Thursty: Give your cocktail pretensions a day off on a Provincetown bar crawl

Local 186 is one of the many picturesque, cottage-style restaurants along Commercial Street.
Local 186 is one of the many picturesque, cottage-style restaurants along Commercial Street.

It might sound weird to call a longstanding, popular tradition one of the city’s best kept secrets, but the magic of the Provincetown fast ferry was certainly a revelation to me when I availed myself of it for the first time this month.

The ferry runs between Provincetown and the Seaport multiple times a day and, at a mere scenic hour and a half-long trip (as opposed to the roughly 13 days it takes to drive to the Cape in the summer), it’s a game-changer in terms of quick getaways. As an added bonus, ditching your car means you’re free to complete a lengthy bar crawl after a day at the beach.

Surprisingly, considering its wealth of fine restaurants and steady influx of urbanites from around the world, Provincetown isn’t exactly what I’d call a cocktail nerd’s paradise. Finding a shot of Fernet anywhere proved impossible (although we were able to assuage our digestif needs with Averna at Patio).

There are, however, a few restaurants that are nudging P-town’s cocktail scene in the right direction. Local 186 is one of the many picturesque, cottage-style restaurants along Commercial Street where, aside from a good beer selection (Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, the signature Local 186 Lager and Porter Square Porter on draft), you’ll find a well-made Blackfish Negroni made with Hendricks, Campari, Carpano Antica vermouth and a Luxardo cherry. You’ll also find an Old Fashioned made with Eagle Rare bourbon, Peychaud’s bitters and soda (with muddled fruit and sugar). Or — just this once — you could drop your pretensions, give your “serious cocktail guy” persona a vacation and let yourself try the Ruby Red Dress Martini made with Absolut Ruby Red, ruby red grapefruit juice and Cointreau with a sugar rim. Just promise yourself you won’t make a habit of it and you might actually enjoy it.

Up toward the end of Bradford Street, more removed from the center of the town, Victor’s is another charming option for dinner and drinks. Like Local 186, Victor’s boasts a good beer list plus a more extensive wine selection and a cocktail menu that runs an interesting gamut. The Port of Manhattan — made with W.L. Weller 12-year bourbon, orange bitters and a ruby port — was drier than a traditional Manhattan, and better for it. It also apparently contained about a pint of booze, which made the rest of the night more interesting. (It must be said, however, that the food here is decidely more forward-thinking than the rest of their cocktails.)

Speaking of the rest of the night, our bar hop ended, like most good (meaning bad) ones do, at a dive. The Underground Bar (on Commercial Street) has all the standard trappings of a good dive: pool, ping pong and loud punk rock. But it doesn’t have Fernet. “What are you, a Boston chef or something?” the sassy bartender asked, in response to the query. Sure, something like that.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Local

Body found believed to be missing Fitchburg boy…

The body of a child found off of a highway in Sterling last week is likely that of missing Fitchburg boy Jeremiah Oliver, authorities said.

Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Books

Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.