day and raise a glass of Madeira for our Founding Fathers and your friends and families, of course. And if you don’t have Madeira handy, any beer and wine will work perfectly well too. Here are few pictures from Cape Cod, just for your viewing pleasure. Cheers!

cape cod july 4th DSC_0001

Happy 4th!

cape cod art DSC_0004

Very appropriate painting on display in art gallery in Chatham

cape cod welcome DSC_0909

Cape Cod welcome!

cape code butterfly DSC_0103

Butterfly on the beach…

cape code spices DSC_0034

Whoop Ass as a flavor of United States – nice!

cape cod impudent oyster DSC_0037Had to look up “impudent” on internet… Appears to be highly ranked search word on Google

cape cod DSC_0987

Beauty on the beach

cape cod DSC_0986

Feel it…


Visiting Flavor Paradise

July 2, 2013 6 comments

The weather is still so so in Cape Cod ( read – raining on and off, overall gray outside and by all means not beach-worhy), so we were spending time wandering around little towns and busy Main street(s) which to me are quintessential New England, and more over, quintessential Cape Cod. The wandering lead us to Chattam, and to the Main street, to be more precise. Almost at the end of that main street we walked into the store called Gustare Oils and Vinegars and … OMG.

Gustare store window

Gustare store window

I’m sure that for anyone who is into the cooking or simply for anyone who likes food, it would be difficult to get surprised with the flavor infused olive oil or balsamic vinegar – lots of flavors are available at many gourmet stores around the country. But how about being completely blown away by the richness, cleanliness and precision of flavor? This is exactly what is happening at Gustare Oils and Vinegar store. Every flavor is so pronounced – when it says “Strawberry Balsamic”, you will find beautiful, perfectly ripe summer strawberries in the dark savory liquid. Sage and Wild Mushrooms in that olive oil – yep, you bet – with the perfect precision. The flavor comes through exactly as you would want it – clear and exact, nothing missing and nothing extra present. It is hard to do the justice to this wonderful oils and balsamics with the words, you really have to taste it to believe it. If your plans include Cape Cod, I would highly recommend not to miss this experience. Otherwise – here is the web site for Gustare Oils and Vinegars.

And before we part, here are few pictures for you (just use your imagination to get the flavor)…

gustare DSC_0026

whole fruit lemon it is … pure beauty

gustare 1 DSC_0023

some of the balsamic vinegars – one better than the other

gustare DSC_0027

exactly as the label says – amazing flavor profile if you like mushrooms

gustare DSC_0028

no comments. Truffle lovers, rejoice

gustare DSC_0029

not as spicy as you might think – rather very earthy and pleasant (but don’t trust me with the spicy/not spicy stuff)

gustare DSC_0025

pure strawberry and pure peach… amazing…

That all I have for you, folks for my short Cape Cod update for today. Cheers!


Hello From Cape Cod

July 1, 2013 14 comments

Yep, I’m actually on vacation. Cape Cod is one of my favorite destinations, as first of all it is reasonable driving distance from Stamford, Connecticut where I live (under 5 hours typically). And when you enter this small stretch of land, extending into the Atlantic ocean, something magical happens. There is something in the air, there is something there which switches whatever the mood you had into the “it is vacation, and it is good” kind of feeling.

No, I don’t plan to take a break from blogging. I will still post over the next two weeks – as you can imagine, the wine will continue to be a part of the routine. As you might expect, I will be also sharing my impressions – and as I had done it a number of times in the past, I will start with simple pictures. It is somewhat cloudy and grayish out here – but it is a vacation nevertheless. Hope you  enjoy the pictures. Cheers!

seashell DSC_0839 a path DSC_0782 cape cod beach DSC_0771 beech 1 DSC_0765 foggy morning DSC_0761 fog DSC_0824 plants and water cape cod! flowers DSC_0748 flowers and bee at work DSC_0753 flowers DSC_0750 sand DSC_0830 lilys DSC_0840 flower DSC_0841

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