Debbie and I went to Aqua301 with Iris and Larry.
It is one of a series of four restaurants facing the river at this particular location.
The restaurant is L-shaped. The front door is at the foot of the L. To the right as you enter there is a U-shaped bar which seats 20 people. The end of the U is the service bar for the rest of the restaurant. There are a number of seating areas to the right of the front door. I asked one of the greeters how many the restaurant can seat and after thinking for a moment she said 400. Looking around I think that is a bit of a stretch.
On the long side of the L there is a banquette fronted by a series of 4 tops. There are several sections of 2 and 4 tops. One section near the door and the bar is all round, 4 person high top tables and related high chairs.
The restaurant is quite loud.
Aqua has a private dining room that can seat up to 30 people.
There is an outdoor seating area wrapped around the L with a variety of tables.
Iris started with Ceviche de Pescado Blanco, white fish, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, cucumber, tomato, Jalapeno. For her main course she selected Empanada de Pollo, chicken tinga, peppers, onions, garlic, garnished with pico de gallo.
Debbie and Larry chose exactly the same combination of dishes. They started with Caesar Salad al a Parilla, grilled romaine, croutons, Cotija cheese, anchovies, chipotle Cesar dressing. Then they chose Empanada de Jaiba, jumbo lump crabmeat salad with fresh corn, cheese sauce and pico de gallo.
I ordered the Chicken Tortilla Soup, shredded chicken, avocado, pico de gallo, chile rajas, quajillo tomato broth to be followed by Paella Mexicana, mussels, clams, shredded crab meat, spicy chorizo.
My order seemed to flummox those in the kitchen. Our server brought the first dish for Iris, Larry and Debbie and without saying a word left the table. I assumed that he could not carry four dishes and went back to get mine. I encouraged the others to get started. But he did not return.
Sometime later he returned carrying all four of the main course dishes. He set mine down last and said they were just finishing my first course in the kitchen, cutting the avocado he said.
A short time later the soup arrived without a further word. I must say it was worth the wait.
The others cleaned their plates but there was just too much paella. I managed to “harvest” all of the seafood.
There are two unisex restrooms. I only saw one of them but assume they are the same. Each of them has a white ceramic commode and a white ceramic washbasin. The walls are covered with square grey tiles except for a periodic strip of blue tiles. The floor is painted grey and could use a bit of rehab. It is best described as serviceable but not special.
Sunday–Wednesday 3-10 p.m.
Thursday–Saturday 3-11 p.m.
Monday–Friday 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Saturday–Sunday 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
Parking is available in Lot L which is a block away or by valet parking right on the corner of the restaurant. When we arrived at the valet parking sign no one was there to take cars.
301 Water Street SE
Next to the fountains at Yards Park
Washington, D.C. 20003