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Anyone been to Ceraldi

There are two seatings, 5:30pm finishes in time for most of the events at the adjacent theater space, and 8:00pm. There are individual tables around the perimeter of the space, mostly for two or four diners, or you can sit at the bar and watch the plating and converse with the staff. Wine is available by the glass if you do not choose the optional wine flight, and they can make a few simple cocktails, I believe.

2 days ago
Dan D in Southern New England

Anyone been to Ceraldi

Atmosphere is still funky and rough and ready, but in a good way, in the space last occupied by Sol. It's breezy and beachy, with a great view of the harbor. Michael now has a staff working with him in the kitchen, and he does some preparation and plating in the bar area. We thought the setting was enjoyable and appropriate for Outer Cape farm to table.

Oh yeah, the food is as ever, really outstanding. Simple, fresh, expertly prepared with real feeling and intense, rewarding flavors. Michael is not Marc Vetri, but he's not far off from that supreme level of appreciation for the Italian way of great local food.

He made a substitution for one course to accommodate my food allergy, and his substitution just blew me away, a perfect presentation of tuna two ways. Great food, nice people, unpretentious Cape harbor setting, nicely paced courses, it's very high on my all-time favorites list regardless of locations.

There was one demanding, high-maintenance couple at our most recent seating, they probably didn't enjoy the experience, and complained about the restrooms shared with the theater space in the funky old building. Everyone else seemed as satisfied with the food and wine as we were, and realized that this is not the Hamptons or Back Bay, and don't rely on our personal assistants for booking reservations. I would love to celebrate an anniversary here, but to each his own expectations, I suppose.

Jul 21, 2014
Dan D in Southern New England

Best eats in Brewster Cape Cod

Brewster Fish House has excellent seafood, properly prepared. Cafe Alfresco, near the Lemon Tree Village, has some great pastries and doughnuts suitable for a light breakfast, and some very good lunch offerings: sandwiches, salads, and seafood especially.

Hopkins House bakery has traditional New England style cookies, scones, muffins, and sweets. Satucket Farms roadside stand on Rt 124 near 6A is worth a visit, baked goods, jellies, and produce.

Orleans, Chatham, and Dennis are nearby, as Cape Cod Guy mentioned, with some interesting options as well. His recommendations are spot on.

Jun 17, 2014
Dan D in Southern New England

P-Town: 50th Birthday

CCG, I really respect your opinions, you really are the go-to guy for Cape Cod, thanks for keeping us all so well informed! I suspect you would like Ceraldi and hope you get to experience it, but one slight correction, they have separate tables, not communal. They can handle up to 35 or so, but usually fewer diners at any time. All tables are served at about the same time during each seating, but it's possible to have completely separate experiences, or to chat with diners at other tables if you wish. It's a bit of a bootstrap operation, sharing space with Tiny's who serve lunch there, maybe he'll be in a different setting next year when the OP is ready to celebrate.

Sep 11, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

P-Town: 50th Birthday

I'm willing to leave that call up to the OP, everybody has different needs and expectations for such an occasion. The OP is flexible in the food department, so I'm not assuming any particular preference for setting, service, and choice of formality or informality.

While I haven't been to 28 Atlantic, I have a relative who does serious fine dining far more frequently than I (in Boston, DC, NYC, Chicago, SF Bay area and Napa), who goes there twice a year with his wife. They find it OK, but it's far from being their favorite on the Cape. You can never tell how someone will react to any given restaurant, but give the OP some options to ponder.

Sep 11, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

P-Town: 50th Birthday

Your story at Jimmy's brought to mind another option, Victor's. We did not order to maximum advantage because of an upset stomach (avoid Fanizzi's for lunch!), but the food was pretty good and depending on what you order, possibly quite good. Our server was more into socializing than serving, but like you we had a fun visit with the couple in the next table. Plenty of time for a very enjoyable interaction, since the server disappeared for long stretches (we observed other tables getting good service, so it was isolated to that lackadaisical dude as far as we could tell). Victor's could be a fun choice as well.

