Tuesday, March 17, 2009



When I first saw Hook listed on Food & Wine's web site, the name admittedly conjured up images of wait staff donning pirate shirts and clapboard walls adorned with life preservers. However as I read further, I realized Hook's ode to the sea runs much deeper.

Washington, DC's Hook first opened its doors in April 2007, and features sustainable seafood and local organic produce. Located on bustling M Street in Georgetown, the restaurant's historic brick exterior hides a sleek white dining room, complete with alluring semi-sheer curtains and a sprinkling of DC's preppy elite. Despite the fact that it was a busy Friday night, our server spent a considerable amount of time explaining the restaurant's philosophy of developing relationships with fishermen who follow environmentally sustainable practices. He proceeded to walk us through every entree on the menu, detailing the geographic origins of the fish.

Crudo: Shellfish Combination for 2 - $42

Lobster, prawns, Taylor Bay Scallops, Calamari, Oysters and Mussels. Fish my favorite way: raw and pure, and a jet-lag free visit to Japan, Canada, New York and Maine.

Grilled Calamari (Rhode Island) - Potato Salad, Basil Walnut Pesto - $12

Tender and smoky, this dish was a standout for J. The calamari was grilled to perfection, and the combination of pesto and squid was reminiscent of fare we once enjoyed in Cinque Terre.

Arctic Char (Iceland) - Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, Celeriac Puree - $27

Thanksgiving dinner meets Omega-3s. I loved the combination of flavors and textures, especially the crispy fish skin dressed with the delicate puree.

MoonFish (Hawaii) - Fennel, De Puy Lentils, Tomato Coulis - $27

J found this fish to be similar in mouth feel and firmness to tuna, but with a silkiness that shimmied on the tongue.

With more wine bottles falling in the triple-digit range than the "under $40" zone, Hook's wine list did have us walking the plank. That said, given that it is Georgetown--where tiny brick row homes can run a cool $1 million--I suppose the $630 Blanc de Blanc is on the menu for a reason.

- K


3421 M Street NW
Washington, DC

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