Marnay works near Farragut Square and I take the MARC train to Baltimore, so the perfect spot for us to meet after work is Union Station. On a beautiful Wednesday, we met up and went to Whaley’s in the Navy Yard by the fastest and easiest way possible…Bikeshare!
Whaley’s is a raw bar and seafood restaurant from the team behind DGS, appropriately set on the Anacostia waterfront. I have been really into Italian apertivos lately, especially since I started reading Spritz by Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau, so I ordered an Americano. An Americano is made of Campari, sweet vermouth and soda water. Marnay got House Cocktail #2, which is a refreshing combination of gin, yellow chartreuse, tarragon, cucumber and lemon.
We sat at the large wrap around bar, near the very prominently displaced raw bar. Whaley’s is rather small on the inside, although there appears to be just as much outdoor waterfront seating as indoor seating. Tempted by the aforementioned raw bar, we got poached Gulf shrimp from Alabama as well as 6 local oysters from New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland. We rarely see oysters from New Jersey around here, so I was excited to try them.
No exaggeration, these were the best oysters we have ever had. They were perfectly shucked with absolutely no grit and chilled to the perfect temperature. The shrimp were huge and buttery and something I would get again without hesitation.
We still haven’t gotten to my favorite dish! We ordered the crispy fried squash blossoms, filled with the same shrimp and placed on top of a swipe of ginger aioli. The blossoms are then topped with chives and esplette pepper. The squash blossoms actually come from the same town in Alabama as the shrimp.
Whaley’s is very new and we noticed a few hiccups, mainly with bartenders not remembering how to make drinks and servers not sure where to bring plates. These were minor and they did not directly affect us, we just could hear a lot from our perch at the bar.
I recommend Whaley’s if you are in the mood for quality raw seafood at reasonable prices and an A+ view. We will be back!
Paul: Squash blossoms
Whaley’s: 301 Water Street, SE #115 Washington, DC 20003
Closest Metro: Navy Yard