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Jun 18, 2007 09:34 AM

Best Seafood, DC Area?

Looking for opinions on best seafood in DC area. Thanks.

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  1. "Best" invites controversy but certainly among the top restaurants specializing in seafood are: Hook, Pesce, and Blacksalt.

    My favorite casual seafood restaurant is Hank's Oyster Bar. Others to consider (but I don't recommend) are Johnny's Half Shell [it was better when it was smaller]; D'Aqua [Italian seafood but needs to mature]; Oceanaire [if you like BIG portions].

    Of course, I am omitting the many fine Japanese restaurants which are primarily seafood and th emany fine upper teir restaurants that have seafood on the menu.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dakota Guy

      I take it Bob Kinkaid is getting no love these days? Back when I first came to DC, it was rare to find a good seafood restaurant. There was Vincenzo (Italian seafood) and Crisfield's for a less swanky seafood-fest. Kinkaid came in and made a splash with the best seafood in town, and it's still close to the top.

      For crabcakes only, I like Market Inn and Oceanaire. For Oysters, you can't really beat the Old Ebbitt Grill. DC Coast is pretty good for fresh catch, but if I'm going to eat in any of Jeff Tunks' four restaurants, it's Ceiba, Acadiana, DC Coast and Ten Penh, in that order right now.

    2. IMO, the best are Blacksalt and Oceanaire. Haven't tried Hook yet.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jaydreb

        I have yet to try Hook, and love Hank's for the casual spot, just looking for a sleeper or a review on a place I have not tried. Thanks for the info.

        1. re: amorgs

          I've got a sleeper for you....Sea Catch in Gtown. The back room is beautifully appointed, the service is top notch, and the seafood couldn't fresher. The simpler the dish the better. Expect downtown prices.

          1. re: Pappy

            Sea Catch also has a sleeper happy hour. At least three of the oysters are $1 apiece until 6:30 or 7 on weekdays, and rail drinks are half price. The deals used to be better (all the oysters, all the drinks) until too many people caught on... I guess posting on Chowhound does not help matters. :)

            1. re: laurentobias

              I will definetly have to check out sea catch. Thanks.

      2. One of my favorite restaurants in Hank's Oyster Bar. For the past year or so whenever I went there I got the seafood (the lobster roll is reallllly good. Same with a lot of their fish specials) but the nice thing is is I recently started having some of their non-seafood menu items and they are just as delicious.

        Their fried seafood is good and of course the oyster's are yummy as well. I think the staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the menu and there is outdoor seating for nice summer evenings.

        9 Replies
        1. re: Elyssa

          I like Hank's, Blacksalt and Oceanaire but I also love Kinkade's, great food and wine.

          1. re: JSC1

            I forgot about Kinkead's! Guess it's been around for so long I've taken it for granted. I would add that to my list of recommendations, along with Blacksalt and Oceanaire.

            Anyone have an opinion on Acqua?

            1. re: jaydreb

              I LOVE D'Acqua. Perfect place for every occasion because their menu is so extenstive. There is a long hot and cold appeteizer section that are really small plates and sharing those are a perfect meal for a big group. They also have lots of pasta options as well as amazing seafood selections. Then to top it off they offer their "seafood bar" which means you can basically pick fresh whatever their catch of the day is and have it prepared in any way you like. Endless possibilites. And Enzo the chef/manager is a great typical italian owner who makes friends with everyone. Highly recommend it!

              1. re: de muerte lenta

                has anyone been to Nage on Rhode Island? Just read a review and sounds pretty tasty.

              2. re: jaydreb

                We tried it and wouldn't go back. It isn't bad, just not great. See my review elsewhere.

                Kinkead's can be described the same. Bob is living on past reputation. His Colvin RunTavern is better but still not in the same class as Hook, Pesce, Blacksalt. Hank's is a favorite for casual dining but it's menu is limited (even with the daily specials)--how many lobster rolls can you eat?

                1. re: Dakota Guy

                  I actually think Hank's has great daily should also try their meats. They are excellent. If you venture past the lobster roll I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

                  1. re: Elyssa

                    I didn't mean to imply that the lobster roll was the only thing I have eaten there. I have eaten at Hank's many times, usually from the daily seafood specials, which are almost always very good. But they stilll have a limited menu compared to less casual seafood restaurants.

              3. re: JSC1

                I heartily agree with the Blacksalt suggestion. Great stuff!


              4. re: Elyssa

                Hank's is great for food. I have always been happy with what I have gotten be it from the sea or land. My only complaint is the beer and wine selection. The beers are typically poor examples of what they are and the wines are either very bad examples of what they are or old vintages of wines that do not benefit from ageing, or out of stock. When i asked why they did not offer more in the way of beers and wines iI was told that it takes a lot of time to find new wines and beers and people don't seem to care. my concern is that it also takes a lot of time to keep the fish rotated. Hank's is a great place, but people need to be more vocal about the beverages.

              5. The original comment has been removed
                1. I would normally have joined in on the raves for Blacksalt, until my most recent visit the other week. I insist on pasta cooked al dente, but our ravioli appetizer was bordering on crunchy. Though we'd waited so long for it I wasn't about to send it back. But most dissapointing was my rockfish. It was tough, overcooked, and worst of all fishy. I hate to say it but it tasted frozen. My girlfriend's tuna was some of the best I'd ever had (and it was her bday dinner so I was just happy that she loved it).

                  This was also the first time I'd ever sat at a bank table instead of a booth. Their two tops are unusually deep, and the noise level was outa control. So we found ourselves literally leaning over the table to hear one another. It was physically uncomfortable. Though 3 glasses of wine later we didn't notice it as much.

                  All in all, it didn't come close to measuring up to a special occasion restaurant, as I'd planned.