Best Thing We Ate

Best Thing We Ate: Skate Wing Tempura at Crane & Turtle in Petworth

By Rina Rapuano  |  July 18, 2014

The Dish: Skate Wing Tempura at Crane & Turtle  

The Price: $12

Tasting Notes: It wasn’t easy picking a favorite element to our most memorable meal this week. This charming jewel box of a space has a magical feel to begin with, and when you consider the sake, a tasty cocktail called the Reverse Martini, kind and competent service and outstanding dishes (not to mention the awesome retro soundtrack), it adds up to an overall unforgettable experience. In the end, we chose the skate wing tempura over the wonderful cherry gazpacho, duck Sichuan-style and sautéed Maine scallops not just for the beautifully fried fish but also because of the cool, fruit-soup-like broth underneath. Studded with cucumber and grapefruit, it provided a nicely seasoned, translucent pool to showcase the tempura, which remained steadfastly crisp despite its liquid base. The contrast in textures might be what impressed us most, as well as the obviously expert hand of chef Makoto Hamamura, who used to cook at CityZen. As over the moon as we were about the rest of the meal, the desserts could use some work. The green-tea macaron with raspberries and mascarpone was the better of the two we ordered, but the macaron itself was tough to cut — and eat. And the fig-filled fish, called Drunken Fish on the menu, came across like a big Fig Newton. That said, neither were so unpleasant that they drowned out the great experience that came before, and we would go back in a heartbeat. 

828 Upshur St. NW; 202-723-2543