The Taste: The Point Crab House and Grill
Jul 19, 2016 04:09PM ● Published by Arden Haley
The Point Crab House and Grill
By Rita Calvert // Photography by Tony Lewis, Jr.
700 Mill Creek Road | Arnold | 410-544-5448
We’ve gotten to know Bobby Jones quite well during the three and a half years the Point Crab House has been open. Now we have an opportunity to spend time with the other half of the team, Julie Jones who might just greet you with a natural huge smile as you walk in the restaurant. I had a nice chat with both of them as we sat at a serene waterside table.
Bobby shares a stellar recipe with us that he terms an “addition” to the summer menu. This means you won’t see it every time, but just as an extra special focal point.
Julie, here you are three and a half years after opening The Point. What are some of the lessons you have learned that you can tell us about?
We’ve changed quite a few things since those opening days to accommodate the larger than expected crowds. When we first opened we had no pagers for guests waiting for a table. It was our 16-year-old hostess, Emily Stephenson, walking around the restaurant calling “Smith—party of four?” She’s all of five foot three inches tall, wading through this huge crowd of guests who are laughing and talking to one another—she didn’t stand a chance!
We also started out with a cloud-based point-of-sale system, which only lasted six weeks before we switched back to a traditional POS. The cloud-based system couldn’t keep up with the volume of data we were putting through [it]. So many orders were getting dropped off of the system and just never getting to the kitchen at all. I still have nightmares of the unhappy customers and frustrated staff.
Emily and Jessie opened The Point with us and are still a part of our team today. Emily has worked her way up to being a server but she could manage that restaurant floor better than any 30-year-old I have ever worked with. And having Jessie behind the bar is any restaurant owner’s dream. You never have to worry that your customers aren't going to have a great time.
How do you two divide the workload?
Julie: I concentrate on front-of-house operations: running service on the floor, service staff, guests, beverage program, training manuals, and programs. I also do bookkeeping, HR, ordering, and back office operations.
Bobby: When we opened it was much more day-to-day, on the pass in the kitchen. I still—and always will—create the menus and remain in charge of the kitchen. I also handle the overall business systems and general management type responsibilities. I’ve been focusing some time lately on future projects.
Bobby, you mentioned you are participating for the fourth year with a fundraiser called “Off the Hook.” Can you tell us about it and what you chose as your dish last year?
Each chef is assigned an ingredient. Last year, I was lucky enough to be given the first available, local Maryland crab, as my ingredient. I served the jumbo lump warm with our homemade toasted brioche, crispy rendered pork belly, aged cheddar cream sauce, and fresh chives. It was very simple and savory and all about the insane crab meat! It’s such a great event and I’m really honored to be a part of it. The chefs are incredible at this event every year.
It’s so much fun to be able to work along side these amazingly talented people—and for an awesome cause. The annual fundraiser has benefitted the following charities: Blue Ridge Food Bank, Educated Eats, GW Mammovan, Microgreens, Miriam’s Kitchen, National Kidney Foundation, Seafood Nutrition Partnership, The Children’s Inn at NIH, and Wish-a-Fish Foundation. This year’s charities will be announced at the event. In addition to the annual fundraiser, Chesapeake Off The Hook, or COTH, also has a monthly partnership with sustainable seafood distributor, ProFish. COTH and ProFish identify a local charity each month and ProFish donates a portion of its invasive fish sales to the designated charity.
Poached Shrimp with Potato Latkes, Avocado, Cucumber, and Lemon Champagne Vinaigrette
Bobby calls recipes what they are by their main ingredients, not fancy fussy titles. For this recipe, after the sauces are made (which can be prepared in advance), the assembly to build the plate goes quickly. You will have extra latkes and vinaigrette, which can be saved for later.
Notes: Make sure to drain and squeeze the grated potatoes until absolutely dry. It is also helpful to use a 3-inch biscuit ring for assembly.
Horseradish Sour Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Mix ingredients together. Set aside.
Lemon Champagne Vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- Salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
Add all ingredients except olive oil and salt and pepper to a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until vinaigrette has emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Makes 6 (4-inch) latkes
- 3 potatoes, peeled
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon each salt & black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Vegetable oil for frying
Shred the potatoes on a fine shredder. Squeeze very tightly to drain all moisture. Place in medium bowl. Add lemon juice, flour, eggs, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper and mix well.
Cover the bottom of a large skillet in vegetable oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, spoon roughly 2 large tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 4-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Drain on paper towels.
Ingredients for Assembly
- Local cucumber, peeled, seeded, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
- 1/2 avocado thinly sliced lengthwise
- 4 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, poached, and split lengthwise
- 1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- About 3/4 cup microgreens
- 1/4 cup red onion, fine dice
- 2 tablespoons fresh chives, cut into
- 1/2- inch lengths
- 2 tablespoons capers
Place one latke on a serving plate. Top with a 3” biscuit ring. Layer cucumber, avocado, shrimp, and horseradish sour cream sauce.
Remove ring and top with second latke. Place ring again and repeat layering.
Place microgreens, onion, cherry tomatoes, capers, and chives in a large bowl and toss with vinaigrette. Sprinkle these components around the tower with a small amount of greens on top. Drizzle more vinaigrette around the plate and serve.