The Point Crab House & Grill
Jul 07, 2018 12:00AM ● Published by Brian Saucedo
By Rita Calvert Photography by Tony Lewis, Jr.
“Smell the sea, and feel the sky, Let your soul and spirit fly.” – Van Morrison
This Van Morrison song lyric highlighted on The Point Crab House & Grill website ideally captures the ambiance of Bobby and Julie Smith’s award-winning regional restaurant. The focus there is always on the quality of the experience.
Busy as they are, Bobby took time to chat about their stellar restaurant, as well as their new restaurant venture, Ketch 22, which will open soon in North Beach.
Can you describe your business philosophy?
We have a great deal of respect for many things related to our restaurants. We have respect for our business, our employees, customers, and facility. We also have a great respect for the ingredients we cook with, as well as the incredible people who harvest and deliver our ingredients to us. Our local seafood, produce, and proteins in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia are incredible and delicious. We’re very proud of the food produced by our local farms, the coastal waters, and especially the Chesapeake Bay.
You have an investment in Chesapeake cuisine and culture. Do you keep up with the health of the Chesapeake Bay, since your ambiance and menu rely on it?
The health of the Chesapeake is extremely important to us and we think it should be to everyone in the region. We work with a great group called the Oyster Recovery Partnership and participate in its shell recycling program. We also support our local watermen and purchase only Chesapeake caught crabs, soft shell clams, and rockfish, which we believe supports our local economy around the Chesapeake.
What foods are you excited to cook? What do you do to stay educated about new trends?
I’m always excited to cook. One of the main reasons I committed to the industry is because you can never stop learning about food. Maintaining passion about food, my staff, and our guests is the key. I’m not a big trend guy either. I never have paid much attention to them.
What is your favorite cuisine to cook? How about favorite ingredients?
American. Its influences come from all over the planet—just like our culture. My favorite ingredients are what are harvested nearby (regionally) through the different seasons.
You are working to open a new eatery, Ketch 22, in North Beach. How did the new location come about?
North Beach is a great town. We really like the tight sense of community and its proximity to the Bay. Julie and I don’t seek out spots in downtown D.C. or Baltimore. We like to be in a small community and serve that community. We found out about the location from my good friend Tommy Hogan (Main & Market, Federal House, Bayside Bull, etc.). He was in discussions with Herrington Harbour South. Then decided to move forward with another project and gave me a heads up.
How will you and Julie divide the responsibilities between two restaurants?
Our responsibilities will not change at The Point at all. We will still be just as active in our roles at The Point as we are now. The main reason we’re opening another location is to keep our staff engaged. Since 2012, when we opened The Point, we’ve taught and led a group of great people They deserve the opportunity to grow in their careers.
Tell us about the food at your restaurants.
I love to cook with what is nearby and in season. There are some similarities with the location of The Point and Ketch 22. Both places are near or on the bay, at a marina, and have indoor and outdoor seating. We serve local American food influenced by the Chesapeake Bay. The food is fresh, homemade, and casual.
Maryland Crab Beignets
1/2 pound Maryland jumbo lump crab, picked through for shells
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup chives, minced
1 shallot, minced
Louisiana hot sauce
Pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 cup Brooklyn Lager
pinch salt and pepper
Oil for deep frying
Sriracha Horseradish Remoulade
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup horseradish
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 shallots, minced
In a mixing bowl, add Maryland jumbo lump crab meat, mascarpone cheese, chives, shallot, Louisiana hot sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix ingredients as gently as possible to keep the jumbo lump crab pieces intact. Store in refrigerator for at least
30 minutes to let firm.
In another mixing bowl, add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, Brooklyn Lager, and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly with a whisk.
In a food processor, add mayonnaise, horseradish, Sriracha, capers, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, shallots, and Dijon mustard. Process until smooth.
Once beignet mix is firm, portion into two-ounce balls.
In a heavy medium pot, heat oil for frying to 350 Fahrenheit.
In one mixing bowl, add some flour, and in another mixing bowl, add the beer batter. First dust the beignet with the flour and then add to the beer batter. Cook beignet in frying oil until golden.
Serve with Sriracha Horseradish Remoulade and Agave Apple ’Slaw on the side. Enjoy.
Agave Apple ’Slaw
1 cup savoy cabbage
1 cup red cabbage
1 Granny smith apple
1 small carrot
1/2 cup scallions
small handful cilantro
2 tablespoons extra
virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons agave
2 tablespoons apple
juice of 1 lime
Shred the cabbages with a mandoline or box shredder. Dice the apple and carrot, then chop the scallions and cilantro. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.
In a separate mixing bowl. add agave, cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper, and lime. Slowly add the oil while briskly whisking it to make the vinaigrette for the slaw. Toss the slaw vegetables with vinaigrette.