100 Best Restaurants 2010: Hell Point Seafood

No. 84: Hell Point Seafood

Cuisine: Bob Kinkead calls his Annapolis waterfront operation Kinkead Lite—a more casual, streamlined, and affordable version of his DC seafood emporium. The kitchen early on was a work in progress but has found its groove. Portions are bigger, execution is tighter, and the familiar-looking plates of mussels, oysters, lobster rolls, and smothered fish are now worthy of the Kinkead name.

Mood: The redeeming feature of the bland space, which for years housed Phillips Seafood, is the gorgeous view of the Annapolis harbor—seats along the glass windows fill up fast.

Best for: That rarest of dining-out pleasures—a good meal with a view.

Best dishes: Sweet mussels in green Thai curry with diced squash; an ever-changing roster of oysters on the half shell; plump, minimally bound crabcakes; cornmeal-crusted flounder in a creamy sauce garnished with tasso ham, mushroom matchsticks, and baby shrimp; swordfish steak with confit of basil-draped baby tomatoes; excellent seasonal tarts (peach in summer, pear in fall, apple in winter); elegant, Eastern Shore–style caramel layer cake.

Insider tips: Think seafood calls exclusively for white wine? Think again: The important thing is to complement the sauce or accompaniment, and the embellishments for Kinkead’s seafood are generally big and bold-flavored. Accordingly, there are red-wine by-the-glass picks that pair well with the restaurant’s catches of the day, including a rosé made from Malbec. And servers will pour a taste of any by-the-glass wine.

Service: ••

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Expensive.

See all of 2010's 100 Best Restaurants

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.