8/03/2012 01:49:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate This Week in DC - Rockfish With Shakshuka at Perrys

Rockfish with shakshuka
Perrys in Adams Morgan is known for its cutting-edge sushi, but it also serves New American fare with a focus on flavorful seasonal ingredients. During a recent dinner with friends, we sampled dishes from both menus - plying our chopsticks to sample the Japanese presentations, and using our silverware on the entree plates.
A beautiful wooden Tataki box held a tantalizing appetizer. Stripes of deliciousness were inside - uni, puréed avocado with yuzu topped with a rice cracker, ikura (salmon roe), chopped sea scallop, wasabi tobiko, fatty tuna with shredded seaweed, scallions and pickled beets.

Entrees ranged from a crab cake, bursting with chunks of succulent meat, to a pork chop with a corn, potato and avocado salad. Our favorite dish was the rockfish with smoked tomato shakshuka. The flaky, fresh fish was perfectly complemented by the tangy, interestingly spiced accompaniment. Owner Saied Azali explained that shakshuka - a mélange of tomatoes, seasoned with coriander, cilantro and chilis - is popular throughout the Middle East.  In his native Iran, shakshuka is most commonly served with eggs at breakfast time. (Indeed, Perrys offers that preparation at Saturday brunch.) Smoking the tomatoes, however, Azali confides, is his own addition to the classic recipe, giving it an interesting edge. Another plus are the farm-fresh tomatoes, which the kitchen preserves in summer so that it can serve the dish all year.

We’ll definitely be back to try shakshuka with eggs at a Saturday brunch. We hear that the bar makes wicked, eye-opener drinks as well.

1811 Columbia Rd. NW; 202-234-6218

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