I must have driven by Gracie’s Tables on Old King’s Highway (a.k.a. route 6A) in Dennis dozens of times during my six years of living on Cape Cod. But it wasn’t until a friend suggested we go treat ourselves to tapas one evening that I knew it existed. From the moment I walked in the door, I was sold – a cozy bar area with high tops and a small, but well stocked copper bar is in the entrance leading to an intimate dining room. The room held just a handful of tables, which being nine months pregnant at the time, I was particularly delighted to find were surrounded by comfy banquettes and cushy throw pillows. Upstairs, I learned, were more tables making a relatively average size restaurant seem far more cozy. I hoped the food would measure up to the warm, inviting atmosphere and as luck would have it, I wasn’t disappointed.
A welcome diversion from traditional Cape Cod menus, Gracie’s Tables is the Cape’s original Tapas restaurant featuring Spanish tapas and petite entrees with influences from southwest France and northern Spain and an emphasis on local, organic ingredients. While the petite entrees were tempting (particularly the fish of the day – swordfish topped with local fried oysters), we stood by our original plan and sampled several tapas plates. The Pa Amb Tomaquet (tomato bread) is a must – bursting with tomato, sea salt, and garlic flavors, it was the perfect start to our feast. We continued with frog’s legs (the meat fell right off the bone and they were served with a tasty confetti of garlic, tomato, shallot and parsley) and beet risotto – not something I would typically order, but I was pleasantly surprised with a subdued beet flavor coupled with creamy goat cheese. Three more tapas followed – perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth scallop and chorizo skewers, spinach fritters with spicy aioli and chili sauce (though not labor inducingly spicy, unfortunately), and patatas bravas (a.k.a. French fries), which were not as crispy as I would have preferred, but the sweet and sour dipping sauce made up for the lack of crunch. We didn’t save room for dessert, but the couple next to us was drooling over something decadently chocolately looking which I learned was the house specialty Valhrona Chocolate Cake, made up of 70% dark chocolate – wow! My only complaint? To put it delicately, the garlic taste in my mouth didn’t quite dissipate until breakfast the following morning, but perhaps if I had indulged in that chocolate dessert, I could have warded off my pungent breath sooner.
Gracie’s Tables is open year round with limited days during the off season. Reservations are accepted.