Sep 11, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

P-Town: 50th Birthday

Maybe our experience that one time at Red Inn was not representative, but while the setting was very nice, the food was old school and really nothing special, to our tastes, we've found better in Ptown and elsewhere on Cape. A couple of friends went there the night we had dinner at Ross' last month and when we compared notes, it sounded like we had the better meal, and they also noted a more sedate and older crowd than most other Ptown settings.

That's not a slam, nothing wrong with that, just an observation thrown out there in case it matters to the OP.

And getting the best meal at Ross' Grille or Front Street is heavily dependent on what you order, they have great dishes and some that are just okay, but the best are quite impressive.

Front Street, if you order from the daily seafood specials or their always-offered house specialties (stuffed filet, rack of lamb, or the outstanding tea-smoked duck) you'll have a terrific dinner food-wise, setting and service may not be what OP is looking for.

Sep 11, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

P-Town: 50th Birthday

Depend on what you are looking for. If quality of food is most important, Ceraldi is the clear choice, assuming Michael is still serving in the same location and format next season. Nothing else is even close in Ptown or virtually all the Cape for that matter. Yes, seven courses, but beautifully scaled and paced so that it never seems like too much (outstanding) food.

If the setting is more important, Dalla Cucina may suffice, food can be variable (Michael Ceraldi is no longer in the kitchen, so there have been adjustments), and some people enjoy The Mews, though I'm not one.

Red Inn is a nice setting, but food is kind of bland and the crowd can make your new eligibility for an AARP card seem fitting.

If good food but perhaps crowded and sometimes loud setting is acceptable, by all means consider Front Street or Jimmy's Hideaway.

Other possibilities are Ross's Grille (ask for window seating when reserving), or Devon's. Each have food ranging from very good to excellent, Devon's more on the intimate side, Ross's with a great bar and wine list.

Sep 10, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

TJ's Items That Would Devastate a Non-Initiate

The jumbo raisin medley, a mix of very moist and large raisins of several varieties, very hard to find similar elsewhere.

Aug 16, 2013
Dan D in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - August 2013 [old]

I emphatically disagree about the almonds with dark chocolate and sea salt, and the dark chocolate bar with sea salt. Neither is excessively salty, especially for a "chocolate with sea salt" product. I eat a lot of nuts and peanuts, always unsalted, and use little salt in my food, stay away from highly salty foods because for me a little salt goes a long way. Can't stand french fries that have been salted by the purveyor, always request mine unsalted, and add a little if they need any. In these chocolate products sea salt is part of the experience, and I don't find them at all excessive. I would vote for a better grade of dark chocolate, but the salt part of the experience is in balance.

Aug 16, 2013
Dan D in Chains
1

Special dinners in Provincetown - recs requested

One great lower cost option is Canteen, new this year. It's small and not at all fancy, but the food is terrific, we ate there for lunch at least six times, everything was fresh and prepared by people who cared about food. Didn't eat dinner there, but fish and chips, cod bahn-mi, shrimp bahn-mi, grilled chicken and cranberry salad sandwich, amazing roasted brussel sprouts, grilled sardines with kale salad... all were great, and they have a raw bar as well as extensive menu.

I hear good reports about Local 186, but don't usually eat burgers on Cape. Victor's was very good. Cafe Heaven is small, but quite good food. Some friends liked Devon's Deep Sea Dive, but we didn't get there this year yet.

Aug 09, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Special dinners in Provincetown - recs requested

Here's the link to my earlier post about Ceraldi:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/908930

Here's the website: www.ceraldiptown.com

It's alfresco, upstairs at Tiny's Foods next to the Purple Feather and across from Land's End Marine. He has two sittings at 6:30pm and 9:30pm, chef's seven course table.

Call ahead for reservations, and he can accommodate food allergies or requests for vegetarian options. It's cash only, $70 per, and an optional $30 wine pairing, or a few good wines are available by the glass (3oz, 6oz, or half bottle) at fair prices.

