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Shad Map: Where to Find Shad and Shad Roe Right Now (Updated)

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April 30 marks the official end of the extremely-short season when shad and its roe appear on menus across town. Every March the saltwater fish makes its way up from the Southern Atlantic Ocean and back to northern freshwaters where they spawn. (Location update: They've been most recently fished out of the Carolinas, and they'll be swimming past Virginia any day now.)

Bistro Bis GM Sean Patrick Applegate says the regional fish has a "fanatical" following this season in a way he's never seen before in his 10 years at the restaurant. What once was considered an "old school" fish suited for an older generation's palate is now an up-and-coming menu item—almost like a delicacy, he says.

Droves of 20 and 30-somethings are coming in to taste test Bistro Bis' roe appetizer, and some are even asking to double up on the egg sacs to create an entrée out of it. Blacksalt almost always sells out of its eight-roe shipment the same day it arrives.

Known for having an oily texture, many chefs erase shad's fishy flavor by soaking it in milk or buttermilk, and the shad may be slow-roasted to melt its tiny bones. Others just serve the fish's roe, with bacon acting as a popular compliment.

You've already missed the boat at some locations; Et Voila, Rappahannock Oyster Bar, and Equinox already stopped serving shad and its roe within the past few weeks. Others like Brasserie Beck decided not to bring back the fish dish this year.

Luckily, there are places to still find shad and shad roe on menus through the end of the month (but best to call ahead, as shipments are unpredictable):
—Tierney Plumb


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 1789

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1226 36th St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 965-1789
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While it hasn't appeared on this Georgetown gem's menu in recent weeks, this year's shad roe plate comes with guanciale, shallots, and a parsnip puree. Last year, executive chef Anthony Lombardo beer-battered and fried up the fish.

2. BlackSalt

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4883 Macarthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 342-9101
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Shad is only served here via special order, upon which it’s pan seared in a seasoned flour mixture to create a crispy texture. The bigger seller is the roe, which is wrapped with bacon—a nice fatty compliment—and then sautéed. Market Manager Steve Mason tells us he’s waiting on their next shipment, which could be as soon as today. The fish could stay on the menu as late as the start of May, he says.

3. Clyde's of Chevy Chase

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5441 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
(301) 951-9600
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Right outside the city’s limits, Clyde’s in Chevy Chase was the first locale in the chain to serve up shad (executive chef Derrick Jackson's a big fan). This year, shad roe appears on the menu as an appetizer and comes with shallots, parsley, chives, capers, white wine and lemon zest sauce for $11.95. Expect the dish to stay another month.

4. Mintwood Place

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1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 234-6732
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Shad and roe made a comeback this year at Mintwood. Both are sauteed with butter and paired with a roasted potato pancake, oyster mushrooms and drizzled with brown butter and a lemon demi-glace. The dish arrives at their door every two to three days; frequency depends on how much is pulled from the water (this week, the fish didn't knock at all).

5. Range

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5335 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015
(202) 803-8020
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Bryan Voltaggio might never have been asked to cook with shad on Top Chef, but his Friendship Heights restaurant is taking on the challenge. Details are slim, but expect some sort of shad and shad roe tasting in the near future. (Last year, shad roe was wrapped in Benton’s Bacon and paired with a radish salad.)

6. Bistro Bis

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15 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 661-2700
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Roe is the centerpiece of Bistro Bis' spring special and served as an appetizer. Here the elongated sac comes with mashed potatoes, wilted greens, bacon pieces and a lemon butter sauce, all perched atop pommes mousseline. Specials for the night are picked at 5:30 p.m., so check in then to see if it's available.

7. River Bend Bistro

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7966 Fort Hunt Rd
Alexandria, VA 22308
(703) 347-7545
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Find both the roe and filet at the months-old River Bend Bistro. Here the duo gets sauteed in lemon caper butter and comes accompanied by capers and a side of spinach. Get ready for a "fishy" fish, one server says, adding that the roe helps liquify the dish. It's been on the menu for about a month and should stick around until the end of April, running about $20 to $25.

