Blackwall Hitch Has a New Summer Menu
Last week, Blackwall Hitch, the seafood restaurant with locations in Annapolis, Rehoboth Beach and at 5 Cameron St. in Old Town Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory, introduced its new summer menu.
The additions are mostly fish and seafood, although there is at least one new dish in every menu category from starters to salads to entrées and desserts.
New appetizers include the tasty flaming crab dip with big chunks of sweet claw crab meat, cheddar and cream cheeses blended with Old Bay and served with pita chips flambeed with brandy tableside ($17); and tomatoes on toast with fresh burrata cheese on warm country bread with pesto, arugula, red radishes, basil, red and yellow tomatoes and basil oil ($14).
There are two new watermelon dishes: chilled watermelon gazpacho with tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet red bell peppers, red onion, garlic, basil, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil ($7 cup/$9 bowl); and refreshing grilled watermelon salad with feta cheese, arugula, fresh mint, aged balsamic reduction, extra virgin olive oil and cracked black pepper ($8).
For those eating light on a hot summer day, there is an Ahi salad with sesame seed-crusted Ahi, cucumber, fresh field greens, carrots, fava beans, roasted corn salsa, red radishes, scallions and honey-soy vinaigrette ($21); and a salmon & kale salad with grilled North Atlantic salmon, kale, roasted red beets, fresh mango, candied walnuts, poppy seed-lemon vinaigrette and basil oil ($20).
Good lunch options include pesto flatbread with grilled chicken breast, fresh basil, pesto sauce, feta cheese, plum tomatoes and extra virgin olive oil ($14); or a crispy soft shell sandwich with locally sourced soft shell crab dusted with Old Bay atop green leaf lettuce and classic beefsteak tomato on a brioche roll with cherry pepper remoulade (market price).
For a heartier dinner, the cowboy steak, a grilled 18-ounce bone-in rib-eye with whipped potatoes, roasted patty pan squash, baby zucchini and baby carrots with house-made steak sauce ($42) is a good choice. It was tender and fell off the bone. Other large plates include whole branzino marinated in thyme, rosemary, garlic and olive oil then roasted and drizzled with a lemon emulsion and herb oil with seasonal vegetables ($29); a chilled seafood platter with Maine lobster, peel and eat shrimp, Jonah crab claws, crawfish, calamari salad, smoked salmon and oysters served with dipping mignonettes, cocktail sauce, horseradish, Tobasco sauce and lemon wedges ($45); and local crispy skin rockfish with carrot-mango slaw, garlic bok choy and lemon butter sauce (market price).
There are also local soft shell crabs dusted with Old Bay accompanied by carrot-mango slaw, garlic bok choy and lemon butter sauce (market price). Although I was happy to see this one on the menu, I was disappointed on the plate. Despite being advertised as crispy, it was limp. And it had shell in it that was inedible. If you crave crab, stick with the crab cakes, which are a staple on the menu.
For dessert, try the new lemon blueberry parfait with sweet blueberry compote, tart lemon curd and honey whipped cream with lemon zest ($9).
One thing you don’t want to miss are the dockside lemonades and teas, fresh seasonal fruit mixed with lemonade, iced tea or both served in Mason jars. Current flavors include mango, strawberry, raspberry and watermelon. They come plain or with a shot of your favorite Jack Daniel’s, Deep Eddy Lemon, Jose Cuervo Gold or Bacardi rum. My personal favorite was the strawberry lemonade with a shot of Jose Cuervo. It was refreshingly not too sour, not too sweet, unlike the mango lemonade, which was too sweet for my taste buds. They are perfect for sitting on one of the restaurant’s three patios overlooking the Alexandria Harbor and Potomac River.
Blackwall Hitch is open from 11 a.m.-midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.