By Punch Preview Correspondent Megan McGrath
This past Wednesday, I was invited to attend a crab feast. Let me tell you, there is no better invitation for a Maryland girl. I’m a purist, and can’t think of anything better than a cold pitcher of beer and a bushel of crabs by the water in downtown Annapolis or at the beach. But driving there during the summer with beach traffic in rush hour? No thanks, and definitely not pretty. Fortunately for me, Azur started Crabfest Wednesdays nestled conveniently in the heart of Penn Quarter.
Azur (www.azurdc.com) opened it’s doors in April of this year (in the old America Eats space), and is a restaurant focused on fresh, sustainable, seafood with classic European influences. That’s probably because Chef Frederik de Pue has experience in some of Europe’s best seafood kitchens, including the Michelin-starred Sea Grill restaurant in Belgium. Now I know sustainability has been a hot term on the DC culinary scene for a few years now, but I’m talking about a real commitment to the cause outside of just the source of the seafood. Azur even filters their own water in-house and returns all oyster shells to local beaches and oyster beds. Talk about paying it forward!
Crabfest Wednesdays start at 5:00 pm on the 1st floor of Azur. Patrons can decide between two options, a Blue Crab Boil (half dozen crabs $40, and full dozen $75) or The Whole Boil (half dozen crabs for $65, and full dozen for $120). The Whole Boil is shown below, and is served with corn on the cob (already eaten), potatoes, kielbasa, and hush puppies, accompanied by butter, cocktail sauce and garlic aioli. I put in a plug to add some good old-fashioned apple cider vinegar, as that’s my preference of dipping sauce. If you choose The Whole Boil option, you also get some key lime pie to round out the meal (also pictured below).
A tangy and fresh slice of key lime pie!
Azur also whipped up some specialty cocktails for the weekly event, including Old Bay Infused Vodka ($6) and Tomato Basil Infused Vodka ($6), plus they are featuring cans of Ozzy and El Hefe Speaks from DC Brau
I’m telling you, it was pure seafood heaven! And definitely more convenient and less messy than your traditional crab feast. I didn’t get a chance to sample their raw bar on the third level offers, but I will definitely be back to sample some of the oysters and cured salmon! All sound just perfect on a muggy summer day in DC.
Azur is located at 405 8th St. NW, DC 20004, which is just a short walk from both the Gallery Place and Navy Memorial metro stops. Azur is open for lunch on Monday to Friday from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm and for dinner on Monday to Thursday from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Dinner is served on Fridays and Saturdays from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. To make a reservation call 202.347.7491.
Punch Palate Correspondent Megan McGrath is a serious foodie turned avid food blogger. Megan believes that food is fun, and is always looking for the next big thing on the DC food scene! She is the Assistant Director of Employer Outreach at a local law school in Washington DC, and works with all different types of legal employers and law students. Megan lives in Arlington, and can often be found experimenting in her kitchen for her blog http://imperfectlydelicious.com. Follow her on Twitter @imprfctlydelish.