Blue Point Grill
 Cleveland, Ohio         Date of Visit: 05/30/14         
http://www.bluepointgrille.com/

Recently I had the chance to employ one of my hobbies (mild obsessions) to try to give some folks a hand. I was very nicely was rewarded with a gift card and the recommendation of a favorite restaurant…so the very next night we are at The Blue Point Grill in downtown Cleveland.  Turns out it was an exceptional thank you. We had a great night and a stupendous meal.


 



 


 
 
Fancied Up Structural Interior
 

The place is an interesting blend of foundation and fancy. Large chandeliers hang from exposed floor joists so closely spaced they had to have been laid a long time ago. Bare brick butts against fancy appointments and the busy kitchen is partly open just past the servers station.

Our server and the rest of the cast are exceptionally well trained and bring an elegantly stilted friendliness to the table. Nick suggested a couple of house cocktails, the Ginger Jade made with Hanger One spiced pear vodka, green chartreuse and ginger beer with a lime wedge garnish. It was lightly sweet but compensated well with loads of awesome ginger bite and a little tart pear.  I tried the Noir Manhattan concocted from Watershed Bourbon, Noval Black Port, Carpano Sweet Vermouth, and barrel aged bitters. The bitters really stand out in a warmly spiced and smoky bourbon beverage. Both were satisfying and roundly flavored.
 

 


Lightly Sweet Gingery Adult Beverage
 


Smoky & Bittered Bourbon Beverage
 

The kitchen and the front of the house staff timed everything well and we had an efficient and comfortable meal…large, filling, and comfortable. We started with oysters on the half shell. You can choose between the name sake Blue Points, of which they shuck over 75,000 a year, or the daily mix of East and West Coast bivalves. We stuck safe with the six house specials but probably should have tried the mix so Steph could experience (her first raw oysters) how different they taste depending on their origin. These were fresh and lightly briny and arrived on ice with lemon, mignonette, ketchup with freshly grated horseradish and McIlhenny’s Tabasco for a variety of sensations. They disappeared quickly. A basket of bread and butter arrived. The bread was perfumed and flavored with Asiago cheese and the butter with honey. The honey was difficult to detect but the cheese was perfectly present, it didn’t need more honey.
 

 


Bread Had Great Asiago Flavor
 


Namesake Blue Points
 

 


Fresh & Tasty But Should Have Tried The Assortment
 


Her First Raw Oyster
 

Two of the appetizers sounded too interesting to miss so we tried the smoked duck pierogies and the lobster rangoons. Here was the only dish that failed to wow. The pierogies had the brown crisp of fry on the exterior and sat atop a cluster of red cabbage, chive sour cream and clumps of apple-rosemary relish. The pierogies themselves were on the dry side and lacked the nearly perfect balance of forward flavors every other dish we ordered brought to the table. I actually finished my pierogi and then enjoyed the cabbage and relish alone.

The lobster rangoons were another story, just stupendous. Wonton wrappers fried to an insane crispiness were and loaded with huge globs of sweet shredded lobster. That alone was scrumptious. Cucumber, radish and red onions just kissed with pickling were strewn beneath the crispy lobster bombs and the whole mess resided in a pool of bright and sweet soy sauce. A surprising combination and oh, just so good.

We couldn’t pass up one more side, the blue crab and lemon risotto which we added to the two entrees we ordered. The rice was held better than most, keeping some toothiness. Large chunks of blue crab, strong citrusy lemon and light notes from the additional brunoised veggies, outside of the duck it seems like it would be hard to go wrong with this menu.
 

 


The Duck Couldn't Stand Up To The Rest Of The Show
 


The Risotto Is Studded With Crab
 

 


The Lobster Rangoon Was Awesome
 


And Loaded With Shredded Lobster
 

 

The place specializes in seafood so we tried a tuna and their specialty grouper entrees. The tuna was gorgeous and completely devoid of the chewy white connective tissue that has ruined so many seared plates we have had over the years. Flashed in a screaming hot skillet, cut thick, and fanned over a bed of shiitake and garlic fried red rice, and Chinese broccoli, superior is easily descriptive of the dish. Everything sat in a pool of orange chili sauce, which might have completed the best tuna plate we have seen to this point. Acidic and sharp with a distinctive bite the sauce had been distilled down to an intensity that stood against the fish/rice/veg without noticeable effort.

Their specialty is made with a grouper from Nag’s Head, North Carolina. Having had some great grouper in Florida at Dave’s Dockside and Snappers I was curious about this treatment. The fish was silly fresh tasting and cooked just til it flaked apart with the a hint of pressure. At the bottom of the plate was a Vermouth cream held down by a serious pile of lobster mashed potatoes and little bundles of blanched spinach. The botanical notes of the vermouth were a fabulous pairing with the rest of the plate, the spinach added a green sweetness, the mash was studded with lobster chunks and butter, separately great, together amazing. What a dinner.
 

 

The Tuna & Sauce Are Incredible
 

As Is The Specialty Grouper Dish
 

Completely stuffed, Steph said she was going to be “responsible” for the dessert menu. Instead of ordering two desserts she ordered one. Of course, that particular one was the Chocolate “Quintet”. Obviously ordering five desserts is more responsible than two. The menu had the apostrophes around quintet which was a good thing because the plate had change before the menu and this was a quartet. Some items were the same, the dark chocolate pot du crème, the milk chocolate-peanut butter bar and the German chocolate cake were all there. The flourless torte seemed to be replaced with a black forest option and the white chocolate ice cream hadn’t made it at all. Regardless, this was a chocolate frenzy, deep, rich, and filling. Definitely filling.

Blue Point Grill turned out to be an exceptional treat. Service, menu, ingredients, flavor, portions…take your pick. One small slide towards mediocre and a pile of others which will be remembered very fondly for years. This place is definitely a must try. To our benefactor, both in funding and suggestion, if there is anywhere else you think we might enjoy…we’re in. Thanks so much.


Our "Responsible" Dessert
 
 
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        Too Much! Pierogies    
 
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