There is something about the dining room that is reminiscent of Kellerman’s Resort in the movie “Dirty Dancing,” and luckily nobody put us in the corner. Instead we were given a front-row seat to the most incredible sunset I’ve seen since I was 12 years old. The whole back of the restaurant has a wall of windows facing west so diners can watch the sunset unfold over Barnstable Harbor and Sandy Neck as they linger over dinner.
Most of the entrees at Harbor Point are in the $18 to $28 range, so it wouldn’t normally be a good choice for this column. But the restaurant is currently offering a special three-course dinner that includes an appetizer of soup or salad, a choice of five entrees and dessert for just $19.95, so we squeaked in just under budget.
Or at least we would have if my husband had not gone rogue on me. At the last minute, after we both had ordered our appetizers and entrees, he said, “I think I’d like to try the oysters Rockefeller, too.”
That put us $10 over budget and I just stared at him as the server walked away.
“What?” he said. “Just don’t write about them.”
That plan would have been fine, except the oysters were the best part of the meal and it didn’t seem fair not to include them. There were five oysters piled high with fresh-cooked baby spinach and a sauce that had a really nice anise undertone, indicating a splash of Pernod. The sauce was so good that we used the raw baby spinach garnish to sop up any that was remaining. With delightfully crispy crust and tender oysters, the dish was worth coming back for.
We both opted for the salad rather than a cup of beef barley soup. The salads weren’t huge and had a few wilted leaves in the mesclun mix, but overall it was sufficient with grape tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion. The loaf of bread was crusty on the outside and warm and chewy on the inside and the butter was nicely presented in a pretty swirl.
For my entrée, I chose the salmon with lemon caper sauce, which was very good. The salmon was a tad crispy on the thinner ends and perfectly cooked in the thicker middle, which is just how I like it. The lemon caper sauce had a superb flavor. The oven-roasted potatoes were quite overcooked, but the accompanying vegetable mix of batonnet sliced carrots, whole green beans and cauliflower had a nice garlicky zip and was crisp tender.
My husband ordered the rib-eye steak with balsamic reduction and sautéed onions and mushrooms. The steak was quite large, but the meat was chewy and not a very lean cut. The balsamic reduction was a bit too sweet for the steak and there were more whole garlic cloves than onions and mushrooms. The homemade baked stuffed potato, however, was the best he’s ever had.
Our desserts of carrot cake and lemon meringue pie were attractively presented, but unimpressive and probably not homemade. I’m not willing to waste calories on dessert unless it is beyond tempting, and these didn’t qualify.
There were only a few other diners the Thursday we visited, and you have to ask for the $19.95 special if you want it because otherwise you’ll just get the regular menu. I got the impression that our server was the owner — service was both gracious and impeccable. But nothing beat that sunset. We would definitely go back, only next time we would probably skip the special and order off the regular menu.