Sea Catch: Where fresh seafood meets Rat Pack decor and the first computer

On its website, Sea Catch describes itself as “Georgetown’s best kept secret,” and I have never read a more apt description. To be honest, when Ironcityspy dragged me to Sea Catch a couple weeks ago, I was filled with suspicion. Look. I went to Georgetown, have lived and worked in DC for years and had never really heard of Sea Catch. It’s old. It’s located on the ground level of an innocuous brick building  on a side street. It borders the canal, which is where I was secretly worried they got their fish from. I expected it to be empty. I expected bland Americana.

Fancy some sea fare today, old chap?

I was wrong. So utterly wrong. Sea Catch does good, fresh seafood. Plain and simple. Their crab cakes are divine. Their menu has remained virtually unchanged through time, but has classic staples like pan seared scallops with wild mushroom risotto, Crab and Boursin Stuffed Tilapia, and a selection of perfectly grilled fish with buerre blanc and mixed vegetables. The produce is so fresh, they don’t even own a freezer. They offer a $1 oyster happy hour and, for the high rollers, an $80 shellfish skyscraper, both from their marble raw bar. I mean, come on.

The restaurant is also wonderfully throwback. Now, glancing at Yelp, it seems most people rave about the outdoor deck on the canal. I went during the winter so have never experienced this. What I can say is that the inside feels like Frank Sinatra’s local watering hole, complete with stone walls, wood floors, roaring fireplaces, and crooner music. Unless you are going on a date, I recommend the more casual front room with casual tables and booths. However, if you are Cary Grant taking Deborah Kerr out on the town, the pink fancy back room may just be your bag, baby.

Finally, as if Sea Catch wasn’t surprising enough, the innocuous building I mentioned turned out to be the “birthplace of the original computer.” What? Yes. Apparently it’s a historic site because Hollerith’s Tabulating Machine Company operated there in 1890 and their tabulating machines were so popular that in 1924 they merged with two other tabulating machine operations to form “International Business Machines Corporation,” or, as we know it, IBM. It was registered as a historic site in 1984.

Yes. I ate crab cakes at the birthplace of the computer. And they were delicious.

Sea Catch
1054 31st Street NW
Washington D.C., DC 20007

3 thoughts on “Sea Catch: Where fresh seafood meets Rat Pack decor and the first computer

  1. Pingback: The Morning Metropolitan | The Georgetown Metropolitan

  2. Actually, Frank Sinatra’s watering hole, when he was in town, was a little step down restaurant a block away from Sea Catch at a restaurant named Tony’s in the basement of a little hotel situated just steps off of M Street. Frank was good friends with Tony, the owner-chef. The Sea Catch has been in Georgetown for close to 4 decades, ever since the opening of Canal Square, the complex where it is situated. It has always served up good seafood dishes, and is a favorite among locals (well, those locals who actually go out and dine).

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