Atmosphere matters. I inherently want the world to be the beautiful place it was meant to be. I believe enjoyment in life is enhanced by atmosphere, and dining out is no exception. Eating is a multi-sensory experience, and the surroundings and presentation enhance the taste. I like to try new restaurants and, as my family and friends will attest, I can't help but critique the interior design -- an occupational hazard, I guess. Thus, this new Food for Thought entry into the nestfeathers blog post lineup!
While working on Cape Cod last week, I discovered an enchanting spot for breakfast! I love eating breakfast out and this little place had the most charming exterior. The Red Cottage in Dennis is attached to a house with a plaque dating it at 1936, and a fenced pocket garden with a riot of summer flowers. Ice cream parlor chairs just outside the door offer waiting space for parties hoping to get a seat inside.
Stepping through the door the charm is diminished slightly by an uneasy chaotic feeling, but the friendly staff helps mitigate that. Each place setting includes a copy of the house newspaper, “The Red Cottage Standard”, a keepsake issue that contains articles, puzzles, and listings of all the food offerings.
The menu was so mouthwatering, that it took me until halfway through my meal to realize the place was plagued with an abundance of fluorescent lights with exposed circular tubes that cast that horrible greenish glow that makes everyone look slightly nauseated, and I realized this was the primary cause of the aforementioned uneasy chaotic feeling. My taste buds were at war with the rest of my senses, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but even the offensive light fixtures were no match for the bananas foster French toast! An assortment of combo’s named after Cape Cod towns offers up a way to have savory AND sweet. In addition to all the omelets, egg dishes, and a variety of French toast, pancake and waffle options, there are also both sweet and savory breakfast crepes. Sides include some of the best hash browns on the planet, thick delicious applewood smoked bacon, and the delightful option of excellent popovers instead of toast.
The one thing that could have made a good dining experience great, would be a change of light fixtures. Vintage schoolhouse globes, either classic white or with red and/or black accents like the ones shown below, would kick the atmosphere up closer to the level of the excellent food.
With proper light fixtures, this place would have it all – a charming diner café sensibility, AND a divine menu. In spite of the unfortunate lighting choices, I highly recommend a visit if you are in the area...have a piece of French toast for me!