Clancy’s Restaurant, located on Upper County Road in Dennisport, was bustling on a recent July evening. This was my maiden voyage to this Cape Cod dining landmark overlooking Swan River and Swan Pond. Clancy’s is the most recent acquisition of Cape Cod Restaurants, Inc., which also owns and operates The Coonamesssett Inn and The Flying Bridge in Falmouth, and Tugboats in Hyannis.
According to our waitress, the dining room was “opened up” during recent renovations and now offers water views from nearly every room. Clancy’s clearly is a family favorite, so I was happy that my wife and I decided to bring along our youngest daughter so we could fit right in.
When we arrived we were greeted warmly and seated quickly at a lovely table next to a window. Thankfully there was an awning spanning the entire length of the dining room to block the late day sun. We were afforded spectacular river and pond views and enjoyed the line of kayakers and watched the lazy late day paddle-boaters wind their way down the river.
Our waitress, a knowledgeable veteran, shared more of the recent renovation story with us. Enhanced attractions include a beautiful outside deck with round tables and umbrellas, a tavern-style bar with high top tables which lift patrons up just enough to enjoy the panoramic views, a lower dining room, and the enclosed porch where we were seated. The bar area was lively while we were there and featured a number of flat screen televisions with multiple vantage points. As I walked through the bar area my eye caught the number of different micro brews Clancy’s offered on tap.
Our drinks arrived and we decided to order an appetizer that we could all share. We chose the onion rings ($9) as they appeared to be a favorite based on a quick perusal of the tables around us. The order arrived quickly and did not disappoint. It was a heaping serving that easily satisfied us, with many leftover, and could easily work for a table of four or more. The rings were lightly battered and delicious.
My wife and I decided to continue sampling, while Emily worked on the onion rings, prior to ordering our entreés. Julia ordered the iceberg wedge salad ($8.50) and I had a cup of the clam chowder ($5), which was hot and creamy. Our waitress mentioned that one of the changes made by the new ownership was that all the fish is fresh and prepared daily. That helped us decide among many interesting choices. Clancy’s truly has something for everyone, and can satisfy appetites big and small, while keeping the menu interesting and diverse.
Emily started with her personal favorite, penne pasta and butter ($9), from the kids menu. My wife chose the Clancy’s Cod ($18), which was a tasty choice prepared with tomatoes, basil, and topped with Ritz cracker crumbs and Monterey jack cheese. I decided on one of the evening’s specials, a fresh swordfish steak ($27), drizzled in a delicious light cream sauce and sautéed cherry tomatoes.
Emily was thrilled with her pasta and went so far as to say it was the best she had ever had at a restaurant. Her kid’s dinner also included a beverage and ice cream. My wife enjoyed her Clancy’s Cod. I was very impressed by the presentation of my swordfish, which was delivered with a fresh chunk of lobster claw on top. What a treat! I devoured that and started in on the swordfish. It was delicious and prepared perfectly. Each of our entreés was served with ample portions of rice pilaf and fresh vegetables.
Clancy’s is not going to send you away feeling hungry and provides their patrons with great value and then some. Although we held out hope, we just didn’t have room for dessert. That, too, will have to wait for our next trip.
–– Robert Judd