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PassionFish – Restaurant Week Dinner



Original Posting on http://diningindc.blogspot.com
February 19, 2009
11960 Democracy Dr., Reston

I have reviewed three other Passion Food Hospitality (PFH) Group restaurants before such as Ceiba, DC Coast, and Acadiana. Each restaurant has their own expertise. Ceiba is Neuvo Latina cuisine, DC Coast is local seafood, Acadiana is what the name suggests, Cajun Southern cooking. I was anxious to visit their newest sister, PassionFish in Reston, VA. The website mentions that the restaurant focuses on “Global” seafood.
The dining room decor and design resembles the other Passion Food restaurants. It’s open, clean, crisp, and modern except because this space was newly built, probably just for them it is much larger than the other restaurants. I’m not sure about the exact table count. Hmm… I could look into this. This dining space like the others offer diners remarkable views of the kitchen at work. This seems to be a signature of their establishments. I loved that I could see from my table Mike Yarger, General Manager checking each plate before it goes out. The floating glass chandeliers are gorgeous and the glass staircase is remarkable(see photo to the left).
It’s also the little things, the small touches that makes a restaurant it’s own. PassionFish continues their central theme to the table top with flatware with fish tails and hugging Koi salt-n-pepper shakers. I took a lot more pictures, but I can’t include them all here. (see photo to the right). My good longtime friend Rick and I were seated on the upper level at the top of the floating glass staircase. The view of the large dining room was quite impressive.
I was surprised and pleased to learn that the Restaurant Week menu offered all of their regular menu entrees with the exception of the lobster and there was a small surcharge. First course offerings included two kinds of Ceviche, a mixed green salad; Caesar salad; Louisiana seafood gumbo; lobster-and-roasted-butternut-squash bisque; blue-crab-and-corn chowder; Peruvian-style ceviche; Yucatan shrimp ceviche “cocktail”; and trio of nigiri with tuna, salmon, and hamachi. I was able to sample the ceviche cocktail and lobster bisque. The ceviche was a deliciously thick and chunky shrimp salsa served with tortilla chips. The server was very thoughtful and brought an extra spoon for us to share. The bisque had some lobster chunks and was deliciously creamy. I’ve had the bisque at other PFH restaurants. It was as good as I remembered. The portion was plentiful … certainly enough for two persons to share. For the main course, I ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Chipotle Remoulade (see photo on right). The crab cakes were pretty good; certainly not the best that I have ever had. Some bites were crunchier than others; I found a few shells, it’s bound to happen. I would have also preferred to have the sauce on the side. Rick ordered the salmon colored Poached Icelandic Arctic Char. It looked exactly like salmon, coloring, texture except that it tasted like a white fish. I would have been pleased if I had ordered the Char as my entree. It is on the regular menu so I of course could order it at my next visit.
For desserts I sampled the Salted-caramel crème brulee with hazelnut biscotti and the molten chocolate cake with vanilla-malt ice cream. I don’t ever order chocolate desserts so I enjoy being able to taste someone else’s. Rick said that he thought the chocolate cake was the best dessert that he had ever had in his whole entire life. I didn’t share his enthusiasm, but it was flavorful.
I have to mention that I was very pleased to find out that there is a substancial children’s menu and at a bargain with entrees just $6 [including a drink], and desserts and sides $3 each. Kids also get an adorable Menu placemat with a number of nautical word games. Menu items include a trio of Mini Burger Sliders, a “Beach Bucket” choices of Fish, Shrimp, or Chicken and Fries which arrives in a jaunty nautical blue & white tin bucket, fish Tacos, grilled Cheese, and even PassionFish’s own “Beginner Sushi Roll” which features cucumber, avocado, and fresh crabmeat that comes with soy sauce in a seashell-shaped bowl. There are a few side dishes as well. I didn’t see any children in the restaurant when I was there so I don’t know if kids will dig what’s on the menu.


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