Phillips Flagship Restaurant

Seafood
$$$$ ($25-$34)
Washington's Southwest waterfront hosts this version of the Ocean City seafood-serving original.
Sun-Thurs 11 am - 9 pm Fri-Sat 11 am - 10 pm Brunch Sat-Sun 11 am - 2:30 pm
(Southwest Waterfront)
L'Enfant Plaza (Blue, Green, Orange and Yellow lines)
202-488-8515
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Editorial Review

Like the original Phillips Restaurant in Ocean City, Phillips Flagship caters to those who like to eat seafood by the water. With a seating capacity of 1,400, you almost need a road map to get through the place. Tiffany-style lamps and ornate, gilded mirrors brighten up the large dining rooms.
Families, groups of friends, conventioneers and co-workers converge here. Women draped in velvet and sequins mix with men in blue jeans. Don't be surprised to see the mayor or clusters of congressmen and Hill staffers.
The $22.99 buffet ($13.99 for lunch) is a big draw – if you go that route, try the seafood Newberg, fish and shrimp in a spicy cream sauce. The Maryland blue crabs and spiced shrimp are always good, but the Alaskan crab tends to be bland. The best fish on the buffet is the grilled, blackened salmon. Order a la carte to get the buttery crab cakes.
If you decide on the buffet, take a stroll all the way through before starting to load up your plate. Otherwise, you'll be stuffed way before you get to the desserts.
Over 50 items are offered on the buffet, ranging from Thai spring rolls to turkey, but stick to the marine life. The restaurant sells $30,000-$50,000 worth of seafood a week– it's what they do best.
Friday and Saturday nights are peak times, so if you must go then, try to arrive on the early side – between 6 and 7. A great time to come is right after a trip to the Maine Avenue Fish Market.
– Amy Wahl