Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill Opens

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Amy and Don Carlin, owners of Dyllan's Raw Bar Grill at Canal Square. Photo by Patrick G. Ryan.

Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill opened Aug. 15, replacing Sea Catch, a seafood favorite of many years, in Canal Square at the C&O Canal.

But there’s plenty fruit of the sea to be enjoyed at this new eatery, the first from Good Apple Hospitality, led by industry veterans Amy and Donald Carlin, who plan to open more restaurants in Georgetown and are seen as part of the neighborhood’s restaurant renaissance. “We couldn’t be more excited to create a neighborhood gathering place in the heart of Georgetown and make a lasting impression on the D.C. restaurant scene,” Donald said.

Executive chef Neal Corman has prepared a menu for lovers of fish and beef alike, with unique vegetarian options, like the avocado macaroni and cheese, which we had a chance to sample ourselves. (Trust us, it’s fantastic.)

The raw bar will highlight “ornate tins of seafood native to Spain, Portugal, and Mediterranean locales” to satisfy the most sophisticated of palates, along with the obligatory oysters and clams. Did we mention that the cockles go for $120?

The open-air décor is subdued and intimate, with private dining tables available. We especially like the charming tables overlooking the canal, perfect for a late-summer al fresco meal. The nautical and teal blue vibe throughout works quite well.

Prices are right on target: an eight-ounce beef fillet is $33; the lemon olive oil poached halibut (a winner at our table) goes for $28. East and West Coast oysters start at $2.75, while the Atlantic quahog clams are $1.50. Maki rolls, ceviche and carpaccio round out the raw bar offerings.

As a starter, we highly recommend the spicy vegetable tart with its roasted summer veggies and goat cheese (divine), there’s also a smoked salmon Cobb salad and other lighter options for those counting calories. Others loved the varied oysters, along with ceviche and the Arctic char.

For those not on a diet (not a good place to visit if you are, by the way), finish your experience with the chocolate cake or the Key lime pie.

The owners were smart to salute the building’s history as one of the birthplaces of the computer (an IBM plaque is affixed to the building’s exterior) and honor inventor Herman Hollerith, a 29th Street resident, with his own room.

Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill, 1054 31st St. NW, opens at 5 p.m. Lunch and brunch will debut in early fall.

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