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Oct 5, 2009 08:12 PM

Your Favorite Restaurant Serving Seafood Near West Fall's Church / Vienna Area?

I'd like to treat a friend to a nice dinner when I visit her in November. I know she loves fish and other seafood, but doesn't like anything very cheesy or very spicy. Any particularly notable suggestions for the area? Really, any price range and any cuisine would be fine.

(For the record, I already plan on sneaking out to Nizzam's and Present Vietnamese on my own.)

Thanks, 'hounds!

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  1. Miu Kee on Rt. 50 near Present does a good job with Cantonese seafood. A whole dungeoness crab will set you back $40 but it's delicious. In Tysons, there's Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, which does high-end seafood in many preparations. Farther west you have PassionFish, which I haven't been to (been to others in the mini-chain, generally good).

    2 Replies
      1. re: Ericandblueboy

        I really like Passionfish. The fish was really very fresh and you could get simple or more complex preparations. I really like their soups. I have only eat at Monterey Fish Grotto in Pittsburgh, but it was normally good too. I think Passionfish is slightly more creative.

      2. I've not ordered seafood from them, but Sweetwater has a few items on their menu and I bet they do a good job.

        11 Replies
        1. re: Dennis S

          Avoid Sweetwater. They serve an average crab cake and overcooked trout. Not worth it. Monterey Bay Fish Grotto is worthy of consideration along with Legal Seafood (natch) in the adjacent Tysons Galleria Mall. The Palm at Tysons offers an extensive fresh fish selection on its daily menu. I have eaten at all three and vouch for them fish-wise.

          I echo the comment on Passion Fish. PF has a wonderful selection of very fresh and unusual fish flown in each and every day. Plus, the sushi chef (who trained in Japan for seven years) and the chefs who prepare all fish entrees are true artists. The quality and presentation of seafood at PF is one of the best in the DC area (tho its in Reston, a 15 minute drive from Falls Church).

          A number of higher rated Chinese restaurants have fresh fish tanks near the Route 7 & 50 corridor: Mark's and Fortune being at the top. Both have, IMHO, gone down in recent years but they do offer a number of interesting fresh fish Cantonese dishes. You can search this Board for further comments on both.

          1. re: wristband

            Yeah, I'm definitely looking into Mark's Duck House, but was a little put off by some of the downhill alerts I came across. Also, since it's seems duck-centric, is the seafood as good as the duck? Reading up about Fortune right now...

            Thanks, wristband!

            1. re: cimui

              Mark's Duck House is a standby, but don't expect excellence. It has gone downhill with new ownership.

              Give XO Taste across the street a try. Much better customer service and decor, along with great cantonese fare.


              If you're looking for a snazzy place, consider this in Falls Church.


              1. re: Chownut

                Thanks, Chownut! 2941 might be a little more snazzy than what I'm looking for (I haven't seen this friend in a while and don't want her to think I've become too fancy pants... :), but it does look like a lovely restaurant.

                Interestingly (since I haven't been to all that many places in NOVA), I have eaten at XO Taste and liked it.

                Good suggestions!

                1. re: Chownut

                  Chownut, I got over to XO for the first time yesterday, fantastic first lunch there! I started simple, just the special chopped roast pork over rice which came with a tasty egg drop soup with corn. The corn added a bit of sweetness to the egg drop soup, nice interpretation. Then the $7 special came out and it was a ton of food. Good amount of crispy, tasty skin, a little bit of fat to give it a bit more flavor. All in all, better than most of the meals I got in Beijing, and definitely better than any comparable dish here in the States. I am going to start working my way down the menu after my cholesterol test next week, this should be fun!
                  One question tho. Is this the type of restaurant where you take the bill to the cashier? I got the bill at the table then the waiter just looked at me from time to time, even though the money was in the tray. But when I brought the money to the cashier he seemed pissed off. I had left him $2 on a $7 tab, so I don't think he thought I stiffed him. Didn't bother me much, but I don't like to look like I don't know what I am doing, even if I don't know what I am doing. Grin

                  1. re: Ziv

                    "I started simple, just the special chopped roast pork over rice which came with a tasty egg drop soup with corn. The corn added a bit of sweetness to the egg drop soup, nice interpretation. Then the $7 special came out and it was a ton of food. Good amount of crispy, tasty skin, a little bit of fat to give it a bit more flavor."

