The PassionFish Mermaid
2018 Winter Restaurant Week 1, Day 1
Looking back, I noticed that during 2017 Summer RW I’d revisited more restaurants that I already knew and enjoyed than new places. For 2018 Winter RW, I’ve made a conscious effort to correct that failing. About 75% of the places on my tentative list are new to me.
My first stop, though, was someplace that I just had to try again: PassionFish, in Bethesda. Was it really as good as I remembered it?
Turns out, it was better.
Crab & Corn Chowder
I was able to narrow down the choice of a starter to the Crab & Corn Chowder with jumbo lump crab meat and green onions or the Lobster Butternut Squash Bisque with toasted pepitas and pumpkin oil. The excellent server said he’d choose the chowder, and I have always relied on the
kindness recommendations of strangers waiters, unless they’re clearly trying to up-sell me.
It was a good choice.
Red Thai Curry
I’d decided on a main of Red Thai Curry Shrimp and Golden Pineapple with jasmine rice and kaffir lime as soon as I saw it on the menu. My server suggested bringing an extra portion of rice, because this was a hot, hot dish. He was right again.
A note on the sloppiness of the presentation: That wasn’t the restaurant’s fault, it was mine. The curry came in a separate bowl, which you can see in the background. I served myself a small portion of the curry to start, and I wasn’t very careful plating the serving.
Chocolate Mousse Crunch
On the other hand, I had nothing to do with the plating of this elegant Chocolate Mousse Crunch with vanilla-bean anglaise and strawberry coulis. This was a stunner. It tasted even better than it looked.
All in all, the meal was about as close to perfect as it could be.
After cheerfully over-tipping that helpful server, I walked across the street to the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema, just in time for a matinee screening of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Much as I love film, I hardly ever go to the movies anymore. During 2017, fr’instance, I saw 6.75 times as many movies on airplanes as I saw in movie theatres, because what else are you going to do when it’s three in the morning and you’re somewhere over the Atlantic. (True Fact: I calculated that figure at three in the morning, somewhere over the Atlantic.)
Besides, 95% of the world’s movies and tv shows easily accessible for streaming, which is a good argument for staying at home, where it’s warm and you can pause or replay the action and you don’t even have to wear pants if you don’t want to.
But Three Billboards was written, produced, and directed by Martin McDonagh, and his In Bruges is one of my five favourite films of the 21st century, so…
He’s created another profane, violent, and hilarious classic. Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell all give what might be their best performances.