We have nothing against clams. And certainly no quarrel with lobster. But in addition to great seafood spots, Cape Cod has its fair share of restaurants serving cuisine from around the world. Here are five ethnic restaurants you might be surprised to find on the Cape.
BLEU — French
Executive chef/owner Frederic Feufeu, a native of the Loire Valley, prepares authentic French country cuisine in this Mashpee Commons restaurant. Known for its bistro fare, Bleu is an especially good value for lunch — its croque-monsieur sandwich and ham and gruyere crepes will transport you to un café parisien. Cassoulet, escargots, steak frites, roast chicken, duck and fresh, lightly dressed salads are all highlights, and there’s an extensive wine list. Dine in the cozy bar, dining room or outside patio. 10 Market St., Mashpee, 508-539-7907, www.bleurestaurant.com.
CASA PERU FUSION —
In 2011 chef Jorge Siguencia fell in love with a Peruvian girl — and her cuisine. Today the young woman is his fiancé, and Siguencia runs two Peruvian restaurants in Hyannis, Casa Peru Fusion and Tumi Ceviche Bar & Ristorante, a Peruvian/Italian hybrid. At Casa Peru, we loved the tender anticuchos, a traditional appetizer with marinated beef or chicken served with choclo — huge kernels of Cuzco corn. Roast chicken, marinated in Peruvian beer and spices, was falling-off-the-bone delicious. The three-course prix fixe menu with a house margarita is a steal at $25. 302 Main St., Hyannis, 774-470-6197, casaperumexicankitchen.com.
GOLDEN SWAN — Indian
Malkit “Mike” Thind and his family have run this downtown Falmouth restaurant since 2007. Thind’s mother taught him to cook in their native Northern India, and he uses many of her recipes in popular dishes such as chicken tikka masala and sagg paneer (spinach with cheese). With an eye to pleasing a Cape Cod clientele, he also offers lobster tikka masala, and he has been known to deliver takeout to the Island Queen ferry for passage to hungry patrons on Martha’s Vineyard. 323 Main St., Falmouth, 508-540-6580.
JERK CAFÉ — Jamaican
Chef Shrimpy is the star at this Jamaican spot in South Yarmouth. Also known as Glenroy Burke, the personable chef from Portland, Jamaica, not only whips up a mean jerk sauce, he also sings while he works, providing a lilting reggae soundtrack in the small eatery. Jerk chicken and pork, served with red beans and rice, steamed vegetables, and a tasty little banana fritter are the big sellers here. Since the jerk sauce comes on the side, you can choose your level of hot. 1319A Route 28, South Yarmouth, 508-394-1944, www.thejerkcafe.com.
KAROO — South African
When you walk into this Eastham restaurant (look for the sign on Route 6 in the shape of Africa), the scent of spices is almost dizzying. Chef/owner Sanette Groenewald presents foods from her native South Africa, such as Cape Malay Stew, a blend of curry, coconut milk, vegetables and chicken, tofu or seafood, the warm spice offset by sweet apricot chutney. Malva pudding, a dessert somewhere between bread pudding and caramel custard, made with Groenewald’s mother’s recipe, is deceptively simple to look at, but rich with nuanced flavors. 3 Main St., Unit 2B, Eastham, 508-255-8288. karoorestaurants.com.Ellen Albanese can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.