The service and the food are outstanding, creative local and fresh, the menu varies based upon what is available.

Michael Ceraldi formerly was chef at Dalla Cucina, and has NYC and Rome experience, Batali and Bastanich restaurants.

We ate there twice and were blown away, the best meals on Cape in years. But you have to like or accept the chef's table and cash-only format, some people don't share that commitment when dining out in Provincetown. I think it is very much worth it, and look forward eagerly to returning.

I have not heard reports of how Dalla Cucina is faring since Michael is no longer in their kitchen.

Aug 01, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Special dinners in Provincetown - recs requested

I was not, but some friends we met at our inn tried it and reported back that they were disappointed, they had been at the Cambridge location previously and thought the Provincetown location was not up to the standard they remembered there.

I can't vouch for their opinion, though, they preferred the Mews and Red Inn, and I'm not a fan of the Mews's menu and have not tried Red Inn, so I can't judge their taste, FWIW. Our innkeeper doesn't rank Ten Tables among the top Provincetown options.

With Ceraldi in town now, we weren't tempted to try Ten Tables when we could go back to Ceraldi another time...

Jul 31, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Best seafood family friendly place in Hyannis?

Sounds wonderful, how does it compare to the gelato at The Purple Feather? So far, theirs is the best gelato I've found on Cape, it's very good but not at the level of the best places in Boston, Philadelphia, or NYC

Jul 31, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Canteen in Provincetown

A great new addition to the Commercial Street scene this year is Canteen. It's fun, casual, and has really good food. We ate lunch here numerous times, enjoying a great Caprese sandwich, cod Bahn-Mi and shrimp Bahn-Mi, a light and tasty fish & chips, chicken cranberry salad sandwich, and grilled sardines with an exceptional kale salad. They make their own delicious lemonade and iced tea, everything we had was fresh and tasty and cheerfully presented. They have a raw bar and a liquor license as well, we would have loved to have explored their menu even more. They seemed to keep busy, so the first season is off to a great start. Don't miss it next time you are on the tip of the Cape.

wwww.thecanteenptown.com

Jul 23, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Bummed out after Nauset Beach Club dinner.....

We have eaten at NBC many times over the last dozen years or so and often had our best meal of the season there, but not always. A few years ago the quality dropped off noticeably, then recovered and we had great experiences the past two years. Our one outing this season was below their best standards, a salad had some indifferent romaine and the halibut catch of the day was over cooked. When they are at the top of their game the results can be superb, but the kitchen and servers did not seem to be at their best this week, a bit disappointing.

Most good restaurants go through their ups and downs, apparently Nauset Beach Club is not currently in one of its up periods.

Jul 17, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Provincetown great new dining

As of now it is only two seatings, at 6:30 and 9:30pm with the full seven courses. We found it to be a nice meal with enough food without feeling stuffed. Definitely quality over quantity, and appropriate portion sizes, soup and salad were wonderful but not overly filling. Looking forward to going back Friday!

Jul 15, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Provincetown great new dining

Ceraldli is a great new dining option this year in Provincetown, truly outstanding. Michael Ceraldi does a seven course chef's table in a small al fresco upper deck setting. The emphasis is on fresh, local fine ingredients in an Italian clean and pure tradition. It's cash-only, the chef can accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences.

We had an amazing dinner, with courses including a chilled fennel soup with garden herbs, calamari agordolce, a stunning beet, goat cheese, and beet greens dish, a free-range chicken with creamy polenta, and excellent panna cotta with blueberries and lavender syrup. The level of execution and presentation rivaled the best chefs working in this style, and service was highly personal and welcoming.

This was a truly highlight experience for our Cape dining in recent years, and this small spot deserves attention and success, it's a most welcome addition to the Outer Cape dining scene.

