Thursday, January 17, 2008


The team behind Hook in Georgetown is committed to serving eco-friendly food. To the patron, this translates into a menu that changes daily to reflect whatever sustainable fish are in season and available and that incorporates locally grown produce as well as humane meat and dairy products. The philosophy also inspires the décor: stark white walls festooned with blow-up pictures of your entrees before they were seafood. It looks and feels like an aquarium, with the photographs themselves looking a bit worse for wear after a year.

I have had lunch at Hook twice for Restaurant Week and have enjoyed both meals. Sustainable fishing has many merits, but from the purely self-serving angle, it gives you the opportunity to eat fish not commonly found in restaurants (last August I had barracuda for an entrée). There were three of us yesterday, so we had the opportunity to taste about half of the Restaurant Week Menu for the day.

The first course consisted of a Tuna Crudo (Raw Tuna prepared three ways, this time featuring a distinct citrus note as well as some nuts), Pumpkin and Potato Soup with a Sea Urchin foam (the soup itself was wonderful but the foam seemed to be there for no other reason than to introduce a seafood element into it) and Grilled Calamari with Potato Salad and fresh Pesto. The calamari was grilled over charcoal and had a wonderful smoky taste; pairing it with potato salad (made with a mustard base) had never occurred to me but I look forward to replicating it.

For second course we ordered the Bluefish, Carbonara Pasta with Crab, and Rockfish. I’ve tasted the Bluefish during my past visit and it remains a solid dish, served French-style over a bed of pureed potatoes. The Carbonara was filling but not as heavy as we expected, and topping it with citrusy-onion rings was a great way to balance out the bacon. The Rockfish – as solid as a tuna steak – was served with a small fried cake that tasted (but was not) barley, reminiscent of falafel.

We could have done without desserts but this is, after all, Restaurant Week. We ordered the Poached Pear (with red wine and a sweet creamy cheese), a lovely Panna Cotta (with just the right amount of citrus and dusted with espresso) and something called Tic-Tac-Toe, which is a pastry chef’s take on home made Oreos and a shortbread cookie. Most people (myself included) probably ordered this out of sheer curiosity and it is always nice to see the kitchen not take itself too seriously.

Hook Restaurant
3241 M Street, NW
Washington DC
Hook on Urbanspoon

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