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  1. Cristina and I ducked out of a business cocktail thing early and took advantage of the fact that we had a sitter, and stopped into the relatively new Star Fish on Heights Blvd for a drink and snacks. The chilled seafood tower did not disappoint. Drinks menu is extensive, and will reward multiple return trips to make my way through the various martinis, gin & tonics, and sparkling wines. The "Saltwater" G&T, with star anise and "ocean water tincture" was delicious...a hint of brine, but nothing crazy.
  2. So did Pier 2934 on the corner of 30th and M. It was a great place for one pound bags of steamed seafood. Especially Alaskan king crab.
  3. Multi-unit deal brings crave-worthy chef-inspired fast casual seafood dishes to the East Coast. I believe the first location will be located at One Loudoun and opening in June. Several locations planned for Reston, Ashburn, Fairfax, Tysons and Merrifield.
  4. Tail-On Shrimp

    I can't find the thread that raised the question, but here're some responses.
  5. website Baltimore Sun review The sister restaurant of La Cuchara, I haven't been yet but I've gotten enough raving reviews from my friends that we probably deserve a thread
  6. Saturday was a perfect day in Annapolis. I was with a friend of mine getting our hair done and she had some time and we were starving so we decided to go downtown. We got a parking spot near Pussers and decided to walk in and just see how long the wait was for an outdoor table. The wait was long, but when we went to the back bar to the self-seating area a table had just opened up. There was live music, it wasn't humid, just the right temperature and boats were consistently moving through Ego Alley to give us a nice view. We got rum punches and painkillers which were really good and just sat and enjoyed the day. I got some blackened mahi mahi tacos and she got the salmon with rice. Mine was a little too saucy to eat as tacos without making an incredible mess, so I ate them fork and knife. They weren't amazing in anyway, but it was good dock food on a casual day with good flavors, fries were definitely previously frozen seasoned fries, but they were fried well and soaked up all the extra taco sauce well. My friend enjoyed her salmon and was happy about the ample steamed veggies on the dish, we exchanged some fries for broccoli. Anyway, this place is definitely a bit of a tourist trap, but out on their back deck on a nice day, it really is worth it to just sit with a drink and a snack, especially when they have good music.
  7. After reading some rave reviews, I went by for brunch (they say it's lunch, but it's only offered on weekends, starting at 11). The website doesn't actually have a lunch menu, so I wasn't sure what I was getting into. Unfortunately the lunch menu does not have the uni carbonara. But they do have most of the classics. I had the seafood charcuterie, consisting of smoked artic char, potted lobster, whitefish salad, shrimp linguica, and swordfish mortadella. The first 3 were traditional, and pretty good. The latter 2 were freaks of nature and not my cup of tea. I thought both were a bit too fishy, and the firm jello-like texture was weird. I also had grilled rockfish (or was it monkfish?) with braised kale, some kimchi cucumbers, and scallion pancake. I thought the scallion pancakes were so so. It's not Chinese nor Korean, more like American pancakes with scallions. The fish was cooked nicely. Altogether the flavor was pretty good. It's good to have another interesting seafood joint in the city.
  8. .....almost 11 years later. I REMEMBER BERTHA's!!!!!! Bertha's has been around for decades. OMG, I was there a lot. It opened in '72. I was probably there soon after and then a lot. LOL. Mussels/Beer Beer/Mussels. Bertha's had beer mussels and no air hockey table. Other nearby places had beer and air hockey tables but no mussels. "You're So Vain" was always playing in the background. I still return on occasion.
  9. Apr 25, 2017 - "Take a Look inside the Stunning Seafood Restaurant from Marcel's Chef Robert Wiedmaier" by Anna Spiegel on washingtonian.com The chef comes from Brine.
