Thursday, December 3, 2015

VA Eats: The Wharf

About a month ago we were deciding on a restaurant to go to for my mom's birthday.  Now, in the past few years, my mom's diet has been more vegetarian and pescatarian, so I thought a good idea would be to try out a seafood restaurant.  In the D.C. area, besides The Wharf in D.C. a great option more seafood restaurants is Old Town Alexandria.  As an aside, our family use to go to The Wharf all the time growing up.  Being from Kerala (in India) we eat a ton of seafood, so my mom was always looking for markets selling the freshest fish, and when we discovered The Wharf it reminded us of the fish markets and quality of fish in Kerala.  

In any case, sometimes for a more convenient trip and a little fancier style of dining, Old Town Alexandria is a great option.  My parents favorite seafood place in that neighborhood is The Fish Market, but with a limited seating area, we decided to check out The Wharf.  Now, sorry to confuse you, but The Wharf is the name of a restaurant in Old Town, not just the name of the area in D.C.  My mom, dad and I went to The Wharf for lunch on a chilly Saturday afternoon. None of us had dined there before, so with low expectations going in, we were pleasantly surprised.  

My parents both ordered the She Crab Soup, a spicy crab soup with cream and sherry.  I definitely should have ordered one myself - this soup was absolutely delicious, even better than the more common Manhattan (or Maryland) styled chowders we usually order.   I also enjoyed the nice side salad which was dressed with a honey mustard vinaigrette - great flavor!

A friend of my mom's recently introduced her to raw oysters, and she is now obsessed.  She's reeled my dad onto the raw oysters team too.  So, we had to place an order.  These were a little more briny than I care for, but my mom seemed to enjoy that flavor.  That's the case with oysters though, it really depends on what you like - clean + fresh, briny, creamy (I hate creamy!). 
My mom and I both ordered one of the specials of the day, the salmon stuffed with crab and crawfish, with a lemony cream sauce poured over.  This dish was mediocre, nothing spectacular, but just ok.  

On the other hand, my dad's order should probably get a little more attention and praise. He ordered a classic, fish and chips. Huge pieces of fish, huh?  They were fried to perfection, and the chips...well they were perfectly crispy on the outside and creamy soft on the inside.   I know this review is supposed to be about The Wharf, and while the chips were amazing (think crunchy outside, basically like mashed potatoes on the inside), I have to say Eammon's in Old Town Alexandria is even better, sorry The Wharf! 

All in all, while the soup was great, I'm not sure anything else I had at this restaurant merits a return visit.  

Rating:  C 

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