I had a free evening on the 4th of July and headed downtown early where it was quite deserted as everyone was home or on the mall.
DC COAST(www.dccoast.com at 14th & K Streets NW) is one of our nicest restaurants and I haven't been in ages. The décor is still definitive after 17 years with 5 giant oval mirrors above the bar and that awesome giant mermaid statute at the entrance. DC Coast has lasted as its neighbors have closed , opened, changed names and so forth; it is an institution. I was escorted in amongst numerous Miss USA contestants and it seems the beauty pageant was in town this weekend!
I had my heart set on the SUMMER CRAB FEST! at $55 ($80 with paired wines) and it was a deal and a steal and I ended up taking home tons of food, It is offered every Saturday during the summer and should not be missed. I felt hungry and did not realize that the $55 fest was so huge, so I ordered a 1/2 dozen oysters split between the Wicomico Creeks (Virginia) and Malpeques (Prince Edward Is) and latter were not anywhere near as tasty or succulent as our Chesapeake Wicomicos, which were superb with a glass of Cline North Coast 2013 Vioginier to start.
Warm puffy rolls and whipped butter arrived and I ate only 1/2 a roll knowing so much was to follow.
An amuse of coconut fired shrimp with napa cabbage and ginger ponzu vinaigrette arrived which was more like a thick dipping sauce than a vinaigrette, but super tasty nonetheless.
First in the set menu came the Maryland Crab Bisque, a lighter than usual bisque in a cup, yet loaded with pieces of crab for texture and flavor, with Sherry Forth and Old Bay Oyster Crackers. It was super tasty and the sherry was just right foil to the peppery bisque.
A glass (well 1/2 glass pours were the pairings) of Taittinger Brut was sublime and fun.
The second course was a Crab Tower Salad made up of a creamy Crab Salad over a Fried Green Tomato, creamy delicious Avocado, Frisee, mache, Basil Vinaigrette and Lime Mustard Aioli. I loved this dish as it was also light, but very complex with bursting flavors and paired with a perfect Chablis 2011 from Christian Moreau in Burgundy.
The main course was a revelation and I was surprised when so much arrived. The plate had a pure Crab Cake paired with a Softshell Tempura cooked to perfection and some slices of Crab Andouille. On the side was a Crab (really loaded with pieces of crab) Hollandaise that was super on the fried softshell. There were three small cast iron mini-pots with the sides and I have been eating them ever since:
Truffle Potato Salad, Sweet Corn Succotash and Creamed Spinach loaded with Garlic. Wow, was I happy, but very full. A Chianti Classico 2013 from Castellare Di Castellina was a light red that went superbly with all this rich and heavy seafood. I honestly expected a white, but the red was perfect.
I felt gluttonous, but not too much when the TV over the bar announced the winner of the Coney island Hopt Dog eating contest ringing in at 62 franks!
Dessert was a monstrous piece of the best ever Key Lime Pie and when it arrived I could smell the Toasted Meringue wafting through the room. The crust was Ginger Graham Cracker and there were large drizzles of Island Rum Dulce di Leche that was caramelly to die for. Normally a Quady Essencia is paired with this and I had asked my excellent server Leo to switch it out for another as I felt an orange wine with Key Lime was wrong. My choice of the Barboursville 2007 Malvaxia Passato was indeed sheer perfection if I may say so.
Three mignardises sent me home and I think they were as follows:
Apricot Pate de Fruit
Apricot Pate de Fruit
Hazelnut Chocolate Bar --called a cookie but very thick and rich.
Lemon Poppy Seed cookie with Raspberry.
What a true treat to return to DC Coast and still feel like family after all these years, and the food is still top notch!