Fanizzi’s has a fabulous back dining room that offers gorgeous views of Cape Cod Bay and Provincetown Harbor, but you don’t need the view to enjoy this gem.
Since we didn’t have reservations and our son was too hungry to wait for a premium seat, we decided to take a table in the intimate front dining room that overlooks Commercial Street on the far end. It has a comfortable atmosphere with dim lighting, rustic faux barn-board walls and beams in the ceiling.
The menu is varied and had plenty of things that we wanted to try, so we ordered a little bit of everything. Forks and fingers flew as we all sampled each other’s food. It really added to the fun, because food is so much more enjoyable when shared.
Everyone loved the Mediterranean plate appetizer ($9.99), a large platter with enough variety to be dinner. Cushiony wedges of really fresh pita bread rimmed a plate filled with a house-made roasted garlic hummus, a flavorful red lentil relish (that also added nice texture), and a marinated feta salad with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. It was an awesome combination of really fresh flavors.
The stuffed artichoke ($10.99) was also an entertaining appetizer to share, with plenty of buttery herb breadcrumbs for each pull and a perfectly trimmed and cooked artichoke. The zucchini sticks ($8.99) had a light and crispy breading and were shaped like french fries. The zucchini itself was bland (our son aptly described the flavor as deep-fried water), but the Dijon horseradish dipping sauce was great and saved the appetizer from being mundane.
After such a heavy-hitting bunch of appetizers, we ordered light for the next course and still took a whole bag of food home with us. The cranberry salad ($9.99) consisted of mixed baby greens, sun-dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts and goat cheese. It was tossed with just the right amount of tangy raspberry vinaigrette and offered a nice meld of taste and texture.
A friend had highly recommended the Fanizzi’s appetizer of steamed mussels ($8.99) and they were just as good as promised. The bowl full of mussels swam in a buttery white wine sauce redolent with the flavor of garlic and fresh herbs. Delightful! We ate it all.
For once, our vegetarian son wasn’t sorry he came with us because there were plenty of things to tempt him, too. After snacking on the vegetarian appetizers, he ordered the veggie burger ($9.99) for dinner. The patty was a bit dry, but it was nicely charred and tasted as if it had been cooked on a grill. The toppings of lettuce, tomato and onions gave it a moisture boost and he was glad he spent an extra dollar to add cheese. The burger came with hot-and-crisp fries and a side of the best coleslaw I’ve tasted in a while.
The coleslaw was a satisfying blend of cabbage, red pepper, green pepper, onion and celery salt with a sweet-and-sour vinegar dressing that was a tasty departure from the mayonnaise dressing on most menus. The same slaw and fries came with my husband’s cod cakes dinner ($16.99), along with two generously sized crispy brown cod cakes that were meaty with cod with only enough filler to bind them all together.
I had gone to Fanizzi’s with a plan to order the mussels and the “not your average tiramisu” a friend had raved about, but we were too full to even contemplate dessert. And the meal was so enjoyable that we didn’t regret it. That just means I have an excuse to go back.
&byline;If you go: Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for lunch; dinner starts at 4:30 p.m. daily.