8. Black's Bar & Kitchen

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7750 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 652-5525
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Another of Jeff Black's seafood outposts put shad on the menu this season, but the filet's presence is highly unpredictable. If it's your lucky night, shad would be part of the a la carte menu and could come grilled with salt and pepper and olive oil. (Mainly, the market fish on hand is mahi mahi or branzino.)

9. Pesce DC

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2000 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Chef Aaron Wright sends word he got a shipment of shad roe and will add it to the menu on Monday, April 7 and keep it there until he can't get anymore.

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1. 1789

1226 36th St NW, Washington, DC 20007
While it hasn't appeared on this Georgetown gem's menu in recent weeks, this year's shad roe plate comes with guanciale, shallots, and a parsnip puree. Last year, executive chef Anthony Lombardo beer-battered and fried up the fish.
1226 36th St NW
Washington, DC 20007

2. BlackSalt

4883 Macarthur Blvd NW, Washington, DC 20007
Shad is only served here via special order, upon which it’s pan seared in a seasoned flour mixture to create a crispy texture. The bigger seller is the roe, which is wrapped with bacon—a nice fatty compliment—and then sautéed. Market Manager Steve Mason tells us he’s waiting on their next shipment, which could be as soon as today. The fish could stay on the menu as late as the start of May, he says.
4883 Macarthur Blvd NW
Washington, DC 20007

3. Clyde's of Chevy Chase

5441 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Right outside the city’s limits, Clyde’s in Chevy Chase was the first locale in the chain to serve up shad (executive chef Derrick Jackson's a big fan). This year, shad roe appears on the menu as an appetizer and comes with shallots, parsley, chives, capers, white wine and lemon zest sauce for $11.95. Expect the dish to stay another month.
5441 Wisconsin Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

4. Mintwood Place

1813 Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20009
Shad and roe made a comeback this year at Mintwood. Both are sauteed with butter and paired with a roasted potato pancake, oyster mushrooms and drizzled with brown butter and a lemon demi-glace. The dish arrives at their door every two to three days; frequency depends on how much is pulled from the water (this week, the fish didn't knock at all).
1813 Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20009

5. Range

5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015
Bryan Voltaggio might never have been asked to cook with shad on Top Chef, but his Friendship Heights restaurant is taking on the challenge. Details are slim, but expect some sort of shad and shad roe tasting in the near future. (Last year, shad roe was wrapped in Benton’s Bacon and paired with a radish salad.)
5335 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015

6. Bistro Bis

15 E St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Roe is the centerpiece of Bistro Bis' spring special and served as an appetizer. Here the elongated sac comes with mashed potatoes, wilted greens, bacon pieces and a lemon butter sauce, all perched atop pommes mousseline. Specials for the night are picked at 5:30 p.m., so check in then to see if it's available.
15 E St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

7. River Bend Bistro

7966 Fort Hunt Rd, Alexandria, VA 22308
Find both the roe and filet at the months-old River Bend Bistro. Here the duo gets sauteed in lemon caper butter and comes accompanied by capers and a side of spinach. Get ready for a "fishy" fish, one server says, adding that the roe helps liquify the dish. It's been on the menu for about a month and should stick around until the end of April, running about $20 to $25.
7966 Fort Hunt Rd
Alexandria, VA 22308

8. Black's Bar & Kitchen

7750 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
Another of Jeff Black's seafood outposts put shad on the menu this season, but the filet's presence is highly unpredictable. If it's your lucky night, shad would be part of the a la carte menu and could come grilled with salt and pepper and olive oil. (Mainly, the market fish on hand is mahi mahi or branzino.)
7750 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814

9. Pesce DC

2000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20036
Chef Aaron Wright sends word he got a shipment of shad roe and will add it to the menu on Monday, April 7 and keep it there until he can't get anymore.
2000 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

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