ROCK­SALT

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - TRAVEL -

oys­ters — they of­fer a won­der­ful selec­tion with va­ri­eties from Prince Edward Is­land, Rhode Is­land and, of course, the Ch­e­sa­peake. But the res­tau­rant’s spe­cialty is the min­i­mally adorned jumbo lump crab cake. It’s broiled and crunchy on the out­side, moist in the mid­dle. We de­voured it as part of the $32 “steak and cake” meal, which pairs it with a juicy, 12 oz. filet, more food than prob­a­bly any­one could ever eat in one sit­ting.

Spe­cial touches: For dessert, the kitchen of­fers a selec­tion of baked goods from Hamp­stead’s Ber­tucco’s Bak­ery. We made a men­tal note to check that place out after bit­ing into the in­cred­i­ble peanut but­ter choco­late bomb.

Pro tip: Ser­vice is more ac­com­mo­dat­ing than what you’ll find at many of the area’s higher-end restau­rants. Both vis­its, a man­ager gra­ciously came by to check on us as we fin­ished to see how ev­ery­thing was. A bar­tender man­aged to si­mul­ta­ne­ously keep pint glasses full while chat­ting up an el­derly vis­i­tor as she awaited her car­ry­out or­der. Dur­ing an­other trip, our server pa­tiently walked us through all the menu of­fer­ings and an­swered our ques­tions au­thor­i­ta­tively, as though she didn’t have sev­eral other ta­bles to check on. (Area restau­rants, take note. This is hos­pi­tal­ity done right.)

Bot­tom line: One of the hard­est ques­tions I can ask of any res­tau­rant is: Could I take my fam­ily there? Would they get my fa­ther’s gin mar­tini just right, and make it again if it wasn’t per­fect? Would their fries pass muster with my brother-in-law, the chef? I have yet to bring my fam­ily to West­min­ster’s Rock­Salt Grille, but I cer­tainly plan to. With well-ex­e­cuted dishes and on-the-ball ser­vice, the place is a study in what can trans­form a great neigh­bor­hood res­tau­rant into a des­ti­na­tion all its own.

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