Www.ceraldiptown.com

Jul 12, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Dining in Brewster MA besides Oceans Edge

Everybody can have different experiences, good and bad, but my family has visited that part of the Cape for many years. Those who have tried Chillingsworth during the last fifteen years or so have been disappointed, and only return because they wanted to get an update, as many restaurants go through up and down periods over the years. Unfortunately, our extended family has had only negative experiences and are unlikely to return. You may have been more fortunate. I've been disappointed by some highly touted restaurants before, and delighted by some that do not have a favorable reputation - our own little hidden gems.

Jun 28, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Dining in Brewster MA besides Oceans Edge

20 minutes from Oceans Edge gives you some good options.
In Brewster is the Brewster Fish House, doing fine things with great seafood, and non-seafood dishes. It's small and doesn't take reservations, so go early or prepare to wait for a table. The Bramble Inn is upscale New England B&B with fine dining, a bit more traditional in approach.

In Orleans, the Nauset Beach Club is wonderful, Northern Italian in outlook, generally a favorite with us of all Cape dining. Abba is cool and refined, with an Israeli chef who also does some very good Thai as well as Mediterranean cooking, and great desserts.

In Dennis Village, Fin is excellent seafood, the former chef from Brewster Fish House and her acquaculturalist husband do great dinners in a space that can be a little noisy, depending on where you are seated.

Lots of other choices, but for three days these should be worth checking out. Enjoy!

www.brewsterfishhouse.com
www.brambleinn.com
www.nausetbeachclub.com
www.abbarestaurant.com
www.fincapecod.com

Jun 25, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - June 2013 [OLD]

Yay - Whole milk European style yogurt. Nothing but whole milk and cultures, lovely creamy texture, good tartness. A winner for sure.

Yay - Tuscan melons, very tasty and reasonably priced, short term item I'm sure.

Nay - Limited edition Ethiopian Peaberry coffee. I've had other Peaberry, this is flat and one-dimensional. Perhaps it is the in-store grinder's fault, TJ's uses a fairly lousy grinder at their coffee station, but this was a disappointment.

Yay - unsalted pistachios, not always easy to find them unsalted elsewhere. Or, as a friend said, "Pistachios with no salt? That's just nuts!"

Jun 24, 2013
Dan D in Chains

Sesuit Cafe Lobster Roll Update - Dennis MA/Cape Cod

CCG, thanks, it seems there is a fair amount of variation in the use of Cape location terms. I've heard Lower in a general sense as including Brewster, Chatham, Orleans to Provincetown, with Outer defined as Eastham to Provincetown, sometime including Orleans. While I've only been going to the Cape since I was five years old, our old neighbors (many of whom have passed by now, and were many generations old Cape) were adamant that Mid cape ended at Dennis and maybe Harwich, but called Brewster, Chatham, Orleans Lower, and they called Eastham and beyond Outer, so I was relying on their usage. I've noticed there is never a shortage of opinions on the Cape, LOL.

Jun 17, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Sesuit Cafe Lobster Roll Update - Dennis MA/Cape Cod

Our first several visits in 2009 and 2010 impressed us with the quality of the food and good value. One of us raved about the lobster roll, and I had some of the best fried clams in many years, and very good fries. But in 2011 the clam plate came down about a dollar in price but had at best a half portion of clams. Against my better judgment I ordered a second portion just to get enough to eat, asking them to just sell me some clams a la carte. They refused to break up the platter, so I had some more of the fine cole slaw and some indifferent fries along with my clams. My partner thought the lobster roll was a bit smaller as well, but not as drastically downsized as the clam plate.

We moved our base from Lower Cape to Outer Cape for our stays beginning in 2012, and did not venture back to Sesuit Cafe while on Cape.

However, I did see some customers getting fish and chips, the portions were large and the fish looked absolutely wonderful, I suspect that is the best value in the place.

Jun 17, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - May 2013 [old]

I have seen several shout outs for European Style yogurt, but have not found it at my local TJ's in Pennsylvania. The staff I asked about it had not heard of it, they had Greek and regular and some non-dairy yogurt substitutes. I hope it is not a regional item only.

