Food critic

The following review appears in The Washington Post’s 2019 Spring Dining Guide.


Tinned fish is the main attraction at Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill in Georgetown. (Dayna Smith/For the Washington Post)

One of three maki rolls on the menu. (Dayna Smith/For the Washington Post)

Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill

(Not yet rated)

“Our Spanish and Portuguese diners go crazy” at the sight of tinned seafood, says a host, eyeing the canned sardines on our table. Those of us who have knocked back the treat overseas are happy to reunite with the tradition, heaped on lengths of buttered baguette, in a low-ceilinged, canal-facing grotto of a dining room in Georgetown.

For sure, the menu is different from any other in the neighborhood. In addition to the prepackaged goods, including squid, mussels and cockles, diners can opt for branzino with a kimchi that pulls punches; macaroni and cheese tinted green with avocado (better than it sounds); a brilliant vegetable tart made tangy with goat cheese; a dense and dry pork chop; and succulent roast chicken. The crab cake is big and crusty, and a slice of chocolate layer cake easily feeds four.

What can I say? The restaurant is a mixed bag that seems to improve over time, but not fast enough for someone who lives to eat and is surrounded by choices, choices, choices.


Diners on the patio overlooking the C&O Canal. (Dayna Smith/For the Washington Post)

(Not yet rated)

Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill: 1054 31st St. NW. 202-470-6606. dyllansrawbargrill.com.

Open: Dinner daily, lunch weekdays, brunch weekends.

Prices: Dinner $25 to $64, raw bar $2.75 to $25 (with tinned cockles for $120).

Sound check: 74 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.