I have been incredibly lucky to spend at least one week every summer on Cape Cod. When I was little, my grandparents used to rent a place in Dennis, and when I was 10 years old, my parents started renting in Truro, which is where we've been vacationing ever since (almost 25 years!). While we know the Outer Cape extremely well, there are still many towns I haven't explored.
This summer, we took a day trip to visit with my closest friend from my study abroad program in Spain. She was staying at her family's home in Falmouth, so we decided to meet in the middle in Chatham. She suggested the Chatham Bars Inn, and I was thrilled because I had seen it hundreds of times on Instagram, but had never been myself.
It took us about 50 minutes from Truro, and as we approached the entrance, I noticed rows of cabanas on the waterfront and said to my mom, "Wow, I wonder who those belong to?" A couple seconds later we saw a sign that said "Chatham Bars Inn." My jaw was on the floor.
We met my friend at the hotel's primary entrance, which has a grand, stunningly landscaped, round driveway. Valet parking is complimentary (a major bonus!).
The hotel lobby is charming and so quintessentially New England. We made our way to the Veranda, the outdoor dining option just off the lobby.
The seating area feels like your own private front porch.
From our seats, we had an amazing view of Pleasant Bay. This photo really doesn't do it justice.
Our server came over to introduce himself and to hand each of us a menu. On the Veranda, the food options are very seafood-focused - caviar, shrimp, clams, lobster, tuna and more.
He also brought a kids menu (my friend's 11-month-old son was with us too) and I couldn't get over its clever presentation! The menu is actually inside a view finder.
Each time you pull down the lever, the picture changes to another food choice - hot dog, cheese burger, chicken nuggets, grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese.
I asked the server how kids react to this. With a big smile (or maybe more like a smirk?), he replied, "They love it. Let's just say it can be really hard to get them to give them back." Ha!
To begin, we each ordered a glass of ice tea, which came garnished with the most adorable, nautical-themed straws.
To my left, my friend had ordered the short rib flatbread. It was a very generous size, topped with goodies, including fresh herbs from the chef's garden.
After a few bites, she remarked, "I've seen a lot of pizza toppings, but never short rib. I was intrigued, and had to try it."
To my right, my mother was enjoying a salad (also from the chef's garden) with a side of fish.
She prefers simple dishes and was absolutely loving the combination of fresh veggies and expertly cooked, local fish.
I wound up ordering two small plates, the Tuscan kale salad and the potatoes with romesco sauce.
The salad was a much larger portion than I was expecting and came beautifully presented with a grilled lemon on the side.
The kale was topped with grated parmesan, pine nuts and fried capers.
The potato dish wound up being the star of the meal! All three of us couldn't stop eating it. The potato wedges were placed on a bed of romesco sauce, made mostly of roasted tomatoes and garlic. On top, the tower of taters was sprinkled with marcona almonds, which are highly addicting!
When we first sat down, I was sure the highlight of the experience was going to be the view, but it was equally matched by the food and friendly service.
Before getting back on the road, we wandered around the property a bit, checking out the waterfront, the pool, and the beach bar. Chatham Bars Inn is a true resort - offering absolutely everything one could want for a summer vacation. Of course I looked up how much it would cost to stay there, and let's just say, it would be a serious splurge.
After lunch, we headed down the hill to Main Street to do some shopping. The center of Chatham is delightful, with cute boutiques, lots of ice cream options, and the famous pub, the Chatham Squire.
It was very fun to step out of our Outer Cape bubble and spend time somewhere new. The Chatham Bars Inn in majestic, and if you have the chance to stop by, even just for a drink, it's worth it.