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Joe Riley

Hook, M Street in Georgetown - Temporarily Closed Due To Fire

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Same storyline with slightly different details in today's Weekly Dish. I'll be sad to see him leave my 'hood, but here's hoping that he turns the new place into something that would actually draw me to M St. Currently the Birreria is the only place that holds that distinction ...

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Hey Rockwell folks, just a note from the Washingtonian.com Best Bites Blog -- Todd found out yesterday that Barton Seaver will be leaving Saint Ex to go to Hook in Georgetown. Heather Chittum will be joining him....

Also, this just in: the front of the house will be run by a kid named Rufio. And the menu will have bangerang-ers and mash.

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Not the most flattering picture of Heather Chittum. :o

Actually I believe that's the photo credit, thus proving that Heather does both pastry and beefcake.

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Actually I believe that's the photo credit, thus proving that Heather does both pastry and beefcake.

no, just pastry and photography.

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no, just pastry and photography.
OK, so no beefcake. How about bread baking? Word on the street is that you're rolling in dough. (Pun intended) :o

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Just one more bit of info: Hook has hired Will Beck, formerly of Hank's Oyster Bar, as GM. He started his new job this week. Will's a friend, and Hook sounds interesting enough that it may be an excuse for me to -- for the first time in almost a year -- explore the hinterlands west of Rock Creek and actually set foot in the quaint outdoor mall that is Georgetown. :o

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Ok, I'll take the bait: when is Hook scheduled to open?
From the article above:
Sometime in "mid-to-late April"
So probably in June.

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From the article above:

So probably in June.

Just spoke with Heather last night. From the sound of things, it should open right about "Tax Day". Thank goodness I finally have a reason to look forward to April 15th :o

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Last night I enjoyed great food at Hook. The menu is divided between crudo, starters and entrees.

Crudo are $3 each, or 3 for $8. Our server told us that the portions were only big enough for one or two bites. That is just not the case. Two people could easily share 3 crudo. I had a shrimp in a chocolate/chili sauce which was interesting but the chili was not noticeable enough. The tuna with sea salt was great. Oh, the trout roe crudo was a surprising delight. I had never had trout roe. It was very light and not salty.

Starters include salads and fish related appetizers like salmon tar-tar. We had two salads, a beet salad with blue cheese and the Hook caeser with Spanish anchovies on toast. The beet salad was a treat in particular because the beets were really fresh and served with a beet reduction.

My main course was the grilled smoked salmon. I don't normally like grilled salmon, but had been a fan of the smoked fishes at Bar Pilar so I order it. I am glad I did as it was delicious. One of my friends said that she doesn't normally like salmon either and she'd order it.

My friends ordered the grilled scallops and the trout. Each of the dishes was a hit.

My only complaint (didn't hit me until this morning) is that the entrees were not served with vegetables. This is really one of my biggest pet peeves (unless of course its a steak restaurant where items are a la carte).

Prices for appetizers were $8-10

Prices for entree were $18-$26 or so (veggie entree was like $16, the steak was $26).

Desserts should be mentioned. Wow. Just wow. Honey madelines with homemade apple butter hit the spot. Prices were $8 per dessert.

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Desserts should be mentioned. Wow. Just wow. Honey madelines with homemade apple butter hit the spot. Prices were $8 per dessert.

I wonder if those are the madelines that Circle Bistro used to have...were there any Nutella pastry puffs on the menu? They had them at Taste of the Nation and I'm really hoping they'll have them on the menu. I'm really looking forward to trying this place!

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Crudo are $3 each, or 3 for $8. Our server told us that the portions were only big enough for one or two bites. That is just not the case. Two people could easily share 3 crudo.

My only complaint (didn't hit me until this morning) is that the entrees were not served with vegetables. This is really one of my biggest pet peeves (unless of course its a steak restaurant where items are a la carte).

Two people could easily share three crudo, we shared four because we ordered the oysters. you get one oyster. ours were clean and bright, not so briny that the soft sweetness of the small sauternes gelee on top was revelatory, though it was a nice enough accompaniment and not just strictly along for the ride. the fish pieces were cut in two -- one for me and one for you style. if you are a nibbler, i suppose you can consider them more than two bites. anyway, this will get your meal off to an encouraging start, although next time i am delving into the appetizers and also will take up our server's offer to start off with a glass of prosecco.

the entrees are now accompanied by vegetables. bluefish actually came out white on white on white, the fish on a bed of roughly mashed potato and parsnip, subdued in flavor, on a white plate, with two accentuating dabs of green pesto with walnut at opposite corners. of all the fish in the neighborhood, bluefish is a personal favorite, meaty and succulent, and the rendition here was quite good, uncharacteristically elegant and every bit as delicious as a buttery slab of sable, cut to wear a stripe of skin along the edge of its face, and green beans that popped up on the corduroy lunch menu last week. in other words, this restaurant shows early signs of some of the best fish cooking in town.

warm madeleines with apple butter were simple and light, though not one of the great dessert memories of my life.

we sat in the front, anchored by a spacious bar, and the rooms in the back seemed, from afar, maybe more formal. decor-wise, the restaurant looks like glam within reach, with white and chrome and bubbly light fixtures that made me think of modesty blaise plying calm seas.

with your check (a full meal, with drinks and glasses of wine in the neighborhood of $150, not terribly more expensive than a rustic saint-ex dinner used to cost) comes a flyer from the blue ocean institute advocating an approach that is as close as you can get to saving the fish while still eating them.

