Dana’s Kitchen: A Cape Cod Innkeepers Favorite Lunch Spot

Dana’s Kitchen in Falmouth is the kind of place you dream about. Set along a quiet stretch of Palmer Avenue just north of the center of town, we stumbled upon this tiny breakfast and lunch spot on one of our famous “get in the car and go” days.  It quickly became this Cape Cod innkeeper’s favorite lunch spot.

Tucked in among the trees, Dana’s Kitchen and its gracious proprietors, Art and Dana Tillman, welcome you as soon as you open the door. Behind the counter you’ll find Art, Dana’s husband and business partner. Dana herself is scurrying between the sandwich prep area and the enormous ovens where she creates her mouth-watering breads, scones, muffins, cookies, and pies. Greeted with a big smile and a kind word by these two graduates of Hyde Park’s Culinary Institute of America, you are immediately handed the menu of daily specials that you just know will be prepared with the freshest ingredients in a simple yet creative way.

Once the site of the Peachtree Farms restaurant, the cozy “Kitchen”, as it is known to locals, strives for a casual atmosphere and a “homey” feel. In the winter, you are warmed by the gas fireplace and the tantalizing aromas wafting from the kitchen. In the summer you have a choice of dining inside or outside on the deck surrounded by perennial gardens, shade trees and blooming flower boxes. A large flat screen TV on the wall is tuned to the cooking channel, and wireless internet is available so that folks feel free to linger over a cup of coffee and a pastry. It is, in essence, a place where comfort is king and relaxation reigns supreme. Exactly the kind of place a weary innkeeper wants to retreat to in the middle of the day to recharge the batteries.

The lunch menu is a classic mix of soups, salads, and sandwiches, but each item is given its own signature styling by Art and Dana that keep locals coming back time and again for their favorites. Rich’s new favorite is the smoked Scotch salmon on toasted marble rye with cream cheese, tomatoes, red onions and capers. It’s melt in your mouth wonderful and, judging by the expression on my husband’s face each time he orders it, just shy of culinary nirvana. I am a fan of the cranberry walnut chicken salad on Dana’s homemade wheat bread. The portions are so large, a half of a sandwich is all I can eat, especially if I’ve had a cup of one of their delicious homemade soups to start. On Fridays, they serve their haddock chowder, a yummy concoction made with chunks of meaty haddock and diced potatoes in a silky cream base. But get there early if you want to try it, because people start streaming in around 11:30 on Fridays.

In addition to their breakfast and lunch offerings, Art and Dana offer take-out and business lunches along with catering for private functions. Located at 881 Palmer Avenue in Falmouth, MA, Dana’s Kitchen is open daily from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM; closed on Tuesday. Call ahead for take-out. 508-540-7900.