I would try a reputable Korean restaurant. They serve up everything from raw to fajita-style, where they’ll bring you a still-squirming fresh kill, or perhaps a cast iron skillet where the squid will finish cooking on the table, or light up the grill built into the dining table at the restaurant where you can basically do the cooking yourself to desired doneness. Among some of the stuff they serve up with calamari/squid include a hot/spicy/sweet stir-fry dish with a gravy and vegetables, they have soups/stews usually of the hot and sweet variety, sashimis, squid fillets treated like a talapia, stuffed squid where the body of the squid is stuffed with various mixtures of meat, vegetable, eggs, good stuff… my parents are Korean and ate squid ALL of the damn time and it was interesting when I came out in the real world and realized squid application elsewhere in America was limited to pretty much just the Italian style fried calamari or the hand-formed sushi piece.
not exactly the same, but grilled octopus with peppers is served at this wonderful little chinese buffet I sometimes go to, and promote:
Chef Lin’s Buffet. It’s very good, and the peppers are both green/sweet and hot chile. Their sushi bar is also quite good (they have a chef make it for you, not just displayed grossly). Their octopus sushi is quite delicious also… so is their lobster on another note.
I always liked calamari in my conch fritters and anything else to do with conch. Where are your damn conch threads?!
Boston’s Daily Catch does their version of spaghetti aglio y olio with ground calimari and serves it on their own black (infused with squid ink) pasta. A very powerful dish and one of my favorites. I’m sure Llechef has had it.
My introduction to calimari was in Northampton, Mass. in the early 80s. The top restaurant in the Pioneer Valley for several years was Italian, I think it was called Andiamo. In true "Happy Valley" style the owners eventually closed, reporting that it wasn’t any challenge always being the best restaurant in the region. Anyway they made wonderful fresh pasta and served a dish of pasta with slivers of calimari and crumbled house-made sweet sausage. I believe it had mushrooms, as well, and may have been in a cream sauce. It’s been to long to remember but it was absolutely delicious, and I assumed from that that calimari was something heavenly.
Though I am quite fond of calamari served sauteed, in a medium heat marinara sauce over ziti or penne at my favorite mid-priced Italian restaurant (Lorenzo’s, Garwood, N.J.), I once had calamari with black bean sauce and a yellow rice in the Chinatown section of London that was outrageously good. I’ve not been able to find its match to date. But I keep trying.
I’ve never had it in garlic and oil over pasta as Lleechef suggests, and I think I’ll ask Lorenzo to prepare it for me that way.
I like it best in a spicy Pad Thai with extra scallions, sprouts, and ground peanuts. The Siam Thai here in Lexington lets you choose mussels, squid, chicken, pork, veggie, or tofu. I always get the mussels or squid and the way they make it the squid really soaks up the flavor and is not rubbery.
In Japan it is grilled as a street food. Also they eat it dried as a snack at baseball games.
I have had excellent grilled octopus at Greek restaurants. They may also do calamari that way.
Well there are Spanish places like Jaleo in DC that will have not fried squid.
I sometimes cook it with some crushed tomatoes and a good heaping couple tbsps of Korean hot chili paste served over basmati rice.
That’s Amore used to, and may still have, grilled calamari. Hunter’s Inn on River Rd in Potomac also has grilled calamari, just not that great. (Interestingly, current owner used to own a That’s Amore franchise)
I am pretty sure that Filomena’s in Georgetown (pasta freshly made daily) still serves it over linguini in a delicious red sauce.
Filomena’s is really a wonderful place for all kinds of hearty Italian-American fare…gotta love the Christmas lights, complementary after dinner homemade sambuca and fra angelico, and delicious gnocchi.
Try an Italian restaurant. Don’t know about DC but in the Boston area, a lot of Italian restaurants serve it in marinara sauce or white (garlic and olive oil) sauce, over pasta. I’ve had stuffed calamari, calamari meatballs, calamari salad. When I make seafood soup I always put calamari in it. There’s a lot you can do with calamari besides frying it.
Can’t say anything about DC, but down here in Houston I get squid all the time. One of my favorites. You can get it as sushi (I think it’s cooked as Ika) and in most good Thai restaurants. We have a Thai restaurant that has a charcoal grill that does it like you said. Also available in many Thai seafood dishes with shrimp and other seafood-ish dishes.
I’d also recommend octopus at your greek places. Little more tender than calamari, IMO…
The previous post on fried calamari got me to thinking. What is the best type of place for NOT fried calamari. I particularly am fond of grilled on charcoal, often available at Greek places. Any other types of cuisine have something similar? Any specific places in the DC area?
Calamari not fried
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.