Dining on the Water–Our Cape Cod Favorites!

Drink of red liquid with lime set on table in front of river with houses in rear

Oh, you can tell when we start randomly blogging with these kind of titles that spring fever has officially smacked us in the back of our heads! Dining on the water is our very favorite sport here at the Lamb and Lion Inn, so if you’re planning on joining us, here’s a head start…

Our very favorite joint on the water has got to be Baxter’s Boathouse in Hyannis. Why do we love Baxter’s? Because it’s on the water, duh (are you paying attention???). More than that, it’s really, really right on the water. Unlike a few of our other favorites that sit close to the water, or behind a parking lot that’s on the water, Baxter’s is right there. It sits in the middle of Hyannis Harbor (about 15 minutes from the Lamb and Lion) so you can watch the island ferries and sailboats come and go. Which brings us to a point. How do we know that we have enjoyed a successful Baxter’s lunch? When we watch the fast ferry to Nantucket shove off from the marina, and are still having lunch when it returns (if that happens with the slow ferry it’s a guaranteed cab ride home). Two other things we love about Baxter’s is that they have a kid-friendly fish & chips joint…next door (the Boathouse is adults only) and a piano player–which adds to our urge to stretch out our time there.

Our favorite seat at Baxter’s (and an un-Bloody Mary)

Spanky’s Clam Shack is also on Hyannis Harbor, right next to the Hy-Line Ferry to the islands. The water view from Spanky’s is a bit blocked because of boats and a parking lot, which is why we love to join friends at the bar. At the bar you get a bit of a better view–at least I think you do. Come to think of it, I can’t remember what the dining room view looks like. We always sit at the bar. Spanky’s has 2 things over Baxter’s. One is that, although the view is not as perfect, there are a lot more tables outside, so on a nice day you have a better chance of dining el fresco. The second best thing is that Spanky’s Bloody Marys are far superior. 
Outdoor dining at Spanky’s
Most places on the Cape use a Bloody Mary mix–as does Spanky’s–it’s just that the mix they use, called Jack & Bernie’s, is one of the best out there. It’s a close second to Zing Zang, which is the best mix that we’ve found so far in our worldly travels. I wish I could say Cape Cod Bloody Mary mix was the best, but it’s not quite up there. I wish Baxter’s would get their stuff together and make a killer Bloody Mary, because it’s the one thing they lack, but whatever. It’s just that…OK…I’m not a Bloody Mary snob, but I am an expert, and it kills me when a place serves lame Bloodys!! I mean, pour Mr. & Mrs. T’s for God sakes!! That stuff is just fine and has delivered the majority of us from 30,000 feet successfully on hundreds of airlines a countless number of times (by the way, if you know anyone who works for Mr. & Mrs. T’s advertising department, they’re missing out on a great tag line…”The Taste of Vacation.”).
Anyway, at home we always make our Bloody Marys from scratch. You want to know the secret to a great Bloody Mary? Lots of lemon (screw the lime), enough celery salt to make your heart race and it has to be (repeat: has to be) Sacramento tomato juice. It’s got just the right thickness & sweetness. You show up poolside at the Lamb and Lion Inn with a Bloody made from V8 juice and no late check out for you.
A nice twist on using Sacremento, which is a totally acceptable substitution–especially on Cape Cod–is using Clamato juice (it has tasty clam bits in the juice–awesome).With Clamato you have to be a bit careful with the horseradish ratio as….as….uh…
Wait a minute.
OK, I did it again.
I went off on another Bloody Mary rant and now I don’t have time to finish my blog on whatever it is I was blogging about. Damn. It’s a weird thing, this tomatoey obsession.
OK, we’ll continue this another time, when I’m calm, and we can discuss more fab waterfront dining places like the Captain’s Table at the Hyannis Yacht Club (a great Bloody Mary–but you can’t get in without connections), The Bookstore Restaurant in Wellfleet (very good Bloody–goes great with their steamed littlenecks), Ross’ Grill in Provincetown (can’t remember their Bloody, but they have a great little wine selection and the best fries in P-Town), The heavenly Ocean House in Dennisport (about 25 minutes drive but well worth every mile–with or with out a Bloody Mary), and of course, Mattakeese Wharf, which sits out in the middle of Barnstable Harbor, just 3 minutes from the Lamb and Lion Inn, and whose sin-riddled Homemade Potato Chips with Bleu Cheese appetizer compliments their Bloody Marys beautifully, if we do say so ourselves.
Our local whale watch boat from Mattakeese Wharf’s deck…located 3 minutes from the inn!