January 2005 DC Coast

While DC Coast does not pretend to be a New Orleans­style restaurant, its menu offers some of the best interpretations of New Orleans standards this side of the Mississippi.
       
     

The team of Jeff Tunks, Gus DiMillo, and David Wizenberg has given us three of DC's most successful restaurants. The bar at DC Coast, their initial venture, is a popular after-work hangout for the neighborhood law offices, but the restaurant's main attraction is the Chesapeake/Gulf of Mexico/Pacific Coast seafood cooking from executive chef Jeff Tunks and chef de cuisine Andy Brooks.

While DC Coast does not pretend to be a New Orleans­style restaurant, its menu offers some of the best interpretations of New Orleans standards this side of the Mississippi: a generous seafood gumbo, terrific fried oysters, and pastry chef David Guas's buttermilk beignets with café au lait crème brûlée. The crabcake is one of the best in town, the sweetness of the crab accented by a relish of fresh corn and pickled okra. Many non-Asian chefs acknowledge the popularity of Asian flavors by throwing in a stalk of lemongrass here or a little soy or a few hot peppers there. Two Asian-inspired dishes at DC Coast have become signatures of this dependable kitchen–Tunks's wonderful Chinese-style smoked lobster and his dramatically presented crispy whole striped bass, both skillfully integrating Asian techniques and American ingredients.

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