In Clarendon, a Seafood Joint Emphasizing Sustainability
Seamore's is committed to serving fresh catch from fish stocks that are healthy or growing.
The littleneck clams alone merit a trip to Seamore’s, the seafood-centric chainlet that opened in Clarendon in September. Executive chef Laurence Cohen sautees the Virginia-sourced shellfish with shallots, mustard, thyme, garlic and lemon, then steams them with DC Brau’s El Hefe Speaks beer, serving the dish ($14) with two planks of grilled baguette for dipping.
This is the fifth location of Seamore’s—the first outside of New York—and the latest in a series of successful ventures for CEO/owner Jay Wainwright, who founded the fast-casual chain Cosi in 1995 and later helmed Le Pain Quotidien from 2004 to 2016.
Committed to serving seafood deemed sustainable by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, Seamore’s serves fish you won’t often find on other restaurant menus.
A giant slate “Daily Landings” board highlights approved species, with a spoon icon to denote the available options on any given day.
“Our commitment is to only sell fish from stocks that are sustainable or growing,” Wainwright says—which is why blue catfish (a blue crab predator) is on the menu, but blue crabs, whose populations are dangerously low, are not.
“I felt our vibe, price point and sustainability mission would fit the demographics of Arlington,” Wainwright says. “This was an opportunity to parlay our concept of selling fish you don’t always see on menus and applying that to the Chesapeake region.”
The centerpiece of the dinner menu is the Reel Deal ($24 to $30), which pairs your choice of seafood with three sides and a sauce, such as red curry or chimichurri.
Other winning options include fried calamari with saffron aioli ($12); a meaty lobster roll ($33) and New England clam chowder ($15).