Three months after restaurateur Tim Walsh closed Italian restaurant Arucola Osteria, he’s ready to flip the Chevy Chase space into a seafood house that celebrates peak crab season.
Capital Crab & Seafood, the first standalone extension of Walsh’s truck-based catering company, will open this weekend at 5534 Connecticut Avenue NW with limited hours and carry-out options only.
Starting tomorrow from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., patrons can enter the front of the restaurant and buy crab feasts to-go. Saturday and Sunday hours are noon to 8 p.m. Catering services with his Capital Crab food Truck for delivery and private events are available as usual from the truck parked behind the Avenue, his bar and events space in Upper Northwest.
The same weekend hours will follow on Friday, June 21. A complete opening across the two-story space and its outdoor patio is tentatively scheduled for the week of Monday, June 24. Walsh tells Eater he’s still waiting on furniture and artwork, hence the delay for launching full-blown daily service inside.
Starting this weekend, steamed crabs will be served by the dozen ($84-$134, depending on the size) or by the bushel ($425). Jumbo shrimp, crab cakes, and oysters will also be available to-go, along with seafood-friendly sides like crab mac ‘n’ cheese, corn, and hush puppies. The majority of the seafood comes from the Chesapeake Bay or the Gulf of Mexico.
A liquor license is in place, so patrons can also grab a drink at the bar starting Friday.
Here’s a look at the menu:
CCSC Catering Menu June 2019 by on Scribd
The space will eventually be decked out with navy tables, blue vinyl seating, and plenty of nautical details (think trough sinks as hand washing stations). There will be tall lemongrass planters out front.
Arucola’s longtime executive chef from Arucola stayed on, making plans to preserve popular orders like lobster ravioli, linguini with mussels and clams, and pistachio-crusted salmon. During peak crab season, entree selections will be limited. Lobster will be served year-round, and Alaskan king crab will come in during the fall.
Walsh plans to plant another Capital Crab location right on the water this season. He’s secured a space for a new open-air garden next to District Winery in Navy Yard that would operate on weekends only. The space along the Anacostia River could feature live music, beer, and crabs. An opening date is is up in the air while Walsh awaits approvals from the Southeast Waterfront BID.