|Francois du Cap Moreau|
We went to the Red Inn in Provincetown on a Sunday evening and were seated at 6:30. The dining room was a bright airy room with a stunning view of the Bay through the wall of windows.
Our waitress seemed to be a knowledgeable and friendly woman with several tables to “work” but she was assisted by what seemed to be a legion of support staff. As I had never eaten at The Red Inn before I thought that this was a good sign.
I started off with “Lobster and Artichoke Fondue served with Warm French Bread”. I am a sucker for warm cheese on anything and artichokes are a particular favorite. What arrived at the table was a small “boule” of French bread that had been hollowed out, a la “bread bowl”, as if I were going to be having a schooner of chili.
Into this was deposited an amalgam of cheesy cream sauce, a couple of pieces of artichoke and some chopped lobster meat. This was topped off with a chiffonade of colorful peppers and the excised top of the boule stuck in the top.
A large steak knife was inserted into the side of the boule. I will grant that the cheese sauce was somewhat tasty but there was no way to determine what type cheese was used because either they used so little or the cheese they selected was not terribly flavorful. As I mentioned there was not a lot of artichoke pieces in the dish nor was there an abundance of lobster either. The way this item was served required you to carve out a piece of bread to eat the fondue but once you did that the fondue oozed out onto the plate becoming cold before it could be eaten.
Frankly I was so hungry, having waited to eat all day to enjoy a delightful dinner out with my friends, that I ate most of this except for the few pieces I served to my dinner companions. This appetizer was not stellar by any means. My companions had Crispy Panko Crusted Shrimp with a Sweet Hot Chili Sauce (which was given a thumbs up and looked very nice), Lobster Salad Sliders (also looked good but my companion who owns a restaurant said that the lobster meat was obviously from frozen meat and nothing special) and Organic Caesar Salad with Fried Bacon Wrapped Oysters (enjoyed by my companion).
Next came the entrees. The person that had the Caesar Salad with Fried Oysters had Fresh Ahi Tuna served with a Tomato Cannellini Bean Ragout. This plate looked particularly nice and the tuna looked perfectly cooked (he had ordered it rare and thoroughly enjoyed it). The person who had the Lobster Sliders had Smoked Long Island Duck with Savory Bread pudding and Orange Peppercorn Glaze for his entree. He said the duck was tasty but the piece of bread pudding on the plate was HUGE! I tasted the bread pudding and I found it under seasoned and slightly sweet, perhaps because of the orange peppercorn glaze. There was really not a lot of flavor to that “savory” bread pudding.
The person who had the shrimp appetizer had Grilled Veal Chop with Black Truffle Butter and Mashed Potatoes as an entrée. He reported that his dinner was absolutely delicious. ‘Nuff said on that one.
Now to my entrée. I ordered the Herb Crusted American Lamb Chops Roasted with a Crust of Dijon and Fresh Herbs with Mashed Potatoes and a Red Wine Demi-Glaze, served with Grilled Asparagus. I upgraded the mashed potatoes to a side dish offered that was cauliflower mashed potatoes. It sounded delicious and I do love cauliflower.
I ordered the chops cooked medium. The dinner arrived and the chops were indeed cooked to medium just as I like them, however by the time I finished the second chop I noticed that the 3rd and 4th chop were quite overcooked. Also the cauliflower mashed potato had dissolved into a soup because of the abundance of red wine demi-glace on the plate. Perhaps had they adjusted the texture/consistency of the potatoes the sauce would not have diluted them so thoroughly. The sauce was, however, an excellent example of what a demi-glace should taste like. The asparagus while tasty was a little dull.
(Pet Peeve Alert: Does anyone else dislike the trend of simply sticking a barb of herbs straight-up into a dish? My instructors in cooking school would deride that as unimaginative and a guest should not have to dislodge a garnish in order to enjoy one’s dinner.)
Now reading this review one would think that it is probably not a great place to eat but I am a particularly difficult person to please. Some of the items were executed quite well but others fell completely flat. I often wait a few days after going to a restaurant before I write up a review just so that I can give a fair reading without a knee-jerk reaction.
I will say that I would not go back to this restaurant in Provincetown simply because there are other places where one can have a delicious meal without such a hit-and-miss menu. The cost is pricey ($47 for that Veal Chop) and certainly not worth it.
Provincetown Restaurant Tip: There’s a hot new restaurant in town called Ten Tables on Bradford Street. It is a sister restaurant to Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain. If you are planning to go to that restaurant I would recommend that when making your reservation get the name of the person who takes the reservation. I made a reservation for August 18th for 5 people at 6:00pm in May. I called on July 14th to confirm the reservation and the manager said that they had no such reservation and that they were closed on that day anyway. Another friend of mine (another restaurateur) had trouble with a reservation there on Mother’s Day. They screwed that one up as well. I have written to the owner of Ten Tables to complain about this issue. They obviously have a weak link somewhere.
Location: 15 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA
Telephone: (508) 487-7334
This, of course, is only our opinion. If you have eaten here, we ask that you tell us all about it (and upload photos, if you like) in the hope that independent reviews of local restaurants will be helpful to other couples as they plan their own trips.
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