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Kinkead's Hell point Seafood opens in Annapolis

Anyone have a chance yet to get here? They must not of had a grand opening as I read all the local papers and did not see any formal announcement that they were even open for business.

Happened to walk by on July 4 and see that there were folks dining in what used to be the old Phillip's Seafood on Ego Alley. Took a quick peek at the lunch menu and my eyes did not move beyond the Lobster Roll with shoestring fries. Coming from New England, I sure miss this little treat.

We'll see if Kinkead's magic from D.C. will transfer to Annapolis. I sure hope so. We don't need anymore "Jerry's seafood home of the crab bomb" restaurants.

If you've been, please report your experience.

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  1. I heard dinner is $39 prix-fixe only, no a la carte.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowsearch

      you can sure order ala carte if you like

    2. I've had the lobster roll at at the original Kinkeads near GWU and I can't say it was all that. Don't expect the amount of lobster to be anything like that lobster roll shack (Red's) that's profiled from time to time on the Food Channel.

      http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Re...

      1. We just ate there this evening. We're a family of four, two teenagers, two adults. You can order a la carte, or they do have a prix-fixe (or price fix as we heard one server describe it) option where you can order the three courses for $39, We tried 3 appetizers: a calamari-style Thai fried squid (good, not greasy, with an interesting dipping sauce, but a small expensive portion), mussels in a coconut milk-curry-ish broth (fabulous, and the best deal) and the fried clams (good, but not worth the cost-however, the fried lemon slice was an amazing surprise). The fried clams cost an additional $6 over the prix-fixe (but I dunno why). For entrees, we had two lobster rolls (I'm a New England girl and they were ho-hum and the lobster was a bit chewy), a broiled salmon dish (salmon was dry/overcooked, spinach side was boring) and the swordfish (amazing, plus it came with these amazing fried zucchini straws that we all loved). For desserts, we had two molten chocolate (cup)cakes with hazelnut ice cream (no *molten* chocolate though; I like the Charthouse version better); a chocolate pot de creme /vanilla creme brulee combo that came with a pistachio biscotti (merely okay) and a nectarine tart that came with pistachio ice cream. Kids had Cokes (free refills); adults had Amstel Lights (draft beer was not yet available) - Amstels cost over $5 ea.

        We recently ate at PassionFish in Reston (which won rave reviews from everyone); if PassionFish gets an A, Hell Point rates a C. Family consensus is that we would go there for a light dinner of appetizers, and have gelati at Aroma D' Italia for dessert.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ssgiris

          Thanks for the detailed report...they better get it together or people will equate them with the Phillips they replaced or Buddy's up the street. They need a top-notch affordable crabcake, better than the one at Kinkead's/DC.

          1. re: chowsearch

            I'm not sure "top-notch" and "affordable" can really apply to crabcakes, nowadays. Affordable crabcakes are made from the tasteless Asian crab meat, taking "top-notch" out of the picture unless size is the only criterion.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              Right on--it's the Maryland Dichotomy: The Great vs Affordable Crabcake. Faidley's does it. I know they have a huge volume of all the grades and from multiple sources since they retail and have low overhead, but I think this is so important for a MD restaurant, especially a seafood one to get right. This one's in the public eye due to name, location and reputation, so they should offer a fab localized one even if they must as a loss leader or at cost to prove their value and make money on the sides, other dishes and drinks. I fear they'll think the one they sell in DC will win the locals over, but what's passable in DC might not cut it closer to the Bay.

          2. re: ssgiris

            Thanks ssgiris, although how disappointing to hear of their dismal debut. Sometimes I think Annapolis is cursed when it comes to quality dining. If the restaurants are consistant, sadly it seems it's because the chefs never change the menu and can probably prepare the dishes blindfolded.

            Others just take advantage of the revolving door tourists, and some just rely on their great waterfront locations. I hope this place comes to represent the reputation that Kindeads did in DC. You wouldn't happen to be Lithuanian would you?

          3. Four of us had lunch yesterday. It was mediocre at best, and very pricey. We are all locals and were enthused that Phillips was being replaced by Mr. Kinkead's restaurant. What a disappointment! The food wasn't good, the wine list was very limited (the server couldn't answer where the sav blanc was from), I called the next day and spoke with a hostess (they don't have a website yet) and she said a manager would call when he finished his meeting. No call. Oh well, just chalk it up to a $250 learning experience. One that will not be repeated. I would give it a D, just because the terrace is a nice place to sit. Don't bother with this place. You can have crappy food and a nice view at Pusser's in the Marriott across Ego Alley.

