All is well in the nation’s capital this spring: the Nationals are hitting it out of the park, the craft cocktail scene is beginning to hit its stride, and clever cooks are relying on well prepared, new riffs on classic seafood standbys. Lobster and fish and chips are here to keep people fed while they sweat off a few pounds walking to and from the Metro, so dive in, chill out, and stay cool with all the new menus.
Acadiana, District Commons, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, and Penn Commons
Whether it’s a Friday night snack after a game at the Verizon Center, or a south-of-the-border interpretation of fish and chips, Acadiana, District Commons, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, and Penn Commons are cooking with gas. Acadiana is serving Louisiana-style specials like crispy catfish coated in cornmeal with a side of chips, or what the Brits call chips; District Commons serves their chips with fried fish coated in beer batter made with local ale from Atlas Brew Works; Fuego Cocina y Tequileria has local blue catfish fried in a Pacifico beer batter served with yucca fries and Valentina salsa picante; and Penn Commons is hosting a Wisconsin Fish Fry after 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, after 8 p.m. on Sunday that is only $12 a person.
Blue Duck Tavern
Blue Duck Tavern is on a roll this spring with intriguing things to imbibe from the bar, with or without alcohol. Cherry Quina, made with Plymouth Gin, house-made cherry tonic with Bittercube cherry-bark bitters, and club soda could actually be the cherry on top; don’t miss Kiss from a Rose made with Hornitos tequila, Los Nauhales mescal, peppercorns, and lemongrass wild rose syrup; or be as cool as cucumber with the Pepperoiska made with Belvedere unfiltered vodka, cilantro, cucumber, black pepper, and lemon. You can sit these out with virgin sippers like the District Ricky made with snap pea juice, lime, brown sugar, and soda; Lavender Lemonade made with lavender tea, and simple syrup; and Soda and Spice prepared with house-made carrot vanilla soda and orange.
The Met Bethesda
From soft shell crabs to their regular Taco Tuesdays, The Met Bethesda has been getting DMV diners to head to the mall for good eats, and their latest special menu launch is Twin Lobster Wednesdays. From Wednesday, June 17, until Wednesday, September 2, you can savor four succulent lobster dishes that include the twin Maine lobsters, steamed or grilled; there’s the salt and pepper fried twin Maine lobsters served with stir-fried vegetables and a house-made ponzu sauce, a classic lobster roll with chunks of fresh Maine lobster on a buttered roll, and the lobster mac n cheese with four cheeses topped with buttery bread crumbs. Available Wednesdays only from 5 p.m. to close.
Sushiko is omakase heaven, but did you know they do killer cocktails too? Still one of the best sushi palaces in the DMV, they’ve now put their considerable talents to crafting cocktails. Where else can you say, “Kanpai!” and do so with Japanese-themed cocktails? Sushiko's talented drinks team, led by Sue Ngyuen and Ian Chyun, have three new signature drinks you can enjoy on the patio or in the Zen-like restaurant’s dining room. In Japanese, minka means “farmhouse” and the Minka Old Fashioned brings new meaning to the now passé term farm-to-table, prepared with muddled cherry and orange, Maker's Mark, and Lindera Farms honey vinegar. Ease your way into sipping Sake with the Sagano Saketini. Named after the Sagano bamboo forest outside Kyoto, Japan, this cool cocktail is made with Namachozu sake, cucumber liquor, green tea, and simple syrup. Last, but not least is the spicy Shichimi Garu made with chili-infused vodka, pineapple juice, white cranberry, lemonade, and just a touch of Shichimi Japanese seven-spice powder.