Edwige, a Provincetown mainstay since the late 70’s, offers what I have found to be the best sit-down restaurant experience on Cape Cod. So my expectations are always exceedingly high when visiting (which of course can be a recipe for disappointment). But on our annual visit last week, both the food and the overall experience were fantastic and quintessential Provincetown.
Located on the second floor of an hundred and fifty year old Cape-style building on Commercial Street, Edwige oozes with all that is great about this artist’s colony on the tip of Cape Cod. The dining room, which boasts an truly amazing diversity of diners, is painted in a warm red color with exposed beams, while a rotating selection of artwork adorns the walls. The waiters are friendly, knowledgeable, efficient, and quite honestly, beautiful (though this being Provincetown I hold no illusions that I am exactly their type!).
We made a reservation a few days in advance, but if you have not had time to plan, there is a small covered patio that accommodates walk-ins. We had stopped at the Wine Library in New Jersey on our drive up to pick up a few bottles (a detour we won't likely again make) and were pleased to learn that Edwige allows you to bring your own wine for just a $20 corkage fee. They also specialize in house-infused vodka cocktails, which look quite tasty; their wine list looked just OK.
The menu consists of about ten appetizer and ten entrée choices. The focaccia served at the beginning of the meal is worth the carbs. Recently, Edwige started offering demi portions of all entrees, which makes for the perfect size if you plan on partaking in appetizers.
B and I split two appetizers to start and the food was certainly memorable, a combination of farm fresh ingredients, careful preparations, and unique flavor combinations.
The tuna tartare rivaled the preparation we had this past spring in Hawaii. And the combinations of crunch with the avocado and tuna made for a pleasant texture.
The duck confit egg roll was bursting with tender, roast meat, offset by the crunch of the wrapper, and the tang of the dipping sauce.
My entrée was the most robust flavor combination I have enjoyed in months. I opted for the demi portion of the chili and coffee braised short ribs, with jalapeño au gratin potatoes, fried shiitake mushrooms, and crisp green beans. The short ribs were fork tender, spicy and sweet--complementing in both taste and texture the potatoes.
B had his favorite (and what appeared to be the most popular dish), the Brazilian seafood moqueca. This hearty dish, served in a cast iron skillet, is an assortment of halibut, shrimp, and scallops cooked in a creamy coconut milk broth.
The whole experience was really wonderful. And no, this is not a traditional Cape Cod seafood shack, or even a traditional Cape fine dining establishment, but the care and preparation that goes into everything, from the food to the setting, shines. Unlike some other places I've come back to year after year on the Cape, Edwige is never tired or dull. Do note that the chefs at breakfast and lunch are different; I have never had either of those meals at Edwige, so my recommendation is specific to dinner. Dinner with two appetizers, one demi entrée, one entrée, corkage, tax, and tip was $105.