Tucked between shops and historic homes in Wellfleet Center, the quiet calm that surrounds Winslow’s Tavern provides a great escape for locals and visitors alike.
Diners were already enjoying the mellowing sun and gentle breezes after a hot summer day as we climbed the steps for dinner.
The historic building, built in 1805 as a sea captain’s home, has been a restaurant for more than 40 years. My guest and I took seats on the brick patio under the shady branches of a few large oak trees, where we could see visitors meandering along the quiet streets of Wellfleet, the air filled with faint chatter from a rehearsal dinner at the tavern.
Since we were in Wellfleet, we decided it was essential to start with fresh local oysters on the half-shell ($12.50), coupled with a sweet, yet zesty pear and apple salad ($9.50), a mix of mesclun greens and roasted hazelnuts with a fine citrus dressing. The two appetizers offered a light and refreshing start to our meal.
Winslow’s Tavern has an impressive wine list along with beer and signature drinks, like delicious home-made white sangria. The knowledgeable and friendly staff can point you in the right direction so you’ll have the perfect pairing of food and drink. The inside dining room has a simple elegance with hardwood floors, soft lighting, and small planter centerpieces at every table.
The pasta with fresh figs and burrata cheese ($19) instantly won over my guest, who found that the slightly spicy flavor of the sauce perfectly balanced the sweetness of the figs. I chose the sea scallops and shrimp skewers ($23), a scrumptious summer favorite among restaurant-goers. Tender local scallops and jumbo shrimp were grilled with tomatoes and placed atop a bed of mixed greens and basil mint crushed peas, a perfect light alternative to heavier seafood dishes that are so common on the Cape.
For dessert, we indulged in the house-made tiramisu ($7.50) and Charlotte’s Chocolate Strega ($7.50) along with foamy cappuccinos. The salty coffee crumble, which topped the tiramisu, was a unique take on an Italian favorite. The chocolate strega is perfect for chocolate lovers, with pieces of dense chocolate cake, candied walnuts, and whipped cream.
The menu offers fresh seafood, along with some more unusual finds, like monkfish, all served with fresh vegetables and herbs. Creating an environmentally friendly menu is important to owners Tracey and Phillip Hunt, so many of the ingredients are locally organic and sustainable.
Lunch at Winslow’s Tavern offers lighter fare with soups, salads, and delicious sandwiches. Reservations are accepted for parties of six or more and the restaurant is available to hold private functions. Karaoke is held after 10 p.m on Thursday nights. Along with a late night bar menu, live entertainment is featured on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
–– Fiona O’Connor