When I walked in to Firefly, I knew I was going to like it. The hostess was friendly, our table was ready exactly at our reservation time (which never happens at busy DC restaurants), and the atmosphere of Firefly was ideal. The bar was packed with young 20 or 30 somethings, the restaurant was packed with a similar crowd. There was even a huge (fake) tree in the middle of the restaurant with a rope swing attached to it, which reminded me of my childhood and put a huge smile on my face.
The meal started off well, with delicious buttery rolls and a farro salad appetizer. The nutty farro came with basil, pickled red onions, corn, yellow wax beans, and red wine vinegar. The salad was very large for an appetizer, but the flavors were so intricately and expertly paired that the entire salad was quickly polished off.
Entrees came, and the majority of the table ordered fish, even though one person ordered the bacon cheese burger (which came with a giant fried pickle speared on top). The rockfish, their market fish choice of the day, came in quite a small portion, but was seared beautifully and had perfectly crispy skin (an essential). The halibut was similarly delicious, but came in a much larger portion. So if you're hungry for fish at Firefly, go with the halibut. My other comment on the rockfish would be that it came with squid ink quinoa, which tasted a bit sandy (I don't even know if that would be the right way to describe it, but I occasionally felt like there was sand in my quinoa) and died my hands black when I touched it.
The rockfish is pictured above with squid ink quinoa and white asparagus. I didn't dislike the dish overall, because the fish is the star of the dish and the fish was done well--I just wished they had skipped the squid ink altogether.
But, thankfully Firefly saved the best for last with their desserts. Our entrees took longer than 35 minutes to come out of the kitchen, so they gave us three free desserts! Very generous, I know. Especially considering the desserts were the best part of the meal, and I would have gladly paid the $9 for my strawberry ice cream sandwich. The strawberry ice cream sandwich consisted of strawberry ice cream sandwiched between two thin pieces of flourless chocolate cake. It was absolutely incredible. The strawberry ice cream was so fresh and tangy, and the flourless chocolate cake practically melted in my mouth, and it was the ideal portion size for a dessert. This dessert is a must-try for anyone who dines at Firefly.
Overall, I would give my experience at Firefly a 8/10. The fish was great, the desserts were even better (and free), and the service was phenomenal. I think I can forgive them for the bizarre squid ink quinoa. At least they were trying something different.
Visit Firefly at 1310 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036