I had the great privilege of enjoying dinner at the sustainable seafood restaurant Hook in Washington DC tonight, during Capitol Hill Oceans Week. My dining partner was Sam Fromartz, author of Organic, Inc. and friend of chef Barton Seaver.
OK, this was tough duty but somebody had to do it. Hook is a great place to spend some time, and the staff were friendly and extremely knowledgable about the seafood on the menu. The first remarkable thing I noticed was that everything on the menu was sustainable. There was not a single doubtful fish or shellfish. That's a tremendous achievment, and a credit to chef Seaver's hard work.
But most importantly, the food was wonderful. The crudo were fabulous, and Sam and I went all out and sampled every one of the 8 items. My favorite was the rainbow trout roe and Sam loved the ivory king salmon. I had the blackfin tuna entree, which was as good as tuna gets, and Sam had the most perfectly cooked sablefish which was amazing. Sablefish (aka black cod) are the favorite fish of some northwest seafood fans, and Seaver's was perfectly cooked thanks to his secret, a 100% humidity 150 degree F oven. It was also nice for me as a fish person to see the fish called by it's real name and not the more popular "market name" of blackcod. The salads and deserts were also very nice. Chef Seaver was generous with his time visiting with us as his restaurant filled to capacity with people having a great time. The wines recommended by the staff were also the perfect complement to the great seafood.
Chef Joshua Whigham graciously stopped by the table to chat also, and described his fishing trip in Tobago where he helped land some blackfin tuna and got a little white-knuckled fishing from a small boat while learning how their fish got from ocean to table.
Eating at Hook is a terrific experience that shows the world that sustainability can be fun and delicious. I recommend Hook to one and all as the place to go for seafood when you're in DC.