100 Best Restaurants 2012: Johnny's Half Shell
Tried and True: 10 Restaurants that Have Consistently Offered Very Good Dining
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published January 13, 2012
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Johnny's Half Shell
Address: 400 N. Capitol St., NW, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-737-0400
Neighborhood: Capitol Hill
Cuisines: Seafood, Southern, Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5 PM to 10 PM. Closed on Sundays.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Roasted-beet-and-cucumber salad with smoked sturgeon and a caviar parfait; charbroiled Chesapeake oysters; made-to-order oyster stew; gumbo; Maryland crabcakes; lobster with drawn butter and fresh shell beans; coconut cream pie.
Price Details: Starters, $8.95 to $16.25; entrées, $18.25 to $40. Oysters on the half-shel $2.50 each
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Party Space, Outdoor Seating, Good for Groups
Scene:
Outdoor Seating
Happy Hour Details:
Monday through Friday, 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM; $5.50 drafts, $8 cocktails, discounts on select seafood items.
Happy Hour Days:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

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The Capitol looms in the distance, but the moment you step onto the tiled floors of Ann Cashion's restaurant, bipartisanship prevails: Bickering gives way to partying as politicos and their posses blow off steam. The feel-good food helps--time-honored dishes from the Gulf and Chesapeake, prepared without preciousness or ego.

In summer, don't miss the barbecue crabs served on the patio, accompanied by live jazz.

What to get: Grilled chicken wings with green-goddess dressing; oysters on the half shell; oyster stew; seafood gumbo; Dungeness crab Louis; sautéed soft-shells; a definitive crabcake; spicy grilled lobster; chocolate angel-food cake; coconut cream pie.

Open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Saturday for dinner. Expensive.

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