New DC Restaurant: Hook
As F&W’s DC reporter and blogger extraordinaire Amanada McClements reported last week, Washington is abuzz with new restaurants. One I’m dying to try: chef Barton Seaver's Hook. I met Seaver briefly when he was working with famed Spanish chef José Andrés at Jaleo. Since he wanted to learn more about wine, he took on some part-time hours at the DC branch of the wine retailer Best Cellars, where I also used to work. We had a great conversation about fish—he was so passionate and knowledgeable about cooking it and hoped to someday have his own fish-centric restaurant. After I moved to New York City, Seaver became executive chef at a lovely little neighborhood spot, Café Saint-Ex, and a cozy small-plate restaurant a few doors down, Bar Pilar. Now I’m thrilled he finally has his own place. Dishes from Hook’s current menu include blackfin tuna (a much better choice than the endangered bluefin variety) with pototo-parsnip cake, basil-walnut pesto and grilled lemon and wild ivory salmon (an albino oddity that’s trendy, but still sustainable) with mushroom ragout and pine-nut vinaigrette. Seaver also put together an inspired wine list, with plenty of sparkling wines and other fish-friendly bottles, that's super-affordable to boot. I haven’t even tried the place but I’m already hooked.