Recently we had the opportunity to attend the soft opening Cape Cod’s latest entry to the 2016 restaurant scene. Encore Bistro & Bar took over the space formerly occupied by the Center Stage Cafe, and more recently Summer Stock, on the campus of the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA. Owned jointly by three seasoned restaurateurs, the new menu reflects a sophisticated palate with a strong nod to locally sourced seafood.
The interior of the restaurant has been completely redone, from the wide pine floors to the impressive feature wall of reclaimed wood. The feeling is light and airy in the dining room with lots of natural light streaming in from the windows that line three walls of the space. The back bar is warm and welcoming with an enormous wraparound bar.
We tried several appetizers and entrees on our visit last week and were duly impressed with both flavor and presentation. The lobster and mango tower was a scene stealer. Fresh lobster meat layered with ripe mango and avocado and dressed lightly in a lemongrass vinaigrette is sizable enough for an entree and perfect to share with our dining companions. Equally delicious was the ample order of Yucatan shrimp. Five succulent shrimp were presented with a dressing of fresh lime, jalapeno chili paste and cilantro. An order of mussels with sherry and a burrata salad completed our appetizer orders.
For the main course I chose the spinach and mushroom ravioli. Although the chive butter sauce was a bit too acidic for my liking, the ravioli themselves were plump and satisfying. One of our party ordered the 14 ounce grilled veal chop and declared it “New York City worthy” though suggested to the owner that the dish was a little heavy on the rosemary. The filet mignon was perfection on a plate and the pan seared duck breast cooked to a delicate medium pink.
Though we all claimed to be too full for dessert we did manage to try the red velvet cake and key lime pie, both of which were a satisfying end to a wonderful meal.
Encore Bistro & Bar serves both lunch and dinner starting at 11:00 AM and plans a late-night menu to serve to the after-theater crowd until midnight.
Call for reservations at (508) 385-8500