Eating Out on Cape Cod in the Quiet Season

bistrot de soleilI can take a hint. So when Bistrot de Soleil kept coming up in conversations about where to eat on Cape Cod in the quiet season, I immediately began searching for a reason to visit. I found one this week when some very good friends came to the Inn for a visit and we decided to “break out of the mold” and try something new. A very wise decision indeed.

Bistrot de Soleil is a relatively new restaurant on the Cape, located on Stevens Street between North and Main in what once was the home of the popular Harry’s Blues Bar. A small venue, the décor is a blend of understated elegance and French kitsch. It’s an interesting combo that belies what awaits you on their extensive menu. We were lured in part by the 3-course prix fixe dinner special advertised in the local Cape Cod Times. Accompanied by a glass of chef-selected wine for just $20 per person the abbreviated menu suited three of just fine.

We started with a choice of four appetizers including soup, salads, and a hot dish. We opted for the salads, caesar and caprese, and were not disappointed. The caprese was lightly dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette and the Caesar perfectly chilled, a great start to what turned out to be a magnificent meal. The wines that accompanied the prix fixe entrees were also good, in particular the Honoro Vera Jumilla, an organic monastrell from Spain, which suited my entrée nicely. Smooth and jammy from start to finish, it had a particularly nice mouth feel and stood up to the sea salt, pepper, and garlic preparation of my grilled bistrot steak. The steak was accompanied by pomme frites and haricot vert, a nice counterpoint to the beef. Portion sizes of the prix fixe menu items were smaller than the main dinner entrees, but I still ended up taking home at least half of my steak.

One of our dinner companions has a wheat allergy and was delighted to find so many gluten-free options to choose from on the menu. After much deliberation, he went with a pan-seared pork chop that was served with sautéed cherries and a blueberry chutney. The dish was a decided hit, as evidenced by his clean plate at the end of the meal.

The restaurant prides itself on sourcing the freshest local ingredients and offers an extensive menu of European-inspired dishes, as well as pastas, risottos, pizza and burgers. Desserts are house-made, and judging by the crème brule I had, worth saving room for. Our server, Luiz, was a delightful addition to our evening out, attentive without being over-bearing and well-informed without being smug.

With so much to offer it goes without saying that we will recommend this new find highly to our guests of our Inn and will find many more reasons for a return visit ourselves often this winter.

Bistrot de Soleil is open seven nights a week starting at 4:30 PM. Starting in the spring they will also open for lunch.