My wife and I decided to celebrate it being Thursday, and head to dinner at Simply Fish in Alexandria. Our first experience was not the best, but it was right after the restaurant first opened. Since we can literally walk to it from our house, we were hoping that it would meet our expectations on the second attempt.
We shared an appetizer of Fried Calamari. It tasted very fresh, made with smaller squid that were quite flavorful and fried quite crisp. It is not served with a dipping sauce, but with a vinegar pleasant vinegar pepper sauce (more vinegar than pepper) poured over the dish. The flavor of this translucent sauce was quite complementary and a welcome change from tomato sauce that most other places serve with calamari. The only draw back to the sauce is that it makes the crust on squid at the bottom of the dish a little soggy. They also garnish it with pickled red onions, and roasted red bell peppers. Both added to the flavor of the dish.
If you are not familiar with how you order at this restaurant, you pick the type of seafood that you would like, how to have it prepared, your side and if and how it is sauced. My wife ordered the Pacific Salmon, grilled with a dill buerre blanc, with a side of salad. The fish was cooked so that it remained moist and flavorful. The dill buerre blanc matched the fish perfectly. The salad was dressed with bacon-tomato vinaigrette. The dressing did not over power the greens, and was studded with chunks of tomatoes and bacon.
I ordered a sautéed rockfish with a garlic mushroom sauce and the sour cream mashed potatoes. The fish arrived pleasantly crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. The garlicky mushrooms did not add much to the dish, but it also did not distract from it. My side of mashed potatoes was creamy, and very flavorful. We passed on desert to have some homemade ice cream at home, but the offerings looked decent.
The biggest negative of Simply Fish is their wine offerings. Wine by the glass is quite limited, and the bottles offered are very pedestrian. It would be nice if they look a page from Nectars book and offered less chardonnay and more eclectic wines.
We hope that they continue to improve and we will happily become regulars.
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