  10. Tom Sietsema declared this to be the best seafood restaurant in DC! I beg to differ. I would have to assume that Tom got special treatment because every Jose employee is probably required to know his face. First, no geoduck, no sea urchin, and no hush puppies. I didn't realize that hush puppies need to be sourced like other pristine seafood. So we started with some scallop crudo, which should taste mild and sweet. Ours tasted slightly fishy, which made me want to hide the flavor by ingesting the celery in black pepper giardiniera. Next, roasted oysters, served with a side of Fresno chili butter sauce. One of our 5 oysters didn't pop. I complained and they replaced the order with 5 shucked oysters roasted with the sauce, which actually tasted better. Lastly, lobster jambalaya. The rice was slightly crunchy, and if you don't dig out the lobster immediately, it will become overcooked. I wouldn't say the lobster was perfectly cooked when it arrived at our table, but waiting will make it much worse. The flavor wasn't anything special. Nate Waugaman didn't shine at America Eats Tavern, why would he all of a sudden become the chef at DC's best seafood restaurant?
  11. John's Grill is a pretty good restaurant. The bar is small, and so is the rest of the place, but scoring a seat and settling in is one of the better ways to enjoy a feeling of old San Francisco. First, let's get some history out of the way. It was the backdrop of The Maltese Falcon, and its walls are covered by celebrity pictures of those who dined here over the past 110 years or so. Think of a place where the Postal Service rolled out its commemorative Humphrey Bogart stamp here, with Arnold Schwarzenegger joining a rendition of "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" at the ceremony. I've eaten (and drank) at John's on every one of my annual visits over the years, and the food is quite good. This isn't fine-dining, but for those of us from the Washington DC area who enjoy the The Monocle on Capitol Hill, Martin's Tavern, Old Ebbitt Grill, or the Occidental Grill, it's somewhere in between all of these sorts of time-worn establishments. I've had an absolutely perfectly executed Negroni at the bar, and I've enjoyed some truly great Cioppino in the dining room. This is also a good restaurant for steaks and burgers, at a good price. And a club sandwich for lunch one day was worth ordering again, as was the perfect side of fries, hot out of the fryer. I'll continue to frequent John's whenever I'm in town. The ongoing subway construction is an impediment, but if you're on foot, it's not much of a problem.
  12. If you're ever in Napa, there's a location of Hog Island Oyster Co. in the Oxbow Public Market (which is sort of like "Napa's Ferry Building Marketplace"). There's also a third location in Marshall, where I've never been, but if you're staying on the coast, it's no further than Napa. All three locations are mapped here (ignore the mileage figure - each location is just over an hour from the Ferry Building, depending on traffic, which can get pretty bad):
  13. Josh's post about La Cuchara in Houston reminds me that Houston's La Cuchara (which means "The Spoon") has nothing whatsoever to do with La Cuchara in Woodberry, a Basque-inspired restaurant run by brothers Ben and Jake Lefenfeld. However, Baltimore residents will be pleased to know that the Lefenfelds will be opening a second, seafood-based restaurant in South Baltimore - Minnow, located in the 2 East Wells Apartment Building: "Restaurateurs behind La Cuchara Opening Seafood Restaurant in South Baltimore" by Sarah Meehan on baltimoresun.com According to Sarah Meehan, Minnow is hoping for a May, 2017 opening, will seat around 130 guests, and will have a Mediterranean-based wine list to match their seafood, which will include high-quality, simple, grilled fish.
