Food & Drink

The first annual DC soft-shell crab crawl starts now

Published On 08/08/2013 Published On 08/08/2013
dc soft shell crawl sushi crab
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1. Kaz Sushi Bistro 1915 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006 (Downtown)

Downtown's Kaz has been slinging sushi rolls to DC's political elites since 1999 -- no surprise, given its walking distance from The White House. Its minimally decorated space is great for dates because most of its tables seat two directly across from one another, making for top-notch one-on-one time. The food ain't bad either (ok, that's a serious understatement): modern takes on Japanese sushi rolls with snapper, yellowtail, and the like are matched with plates of steaming hot steaks and vegetables.

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2. Equinox 818 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20006 (Downtown)

Not to be confused with the chain of gyms Kanye made famous, Equinox is James Beard Award-winning Chef Todd Gray's mid-Atlantic culinary experiment, where upscale plates with minimalist presentation are served without pretension. As elegant as the white-tablecloth setting is (it's practically neighbors with the White House, after all), the service and plates aren't snobby, only inventive. The menu's dominated by locally sourced seafood courses like BBQ salmon filet, roasted redfish, and pistachio-crusted tout, plus a smattering of chicken, pasta, and vegan options.

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3. Woodward Table 1430 H St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Downtown)

Housed inside the historic Woodward Building, the elegant Woodward Table boasts an expansive dining room and bar warmed by a hearth oven, which churns out rustic plates of artisan flatbreads, house-made charcuterie, roasted shrimp, and cast-iron skillet corn bread. It's hard to resist those comforting options, but the menu also features refined American dishes like potato-crusted Alaskan halibut and cider-braised pork shank, plus chicken & waffles and croque madame at brunch. Adjacent to the restaurant is Woodward Takeout Food (lovingly abbreviated to WTF), a counter-serve offering a huge selection of homemade baked goods, signature sandwiches, soups, and salads.

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4. DC Coast 1401 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Downtown)

This haute-American spot specializes in local (East Coast, that is) and seasonal seafood.

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5. Occidental Grill & Seafood 1475 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Downtown)

Dine on fresh fishes amongst portraits of Washington's who's-who at this classy White House-adjacent seafoodery.

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6. The Hamilton 600 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Capitol Hill)

Within walking distance of the White House itself, this traditional American eatery blends upscale-casual dining with live music. There’s a noticeable maritime focus on the menu, as regulars salivate over popular plates like jumbo lump crab cake, gingerly plated over a swoop of vibrant zucchini puree or available as a sandwich with fries and slaw. The decor blends modern tastes with Belle Époque flair (think mahogany woodwork interspersed by framed contemporary artwork, lit by art nouveau-inspired chandeliers), but the vibe is casual and unpretentious, making it a worthy outing for locals and visitors alike.

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7. Bibiana Osteria & Enoteca 1100 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005 (Downtown)

This awe-worthy spot by Franklin Square sits comfortably at the heigh of luxury with 120 seats sitting amidst a Milano-inspired design with glass artwork, soft lighting, and black leather/dark, polished wood accents. Prices are going to be a little higher than your average Italian joint, but you're paying for what you get -- house-made pasta dishes, grilled, seasonal fishes, chicken, and duck along with a handful of (what else) artisan, wood-fired pizzas.