May 02, 2013
Dan D in Chains

Brewster Fish House is BACK!

CCG, good to hear! The Fish House was a favorite for years, mostly at dinner (early, so as to avoid the wait), and we were so disappointed in our two tries shortly after the changes. We encountered some of the kitchen staff in the Cook Shop shortly afterward, they were apologetic and urged us to be patient while they worked out a few bugs, they recognized the problems. Glad to hear they are back to the old form, very few places on Cape have an equal touch in properly treating great sea ingredients and doing them justice in a non-trendy fashion that avoids being overly cute. We've moved our base of operations considerably down Cape, but will have to go back and give them a try. Thanks for the update!

May 02, 2013
Dan D in Southern New England

Lewisburg dinner suggestions

Elizabeth's, an American Bistro is a great option for weekend dinner or lunch. www.elizabethsbistro.com
The breads are excellent, and the kitchen does fine work with quality ingredients. It is downtown, across from the Campus Theater, highly recommended.

Apr 03, 2013
Dan D in Pennsylvania

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - April 2013 [OLD]

Have you tried the dried pitted tart Montmorency cherries? I think they have a natural taste, though they include a little sugar and oil according to the label, and they are nicely tart.

Apr 02, 2013
Dan D in Chains

Trader Joe's Yay/Nay Thread - March 2013 [OLD]

I don't bother trying TJ's grass fed beef, we can buy it locally from farmers I know, at the farmers markets for instance, especially Boalsburg on Tuesday. Get their preground, or grind it yourself.

Mar 27, 2013
Dan D in Chains

Serious Question...Is Pittsburgh limited to Diners Drive-ins and Dives or are there a few good restaurants?

OK, might as well come out of the stands to join this meelee. Having lived in Pittsburgh before there were any glimmerings of foodie culture, and having dined in Philadelphia a bit, one important observation:

While Philadelphia is MUCH bigger than Pittsburgh, it's easier to move around in the larger city, less transit time to far-flung neighborhoods where interesting BYOB and local favorites can be found. Pittsburgh takes forever to get anywhere, and has fewer options if your highly touted neighborhood find is overbooked or otherwise needs an alternative. In Philadelphia there are many more options of equal or better quality should your first choice for dining prove to be unavailable.

Secondly, much of Philadelphia's population has a long tradition of loving good food and a cosmopolitan mix of ethnic groups with pride in their cuisines. The average Pittsburgher is well known for a disdain for fancy putting on the airs and a love for lots of food, cheap, as well as a greater concentration of immigrants from areas not usually esteemed for foods. The respective cultures count for something, and translates into there being a lower floor and a larger struggle for sustaining good restaurants in Pittsburgh.

Good things are happening now in Pittsburgh, but go back thirty years and compare the dining in the two cities at that time. Philadelphia had a lot going for it even then, while Pittsburgh's dining scene was pretty grim. I spend too little time in the 'burgh these days to appreciate all it now has to offer, especially given the comparative travel times in the metro area, while Philly is quicker to get around it, even without having lived there to become familiar with the best routes.

Oct 15, 2012
Dan D in Pennsylvania

State college update

I would include Billy's Bar B Que as notable near State College. The main location is near Reedsville, handy for anyone approaching State College from the direction of Harrisburg and Lewistown.

They do dry rub, low and slow smoking, with no pre-cooked meats hastily finished over a wood fire like some others do. We tried the pulled chicken and a half rack of ribs, both were excellent. Sides included delicious smoked potato salad and some savory baked beans, and great hush puppies. They offer pulled pork and brisket as well, which we will try next time. Multiple sauces are offered on the side, including house, spicy, mild, mustard, and vinegar, though the meat was good enough that sauce was hardly required.

They have opened a second location at a hotel in Milesburg, I understand, Sheraton maybe?

Finally, some really good BBQ in Central PA

Sep 04, 2012
Dan D in Pennsylvania