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May 17, 2009 10:11 AM

Restaurant with good seafood and outdoor dining?

Going out to lunch with my 20-year-old daughter on Friday and she has requested seafood. The weather forecast looks good so far, so I'd love to be able to sit outdoors. My first two thoughts were BlackSalt or Pesce, but I don't think either of them has an outdoor area, although I may be wrong about that. DC is preferred, but we can also go to MD or VA. I'd really appreciate any suggestions you have.

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  1. Sea Catch in Georgetown is lovely! They have a fantastic outdoor patio overlooking the canal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanielK

      I second the recommendation of Sea Catch. The open air tables next to the canal are the loveliest outdoor dining spot in the city. The food is not the best seafood in town (I prefer Black Salt) but it's perfectly decent.

    2. Hank's Oyster Bar in the Dupont Circle area has outdoor seating and great seafood. I love the lobster rolls and fried seafood but their daily specials are also usually really nice.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Elyssa

        I just checked and it turns out (according to Hank's website) that the restaurant in DC is only open for dinner. But the Alexandria location is open for lunch on Fridays (just don't know if it has outdoor seating).

        1. re: Elyssa

          Be aware Lauman that Hank's does not have the traditional variety of seafood and preparation as a lot of other seafood places. It's a take on the New England "crab shacks," so definitely look at the menu beforehand.

          We all know this is Elyssa's favorite place!

          1. re: Jacey

            It's actually not my favorite restaurant. I haven't had a chance to even eat there in about 6 months. But I do like it because it reminds me of home and the New England seafood shacks (it's really not crab shacks in's either lobster or seafood) I grew up with.

            But I think it is certainly considered a seafood restaurant around here.

            1. re: Elyssa

              I like Hank's but they don't take reservations (Dupont location anyway),

              2 people shouldn't be a problem. waltzed in with 5 adults and 2 kids right about opening and were fine.3 adults in prime caused a wait (not ridiculous)

        2. While not the most amazing restaurant, Grillfish in West End has great outside seating, a variety of seafood dishes and very reasonable.

          1. Thanks to DanielK and BrianV for the recommendation of Sea Catch. We had a leisurely lunch there this afternoon on their very nice deck overlooking the canal. Exactly what I was hoping for. The food was fine, not exceptional, but the setting made up for it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Lauman

              Picture perfect weather for it, too!

              Could you tell us what you ordered? I can't say I've eaten exceptionally there, but what I have had I thought was better than "fine", so I'm curious to see if I ordered differently.

              Most of my trips there start with raw bar items at the bar (half price during happy hour, along with half priced infused vodka drinks, as they infuse their own vodkas in-house), and then a simply prepared fish at the table.

              1. re: DanielK

                Yes, the weather and the setting were ideal! This lunch was to allow my daughter and I a chance to catch up as she has just returned home from college and the setting was absolutely perfect for the purpose of our get-together.

                Daniel, I'm sure we ordered much differently than you do typically. It was lunch and my companion was under 21, so infused vodka drinks were not involved. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it even more, had they been! We only ordered one entree each, so we didn't sample the breadth of the menu, by any means. I had the grilled rainbrow trout with roasted corn, tomatoes and watercress. The trout was a bit overcooked and both the fish and vegetables were swimming in a butter-based sauce that had not been mentioned on the menu. Perhaps my disappointment was a matter of expectations as I was not expecting such a heavy sauce, or in fact, any sauce at all. I was expecting a simply grilled fish and simply roasted vegetables. My daughter ordered the crabcakes and she said she enjoyed them, but I did not sample them myself.

                1. re: Lauman

                  Thanks for reporting back. I hope your trout was just a miss, and that the restaurant hasn't slipped too far.