Bluepoint Bar & Grill is the kind of go-to restaurant that today's economy demands. A relaxed tavern ambience, a menu of updated comfort classics and prices (nothing more than $19) as appropriate for weeknights as for weekends -- what's not to like?
Chef Danny Avalos lets you know he cares with a loaf of warm, house-baked bread accompanied by basil-scented hummus. Refills are freely offered; it's hard not to overindulge.
Avalos makes a chicken potpie that's better than most. Instead of the nearly ubiquitous frozen puff pastry topping, a flaky house-made crust crowns a chicken and vegetable filling rife with tender white and dark meat -- a far cry from the bits of poached boneless breast one sees far too much of. Crumb-topped mac and cheese is irresistible, as are plump mirin-Madeira- glazed chicken wings.
A boon here is that pasta dishes come in small and large sizes. Unless you've got a lumberjack appetite, the smaller portion makes for a satisfying meal. Al dente rigatoni Bolognese features a rich veal and pork ragu and edges out a perfectly respectable spaghetti and meatballs.
Love the bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, moist and smoky, with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus. Also the fork-tender pot roast with vegetables topped with circles of house-made pasta. Slices of juicy, marinated skirt steak are arranged like petals around mashed potatoes and spinach. Also commendable: pignoli-crusted red snapper fillet served over garlic couscous, topped with fresh pineapple salsa.
Desserts are must-haves, from a martini glass filled with intense chocolate mousse strewn with caramelized nuts to a sumptuous blueberry Napoleon to a simple but ideal cheesecake.
Blackened chicken risotto features pieces of pan-blackened chicken over plain risotto; it's a clunky combination. A special of crab cakes turns up lukewarm. And a meatball-topped flatbread is overcooked to a near cinder.
The restaurant accepts reservations; I'd make it a point to book one.