I walked into Joon as the kitchen was closing one night. The bartender was very hospitable nonetheless, so I stayed for a drink and settled for late night pizza down the street at Spiritus.
Things close relatively early in Provincetown, likely because people are all sun-swept and tired from their time on the beach. This was no help to my west coast oriented eating time, and 9:45pm was about my normal dinner time as I had yet to acclimatize.
Instead of eating, I enjoyed a Crater Lake Rye, cardamom, and ginger beer based cocktail upon finishing which the bartender said to me, “I’m not saying this because I work here, but you really need to come back for the food. It’s spectacular."
Some people command a certain level of trust, so the next night I was back, and greeted with my first name by Chuck the bartender — astonishing service by any standards considering I had only been there for 30 minutes the previous evening.
From start to finish, everything about the experience at Joon was spot-on. The Wellfleet oysters with slushy Champagne and lemon zest in place of mignonette sauce were borderline sexual in experience they were so good.
I made my way through the appetizers having a white asparagus cream soup with truffle croutons, followed by scallops with micro greens, cashews, snow peas, and a sunchoke gratin washed down by a Russian River Marsanne/Rousanne. The wine pairings here are expert by the way, and the ambience perfect. Everything including the service at Joon was served up in the right doses, at the right time, and in the right places.
It was so good that I couldn’t wait for them to open again after the mid-week Tuesday-Wednesday sojourn that seems common in P-town.
On my return I was in an unfortunate hurry, so I had another plate of oysters, now proven after two other attempts elsewhere to be the best in town. This was followed by a plate of grilled white asparagus with a smoked bottarga dressing, and a chilled avocado cream soup with shiso and smoked albacore tuna.
My time in Provincetown came to an abrupt close as I had to leave town, but I will continue to dream about the food at Joon.
Simply put, this had been one of the best meals of my life. It seems worth it to fly all the way back there just to eat at Joon for another night.
Chris Stenberg is a Canadian travel photographer, filmmaker and researcher. When he’s not wielding a camera or raising a family you can find him running, biking and boarding in the mountains or eating an apple under a tree in an orchard.