Editor’s note: Today’s post was written prior to last night’s devastating fire at Hook and Tacklebox. Our hearts go out to the staff and owners and we hope for a speedy recovery and swift reopening.
While running through a list of restaurants to have a pre-theater meal at before seeing Wicked at the Kennedy Center last Thursday, Rachel had the brilliant idea of redeeming our Groupon we bought earlier this year for Hook and eat there instead.
Given its proximity to the theater as well as not having to be tied down to a prix-fixe menu, it was an ideal choice. Our 5:30pm reservation turned out to be absolutely unnecessary as we were evidently the first ones to be seated for dinner. Had we arrived earlier, we could have participated in their happy hour which featured dollar oysters (!!!) and $4 cocktails.
When we were seated, we soon received a basket of warm, fresh bread. We have dined at Hook before and I simply love their bread basket. Between the focaccia squares, buttery biscuits, and garlic aioli spread, you’re in for a treat before you even receive your first course. Due to time restrictions, we kept our meal straightforward and went right for the entrees.
I ordered the yellowfin tuna while Rachel got the scallops. The tuna, which was served on a bed of lentils, bacon lardons, and a side of kale, was excellent. It was a sharp contrast from the mediocre piece of fish I had at Jake’s American Grille a few weeks ago. Granted Hook is more of an upscale establishment, but there was a substantial difference in quality between the two restaurants and it goes without saying: you get what you pay for.
The tuna was flawlessly cooked and was so delicate that a knife was barely needed. The lentils brought a nice balance to the dish, but it was those amazing pieces of bacon lardoons that nearly stole the show. These thick chunks of pork were packed with flavor, so much so that I wish (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) the kitchen held back on the quantity. It was just a tad overpowering when you already have one piece of protein already sitting on the plate.
Rachel decided on the scallops, which came with a carrot puree and a carrot and peanut slaw in the middle. These were definitely a delight as they were some of the largest scallops she has ever seen on a plate. The carrot and ginger sauce was a perfect complement as it didn’t overwhelm the flavor of the beautiful scallops. The slaw added a nice crunch while overall she said they were the best scallops she has had since Corduroy, and that was one of her favorite dishes ever.
For dessert, we were torn between the passion fruit semifreddo and the Fluffer Nutter. Because we were already so full from our main course, we went with the former as it sounded like it would be on the lighter side. It turned out to be the right choice as it was sweet, satisfying, and not overly heavy.
We were genuinely amazed by the texture of the semifreddo – it was like a semi-frozen sorbet, but with a thicker consistency, almost like a mousse. The slice was situated above three pieces of white chocolate ganache sitting in caramel sauce which made this dish even more of a treat. Then you throw in the roasted macadamia nuts on top of that and you’re on cloud nine. It was a lovely combination of sweet and salty and was a perfect ending to a great meal.
Overall, we really enjoyed our dinner at Hook. Our waitress was cordial and helpful while every piece of food served was utterly delicious. The Groupon clearly helped as we saved $50 off our bill, but Hook has been consistent each time we have visited, discount or not. While it’s a schlep to get to Georgetown, it’s worth it if you’re looking for good seafood in the District.