Saturday, March 31, 2007

DG and Grillfish

It was a really crazy week at work so I was glad to have happy hour plans on Friday and an excuse to create a stopping point and try not to work over the weekend and to enjoy the two day vacation. I met Chan for happy hour on David Greggory's patio, which was a perfect spot to enjoy the crisp, sunny and only slightly warm spring evening. I had a couple of glasses of the house red wine, what was a Tempranillo (as usual), and Chan had a couple glasses of Dogfish Head. They ran out of the brew and so he tried an Aggenbach, which he liked but said it was a bit light for his tastes. We shared the DG Pizza which is a steal at $5 during happy hour, and comes with spinach pesto, chopped tomatoes, a mix of mushrooms and a couple of gooey cheeses. I only eat the cheese and topping and just had two small slices, so it was the perfect snack and the savory notes paired nicely with the wine. I walked across the street to Grillfish to meet my dinner group. I arrived just in time to head to the large table with everyone to choose a seat. I started with a glass of Pinot Noir which was fruity and well-balanced. They were pushing fun martinis and many folks opted for the Pineapple-Infused Vodka Martini or one of the coconut drinks. I had a sip of a Coconut Martini and it actually was pretty good. The menus, including a value-oriented wine list, are written on chalkboards and are displayed on the walls throughout the restaurant. A couple of the most popular dishes are Grilled Shrimp Scampi or Clams in Garlic and Wine. They start you receive chunky, crusty bread with butter and a rich and tangy olive tapenade. I think mussels are almost always a lovely appetizer, so I shared the Mussels with Tomato and Garlic with a tablemate. The mussels were large in size and the broth well-seasoned and tasty, and they gave you plenty extra to use to soak up the bread. One of my neighbors sampled the Ginger Calamari, which was lightly breaded, well-cooked and the ginger flavor really paired perfectly with the crispy breading on the squid. I realize we were at a seafood place but I really wanted a salad, so I ordered the Grilled Chicken Caesar. The salad was huge and the portion of chicken was more than ample. The meat was grilled nicely and the dressing had a nice "anchovyish" tang. With a little extra pepper it was delicious. I love Arctic Char, and it often is hard to find on menus, so I recommended that to a few people who ordered it and really enjoyed it. I had a bite and it tasted quite a bit like salmon last night, but without the oily quality salmon often imparts. The fish dishes come with a big scoop of rice and dipping sauces - sweet onion or garlicky tomato - to round out the meals. We all were too full for dessert, though the Brownie Sundae with Caramel Pecan Sauce and Banana Cheesecake were tempting to a couple of folks. It was an enjoyable and relaxing Friday night dinner for sure.

David Greggory
2030 M Street in NW DC

1200 New Hampshire Avenue in NW DC

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