|whole crispy flounder|
I am serious about my resolution, so on the first of January I dined at #30 on the list: PassionFish in Reston. It is a solid beginning.
The variety of fresh fish on the menu is a bit daunting at first, as so many of the preparations appeal to me. For example, I can choose from Jamaican, Thai, or Asian flavors. Our group of six initially discusses sharing appetizers, but there are too many choices so most of us decide to order our own. I share a sushi roll special which consists of spicy tuna and crab with tempura crumbs on top for texture, which is a nice touch. It is certainly plentiful, so I have no regrets about sharing.
|sushi roll special|
My husband enjoys the grilled pear salad, and the spicy tuna tartare is deemed “delish.” The risotto with shrimp, cider and butternut squash is described as “too liquidy,” while the butternut squash and lobster bisque is deemed a winner as the bisque is light and the lobster is generous. We all lament that the bread basket is a little sparse and nothing special. It is in fact not bread but toasted baguettes, served with a decent whitefish spread.
|grilled pear salad|
My entree is the whole crispy flounder with spicy tamarind chili nam pla, and a cucumber sunomona salad. I don’t often order whole fish (I have to avoid the eyes), but something about this dish calls out to me. It is a winner (although my husband disagrees). The fish has a perfect crispness and while the sauce is not overwhelming, every now and again I get a bite of chili pepper, which is a welcome flavor.
Two of my friends order a lemon sole special which is lightly fried with a potato crust. One of them opts out of the accompanying collard greens with bacon and is given grilled asparagus instead, which is appreciated. I find the fish a little mushy, and it is the smoky collard greens that I like best. But my friends are happy with their selection.
The jerk salmon with fufu mash, mango salsa and toasted coconut seems to be missing the jerk and could pack some additional punch, but is still described as “YAH MON, delicious!”
PassionFish, 11960 Democracy Drive, Reston Town Center
Washington Post review
Washingtonian 2011 Restaurant Guide, 100 Very Best Places to Eat, #30
My rating (on a 1-5 scale): 4.0
Zagat rating: 24