Paula & Tim Miller
The Carriage House Inn
Doug and Jennifer Ramler, husband and wife are the owners, the chef & manager of one of our favorite seasonal restaurants in the area, the Cape Sea Grille. It’s only a 12 minute drive from the Carriage House Inn to the beautiful 19th century sea captain’s house. Located down a little side street that ends at the ocean’s edge, the street is occupied by beach homes so it has a relaxed summertime vibe.
We had dinner there this past week for our 24th wedding anniversary and we were once again delighted by the food, service and ambiance. We sat out on the porch with white linen table cloths, candles and fresh flowers, and felt immediately relaxed. I honed in on the deal of the century which is the 3 course prix fixe menu being served every night through June 12 (5-5:45pm on Saturdays). The prix fixe menu has a good variety of slightly smaller portions of their regular menu items such as rabbit confit ravioli in a brandy cream broth and grilled yellow fin tuna on a pineapple & basil couscous with fennel and garlic confit. I ordered the cornmeal dusted calamari on a mesclun salad with lemon-chili vinaigrette as a starter. The calamari were tender and paired well with the vinaigrette. For my main course I had a 1/2 pan seared Lobster with pancetta, potatoes, grilled asparagus & Calvados-saffron reduction. This is like an upscale lazy mans lobster but with tons of different flavors. This was a nice change from the typical drawn butter approach. For dessert I had the chocolate bread pudding, which decadent dense and rich. All 3 courses were $25. Tim had the same lobster but he ordered the larger portion, and for dessert he had the honey goat cheese crème brulee. This was divine with the small hint of goat cheese to add tang and honey to provide another layer of sweetness.
The service was professional yet not stuffy. There is good reason why Chef Doug was invited to cook at the James Beard House in NYC in 2006. His food is fresh and interesting and delicious. This a fabulous restaurant be it for a special occasion like our visit or a good well prepared dinner out with friends in charming atmosphere.