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Mar 24, 2011 08:55 AM

Date Night in D.C.

My girlfriend of 3.5 years (the young lady in my profile pic) and I are starting date night. It just so happens to be in D.C. (I've begin to like D.C. more and more) I want to surprise her with a good seafood spot. I'm willing to spend about $30 per person, not to mention it's gonna be on a Saturday night. Some say Legal Sea Food, but I want to know what the D.C. ChowHound followers thinks. Later..

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  1. Ack! No! RUN! RUN from Legal Sea Food!

    Cafe Atlantico, Old Ebbitt, BlackSalt, Hook, Kaz Sushi Bistro are all significantly better than LSF.

    Cafe Atlantico
    405 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004

    Kaz Sushi Bistro
    1915 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

    4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

    3 Replies
    1. re: Flaxen_Vixen

      They mostly are, but he's not getting out of Hook, Blacksalt, Cafe Atlantico or Kaz at $30 per person.

      1. re: will_5198

        The sad thing is that he wouldn't get out of Legal Sea Foods for less than $30 either.

      2. re: Flaxen_Vixen

        Legal's wouldn't be my recommendation but it's not the worst place he could end up, and I don't think Old Ebbitt is significantly better.

      3. If you can hold off until this place opens, it might be a fantastic choice:

        There's also Hank's Oyster Bar at 17th and Q, which is charming and delicious and pretty reasonably priced. And although I haven't eaten there, I have two friends who love Grillfish in Foggy Bottom.

        (Chowhound keeps making Hank's be in Alexandria. There's a second location there, but the one in DC is in East Dupont at 17th and Q).

        1200 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20036

        Hank's Oyster Bar
        1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

        6 Replies
        1. re: katecm

          1st & M NE???? with no chef identified yet?

          it might be a fantastic choice, or just a fantasy, or a crapshoot. Once they get a chef and open the doors I'll consider giving it a shot. maybe.

          1. re: av8r

            I'll give it a shot regardless. Even if Gray finds someone out of nowhere, I'm tempted to trust his judgment, you know?

            1. re: av8r

              It's a Todd Gray restaurant----it's all about East coast seafood. It's very likely going to be fantastic. Chef Gray isn't just going to throw some schmoe in the kitchen.

            2. re: katecm

              Is there a name for this restaurant yet?

              1. re: Hungrierthanever

                Sorry, I thought it was in the article. Watershed.

                1. re: katecm

                  My mistake, it was, I thought that Watershed was the neighborhood.

            3. Thanks everyone! If you have any others please post, I want to make this special and romantic.

              2 Replies
                1. re: agarnett100

                  They also just redid the entire restaurant. It's in my neighborhood so I've eaten there a few times. Very simple preps. Nothing too fancy (nor too impressive). Hopefully with the restaurant redecoration they also did something about the so-so service.

              1. I've never eaten at Oceanaire, but it occurs to me that I haven't seen it mentioned by anyone on Chowhound in ages. Has anyone been there at all recently?

                1 Reply
                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                  I just had lunch there the other day. It's still typical Oceannaire, but damn, the plain grilled scallops are exactly what scallops should be. Flawless. BUT they're something like $34 just for the four or five scallops, without any sides, so pricewise, not worth the OP looking into.

                2. Legal's really isn't that bad. I'm from Boston and we still eat there (and here when I want a little taste from home).

                  There are not a ton of seafood restaurants where you can just spend $30/person. I imagine this just includes entrees (not drinks, tax, appetizers etc). It's very low-key and casual but Tacklebox is quite good and fits your budget. There is no table service (order at the front) and you sit at picnic tables but the blue fish is excellent.

                  Another more affordable option is Hank's Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle. I love this place because they do New England seafood right.

                  You might also want to graze on some of the seafood apps at Acadiana at the bar or see if they have any happy hour deals.

                  Hank's Oyster Bar
                  1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

                  901 New York Ave NW Ste 200A, Washington, DC 20001

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Elyssa

                    It seems like Hank's Oyster Bar is a pretty good place. I don't mind spending at least $45 per person to make sure we enjoy ourselves.

                    Hank's Oyster Bar
                    1026 King St Ste 1, Alexandria, VA 22314

                    1. re: Hungrierthanever

                      Well then Hank's will be definitely can have a nice meal there for $45/person. (Plus they don't serve dessert...only pieces of chocolate after your meal. Afterward walk over to Mr. Yogato for some fro-yo).

                      1. re: Hungrierthanever

                        I love Hank's and definitely think it's a great place. Contrary to what some said, if $30/person is for entree alone (not drink & tax, etc.), then Hook is do-able and a great option.