The same devotion to la dolce vita by which Fabio and Maria Trabocchi ensure that Fiola ranks among the best Italian restaurants in the nation guarantees that sibling Fiola Mare belongs here. Its sophisticated, yet light and airy, subtly nautical look reflects both its picturesque location right on the Potomac River and the vibrant cast of its menu—which bursts with all the crudo, caviar and delicacies like Spanish crawfish and razor clams you could hope for before branching out in the most thoughtful yet sensual of directions. Giant tiger prawns grace bucatini pungent with smoked sea urchin and Calabrian chiles while elusive Norwegian skrei gains punch from chickpea cream, squid ink and a dusting of bottarga. Of course both bar and cellar brim like pirate’s chests with treasures. But the leisurely brunch service lures locals here as much as do the elaborate dinners—and so do the bomboloni come dessert.
Clambakes and crab boils, fish fries and oyster roasts—for a nation of supposed beef fanatics, we sure do make a special occasion of seafood. These 21 best seafood restaurants in America uphold and build on such cherished traditions while making spectacular waves all their own. Some of them skew fancy—you’ll also find them among our list of the best French restaurants in America—while others aim for something more relaxed (think lobster rolls and great craft beer). Some hail from the likely North East, mixing it up with the best restaurants in Boston, while others serve southern specialties in warmer climes. But these seafood restaurants all have at least one thing in common: they deserve your attention. Follow Time Out USA on Facebook; sign up for the Time Out USA newsletter