There are a lot of good places to eat in Washington, and my neighborhood — upper Connecticut Avenue near the Maryland line — has a couple of small commercial strips that have attracted some good restaurants, and my current favorite is Capital Crab. It’s a brick and mortar extension of a great crab catering business. But there’s much more to Capital Crab. It’s also a seafood restaurant, and really, one of the best around, and offers much more than cracking crabs. Capital Crab has a wood oven that is great for cooking fish, as well as pizzas.
On our first visit, which was with the full contingent — Nancy and I, Liza and Michael, and Ella and Lily — we all enjoyed a great meal. Nancy and I ordered the mahi-mahi. Liza had a crab cake and Michael had mussels. Ella had chicken tenders and Lily had formula. Each of us was very pleased and, frankly, surprised at the quality of the food. Even the chicken tenders were good. (It was a generous serving and Ella needed some help.)
Nancy and I went back on a cold and windy weeknight to see if it could be as good. It was.
Nancy ordered the mahi-mahi again.
It was just as sensational as on our first trip, fresh and expertly prepared. It came dressed with olives, capers, tomatoes, and a nice light sauce. The fish was served over saffron rice. It also came with some unannounced very good, very fresh green beans — the thin haricots vertes. Because the beans weren’t listed on the menu as a mahi-mahi accompaniment, we ordered a side dish.
Good thing we did, or otherwise I would have missed them.
I went to Capital Crab with every intention of getting the mahi again but changed my mind when I heard the specials. I remembered the grilled calamari I had at Blackfin Bistro in Key West, so I jumped all over the Capital Crab version as a starter.
Oh, but it was good. Fresh, good texture, nice caramelization. The calamari was served over a nice lightly dressed salad. If you see it on the menu, get it.
I followed with angel hair pasta with jumbo shrimp.
The shrimp were huge but not tough, and the pasta was al dente. The pasta was dressed with onions, carrots, and green peppers, and a light, very good pesto. A very good dish.
The wine list isn’t large, but the wine was good and they served a very generous pour. All in all, it’s a lovely place to eat. Capital Crab has a pleasant atmosphere, and it is quiet enough to carry on a conversation. Prices are very reasonable — the mahi-mahi, I remember, was only $23, which is nothing for a good piece of fish around here.
You definitely should give Capital Crab a try. It’s a great place for seafood.
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