100 Best Restaurants 2010: PassionFish
No. 72: PassionFish
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published January 1, 2010
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PassionFish
Address: 11960 Democracy Dr., Reston, VA 20190
Phone: 703-230-3474
Neighborhood: Reston/Herndon
Cuisines: Seafood, Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Friday for lunch 11 AM to 2:30 PM. Open Monday and Tuesday for dinner 5:30 PM to 10 PM, Wednesday and Thursday 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM, Friday 5:30 PM to 11 PM, Saturday 5 PM to 11 PM, Sunday 5 PM to 10 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Clams casino; fried clams; hamachi crudo with grapefruit and jalapeño; eight-piece “kamikaze roll” of tempura prawns, avocado, and spicy tuna; red Thai curry lobster; crabcakes; whole-roasted branzino; freshly fried doughnut holes.
Price Details: Appetizers $5 to $18, main courses $19 to $29.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Cuisine: It’s easy to look at this slick, bustling operation as a corporate seafood house in a Reston shopping center, but chef/owner Jeff Tunks’s kitchen makes a genuine effort to stock local produce and sustainable fishes for executive chef Chris Clime’s globally inspired dishes—from a simple bucket of fried clams to Peruvian ceviche.

Mood: The raw-bar items laid out on ice near the kitchen set a tone of authenticity, and the room has the buzz of a fishmonger’s stall. Because the space expands vertically, there’s not a bad seat in the house—all diners can enjoy views of the first-floor action, though things are slightly more subdued in the upstairs gallery.

Best for: A night of downtown sophistication for Virginians—without the traffic or the long drive home from DC.

Best dishes: Clams casino; fried clams; hamachi crudo with grapefruit and jalapeño; eight-piece “kamikaze roll” of tempura prawns, avocado, and spicy tuna; red Thai curry lobster; honest, lightly bound crabcakes; whole-roasted branzino; freshly fried doughnut holes.

Insider tips: A special kids’ menu is a welcome departure from the usual chicken-fingers kind of offering. Servers here know their wines—one of the chefs lives on a nearby vineyard—and will bring samples.

Service: •••

Open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Expensive.

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