  14. When crawfish are in season, it's tough to go a week without heading out for a few pounds, and this weekend we set out early for lunch at what may be the most well-known of Houston's Viet-Cajun joints, Crawfish and Noodles. C&N has hosted Zimmern, Chang, and god knows who else, and they are clearly aware of their celeb-status, with t-shirts for sale prominently displayed as you walk in. That kind of hubris is typically not a great sign, and I have to admit approaching the rest of my visit as though I were cross-examining a hostile witness. C&N held its own, and while I didn't leave with a "We've Got Crabs" t-shirt (I mean, really), I can dig the food they're putting out. We started with an order of honey-garlic chicken wings, as requested by the 4-year old. He fell in love with the "Viet wings" at Cajun Kitchen, and hasn't stopped talking about them for weeks since. C&N's wings were solid, though I think we should have ordered the "Fish sauce" version for a more direct comparison. These were a bit too sweet for my tastes, with no heat. There are a variety of noodles and soups to choose from, and we went with the stir-fried rice noodle with mixed seafood. This is a hefty portion, with onion, celery, carrot, and crispy shallots mixed with shrimp, (chewy) squid, and fish balls, with a peppery sauce on the side ready to be mixed in. Delicious, and devoured quickly, but if we had to go head to head, we all agreed the crabby garlic noodles from Cajun Kitchen might edge out a win. The crawfish delivered. Choices are limited to spice level (though an intriguing "ginger grass" option is listed as being available at some point in the future). Medium is Houston-medium, which is to say, probably "hot" if you're coming from somewhere else. We opted for medium with a side of "hot" dipping sauce, and I would heartily recommend this combo. For the spice-loving but not super-spicy friends, the medium mudbugs alone are perfect. For those of us who prefer to see God when we eat, you can drag the tail through the sauce and get it done. Compared to the purely Cajun versions I grew up with (and have had at Houston places like The Boot in the Heights), these have a more pronounced garlic and citrus flavor. Priced at $10/lb, these were also the most expensive I've had thus far. Note on wait times: We got there just before noon on Sunday, and were 1 of 5 or 6 tables there. 30 minutes later there was a line out the door.
  15. Crawfish season is just getting underway here in Houston, and today's visit to Cajun Kitchen marked our first batch. We opted for the "Fatass Number 1" combination. 3 pounds of crawfish (still pretty small this early in the season), a half-pound of head-on shrimp, and a generous section of snow crab legs, plus some potatoes and corn. Market price was $56 today, including the $2 upcharge for the "Kitchen Special" spicing on the boil (which appears to include orange slices, generous amounts of garlic and ginger, onions and peppers. Totally fair, I think, given the amount of seafood you get, but YMMV. We got "medium" spice on the boil, planning to share with the boys, but be forewarned that "medium" is pretty damn spicy. The shrimp and crab are clearly added after the crawfish are tossed in the spice, and were mild enough to share with kids. Aside from the boiled seafood, the garlic noodles and Viet-spiced chicken wings were winners with the whole table. The noodles are fairly thick, tossed in a garlic sauce, and topped with ample amounts of sweet lump blue crab meat and crispy fried shallots. The wings veer toward the sweet side, with a nice backbone of funky fish sauce. There are big screen TVs all around the dining room, and cheap domestic beers available...This could be a great place to spend an afternoon watching a baseball game come Spring.
  16. Seafood sounds good, non-seafood sounds kinda okay but nothing to rush out to purchase. Tim Carman can rite reel gud.
  17. I didn't see a thread for Vola's so I thought I would start one. Website Vola's is located in the old Waterfront Market space. They have both the restaurant and outside seating on the boardwalk at the waterfront currently open. I went for lunch yesterday. The inside has that seaside casual seafood joint vibe to it, and I thought it was nice for this location. The outside seating really hasn't changed at all from Waterfront Market. I would suspect that it will do really well. The space is laid out similarly to Waterfront Market with the bar where the service counters were located. I thought the menu had a nice selection of items and will go back and try other things, especially as my office is next door. I don't think they are near as good as Drift, but after one meal, it is not a bad option in Old Town. My server was Donovan, I would go back alone for the service. He was just genuinely nice and warm, but was very professional at the same time. I really enjoyed having him as my server. The food came out in a reasonable time for my lunch break, which is more than can be said for Blackwall Hitch. I had the grouper sandwich. It tasted to me like the grouper was done via sous vide then seared off, but I am not sure, and I don't care if it was as it kept the fish very moist, but also appropriately flavored, but the texture of the fish didn't fall apart, like the salmon I must have sous vide for too long the other night. I really like the sandwich, I thought it had a good bread, sauce, lettuce ratio and nice seasoning. The fries with old bay were delicious and I ate way more than I needed to- although I am quite partial to Old Bay on about anything. The coleslaw was also pretty darn good. It was on the sweet side, but not real sugary like they serve some places down south, I thought it had a nice balance to it and I like the thinness of the sauce. I thought the prices were in line with this part of town for what you got. I am hoping they have a fish taco special every now and then. But I definitely will go try more of the menu. Same photo from the Where did I Dine thread of the sandwich.
