Date Night in Georgetown at Hook

While the food at Hook in Georgetown is the centerpiece – and isn’t that what really counts at a restaurant – the logistics of getting there, and sometimes the experience once we’re there has made it one of those places we tend to consider, then skip past.

The good – the food … great, fresh, flavorful crudos:

Beautifully prepared crudos, a highlight at Hook

Excellent selection of oysters on the half shell:

Briny, lush, cucumber-y oysters

Interesting, sustainable seafood:

Prosciutto-wrapped sturgeon on asparagus risotto

The downsides – getting there, getting seated, getting wine that shows off the food …

On this lovely Spring evening, we walked from Dupont Circle and we went on the late side at 9:30, so we managed to avoid the usual issues there: the lack of valet parking and the traffic on a weekend that can mean a 15 minute “drive” just to move one block to where there’s even a possibility of a side street where you can start looking for parking.

Hook also seems to run late a lot, so while you’re running late and navigating in a car or taxi or even on the crowded sidewalks, hoping Hook will honor your reservation, in reality, they aren’t close to showing you to a table.  Instead, Hook leaves you squeezing into the overcrowded bar, elbowing your way to a tiny spot with all the other patrons, some waiting for tables, others trying to enjoy a casual date in G’town.

Once you’re at the table, it can be quite loud downstairs – not usually an issue for us, but sometimes a pet peeve for our dining companions.  But this time, a new issue, the challenge of finding a wine that will go well with the food.

I guess I don’t consider pinot grigio to be an eclectic white.  A menu that serves interesting fusions of cuisines and flavors deserves a correspondingly sophisticated wine list.

We were in the mood for a white and didn’t want to go bubbly.  That left us with pretty much a list of chardonnays (generally not my favorite) and mostly New World (oaky and buttery, anyone?).  Yeesh, I was hoping for an interesting white – a viognier or a marsanne/rousanne blend, something heftier that would stand up to my prosciutto-wrapped fish and also bring out the flavors of G’s fish tacos.  Perhaps too much to ask?

Our Austrian gruner veltnier turned out to be a good choice, our food was delicious, our server was friendly and helpful.  An excellent meal, without the expected annoyances, and we even managed to navigate around the er, limited wine selections.

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