Provincetown Food and Drink Information
By Mat Schaffer | Boston Herald
It’s the calm before the storm for Clem Silva. The owner of Clem & Ursie’s Restaurant and Market is getting set for the hectic and all-important summer season. Silva estimates he will make two-thirds of his gross annual earnings during the next 10 weeks.
“This is the time of year when we try to get any new staff up to snuff and implement any new ideas,” Silva explained. “It’s time to get everything stocked and ready to go. If we don’t get it done by the Fourth of July, it just won’t get done.
“Once July hits, we’re straight out until the end of August. On a busy night, it’s organized chaos. It’s fun; it’s laughter; it’s people working very hard and family get-togethers. It’s our top pace; it’s the restaurant close to capacity.”
Silva, who turns 55 next month, was born and raised here. He began his restaurant career at 14 at a “hot dog stand in the center of town.” With the exception of a dozen years in New York (working for a printing company), he’s been feeding folks in Provincetown.
Clem & Ursie’s (which Silva owns with his sister Debra - it’s named for their parents) is as invitingly idiosyncratic as P-town itself. The restaurant, which specializes in seafood and barbecue, does a thriving eat-in and take-out business. The market sells fresh fish and meats, cheeses and prepared foods. The business has evolved since the Silvas opened it in 1995.
“Oh my God, when we started it was just a fish market and a rundown clam shack,” Silva recalled. “Everything was that brown, water-stained paneling and the market was an old hand-built ice bin that you put fish in; it looked like it would collapse when you filled it with ice.”
Today, Clem & Ursie’s is a brightly lighted space with colorful tables hand-painted by local artists and an ever-growing eclectic menu. It will be a mob scene through Labor Day - and Silva is ready.
“You take a deep breath,” he said. “And you hope that, at the end, you’ve made enough money to get through the winter and take care of yourself.”
MAGGIE SILVA’S KALE SOUP
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. chourico, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 lb. linguica, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 c. onions, roughly chopped
3 c. white potatoes, peeled and diced
3 qts. beef stock
4 c. kale, rinsed, stemmed and chopped into pieces
1 large can kidney beans
1 small can tomato sauce
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the chourico, linguica and onions. Season with salt and pepper, and saute 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, stock, kale, beans and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce to a simmer, add the bay leaves and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and skim off any fat that has risen to the surface.
Serve with hot buttered crispy bread, preferably Portuguese. Serves 8.
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