Ribelle Alumni to Open the 41-70 in Woods Hole
The dining scene on Cape Cod is about to get just a little bit more avant-garde. The 41-70 opens in Woods Hole later this month, and while it has the distressed wood and copper detailing, ocean views, and New England seafood one expects in Falmouth, it will focus on some of the lesser-known facets of Cape Cod life and history.
“The food scene out here is very different [than in Boston],” says chef Brandon Baltzley, the chef behind the new concept, along with his girlfriend and fellow chef Laura Higgins and restaurant owner Carol Grigas. “There’s a lot of good café spots and some neighborhood spots, but there’s not really anybody doing a proper representation of the cultures that make up Cape Cod.”
Baltzley is Southern-born, though he developed his culinary chops in Michelin-starred kitchens in New York City and Chicago. He founded the Crux Culinary Collective and the short-lived TMIP in Indiana before moving back east and joining Tim Maslow’s stacked kitchen staff at Ribelle. Laura Higgins, a Falmouth native, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has cooked at Le Quartier Francais in South Africa; Trenchermen in Chicago, and Ribelle.
On the Cape, they see the area’s Native American and Portuguese history, as well as what the English settlers brought. The 41-70 will have the requisite whole-dressed lobster with fresh herbs, New England clam chowder, and baked cod, but the chefs’ philosophy will update these classics with sustainable sourcing and broad influences, Baltzley says.
“We’re looking to obtain a license so that we can buy directly from fishermen: Not trawl boats, no middlemen,” Baltzley says. He plans to forage for wild edibles “to a pretty big extent,” and the couple is also growing much of their own produce in a greenhouse at their home.
Instead of French fries, the side for the fried fish is Native American frybread; linguiça and sweetbread-stuff quahogs join the daily small plates of crudo and smoked oysters. There is pork pot pie with mustard greens; seared ribeye with porcini mushrooms; blueberry pie a la mode, and a daily birthday cake for any guest—sprinkles and a candle included. During weekend brunch, expect things like preserved berry oatmeal; or wintergreen and poplar corn cakes.
“The menu will read like a lot of menus read, but there will be a lot more between the lines we’re not going to put on the menu,” he says, with examples like a koji-infused cream sauce for baked fish; and a tuna fat emulsion comprising some of the doughs.
Come warmer months, Baltzley will also offer a daily changing, “more avant-garde, mostly Native-inspired menu,” Baltzley says. “That gives us the ability to play around and do some of the stuff that would never, ever fly. We get the adventurous eater. We’re going to get a lot of tourists, obviously, but from all walks of life. Our spectrum of diners is everything. We’re not going to miss a certain kind of diner,” he says.
The chefs are building their own bar program, based on what they like to drink. Expect a Bloody Caesar, a few tiki cocktails, and “cheap bourbon,” Baltzley says—his go-to is Jim Beam. There will be three drafts, including Narragansett and Chicago’s Revolution Anti-Hero IPA, thanks to a connection from Baltzley’s Chicago days; bottle and can options; and a focus on natural, organic wines.
Baltzley and Higgins moved to Massachusetts about two years ago. They met Grigas, the the owner of Phusion Grille, early on, and they began talking about working together in the space she has owned for 14 years. With their first child on the way, they’re ready to make a go of it on the Cape, he says.
The 41-70—named for its geographical coordinates—replaces Grigas’ Phusion Grill. Baltzley says the team left the interior much the same, though they further opened up the kitchen. “It’s very charming, and it has kind of a hippie feel,” he says, noting a Bob Marley poster on the wall and other decorations. The space is meant to invoke the inside of a ship’s hull, with dark wood flooring and expansive views from floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the space. It will seat 44, including a handful at a small bar; plus 44 outside on the seasonal patio. The restaurant is situated atop Eel Pond.
Starting Thursday, February 18, the 41-70 will open for dinner Thursday-Sunday, and for weekend brunch. It will eventually be open seven days a week, and introduce the daily menu. Preview the 41-70 this weekend, for Valentine’s Day. The full preview menu is below.
Valentine’s Day Weekend
February 13 and 14, seatings from 5-9 p.m. Walk-ins accepted.
crudo cider, cranberry, wintergreen 14
washburn island oysters smoked or raw, rose or horseradish 16
laura’s stuffies 6/each
pumpkin soup fried bread, barley, red mole 8
beef apache pickled pepper, cocoa nib, corn chips 14
cod carrot fondue, potato, brown bread 28
whole-roasted cauliflower cabot clothbound cheddar, malty beer 18
one dressed lobster with butter, crumb, and herbs 32
ribeye rutabaga, sunchoke, porcini-chamomile jus 38
ice cream 9
The 41-70, 1 Water St., Woods Hole, Falmouth, Cape Cod; 508-457-3100 or the4170.com.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this article said reservations are required for Valentine’s Day weekend, but the staff clarified they are accepting walk-ins as well.