Northeast’s new Japanese restaurant O-Ku impressed Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema right from the start — he literally marveled over the front door. Once inside, Sietsema steers diners away from sushi (“The regular sushi, alas, can be pedestrian,” he writes) and towards grilled menu items warmed on the robata. “Just remember, what’s hot is what’s cool on the menu,” he says, calling out skewers of rib-eye and marinaded chicken thigh sprinkled with shichimi pepper. The critic awarded O-Ku two stars, saying the restaurant succeeds when it comes to pampering guests.
Legal Sea Bar
For his First Bite, Sietsema spends some time at Union Station’s bright new seafood outpost, Legal Sea Bar, a spin-off of Boston’s Legal Sea Foods. He felt let down by the fried options and the $30(!) lobster bites along with sometimes slow service. But clam bellies and a well-dressed romaine salad lifted his spirits, along with a standout fish entree. “The runaway hit, though, is a main course of roasted cod, carpeted with bold accents — olives, capers and lemon — and shored up with steamed rice and creamy house-made coleslaw,” he writes.
The Confident Rabbit
Northern Virginia Mag reviewer Rina Rapuano took the trip down 95 to charming downtown Fredericksburg to dine at the almost year-old restaurant The Confident Rabbit, which she summed up as “Confident meets overconfident—in the same meal.” Fried oysters apps and scallops with grits were the high point, but she encountered overcooked pheasant, a too-sweet cookie pie, and more stumbles on her second visit.
FROM THE BLOGS: Been There, Eaten That goes to Silver Diner’s healthier sister restaurant Silver, while BYT went to vegan Adams Morgan spot Spacycloud’s opening and Bitches Who Brunch got a luxurious brunch at Nobu. Meanwhile, the Hungry Lobbiest tried Taylor Gourmet’s limited-run Nashville hot chicken sandwich.