Hoisting Sail at Orange Anchor

Orange Anchor's seared East Coast scallops and foie gras with sweet corn puree and a balsamic reduction

As winter winds down, the anticipation for warmer weather has pation for warmer weather has never been higher. Soon, spring and summer sailors will be assembling along the Georgetown waterfront.

And there’s a place that’s opening just in time.

Orange Anchor at Washington Harbour is a new, nautical-themed dining destination that caters to seaward-turning lovers of good food. Owner Reese Gardner – founder of Wooden Nickel Bar Company (Cooperwood Tavern, Irish Whiskey Public House and Second State) – has been boating all his life and wanted to create a space inspired by people coming in straight off the boat. The restaurant even has changing rooms and communal sink stations for washing up.

Inside, the decor is a study in primary colors: orange leather trades off with navy blues and white. Anchor-themed wallpaper contrasts with striped fabrics. Decorative accents such as boat cleats, mirrored portholes, stainless handlebars and steel spotlights all add to the nautical experience.

Large-scale photographs by local artist Mike Foster help set the scene with stunning views of the waterfront. On one wall, a medley of black-and-white boat photos honor members of the National Potomac Yacht Club at the Columbia Island Marina.

The restaurant will specialize in seasonal American plates, from jumbo lump crab fritters to classic clams casino, caviar tacos and lobster macaroni and cheese with a five-cheese blend. Patrons can also eat Chincoteague oysters four different ways: chilled, grilled, fried or on a half-shell filled with Champagne. Most ingredients are sourced from farmers within three hours of D.C. Orange Anchor will also have an “oyster hour,” 5 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with oysters for $1 each.

The bar pro-gram is equally impressive, with a selection of more than 40 rum varieties and 10 beers on draft. Cans of beer are served with a vibrant Orange Anchor koozie.

For the captain looking to get food or ice on the go, Orange Anchor’s boat delivery service will delight. Salads, sandwiches and bags of ice will be available for delivery to those who dock their boat at Washington Harbour. The venue will also have a deckhand on call should you be sailing solo and need help docking.

Orange Anchor will officially open Friday, Feb. 13, with soft openings on Feb. 11 and 12 (those having lunch or dinner on Wednesday or Thursday will receive half off their food and drink tab). Brunch will be served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Feb. 21. The website is OrangeAnchorDC.com.

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