The Lobster & Artichoke Dip at Pearl
This Last Bite is a shout-out to all the summer visitors out there from Edible Cape Cod Headquarters—because we know what you love about Cape Cod! Sunny beach days (with at least one rainy shopping spree), a traffic-less bridge coming over (we can dream, right?), locally made ice cream (check out page 45), art fairs, dune tours, boat excursions, and, most importantly, big chunks of lobster meat!
Here’s a uniquely delicious way to add to this summer’s lobster intake. Head over to Pearl Restaurant and Bar, sit on the outside deck overlooking Wellfleet Harbor and repeat after us: “lobster & artichoke dip, please!” Whether at a table, on a bar stool, or to-go in a beach chair, Pearl’s lobster & artichoke dip might make it to the top of your summer vacation memories this year.
Chef John Hester is new to the Cape’s beloved Pearl restaurant and he had his work cut out for him. How do you keep the menu favorites while adding in your own style? Chefs face this challenge every year, but Hester pulled it off. Classics like fish & chips and fried oysters, and newer favorites like oyster tacos with sriracha-miso slaw and wasabi-pea-crusted tuna sashimi made it on the menu. (Speaking of tuna, that’s the chef himself in the photo with the day’s catch—in case you had concerns about freshness.)
But the guy from the Lexington, Kentucky has revved things up with his “Big Bowl” selections (here are four more words for you: authentic shrimp and grits) while quietly tweaking old favorites, like the lobster & artichoke dip. “The fresh artichoke, cheddar, lemon juice, and shallots works,” John explains, “but it needed more creaminess, so I made small changes, like adding cream cheese.” And extra creamy it is, without taking away from flavors of artichoke and large, juicy chunks of steaming lobster meat.
John’s attention to detail shows through the entire menu, including the delivery system for the dip, where such creativity can fall flat, leaving you dodging dry, flying cracker shrapnel, or with “dip knuckle” thanks to overly and unnecessarily herbed chips that crumble mid-scoop. Nope, John thought it through and the bubbling hot dip is accompanied with ample slices of homemade pita bread—dense and soft, respectfully unobtrusive to the lobster, and with a demure crunch upon contact—a texture reminiscent of your favorite street cart soft pretzel. The dip goes for $18, which might sound steep, but given the amount of love and lobster that goes into this dish, it’s a steal.
Thanks to John’s wife Alison, who runs the front-of-the-house, the southern hospitality starts at the door and doesn’t end until the last bite. Life is short. Life is delicious. Enjoy the best that Cape Cod has to offer this summer!
Pearl Restaurant and Bar
250 Commercial Street, Wellfleet Harbor
508-349-2999 / wellfleetpearl.com
Lunch: 11:30-5 ~ Dinner: 5-9 (summer until 10)
Open 7 Days a Week, mid-May through mid-October