Sunday, July 29, 2012

What's a Mooncussser?

A mooncusser is a sort of pirate,  but a lazy one.  No arduous sea voyages or plank walking. Mooncussers were shoreline scavengers that would set decoys of fake lighthouses and cause shipwrecks and then come in for the prey. They didn't own boats but road on horseback mostly in the middle of the night.  Sailors were very scared of mooncussers. I don't blame them. Apparently they were ruthless. From what I've heard they were a big problem in the lower Cape. A far bigger problem than Great Whites in Chatham Harbor today.

To make a long story short, there are but a few Mooncussers still around and our favorite is Mooncusser's Tavern in Harwich. There actually was a bloke sitting at the bar that totally resembled a pirate (or maybe the Pied Piper) with a long gray braid, sea cap and earring in his nose drinking a martini. I kid you not. 

This cozy restaurant has a lively atmosphere, a smiling staff and great snacks. With a full tapa menu and martini bar it is a great hang-out. We shared a few tapas and loved the Avocado & Tuna Tempura with wasabi & edamame puree, and the Mooncussers frites with a rosemary bearnaise. As an entree, the Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops with asparagus risotto, crispy shallots, preserved lemon was lovely.  I've  heard that the duck-infused sliders win the overall popularity contest which I will save for next time.

So head on over after a long day at the beach. Our pirate friend may still be there at the martini bar and I am sure he has a lot of stories to tell.


Mooncussers Tavern, at the Harwich Port Seafarer, 86 Sisson Road is open daily from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Closed Tuesdays in the Fall.  Telephone 508-430-1230

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ice Cream is a Very Serious Thing

Everyone has a beloved ice-cream establishment. This summer spread your wings and stop at The Local Scoop in Orleans.

Mary Debartolo, the founder of the Slow Foods local chapter, created this gem of a shop to spread the goodwill of local foods. Cool and cheerful, this new spot allows you to live like an ice cream artist and create your own fabulous eye-popping ice-creations with innovative flavors and tempting toppings.

We tried Birthday Cake Frozen Yogurt because when you have a toddler in hand, it's hard to say no to anything  that has the word birthday cake in it!

The Local Scoop    34 Cranberry Highway (RT 6A), Orleans, MA.