Sunday, June 12, 2011

Tackle Box - Cleveland Park

We're not shy about our love for Tackle Box in Georgetown. In fact, even the ever-frugal B wasn't mad when I bought FOUR Groupons for Tackle Box in a 6 month period. While we love Tackle Box, we don't get all jump-up-and-down-excited about schlepping to Georgetown. So, ever since I heard the old T-Box was spinning off a new Metro-accessible location in Cleveland Park, I've been staring out the car window wistfully every single time we drive up or down Connecticut Avenue. I'm like one of those creepy "open open open" moms in the Mervyn's commercials.*

* Just realized this is probably a California thing and you have NO idea what I'm talking about. Awesome!

Imagine my sheer delight when we got an email inviting us to check out the newly-opened Tackle Box in Cleveland Park. Free food and open bar at one of our favorite restaurants? I might have squealed.

The cool thing about Tackle Box is its focus on sustainability. We like to know where our seafood is coming from and try to make sustainable choices, but it isn't always easy when restaurant servers can't answer your questions. Tackle Box's commitment to serving sustainable seafood means you can rest easy knowing your fish isn't from an over-fished population.

The Cleveland Park location is noticeably larger than its Georgetown brother with lots of picnic table seating options.

A very large bar area serves up dangerously delicious drinks such as the Cleveland Park lemonade spiked with a healthy pour of vodka.

At the back of the restaurant is a gleaming kitchen ready to fill hungry tummies with lobster rolls (my favorite) and fried shrimp (B's favorite).

The menu at the Cleveland Park location seems more extensive than the Georgetown menu. It's possible that the Georgetown menu is equally as large but I never get past the lobster rolls. In Cleveland Park, you can fill any seafood desire with whole lobsters, grilled fish, and sandwiches. Landlubbers can still find tasty treats with the wood grilled portabella burger, local grass fed beef burger, or chorizo sausage.

If raw is how you like it, check out the oyster shucking area near the front of the restaurant.

We were lucky enough to sample the steamed Maine lobster with grilled corn on the cob and coleslaw. The lobster was sweet and, when dunked in the drawn butter sauce, felt like summer time on a plate.

B went nuts for the wood-grilled tilapia with lemon garlic aioli. Tackle Box offers a number of sauces to choose from, and we're happy to report that we liked the aioli as much as our usual favorite, basil walnut pesto. Go for the grilled broccoli if you're looking for a fun vegetable side dish.

The oysters flew into people's bellies so fast that we didn't get to partake, but I was able to snap a photo of the plump beauties served in a bowl of ice with lemon, cocktail sauce, and oyster crackers.

You might be thinking that you can't believe a word we're saying because the food was free. However, past experience is the best indicator of future success, and we've put our money where our seafood-loving mouths are many, many times at Tackle Box. The seafood is fresh, the people are friendly (xoxo Idrissa, our favorite cashier in Georgetown), and now you don't have to have a popped collar on your pastel polo to enjoy Tackle Box.

Second Thoughts from B

I'm hesitant to heap any more praise onto Tackle Box. Not because they can't live up to it - clearly they can - but because after a while it seems too good to be true. Instead, I'd like to point out that there is no place we seek out more and no place we recommend more often. In fact, we can't seem to have house guests without taking them to Tackle Box (except the silly ones who are convinced that they don't like seafood - I'm convinced they've never had Tackle Box).

Normally J gets a lobster roll and I order whatever Idrissa tells me to. The man with the golden smile has never led me astray, but usually I'm enamored with the bluefish. At the Cleveland Park grand opening, I was equally excited about the lobster and tilapia offerings. Tilapia is another favorite of mine so that's no surprise. Lobster on the other hand is something I rarely order. I usually prefer the flavor and texture of crab, which tends to also be cheaper. But this lobster could make me a convert. Served with some of the best corn on the cob you'll ever eat and I was in heaven (I was also in need of some dental floss).

The new location is larger and more accessible. The food, at least at this grand opening, has not been hurt by the expansion. Now if they could only find an Idrissa to greet us every time we show up...
Tackle Box on Urbanspoon


rohan said...

I'm going to have to check out Tackle Box some time. The food looks awesome. I originally stopped by because I wanted to invite you to our DC Food Bloggers Survey. Trying to find out more about our blog community and also about our readers. Mind taking a look?

Let me know and I'll add you the list of sites taking part. Should be fun! Keep up the great work over here.


Sophiegoose said...

I'm going to DC in July and will have to try this place! Nothing like amazing seafood