On the last Sunday of August, I think I have a good strategy to beat the crowd at King Street Oyster Bar, a local chain that opened a fourth in Potomac Park in March (also in Maryland) The first) Store: Appear at 4pm to beat the brunch and brunch crowds and enjoy a leisurely afternoon, sipping New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and sipping oysters. On the contrary, there are 180 seats inside and 120 seats on the roof terrace outside are crowded with people. A surprise birthday party for 20 people is being held in a room. The indoor and outdoor stools of the bar on both sides of the 24th seat were taken away. (The open windows allow bartenders to enter when the weather is good.) The terrace is swaying, and each table is lined with family members and high chairs. (In winter, the terrace is equipped with heaters and tents, which can accommodate 80 people.)
My plan did not take into account the happy hour at the restaurant’s discounted price. It is available 7 days a week from 3pm to 6:30pm. It features Chinco-teague oysters for $1 (regularly $2) and several alcohols for $7. The price of the drink, about 10 appetizers, and a hamburger with ham, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese on it, usually sells for $13. (Due to skyrocketing costs, they raised the price from $5 to $7 in September.) Happy hour is a deliberate marketing strategy, explained the restaurant's co-founder Rick Allison. "I hope you come back more than once every two or three weeks. To do this, you must provide good value."
Alison graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 1989 and worked as a chef for two big-name restaurant groups, Great American Restaurants in Fairfax and Clyde's Restaurant Group in Washington, including Worked at Old Ebbitt Grill and is famous for its oyster bar. The Loudoun Restaurant Group, jointly owned by Alison and co-founder Jorge Esguerra, opened the first King Street Oyster Bar in Leesburg in 2016, and then in 2017 in Middelburg and An outpost was opened in Washington, DC in 2019.
King Street Park Potomac replaced Addie's, which closed when the pandemic began but never reopened. Alison said that Loudoun Restaurant Group signed the lease in December 2020. The construction and design of the 4,500 square foot space was supervised by the DC company ///3877 Design and took only eight weeks. The main room was divided into two small rooms in Eddie's restaurant, and now it has become an open space. All other changes are decorative. Steel blue is the main color on the walls and on the new bar stools and dining chairs. The black and white honeycomb tile floor and shaking ceiling fans create the atmosphere of an oyster hut.
Oysters, as the restaurant's name implies, are the main feature of King Street, offering more than a dozen varieties every day, from Virginia to Prince Edward Island on the east coast, and from California to British Columbia on the west coast. Alison said that by 2020, his three restaurants at the time had sold 7 million bivalve molluscs.
A good way to make things go smoothly on King Street is to kick a few oyster shooters. A Virginia oyster on a half shell perches on a small glass of Bloody Mary or sake with soy sauce and yuzu (citrus). The restaurant offers a variety of grilled oysters: jalapenos, Andouille sausage and bacon; Rockefeller (spinach and parmesan cheese); garlic butter and parmesan cheese.
Sometimes, I will enjoy a hearty lunch in a bar alone, drinking a martini while walking through a seafood tower for two or more people to share. There are four oysters and four clams on the half shell of the Mermaid Tower on King Street; four prawns mixed with Old Bay seasoning (so springy and salty, I only had one); half a frozen boiled lobster ; A quarter pound of large pieces of crab meat; and, according to the menu, half a pound of king crab legs. (In all my visits, due to supply chain and price issues, Allison said that there were 86 crab legs on the menu. For my tower, they allowed me to double any remaining ingredients.) The sauce is a cocktail sauce, hot sauce And two kinds of mignonette (a kind of green onion vinegar sauce), one is made with ginger.
If you are looking for food that will really surprise you, King Street is not the place to go. Allison refers to the people who run the food business at Park Potomac as kitchen managers, not chefs. One day in August, the chicken, Andouille and shrimp broth I ate there was dark in color and the batter was very strong, but the protein was cut too small and the cooking time was too long, and I couldn't distinguish them. The blue crab dipping sauce is bubbling and spicy, with a vague taste of red sweet pepper and old bay seasoning, but the crab lacks sweetness or charm. For the tuna tacos, colorful raw watermelon radish slices—not tortilla shells—are piled with chopped raw tuna, guacamole, and red pepper salad. This is a good idea on paper, and they are very rich, beautiful and delicious, but they are a mess when eaten by hand, and the fillings are oozing everywhere. (Use a knife and fork.) Fried squid should look like this: lightly spread with a crunchy batter, not rubbery. Shrimp and scallop ceviche are over-marinated in lime juice.
For the main course, you can choose between two styles of lobster rolls, one is cold with plenty of lobster meat and lemon aioli, and the other is hot with melted butter. The other dishes I tasted-macadamia mahi mahi made with lemon butter and cauliflower puree and grilled asparagus; lobster, grilled sea scallops and mushrooms with lobster ginger spaghetti; a lobster club salad-ok. Each has its flaws, whether it's overcooked ingredients or lack of seasoning. There are hardly any lumps in the giant chunky crab cakes with panko crust, it is too mushy and too salty to eat.
Dessert ended a meal on King Street in a pleasant way. The white chocolate bread pudding on the bourbon custard is thick, buttery, dipped in white chocolate and topped with vanilla ice cream. If some of the hot chocolate sauce in the pillow donut hole you ordered happened to get into the ice cream, who knew?
12435 Park Potomac Ave., Potomac, 301-296-6260, kingstreetoysterbar.com
Favorite dishes: oysters (half shell, char-grilled or as a shooter); mermaid tower; tuna tacos; lobster rolls; white chocolate bread pudding.
Price: Appetizers: US$7-13; half-shell oysters: US$12 per half dozen on the East Coast and US$18 per half dozen on the West Coast; sandwiches: US$12-19; main dishes: US$16-36; desserts: US$7.
Libations: An interesting but sweet cocktail list containing 19 products (all $12), divided into the following categories: Bright & Fizzy (such as Corpse Revived, with gin, vermouth, Lillet blanc, orange liqueur And lemon juice), Stirred & Serious (Vesper, Old-fashioned), Sweet & Sour (Moscow Mule, a riff on a piña colada) and other interesting things, including using Malibu mango, peach gin, brandy and white Sangria made from wine. The short wine list has four fireworks; nine whites; two glasses of rosé wine and six glasses of red wine. Almost all products are offered in glass ($12) or bottle ($46), and each category of signature wine is $8 per glass and $30 per bottle. There is a rotating draft beer list in Maryland’s 10 beers and eight canned or bottled beers. The happy hour (from 3pm to 6:30pm, 7 days a week) is very cost-effective. It offers a variety of cocktails, all house wines and house beers at a price of $7, and all drafts can enjoy a $2 discount.
David Hagedorn is a restaurant critic for Bethesda Magazine.
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