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Pilgrim Fare Fit For a King at Cape Cod Room; Stone Grill 95 Is a Misnomer

Victoria Pesce Elliott went to the Cape Cod Room and thinks that although "Some might knock the place as pretentious with its three-paragraph Thoreau quote on the menu cover or eco-insensitive with its shipped-in seafood, but the proof is in the Indian pudding." Or in the tomato or lobster bisque which "are across the board fantastic, but it is the classic quahog chowder loaded with supple clams in a double-cream broth that will prompt spoon duels." [Ed note: Or Family Guy jokes]. VPE was also taken by the Prince Edward Island mussells, Nantucket bay scallops, and the Provincetown stew which was "another fine example of letting the fresh ingredients do the talking." Cuisine is a cross between a Kennedy and Mark Wahlberg, with lobster rolls "as delicatedly dressed as a debutante," macaroni and cheese "good enough," and salads "modest with low-key ingredients." While roasted chicken is "the definition of simplicity," VPE wasn't loving "a pablum of crab cake, a stale crust on a pricey lobster pot pie and greasy fries with an otherwise decent grilled hangar steak." That said, she still felt like a Kennedy as opposed to a pre-Calvin Klein model cum rapper turned serious actor Wahlberg. "While the best of the dishes here are as simple as Pilgrim fare, unmistakable confidence in the kitchen can make for a meal fit for a king." Or a Thoreau-quoting Kennedy or Wahberg brother. [Miami Herald]

After five days of trying to get through to Stone Grill 95 by phone, Lee Klein gave up and went there anyway. Because "even if the gimmick of preparing one's own dinner at a restaurant tends to make me anxious about doing the dishes later. And even if the person who runs the kitchen here is a Texan called Punchy. I mean, if nothing else, it sounded like fun." Instead of saving the best for last, it came first in the form of "uber-plump mussels spicily steamed with pickled jalapenos, chopped chorizo, tomatoes and peppers." Klein also liked the tempura vegetables and pulled pork "bruschetta," which was "filling and satisfying in a school cafeteria sort of way." Not a bad start until the signature mixed stone grill arrived sans lava rock and already cooked. "When we questioned the waiter about the lack of rock, he summoned Ms. Rinaldi, who came over and explained, in lengthy detail, why only a certain number of guests may partake of the volcanic stone-sizzled dinner each evening (limited size of kitchen and ovens) and why they must reserve that right--by phone!--in advance (it takes more than an hour to propertly heat the lava rock and then quite awhile to coool it for the next round)." Yikes. After an aplogy, a promise to change the website's wording, a free meat platter and two rounds of chilled port wine, Klein was still unimpressed although he did compliment the (nonexistent) stone grill. "This went far in termss of atonement but didn't begin to describe how a restaurant concept could have gone so wrong. The motto ought to be 'All fired up and not ready to go!' [Miami New Times]