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Apr 28, 2008 01:05 PM

Boyfriend's Birthday Dinner

Looking for a good, reasonably priced (entrees no more than $25) restaurant in DC with yummy seafood options for boyfriend's bday dinner on Friday. I've read great things about Hook, but would rather stick to the Logan-Dupont-Cleveland Park-Columbia Heights boundaries. I was thinking Hank's, but they don't take reservations and I fear a long wait on a Friday.

Any suggestions? Romantic is a plus, but not a requirement, although some ambiance is welcome.


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  1. If he likes mussels perhaps you can check out dinner at Brasserie Beck. Hook would be my top choice.

    In there areas that you are looking at there are not a ton of super strong seafood restaurants in the price-range you are looking for.

    Hudson has mussels and at least 2 seafood options on their menu.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Elyssa

      I would avoid Hudson's for a bday dinner with the boyfriend. That would be better with friends. In Dupont you can go to Pesce or Mourayo or Lavandou in Cleveland Park.

      1. re: Jacey

        Pesce is pretty pricey though. I'm pretty sure a lot of the entrees are more then $25. Plus---truth be told I'm not a big fan of Pesce outside of their pasta dishes. I should try it again since it's down the street from my apartment, but I always think it's a tad to expensive to risk a not so great meal.

        1. re: Elyssa

          Very few of their entrees exceed the $22 mark. I don't get why people get pasta at seafood restaurants. To really taste and appreciate the fish, you need to taste it as simple as possible (this is coming from a chef's mouth).

          1. re: Jacey

            The chef's mouth at Pesce or you being the chef?

            When I was at Pesce I got a fish dish that have close to no flavor. My bf, who had been to Pesce a number of times, suggested that the pastas were better, but I didn't heed his advice and got a cod or other type of fish dish (can't remember the exact dish, all I know is it sounded much more flavorful on the meny then it was in real life). My bf's pasta (with seafood mind you) dish on the other hand was pretty good. It was an "I told you so" moment for him of course :). He says the pasta dishes he's had have been much better then the just plan fish dishes.

            Again---just one persons opinion.

    2. Hey Sarah,

      No WAY should you attempt the madness at Hook. Def not romantic, and the service is pathetic. I've tried it 3 times, and it's just a shame. If you are thinking georgetown and want much better food/service, try Sea Catch or Black Salt! I'd also suggest Bras Beck if you wanted downtown. Not a lot of choices up your way.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Gina82

        While I like the food at Hook, there is a big difference between being seated downstairs (good) and upstairs (bad). Unless they can assure you that you will be seated downstairs, I would not go for a birthday dinner.

        Maybe Blue Duck Tavern, which has some nice seafood dishes? Though the price tag can add up because you will want to order a side or two (most $7).

        1. re: dc_eater

          Ooh, thanks - I forgot about Blue Duck!

          1. re: sarahk19

            Ya Blue Duck Tavern is pretty pricey. It's been awhile since I've been so I'm not sure if the prices have changed.

            That being said---my meal there was excellent. I had a great lobster appetizer and a 5-spice duck that was delicious. The sides are so good to and fun to share so that might be where the price becomes an issue. Plus, don't forget desserts :)

        2. re: Gina82

          I have to disagree on Hook, I have never eaten upstairs at Hook, but have eaten there a number of times and sat in the back downstairs by the kitchen and there I find it can be really romantic and fun, and I have had excellent service at all times, except one server who was good, just a little thorough in the beginning about the whole sustainable seafood thing, and that was close to when it opened too. I definitely think it is worth going out of your way for. The food is excellent. If you go definitely call and try to get a seat by the kitchen it is a lot of fun.

          Blue Duck is good, but I have never found their seafood dishes to be anywhere close to as good as their meats. And it definitely is pricey, at least our bill was way over $25 per person for food because of them not having sides and having to order those seperate to the entree.

        3. You might consider Asian, as lots of Asian places have great seafood options. One example...I recently had the mussels appetizer at Regent Thai - it was fabulous. So in Logan you might consider Rice or Simply Home on U. I like the ambiance at both, though Rice is louder than Simply Home. Lots of Greek/Med places also have fish or shrimp options. If you can get away from strictly "seafood" restaurants you will have a wider variety of affordable options.