Boston Restaurant Blog -- October, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
For such a small town, Wellfleet seems to have a lot of good restaurants. A few places I've been to in this charming village on the Outer Cape include P.J.'s Family Restaurant, the Bookstore and Restaurant, the Flying Fish Cafe, and the Duck Creeke Tavern. And this past weekend several of us went to a place by the harbor that might have topped them all in the food department and definitely topped them when it comes to scenic views (although the Bookstore and Restaurant comes close). And while Pearl Restaurant might not exactly be a true hidden gem, it doesn't exactly seem to be a household name, either.
Located at the corner of Commercial Street and Kendrick Avenue by Wellfleet Harbor, Pearl resides in what has to be one of the most scenic spots on the entire Cape. To the east and south are water views, with the town pier being a stone's throw away and Mayo Beach being not much further than that. And Pearl takes advantage of its stunning location, with an upstairs deck that affords diners memorable views, including the rare chance (on the East Coast, anyway) to watch the sun go down over the water. Pearl has a good amount of indoor seating in its cozy and rustic interior, and a rear deck with a raw bar adds more room outdoors during the warmer months. (Note: Pearl is not open year around; it is best to call them in advance if you are thinking of coming in the fall or spring.)
Pearl is mainly a seafood restaurant with New American influences; indeed, the menu seems a bit more upscale than some of the other dining spots in Wellfleet, and definitely higher end than most of the seafood shacks that line Route 6 in both Wellfleet and neighboring Eastham. Our group went almost exclusively with seafood items on our visit, starting with a thick and outstanding clam chowder that was absolutely loaded with clams. Another starter--and one of the only non-seafood items of the night--was the Portuguese kale soup, which came with kale, carrots, potatoes, onions, beans, and plenty of deliciously crusty chorizo sausage. Our meals were universally good, with the fried calamari perhaps being the highlight, as it was tender enough to cut with a fork and had a tasty batter that was not greasy at all (a minor gripe is that the calamari appetizer comes with banana peppers while the calamari dinner does not--it would have been nice to have those peppers mixed in). The grilled salmon was a high-quality cut of fish, and the sun-dried tomato pesto sauce that was ordered with it added a complex mix of tastes to the salmon. Every bit as good as the salmon was the order of steamers that came with a seasoned broth and drawn butter, while the plate of fried scallops greatly impressed, with some of the most tender scallops I have had anywhere, though some of the fries that came with the scallops were a little undercooked. Prices were fairly high throughout, but considering the quality of the food and the incredible views from our table on the upstairs deck, it was certainly worth it. Service was solid and dependable throughout.
Awhile back, I had friends rave about Pearl, saying it was a can't-miss restaurant for anyone traveling to this part of the Cape. Well, after our dinner experience there a few nights ago, I can't say I disagree. I don't think I'll have a chance to get back to the restaurant before it closes for the season, but I'm positive that as soon as they reopen in the spring, I'll be making plans to head back there, hopefully on a mild enough night to enjoy that wonderful deck.
For those who want the address for Pearl, here it is: Pearl Restaurant, 250 Commercial Street, Wellfleet, MA, 02667. The phone number is (508) 349-2999.
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