  18. Not sure why O'learys does not have a thread here and shame on me as I have been here a few times. Had the pleasure of a Wine Maker dinner here last night arranged by the owner Wil Peterson and Dawn Carpenter from Wines Cellars of Annapolis. Suffice it to say that we were blown away by the food the chef put out. Pork Belly with a Mle Sauce put me close to a food coma. O'learys is a pretty space, close to the water and specializing in seafood. Dinner started with a Scallop with pesto done perfectly. Every dish was paired with wine and it was a perfect evening. Wil Peterson took ownership of O'Learys last year and he has just hired a great chef to raise the bar even higher. Annapolis hits it's stride once all the tourists have left and is really back to the locals once the boat shows in October have passed. Should be raised to Italic, highly recommended
  19. So last week was my week in Bethany. We didn't really eat out much this time, but met friends at Seacrets. It certainly wasn't for the food, not for getting s***t faced, but it was for the novelty of eating outside under full sized palm trees with a sand floor. It was the first time I had been there in probably a decade. Time has pretty much stood still (G-Love and Special Sauce was the headliner band that night). It is also a different experience when you are there with your child, and they hand you the "rules" for being there with someone underage (kind of funny considering my daughter is 5. They just opened a distillery on-site in June, which is new. Okay, now on to the food--it was pretty bad and the service was pretty bad as well. My wife and another friend had salads, one topped with grilled shrimp, the other with tuna. The first time they made the salad with the tuna, it cam with tuna salad. They acknowledged the mistake, re-made it, asked how the tuna should be cooked and it came about 15 minutes later well done. Regardless, they comped it which was nice. I had "Jamaican Tenders" and a side of fries. They were pretty dried out, not very spicy, not very good to say the least, and pretty puny. Someone else got a veggie wrap which looked pretty good and they seemed to like it. Bottom line--don't come here for the food, some here for the ambiance or to get a frozen rum drink called a "Pain in the Ass", served in a plastic cup and sit in an oasis like setting with a canopy of palm trees and a sand floor. If you don't take yourself too seriously and you enjoy the company you are with, you will have a good time at this classic.
  20. Has anyone her in DR Land been to Ivy City Smokehouse? They got a good write up in the Washingtonian (I can't seem to find a link on their website), and was wondering what the DR scoop is.
  21. Brought two of my younger colleagues to dinner here last week. We were looking for a casual spot that was fairly lively and had good food. One of my colleagues read somewhere that the Mermaid Inn on MacDougal was something of a "baby bernardin", so off we went. First of all, the notion of comparing the Mermaid Inn to Le Bernardin, baby, toddler, adolescent or full grown version is crazy. Totally different set up and vibe. This is a casual restaurant with a bustling oyster bar that makes a solid effort to turn out good seafood dishes at a fair price. Our group started with "escargot style" lobster knuckles, charred Portuguese octopus and blue crab tostada. The lobster knuckle escargot were really interesting - the kitchen used a very deft hand with the garlic so as not to overpower the knuckles. I'm a sucker for any charred octopus, and this rendition was good - the hot peppers in the dish were reminiscent of Peasant's "Polpo en Purgatorio", although Peasant's version of charred octopus is superior. The tostadas were a miss - for whatever reason we didn't find a whole lot of flavor in them. My main was a yellowfin tuna with sauce gribiche - seared rare as requested and served with some local asparagus. My colleagues also enjoyed their meals, but the details have been lost toi time at this point. No dessert, but with the three entrees, three appetizers and two bottles of sancerre (blanc et rouge), we had a great time and spent well less than expected for a "nice-ish" dinner out in NY, especially for a menu featuring seafood. While our experience was at the MacDougal location, you could do worse than happen by here or one of the other locations for a quick oyster fix or casual meal.
  22. I haven't been there yet, but I recently learned of a new restaurant in Wheaton called BeClaws. They bill themselves as Cajun fusion. People on my neighborhood listserv seem to like it, for whatever that's worth. Has anyone been?