                    This doesn't sound like seafood, but whatever. Did you have two entrees, or one? You said the tab was $7. I know the soup is complementary there, but the only time I got complemtary pork was when I asked what the difference between roast pork and roast pig was. It sounds like the "crispy, tasty skin, a little bit of fat" was the roast pig. That (along with roast pork over rice and a bunch of other stuff) is one of the $5 lunch specials. Tea is free, too. Too good a deal!

                    The waiter has always picked up my money there. It's only pho shops where you have to pay your bill at the cashier, and it seems they're all like that unless you just sit at the table so long after you've finished your meal that you look like a novice.

                    1. re: MikeR

                      I searched for XO Taste to praise it and to find out if it was a pay at the cashier and failed to realize I was posting on a seafood thread. Way to pay attention, self.
                      Mike, thanks for the heads up on the cashier deal, I really thought the waiter was expecting me to carry it up to the cashier, he looked at the money in the tray a couple times and just walked by. Not sure what the deal was. I don't care if the waiter didn't pick up my money quickly, the food is worth going back for.

                    2. re: Ziv

                      No, this is not cafeteria style. I usually put down money on the table and wait for the staff to pick it up.

                      I don't think you stiffed him, but if you put down a $10, maybe he was hoping you'd just get up and leave and he'd get the $3.

                      Maybe next time when he looks at you, you grab your money/bill and waive it at him.

              2. re: Dennis S

                Looks like a really nice place to chill out over beers... maybe I'll take myself there. :) Thanks for the heads up.

                1. re: cimui

                  And so it depends how discerning your friend really is. If they're not overly, I'd still bet on Sweetwater, or their cousin Artie's. I can only second PassionFish, and it's not that far.

                  If you ended up at PassionFish, you'll spend a solid dime to be sure. A good alternative in the same neighborhood (Reston) is El Manantial (search the board and you'll find it's a great hidden gem).

                  There's one place in Fairfax Corner - Bonefish grill I believe. I haven't been yet, but it may fit your bill the most.

                  1. re: Dennis S

                    El Manantial sounds like my kind of place, though it may not be to my friend's taste as much. I'm adding it to my Google Map of the area, for next time I swing through these parts. Too bad I only have two days this time! Thanks, again, Dennis.

              3. Sea Pearl., near the intersection of Gallows Road & Rte 29 (between Falls Church and Fairfax) does a nice job.

                7 Replies
                1. re: weezycom

                  Sea Pearl's menu sounds uber interesting on paper, weezycom. Not to put you on the spot, I hope, but if you have (or anyone else has) also eaten at Passion Fish or Monterey Bay Fish Grotto, please do let me know how the freshness of the fish/seafood and the quality of preparations at Sea Pearl compares.

                  1. re: cimui

                    I haven't eaten at PassionFish or MBF Grotto, so can't make that comparison for you. A good friend whose palate I trust has eaten at both Sea Pearl and MBF Grotto and liked MBF Grotto a little better but that was due to more menu choices at that time (about 8 months ago) that were New American influences than Asian influences.

                    1. re: weezycom

                      Very helpful -- thank you, again, weezycom!

                  2. re: weezycom

                    Hi Weezy, thanks again for the rec. I've made reservations at Sea Pearl (nice review of it on <<The Washington Post>> site: and look forward to the meal. I'm actually kind of hoping we can eat two back to back meals -- maybe a second dinner at Four Sisters across the street -- but I'm worried that my friend is not quite the glutton that I am.... :)

                    Chef Liao sounds like an interesting guy! He was "born in Kolkata, India to Chinese parents", and his wife is Vietnamese, it sounds like. Although "fusion" is a bit of a dirty word sometimes, I would be thrilled to find influences from three of my favorite cuisines and am so curious about how the influences would play out!

                    1. re: cimui

                      You'll have to let us know it stacks up for you.

                        1. re: cimui

                          If you're going to be in the general area of Sea Pearl, you're better off going to its sister restaurant called "Four Sisters."

                  3. I've been poking around online, today, following your leads. Clearly a lot of fantastic suggestions, here. I'm going to pick a few and ask my friend to make the final cut. Thank you!!!