by Rebecca M. Alvin
High atop a hill on Bradford Street, the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn and Spas sits overlooking the town. The Inn includes six buildings, including a beautifully restored sea captain’s mansion that now houses The Pointe, a restaurant that manages to offer both a fine dining menu and a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere.
Guests can dine in the main room, with its antique New England interior design or out on the more casual side deck, which features a striking view of the Pilgrim Monument in the evening. But while the food at the Pointe is upscale, in recent years the restaurant has strived to be an open, welcoming place where people can come for a romantic dinner, or a casual evening with friends sharing plates of the various delicious items on the menu. Indeed, on a recent summer evening, a group of mature women debated the relative merits of the death penalty over shared appetizers and drinks in one corner as an impeccably dressed young couple chose a quiet table in the corner to enjoy each other’s company over wine and a full meal.
The Pointe offers a range of appetizers to start you off, including several made for sharing, such as their takes on calamari, shrimp cocktail, coconut shrimp, and crab cakes. However, they also offer some truly wonderful, unique starters, such as truffled popcorn–perfect for sharing at the bar, or the rich, sumptuous bacon & deviled eggs. This delightful concoction consists of four eggs deviled with a delicious vinegary-mustard that perfectly balances, in both texture and flavor, with the crisp, yet chewy agave-sweetened bacon strips. It’s a great appetizer to share, though you will be tempted to eat it all yourself.
If you’re looking for your very own starter, look no further than the truly extraordinary poached lobster & chive gnocchi. The handmade gnocchi, made by Chef Renée Little, and delicious chunks of fresh lobster, topped with chives from the garden that sits just outside the window, combine for a rich, filling dish. The lobster butter sauce is creamy and comforting and yet there is a brightness to the flavor, as well.
The Pointe is also a restaurant that strives to stay current, even as the decor brings our rich Cape Cod history to mind. Dessert menus are shown to customers on iPads, as a virtual dessert tray, for example. The restaurant features contemporary art in a rotating exhibition of paintings from the Simie Maryles Gallery. But more importantly, they are attuned to our modern desire for local, organic, and/or natural ingredients. To that end, they do their best to buy from local purveyors and farmers; they work to include fish that is pole-caught rather than net-caught, so as to embrace a more sustainable approach; and they feature grass-fed beef on their menu.
Entrees range from tempura tuna steak and sautéed Cape halibut to all natural pork chops, grass-fed burgers, and steak frites. Vegetarians will enjoy seared tofu served with brown rice, asparagus, and seasonal vegetables, while seafood lovers have their pick from local Duxbury Bay mussels and steamed lobster to lobster raviolis. Yet another appealing option is their chicken two ways–a pan-roasted chicken breast paired with a slow-roasted leg and thigh, green pea risotto, crispy spinach, and mustard sauce. Grilled filet mignon is also a fabulous option.
But for the top of the line, go for the grass-fed prime sirloin steak, which is served with a delectable red wine sauce and an array of exotic mushrooms. The combination of the grass-fed beef and the stunning mushrooms creates an earthy taste. Salty and sweet flavors are combined in a very juicy, flavorful dish, perfect with a glass of Cabernet.
Whether you are looking for an intimate dining experience with the love of your life, a place to dine with visiting friends, or just elegant food in a beautiful, yet relaxing atmosphere, The Pointe is a great option just far enough away from the Commercial Street bustle, without leaving the center of town.
The Pointe is located at 82 Bradford St., Provincetown. Their full menu is available online. For information and reservations call 508.487.2365 or visit crownepointe.com/Restaurant.