I stopped by Pierpoint for dinner on Saturday night and can’t believe I had sort of forgotten about it. When it opened in 1989, it was an instant hit, and it was almost impossible to get a seat at the tiny Fells Point cafe (1822 Aliceanna St., 410-675-2080, pierpointrestaurant.com). Now, it’s getting ready to celebrate its 20th year in Baltimore. Chef/owner Nancy Longo says she has some great things planned. She’ll share them soon.
But back to my dinner, Nancy had an outside engagement that night, so chef de cuisine Eric Vocke took over the kitchen helm, and I’d like to give him a shout out. A diner sitting behind me was very particular about how she wanted her salmon prepared. Honestly, if she hadn’t been serious, it sounded like an SNL skit or Jack Nicholson ordering the chicken salad sandwich in "Five Easy Pieces" with all the demands she was making. But Eric, to his credit, came to her table to make sure he understood just how she wanted the fish cooked. The result? A happy diner, for sure.
I was pretty happy, too. I had the smoked crab cake, a house specialty since the restaurant opened. It was a fist-size ball of crab and smokiness. Later, Eric, who had no idea I was with the magazine, told me the kitchen smokes the crabmeat in a blend of cherry, peach, and hickory woods. It really is a signature dish.
And why was I talking to Eric? He was walking me and a friend to our car. In case you didn’t know, the restaurant provides free, secure parking in a lot right down the street. Eric, obviously a multitasker, was unlocking the parking gate for us between whipping up entrées in the kitchen. It’s worth a trip to Pierpoint for many reasons, but particularly for the crab cake.
Any other restaurants I should take another look at?