Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tackle Box

One Fish, Two Fish, Expensive Fish, Blue Fish.... While we'd love to write about Dr. Seuss, this post is about Tackle Box, a casual seafood restaurant in Georgetown.

Tackle Box is the casual cousin to Hook, the upscale seafood restaurant next door. I've never been to a traditional New England clam bake or lobster boil or anything like that, but thanks to Tackle Box, I feel like I have. The restaurant serves up top quality and sustainable(!) seafood in an atmosphere that can best be described as "nautical chic."

As we waited for some friends to arrive, we sampled the fried shrimp and sweet potato fries.

The fries were average but the fried shrimp were fantastic. They had a tangy, salty kick and were perfectly crispy. We'd come back to Tackle Box just for the shrimp (not too often though, because these definitely aren't every day dishes).

After a hot day kayaking on the Potomac, we were in need of liquid refreshment and the strawberry lemonade hit the spot. However, at $4.50 a glass (and not a very large glass), I don't think I'll be ordering it again.

I've read a ton of reviews of Tackle Box and they all mentioned the lobster roll, so I had to try it. As you know, I'm not from the East Coast and had no idea what a lobster roll was. According to our all-knowing friends at Wikipedia, a traditional lobster roll is associated with the state of Maine and contains "the fresh cooked meat of a one-pound lobster, tossed with Miracle Whip and served on a grilled hot dog bun or similar roll, served so that the opening is on the top rather than on the side." I'm really glad I read this description after I ate the lobster roll because I'm not a big mayo fan and try not to go anywhere near Miracle Whip. Luckily, Tackle Box's version was heavy on the lobster meat and light on the mayo. It was really tasty!

When ordering for B, I asked the cashier what he'd recommend. He suggested the grilled bluefish with walnut pesto sauce. It came with a side of corn on the cob and a cornbread muffin. The fish was outstanding: perfectly cooked with a sauce that was packed full of flavor. The only drawback? This little fishy was pretty small for the $13 price tag.

The corn and cornbread muffin were average. Next time we'd probably opt for other sides such as the grilled asparagus or mac n' cheese.

I thought the quality of food at Tackle Box was outstanding and I like the casual setting. I'm willing to pay more for quality, sustainable seafood but because of the premium prices, Tackle Box won't be on our list of regular lunch places but it's a great place to take visitors when you want to show them Georgetown.

Second Thoughts from B

J mentioned that there are cheaper seafood options in DC but I would argue that there are few that are better. Yes you're paying for the top of the line ingredients but you're also tasting each of these elements in the best possible way. A wise man once said, "Keep it simple, stupid!" and that is exactly what Tackle Box does. While I'm sure they have the skill to develop complex, bold, and flavorful sauces and dishes, there is no doubt that the central piece to each bite is the seafood. Good for them for sticking to their guns and keeping their priorities straight.

But enough speaking in the abstract, let's talk about the food! Seldom do you go to a restaurant and leave saying that "that was one of the best ------- that I've ever had." Well this is the first time in a long time that I've been able to say that twice. The shrimp and the bluefish were that good...

As for the shrimp, the crust was crunchy and perfectly spiced but the notable thing was the shrimp itself. It was so tender that it had a texture bordering that of a perfectly cooked scallop. It was an absolutely amazing contrast in textures and flavors.

The fish, on the other hand, was simply perfect. The sauce was certainly good and would have been great over a lesser piece of fish, but by keeping it simple, it was perfect. I just wish there was more of it.
Tackle Box on Urbanspoon


Amy said...

Best friend shrimp=TackleBox (did I just post this twice?)

Alix said...

Best fried shrimp, actually in two posts