Some may say that Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, but I strongly encourage you to make every effort to extend your summer in order to spend at least one September weekend on Cape Cod. I believe it is one of the best times of year to be down at the Cape, as the crowds are gone, the weather is still beautiful, and most of the local restaurants are still open. I will lead by example, profiling one more Falmouth favorite before I make my way back to Metrowest. Osteria La Civetta, or the “Little Owl,” truly defines the essence of Italian cooking offering scratch made meals prepared with high-quality local ingredients.

Osteria La CivettaDowntown Falmouth is made up of many local businesses (including plenty of restaurants profiled by a certain celebrity chef who drives a red muscle car), candy shops featuring handmade candies and ice cream, and a surf shop that makes you think you are in La Jolla, California. Yet, tucked away at the end of Main Street, lies Osteria La Civetta, the hidden gem of Falmouth’s restaurant scene.

The menu at Osteria La Civetta is designed in the traditional Italian way, with antipasti, primi, and secondi courses. Truly, everything on the menu is superb, and the attention to detail is evident in every dish. Whether it’s the Tagliere (assorted Italian meats), the fresh baked Italian bread, or the Caprese with your choice of mozzarella or burrata. Really, you can’t go wrong. Yet, it is the home made pasta and use of fresh seafood that legitimises Osteria La Civetta as a true Italian staple.

As part of our meal, we chose the bruschetta and Caprese for the antipasti course. The homemade bread is a fabulous vehicle for the lightly dressed tomatoes and basil, and the Caprese featured local tomatoes and a basil infused olive oil. The Caprese really stole the show, a staple late-summer dish. There is something about fresh tomatoes on crispy bread that pairs so well with a warm September evening. The main course consisted of the Carbonara and the Strozzapreti al Pesto. The homemade pasta was cooked al dente; we have long found that the simple texture of homemade pasta can enhance an entire dining experience. A creamy carbonara sauce spoke to us, and much like the call of garden tomatoes, the basil and pine nuts in our rich pesto sauce created an intense freshness that screamed, “Summer.”

Carbonara from Osteria La Civetta.I really do encourage you to book a fall weekend on the Cape, and hope you chose Falmouth. During your visit, make sure to not fall prey to the usual suspects on Main Street, and make your way to this hidden gem at the end of the street. Osteria La Civetta can be found at 133 Main Street.

Post Script: Osteria La Civetta does have a wonderful selection of Italian desserts, which I recommend. But, I would be remised if I didn’t direct you to my favorite, and arguably the best ice cream on Cape Cod. Smitty’s Ice Cream at 326 E. Falmouth Highway.