            1. I was disappointed in the food and service. In American style, my partner's plates were cleared immediately when he was done while I was only half through my meal making me feel even slower. We were rushed through our appetizer and our entrees showed up almost before we finished our apps. The tuna entree needed additional olive oil and could have used less currants. It didn't really have any taste to it. The lobster roll, I thought, was tasty but the fries were barely warm and overcooked. Maybe they wisked our appetizer plates away because our entrees had been seating out too long. I think the server was trying but she was not trained well. My partner had the crab cake appetizer as an entree and thought it was good. He has been there 3x so far and said the food has been up and down along with the service. I would like to try it again later when the kitchen and staff get a bit more seasoned. I hope it improves.

              1. we were there last night with some friends - everyone loved it. Great softshell crabs, portuguese fish stew, crab cake. Wonderful desserts - peach tart tatin, cherry crisp. Service was a little spotty, but enthusiastic. Bob Kinkead was on hand to oversee everything and made the rounds. It's only been open a month, so I'd expect some snags, but the experience was great. We live in Annapolis, and will be back soon.

                1 Reply
                1. re: janebmd

                  It appears, in following this thread, that if Kinkead is present, the restaurant/food has better reviews? Anyone know when he's there?

                2. Don't waste your money. I was disappointed in this restaurant. If you want good seafood, go to O'Leary's!! I had the Portuguese Seafood Stew ($22): the seafood (clams, shrimp, fish, mussels) were good, but the sauce just tasted like someone opened up a can of crushed tomatoes and heated it through and used it as a base in the bowl for the seafood. It had no herbs, garlic, olive oil, etc. and it was not simmered for any length of time for flavor. It also had chorizo in the dish, but not the juicy kind that I was hoping for. It was dried (like pepperoni) and sliced (seems more like a pizzza topping). It really took away from the dish. The zucchini fries, not as good as I expected after reading another review about them ($5). The mojito ($11) was not very good and in a small glass with a lot of ice. Good thing they ran out of mint after my first mojito, I didn't want another one anyway. It did have the sugar cane stick that I like, but not anything special (Brio has MUCH better mojitos for $7). And the Molten Chocolate Cake ($8) was tiny (about 1/2 the size of a cupcake) with a tiny scoop of ice cream on a huge plate (ice cream didn't have much flavor, although it looked the color of coffee ice cream), it was definitely not enough to share if you are expecting to satisfy your sweet tooth. Another person had the Carmel Cake ($8 I think), I thought it tasted like it was frozen and then defrosted. It has that watery taste that frozen store-bought cakes have. The bread basket (that was free) didn't really grab me either...butter was rock solid and the breads were mediocre (maybe day old?). After reading the reviews...I was kind of expecting nothing great. I was hoping my experience would prove those others wrong. No such luck. This restaurant will make it on location alone...not on quality of the food.
                  Again...we went on a very slow night (and they were sold out of a lot of things because of the weekend before). One good thing...it was locals night (Tuesdays) and we got 20% off of the bill (even though they actually checked ID).

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jmm21401

                    We went to Hell Point Sunday night for dinner. First, it was not crowded -- about 6:30 p.m. The service was not great. Got menus right away -- but no waitress. Ordered bottle of wine and waited and waited. Finally got the bottle and then she took entire order -- apps and main course. I must say that the gnocchi appetizer was outstanding. Light and feathery with great, light sauce. The portion however was fairly small. Bread was good. Butter was soft and creamy.
                    For meals: Lobster roll was excellent. Loaded with fresh, perfectly cooked lobster. Close to some of the better ones we've had in New England. French fries were also good. I had pasta with clams and chorizo. The chorizo was rather hard, more like salami. However, the sauce, pasta and clams were very good. The wine list was small and not very impressive.

                    Overall it is not as good as Kinkead's in DC, but I would go back again.

                    1. re: SheriS

                      I've never been, so I can't comment yet on the restaurant. But I'm not sure why there are so many complaints here about hard chorizo. It's a Portuguese stew, right? I'm pretty sure that the dried version of chorizo is far more popular in Portugal and Spain than any fresh chorizo. I'm just pointing it out...you both make it sound like false advertising, but it sounds spot on.