The Peanut Gallery should chime in here, especially the ones that dined with me at Hook. I'm not going to be subtle with you, you two.
How fancy am I! My new description should be Recent Diner at Hip New Georgetown Eatery.
Went to Hook for Restaurant Week and we were all very pleased! The menu had a lot of different options, both for the fish-eater and his/her potentially non-fish-eating companion.
I wasn't feeling so hot, but I wouldn't dare cancel such a prime RW lunch. Sacrifice is necessary for greatness. Food greatness, that is.
I started with a local garden salad, no frills. It was delicious! The vinaigrette had such a lovely flavor, and it wasn't overwhelming (or drenching) my vegetables. The greenery was unlike any lettuce I've ever seen--I was nervous when I first eyed it that it would taste bitter, but it didn't at all. It reminded me of a tangle of clovers. Also, unlike my lunch at PS7's, my salad had more than one pine nut in it!
My fellow diners enjoyed the beet salad and the peach and prosciutto salad. On a regular healthy day I probably would have went for the peach, too. The beets were orange, which was a fun surprise, I think. There were other various salads and two "Flight of Crudo" choices. In our educational portion of the lunch, we learned from our friendly server that crudo is a bite of raw fish usually oiled and seasoned, and the flight comes with three.
For our entrees we got the wahoo (served over corn), barracuda (not the one you're thinking of, that one is poisonous to eat--but this is still rare for a restaurant) over polenta, and MUSSELS! The orange-red sauce on the mussels was described on the menu as having some fire, but I didn't really taste any heat. They did have a delicious smoky sort of flavor that I'm not used to having with my mussels--I expect either garlicky white wine-ness or red tomatoeyness. I'm not HUGE on spicy food, but I've come to appreciate that there is a time and a place for those flavors, and these mussels could have been kicked up a little bit. The sauce was delicious, and the perfect pieces of accompanying toast work well for sopping it up.
If you or someone you know doesn't eat fish, they had a hamburger and fries on the RW menu! Hah!
The service at Hook was very prompt. While we (not impatiently) waited for our first course, someone dropped by and asked if we had received our appetizers yet. When we said no, they came about a minute later. Some confusion, but at least they were paying attention to our table. Our glasses were kept full with iced water, and on a day where the temperature probably peaked at close to 100, hydration is a priority.
The space is pretty small but doesn't seem crowded because of the high-ish ceilings and open kitchen. When you walk in you can see straight back into the kitchen, making the restaurant seem larger than it actually is. I love the art on the walls (particularly one of a clam where you can see the blue, spotted interior of the shell) and the light fixtures. The long, tall table by the bar looks like a fun place to gather with friends after work.
Gripes: It is LOUD in there. Pretty on par with Central for loudness, and this was during a pretty busy but not totally wild lunch time--I can't imagine, nor do I want to, what it sounds like when the bar is full. The bathrooms are single-stall, and more than once I saw three or four girls go at once, only to realize it's just one, and then wait outside. Luckily, the bathroom has its own little enclave so the waiting people weren't hovering over another table.
3241 M Street NW
Metro: Take the bus, Circulator, walk from Foggy Bottom on the Blue/Orange line, or take a shuttle from Foggy Bottom or Rosslyn station.