A bright new raw bar tucked off the Rosslyn Metro station brings a taste of the Atlantic coast to the center of Arlington’s skyscraper-filled neighborhood.
The 30,000-square-foot dining complex (1700 N. Moore Street), managed by Chicago-based DMK Restaurants, presents customers with a single, QR code-enabled menu to order coffee, burgers, tacos, and Asian street foods from six in-house vendors. Fog Point, which sports its own entrance off Fort Myer Drive, “has that alleyway, off-the-beaten path feel to it,” says Assembly’s executive chef Cameron Cousin. Opening hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday, across the nautical-themed bar and dining room wrapped in slick tiles.
The 50-seat restaurant opens with three types of shucked-to-order oysters (Wellfleet Harbor, Massachusetts; Chincoteague, Virginia, and St. Jerome’s Creek, Maryland). The rare menu item for Rosslyn is showcased on ice behind a window-framed facade. Cousin plans to largely stick to East Coast seafood to cut down on carbon footprint and capitalize on the bounty of its waterways.
“I grew up around Asbury Park and would always go to the beach in New Jersey, where clams are king,” says Cousin, who comes from now-shuttered Max Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church. “Here crabs are king.”
The tight opening menu kicks off with Maryland crab soup and shellfish chowder flecked with bacon.
To do his part to alleviate the Chesapeake Bay’s blue catfish problem, he relies on the invasive species to build a fish and chips main. Its sweet flavor profile comes from all the rockfish it’s eating. The new chef at West End’s “sorta South American” cafe Mercy Me also makes its fish and chips with Maryland catfish for the same reason.
Fresh fries are cut, soaked in vinegar and blanched before hitting plates the next day. Fog Point also makes its own pickled coleslaw, bread and butter pickles, and tartar sauce. Fog Point doesn’t mess with some condiments, however (“Heinz [ketchup] has been around for over 100 years,” he says).
A creative salmon flight prepares the popular fish three ways. The tasting trio includes two day-cured smoked salmon (everything crisp, schmear, red onion, and cucumber); ceviche (grapefruit, olive oil, basil, black pepper); and Asian-style tartare (crispy rice, avocado, toasted nori). Choose one for $12 or all three for $30.
Scottish salmon reappears as a main with Thumbelina carrots and zesty gremolata sauce.
Non-seafood options include chicken paella with merguez sausage, Calasparra rice, and saffron; salads; and sides like Brussels sprouts jazzed up with grapefruit, cilantro, and star anise. For dessert, homemade pies include key lime, caramel apple, and chocolate banana.
Cocktails ($12-$14) include a Grey Goose martini, negroni, French 75, and spins on classics like a mint julep engineered with reposado and yellow chartreuse. The drinks page also lists a handful of local beers on draft and nearly 20 types of wines (sparkling, red, white, and rosé).
Similar to Rosslyn’s other food hall, Happy Eatery, the Assembly does not rely on any outside vendors. Each self-sustaining stall has its own dedicated kitchen and staff, with room for 625 guests across two levels and a terrace at the newly renovated Rosslyn City Center. Brian Hutson, a James Beard Award semifinalist in 2015 for his work at now closed Boltwood in Evanston, Illinois, is the group’s corporate chef. DMK owner David Morton is part of the family that founded chain steakhouse Morton’s.
“We’ve changed menus based on customer feedback 10 times already,” says Cousin.
The name Fog Point pays homage to oysters’ favored climate condition.
“Fog protects oysters from the sun and the heat,” he says.
Look for expanded hours and more seafood selections as 9-to-5 traffic continues to bounce back in Rosslyn.