The Argonaut's Creole-Style Seafood | Near Northeast, Washington D.C.

There's plenty of heat in The Argonaut's new steamer baskets

Where there was fire, now there is steam.

In rebuilding after a devastating blaze, the owners of The Argonaut did not simply recreate the restaurant's menu. Instead, they expanded the newly reopened tavern's offerings to include a focus on excellent seafood that–unlike most bar bites–is steamed rather than fried.

The new steamer pots are filled exclusively with sustainable, local fish, and the portions are large enough for two or three people to share.

A full pound of peeler shrimp ($21) arrives dusted with spicy Creole seasoning that lures out the shrimps' natural sweetness. Littleneck clams ($19) from Virginia bask in white wine and sage, each heightening the tiny mollusks' brininess.

The menu also includes a rotating steamer special, currently a collection of spindly Dungeness crab legs ($22). For a larger meal, diners can add both corn and herbed red potatoes for $2 to any steamer order.

Should steaming be too healthy a tack for you, we recommend starting a meal with Argonaut classics, including crisped sweet potato fries with coriander aioli ($6) and wings lacquered with chocolate and stout beer ($9).

The Argonaut, 1433 Maryland Ave. NE (at H St.); 202-250-3660 or