Cape Cod Restaurants Perfect for Date Night

Cape Cod is a fairly casual place, which is very much part of its charm, yet there is also something special about getting a little dressed up and enjoying a romantic dinner while you’re visiting. There are several date night-worthy restaurants in nearby towns that have earned stellar reputations for consistently offering exceptional food in stunning surroundings.

Pates: What was a somewhat dated steakhouse was completely reinvented into a slick space with a Miami Beach vibe. The service is attentive without being remotely pretentious. The food is truly exceptional. Dishes that have maintained their spot on the ever-changing menu include appetizers like Tuna Cones with wasabi foam and Peking Duck Tacos, and perfectly grilled steaks with artfully prepared sides and a grilled half chicken with whole grain mustard sauce for entrées. Craft cocktails are a must. For those who prefer a lively atmosphere, Pates is a great choice.

1260 Main Street, Chatham | 508-945-9777

The Chatham Cut: Right next to Pates and overseen by the same culinary director is The Chatham Cut, a steakhouse that has been elevated to its most indulgent form. The exterior of the building is a bit ho-hum, but inside is elegantly decorated and romantically lit. Steaks are very much the star of the show here, with a 32 oz. porterhouse that has developed a cult following. “The steaks looked so good they tempted this 25-year pescatarian,” raved one online reviewer. Scrumptious sides cap off the decadent menu. You had us at Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes. Like Pates, “The Cut,” as it’s known locally, has an inventive cocktail menu and thoughtful wine list.

1200 Main Street, Chatham | 508-348-5686

Cuvée: Housed in a historic inn in Chatham, offering either a four-course or seven-course menu, Cuvée is very much destination dining. The dining room is the epitome of elegant, with white linen-clad tables set among a space that feels at once historic and modern. The menu, which changes nightly, features flawlessly prepared delicacies with four or five options offered for each course. “The food was as good as my best meal in any NYC restaurant and we dine out often in fine restaurants,” said a Google reviewer. We hope that last spring’s Michelin-star-chef dinners proved popular enough that they make a return this season.

359 Main Street, #2, Chatham | 508-945-1468

The Pheasant: When new owners took over this decades-old Dennis landmark and dropped the word “Red” from its moniker, we wondered if it was headed in the wrong direction. Recent reviews make it clear that this is not remotely the case. A barn that is more than two centuries old is the heart of the restaurant, with wide-plank wood floors and exposed beams a clear indication of its historic pedigree. Don’t let the word “barn” dissuade you from experiencing this elegantly lit romantic option. The owners have leaned into the farm-to-table movement, maintaining a list of the local farms and seafood company partners on the website. The menu is impressive without feeling too precious. Beef Cheek is decked out with horseradish gremolata, an Italian condiment of fresh herbs, lemon and garlic. Mushroom Cavatelli is prepared with local mushrooms and locally sourced cheese. Finish the evening with house-made Crème Fraiche Ice Cream or Chocolate Ganache.

905 Main Street, Dennis | 508-385-2133

Leonessa: Another restaurant that calls a historic building home, this one an actual house in Yarmouth Port. It has been a restaurant for decades and underwent a full renovation several years ago, giving it its current look, which is more modern coastal than “This Old House.” Still fairly new, Leonessa came to our attention on the very active Cape Cod Restaurants Facebook Group page, with post after post heralding its food and service. The extensive menu has an Italian flair and includes classic dishes such as Prime Beef Carpaccio and Cherrystone Clams Casino for appetizers, alongside unexpected inclusions like Domestic Lamb Meatballs and Mortadella Arancini. Pasta and polenta warrants its own section on the menu, with the entrées section a curated selection of local seafood and creative steak preparations.

43 Main Street, Yarmouth Port | 508-744-7831

Photos: Above – Cuvée. Below (L to R) – Pates, The Pheasant, Leonessa. All photos via respective websites.

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