A Taste of the Past

Cape Cod Life  /  July 2023 / ,

Writer: Susanna Graham-Pye

Cape Cod’s storied restaurants are now memories of another time. Pools of gold light cast down onto snow-coated walkways on Christmas Eve. Pale rose centerpieces on Mother’s Day linen covered tables. Laughter around the table on the eve of marriage. Watching the water, eating fried clams. The murmur of conversations, the sound of silver on china. The fragrance of good food. For generations people have enjoyed some wonderful moments in the dining rooms of the Cape’s most iconic, historic, restaurants. While they’re gone now—many have been torn down, others stand empty, and still others have returned to being what they once were—it is precisely because these moments each can’t be recreated that such magic hovers around our memories.  “When we lose these beautiful old places, we lose the comfort of tradition, a bit of your childhood and your children’s,” says Jen Hyora, who grew up celebrating Christmas Eve at Anthony’s Cummaquid Inn. “We lose the Cape we used to know.” For years, Hyora says, she, her brother, mother, and father ate Christmas Eve dinner at Anthony’s. “In the early days, they did a beautiful job of decorating for Christmas. Lights all the way up the long driveway, Christmas trees in all the rooms; presents wrapped underneath that made a child wonder what was inside.” When Hyora and her brother had families of their own, they continued the tradition. One of the most memorable Christmas Eves, Hyora recalls, was when her daughter, about 10 at the time, sat down at the piano and began playing Christmas carols, delighting all of the diners. Maddie, Hyora’s daughter, was in good company at that piano, which, over the years, had its ivories tickled by many outstanding musicians, including the beloved Dave McKenna.  Anthony’s Cummaquid Inn on Route 6A in Yarmouthport was one of four…

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Susanna Graham-Pye