Presidential Eating: Crane and Turtle

In an effort to bring new (any) traffic to the blog and because there’s nothing else to write about, the President Henry blog presents a brand new series, this time about food.

Crane and Turtle

Crane and Turtle is a Japanese/French restaurant in DC’s Pentworth neighborhood, featuring what appears to be an incredibly impressive adult beverage menu and somewhat inconsistent but mostly tasty food options. It’s a tiny restaurant, so walk in’s have to sit outside, and they haven’t figured out their umbrella’s yet, but it’s worth trying.

Round 1

The first special we tried, fried pufferfish with a ramp aioli, suffered from being a stupid idea. Whatever special flavor a pufferfish has was removed by the battered and fried preparation. That being said, the pickled ramps in the aioli was delicious, though totally buried, and the fish was was fried, so it tasted pretty good. The other special, a tomato with a corn fritter on top and what appeared to be a log of sheep’s milk gnocchi, was way better. The tomato was delicious, the alien sculpture style corn fritter thingy was really nicely done, and the  gnocchi log was similarly tasty.

tomato gnocchi log corn fritter thing

Round 2

The second course consisted of a octopus dish that is still on the menu, called Tako Wasabi, and two salads. The octopus was properly cooked and the fennel in wasabi jus was an excellent base for the dish. It was this dish that caused us to believe we were in for a special 90 minutes of food.  We also had the pork pork salad, which was great, and the Bok Choy salad, which was drowning in dressing to the point where it was unpleasant to eat. The Bok Choy salad is not recommended.

Pork Pork Salad. Pork Belly and cracklng. Tasty Veggies too.
Pork Pork Salad. Pork Belly and cracklng. Tasty Veggies too.

Round 3

Too often main courses suffer from being uninspired and oversized plates of food that compare poorly with their more inspired brothers, the appetizers. Not here. The Crane and Turtle entree’s were the highlight of the late afternoon (I’d say night, but we were home before dark). The Scallop dish (see menu) was technically sound and beautifully plated, with all of the components working together in a delicious harmony of flavor. The Petits Pois à la Japonaise, which, for the americans present is  salmon and peas and small bits of not quite bacon and onions and other stuff that was all really, really good, was (to borrow a phrase from the above line) really good.

Scallops. Also other stuff


Despite an over reliance on frying things and a disappointing amount of extra mayonnaise on two dishes, the food experience at Crane and Turtle was a positive, and for you adults out there, my parents found the variety and quality of alcoholic beverages very satisfying. 4 Stars.

Tasty Adult Beverage

Ratings System

1 Star- Never going back

2 Stars- Only if everywhere else is booked

3 Stars- If in the neighborhood

4-Would make the trek to eat there

5- would drive to Philadelphia to eat there

6- would fly to Seattle to eat there.

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