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Stopped in at the bar last night and had an excellent dinner running through the menu. If you enjoy seafood you need to head here for dinner.

Started with 6 of the eight crudo, but unfortunately I don't remember the exact make up of each one, but overall they were very good. As mentioned they are about 1-2 bites each and are a refreshing way to start a meal. After that we moved on to the appetizers and ordered a plate of the grilled sardines (3 to an order) and the shrimp mousseline. Both were good, but I give the nod to the sardines.

Entrees followed and thankfully I remembered these (with a little help from the online menu). Both fish dishes were perfectly cooked and tasted wonderful. I really enjoyed the wahoo with the carrots and mint sauce.

Bluefish -- potato-parsnip cake, basil walnut pesto, grilled lemon

Wahoo -- season's first asparagus, pureed carrots, purslane, mint

We had to try dessert and opted for the two chocolate ones. The doughnuts are sugared doughnut holes filled with nutella cream and were light and slightly warm.

Chocolate Tart -- Caramel Ice Cream, Salted Cashews

Doughnuts -- Nutella Cream, Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

My only complaint is that the bar stools are a bit short for the bar. Luckily I am tall enough so that it was not too much of a problem. There were some shorter folks sitting at the bar and they did not look comfortable. I certainly hope this place keeps up with the excellent dishes that we had last night as I look forward to returning frequently. The cost of dinner last night, not including our drinks, was about $120.

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I took My wife and Brother-in-law there for dinner and had a wonderful time. I can't say that there was one thing....that we DIDN'T like. It was truly a great night. We tried all of the raw fish apps...all very good. I had the Arctic Char which had been cooked perfect and was accompanied with the right sides. My wife had the Wild King salmon and she for the first time in a long time finished her dinner......

The Chefs seemed very calm and concentrated. You can tell that Barton and Joshua have picked a great kitchen staff to support their cause.

Again.....A great place...Should do well...I hear that their brunch is off the Chain good!

Themeatguy

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what would qualify as the wrong sides?

The left sides...

[if you're going to make an off-topic joke, it has to win approval from the Joke Committee - this one fails miserably.]

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Had a very impressive meal here tonight. The oysters and crudo were very clean and fresh, and creatively and deliciously garnished. The country ham tasting plate was enjoyable, with yummy biscuits and the perfect fixins. The grilled squid was good - my buddy thought it outstanding. The star of the night for me was the calamari black risotto. Really flavorful and beautifully presented. I inhaled it. My friend's main - the wahoo (served w/asparagus and a flawless mint puree) was perfectly cooked and also very tasty. Kudos to Chef Seaver. And to pastry Chef Chittum - the desserts were also delish. We had the donut holes - warm with a great texture, the fab strawberry sampler, and a pineapple carpaccio accompanied by the best basil ice cream we've ever tasted. Hook's design is sleek and contemporary, but comfortably casual. Stylish lighting throughout, a chic bar area and a dining room where you can have a conversation with your friend but see everyone eating and also see the kitchen. Its a pretty intimate place, but you feel the buzz - which I like. We had above average service as well. Parking in Georgetown sucks, but I'm thrilled to have this restaurant in DC and looking forward to returning often.

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We were there last night too, and had a really pleasant night. The space is clean and open (if a little loud), the servers friendly and knowledgeable about the menu ...

We started with a Mizuna and Pea Shoot Salad, with radishes, carrots, and (I think) mint; Grilled Calamari with basil-walnut pesto; and Grilled Shrimp, over stewed beans, fennel, chile, and bread crumbs. I thought the shrimp was the highlight, although my friends called it a draw between that and the calamari. One friend couldn't stop rhapsodizing over the pesto all evening! The salad, although good, didn't hit it out of the park.

When our mains came we encountered one snafu -- the runner had no idea what dishes she was bringing us, nor where to put them. We helped her through it, but it was not terribly confidence-inspiring.

But they tasted delicious! We had Halibut with roasted onion cream, roasted potatores, and esplenette oil; Bluefish on a potato-parsnip cake with basil-walnut pesto and grilled lemon; and Wahoo with the season's first asparagus, pureed carrots, purslane, and mint. None of us left a bite, and I thought the combination of flavors in the wahoo dish (along with the fish being perfectly prepared) resulted in a fantastic meal.

Of course, we couldn't leave without dessert, so we shared the Donuts with nutella cream and bittersweet chocolate sauce, and the Study in Strawberries. Not to take anything away from the donuts, which we loved, but the strawberry dessert was fabulous. Strawberry ice cream (that I think had a hint of basil in it), macerated strawberries, a strawberry tart, and strawberry shortcake. I'd go back for that dessert again tonight :blink:

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