Passion Fish Reston
11960 Democracy Dr.
Reston, VA 20190
Seafood | $$$
It’s difficult finding good seafood when you can’t see the ocean. With recent revelations that as much as 33% of seafood purchased retail or at restaurants nationally is fraudulently mislabeled, finding a source you can trust is a challenge. Passion Fish is just that place. With a menu focused on seafood, staff that knows about seafood, and chefs that expertly prepare seafood you can’t go wrong.
We started with a nice smooth butter with just a hint of salmon taste to it. The bread was crunchy and not as soft as it looked. My preference is for softer bread but it was fine and we ate most of it.
For my main course I chose my favorite, Caramelized Jumbo Sea Scallops with Potato Pancakes and Heirloom Baby Carrots drizzled with a Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette. The plating on this dish surprised me and I must have been muttering something about how many scallops there were when my wife said “you know they’re not all scallops, some are potato pancakes.” Visually I got hoodwinked into missing that every other scallop was actually a lightly crisped potato pancake. In my defense most pancakes you see don’t look like that.
My scallops were done flawlessly, browned nicely and not over cooked. The carrots were tasty and prepared to a perfect point between raw and mushy. There is not much that must be said about Smoked Bacon Vinaigrette other than heavenly.
My wife chose the Rockfish with Lemon Beurre Blanc and Smoked Bacon Collard Greens as a side. Her fish was excellent, nice and tender under a slightly blackened skin. She raved about the Lemon Beurre Blanc saying the buttery lemon flavor was pleasantly mellow.
I was not born in the South so I don’t have that Collards gene. I’m content taking my wife’s word on how good they are when we’re dining out. She loved these Collard Greens, the smoked bacon flavor paired nicely with the smooth lemon butter in alternating bites.
This is one of the few places you can get away with themed salt and pepper shakers.
I kid you not the menu says Warm Donut Holes with Coffee Bavarian Cream. Sure, if you’re working with a 22 pound donut. This was a wonderful Beignet with a sugar coating instead of powdered sugar. This is also a dessert for 2. As much as I live for dessert this was a lot to eat at the end of the meal. I’m a big coffee drinker but not a fan of coffee flavored other things. The coffee flavored Bavarian cream was a nice surprise. The flavor is mild and not overpowering in a Starbucks kind of way. Don’t be afraid to try this unique approach to coffee and donuts.
My wife’s dessert was a fantastic Florida Key Lime Tart with a Graham Cracker Crust and Toasted Coconut Sorbet. The tart was delicious, a perfect balance of crunch from the crust and a smooth key lime flavor. The meringue was attractively browned and it held its shape marvelously. As with all the sauces and creams we tasted the chefs really know where that fine line is between ambrosial flavor and harsh abundance. I rarely order key lime pie because I am so often disappointed by the tart taste that has me pushing it away after 2 bites. They really nailed the essence of key lime here.
Our waiter Jon knew the menu inside and out and answered our questions with detail. A properly trained staff doesn’t happen by accident. Passion Fish manager Ryan McCarthy received a 2015 Manager of the Year Rammy Award nomination from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington this week. Lighting is ample but the noise level was high at 79 decibels making it hard to hear for some. We dined on a Tuesday evening without reservations and were seated promptly. It was about 80% full so I would not recommend Friday or Saturday nights without a reservation.
Make Passion Fish Reston your trusted source for quality seafood prepared right.