This week we pay a visit to the newly-opened Flashback Retro Arcade Bar & Grille, created by owner Peter Kempton. Flashback is an 80’s and 90’s restaurant and bar with a different, modern ambiance. The site is that of the former Fazio’s Restaurant.
A couple of people asked me if I had heard about Flashbacks but I hadn't tried it yet. I asked my friend Bob, the Publisher of Cape Cod Today, to join me the other night for dinner.
As soon as you walk in Flashback feels fun. The stylish dining room with dark walls and low hanging lights serves dinner at the bar or at tables. About twenty-two, in-house classic vintage arcade games line the right side of the room. Flashback seats up to 98, including 20 outdoors.
Flashback showcases lots of cool, retro memorabilia with autographed posters in a quirky, fun, decorative decor and upscale atmosphere reminded me of something you might find in Boston or New York.
We were seated at a table by the window overlooking Main Street.
We arrived at 5:30 p.m. and found the dining room was already packed with locals ranging from grandparents with grandkids, young adult couples to the working crowd pouring in. A wonderful mix!
On the menu were appetizers including shrimp kushikatsu kabobs with spicy avocado oil, sweet and spicy carbanero wings, flatbreads and crackly pork rind chicharróns.
Entrees include burgers, a variety of Ramen dishes, Fish & Chips, steak frittes, home style pot pies and more. Many items on the menu can be prepared gluten free.
With a wide selection of 12 craft beers on tap and several imaginative specialty cocktails to choose from, I ordered the Nintendo VS.Sega ($10) - Ketel One peach & orange blossom vodka, ripe lemon with a orange twist served on the rocks. A little sweet but very refreshing.
My friend enjoyed the non-alcoholic Blue Pomegranate Lemonade ($4) with house-made blue tea and pomegranate syrup with ripe lemon sour.
To start Bob, ordered the Chowder ($7) - a stunning work of art that combines pork bellies, clam chowder, Flashback hand cut fries protruding out of top and scallions - all served in a 12 oz mug. It was quite unusual but he said it tasted great
For an appetizer I tried the Fried Short Rib Wontons ($9) from the nightly specialty menu, highly recommended by our server Joe. The four wontons were filled with nicely cooked pulled short rib, carrots, onions, napa cabbage, ponzu, a citrus-based sauce and scallion vinaigrette. A nice presentation and so good.
We wanted to try another appetizer so we shared the Short Rib Biscuit Sliders ($12). Two flaky house baked garlic biscuits were piled high with perfectly cooked shredded short rib, pimento cheese and caramelized onion. What a delicious lunch this would make.
For the main meal I chose the Coconut Curry Ramen ($12). It came with with a choice of added chicken thigh ($5) pork belly ($6) or 5 shrimp ($8). I added the shrimp. The ramen was sitting in a tasty coconut-curry broth with cilantro, enoki mushrooms, celery, radish, carrot, with a soy egg and scallions.
I will definitely be back to enjoy this very pleasing combination.
Bob ordered the Fish & Chips ($17). Limocello infused panko fried cod was served in a bowl placed on top of Flashback's thin, crisp house-cut fries, house slaw with tartar sauce and lemon. I tried a bite and we both agreed this was very fresh local cod.
I don't usually have dessert - however, if it's on a menu I will order this decadent rich French Creme Brulee ($8). Today's selection was vanilla-raspberry. The custard struck the perfect balance between the creamy sweetness and the crunchy caramelized sugar topping.
My friend had the Milk & Cookies ($7). That night the cookie selection was topped with a colorful sugar confetti. Unlike making a traditional batch of cookies this one was served warm in a small black iron skillet along with a pretty glass of pink strawberry milk. YUM!
Service was excellent and friendly.
Cutting-edge creativity is the key ingredient of Executive Chef Chris Rugg's menus, serving amazing food from a scratch kitchen,
I predict great success for Flashback's
The retro arcade games easily take one back to the 1980's and 1990's. My publisher said it took him back to Saturday afternoons at the old School's Out Arcade at the K-Mart plaza. The games are all meticulously restored. They look and feel brand new.
As we enjoyed our dinner, it was fun to watch who was playing the games and how they were doing. We saw everything from a pair of twenty-something friends playing together to individual older players to a dad absolutely kicking his kids' backsides on the games of his youth while the kids stood slack-jawed. Bob said he'll be back with a friend to do an in-depth writeup on the games and retro technology.
If You Go
Open year round
Dinner: Monday-Thursday & Sunday:4-11 pm
Friday & Saturday: 4 pm-12:45 am
Lunch daily - Mid June through Mid October
Flashback Retro Arcade Bar & Grille
294 Main Street
Hyannis, MA. 02601