January 2007: 100 Very Best Restaurants
You'll find at least five kinds of oysters at this tiny urban fish bar.
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli
Comments () | Published January 23, 2007

Hank's Oyster Bar - Dupont Circle
Address: 1624 Q Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-462-4265
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle, Downtown
Cuisines: Seafood, Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday 5:30 to 10; Wednesday and Thursday 5:30 to 11; Friday and Saturday 5:30 to midnight. Open for brunch Saturday and Sunday from 11 to 3.
Nearby Metro Stops: Dupont Circle
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Accepted
Best Dishes Oyster shooters; peel-and-eat shrimp; fried popcorn shrimp and calamari; broiled oysters; fried oyster po’boy; fried clams; lobster roll; sablefish with soy-balsamic glaze; mac and cheese; onion rings.
Price Details: Appetizers, $6 to $36; entrees, $11 to $18.

No. 92: Hank's Oyster Bar

This tiny, 1½-year-old oyster bar, which takes cues from places like Pearl in New York and Swan’s in San Francisco, celebrates Beausoleils and Kumamotos, Olde Salts and Golden Mantles. At least five half-shell varieties are listed on the chalkboard each night.

Chef/owner Jamie Leeds has built a reputation on dishing up accessible comfort food, such as molassas-braised short ribs and Gouda Mac n’ Cheesy. And one bite of her Ipswich clams or popcorn shrimp will tell you she’s pretty good with a deep-fryer. But she’s also shown she can cut loose from expectations with, say, a rich cut of crisp-skin salmon with Moroccan spices, or seared scallops zigzagged with walnut vinaigrette. Still, the loudest mmmms tend to slip out over a plate of Hog Island–style barbecue oysters or a terrific po’ boy loaded with crunchy Bluepoints.

Hank’s is one of the few good neighborhood restaurants among the brownstones of east Dupont Circle. The 65-seat dining room doesn’t take reservations, and there’s usually a wait and rarely a place to stand. The kitchen’s teensy, too, which means there’s no room for desserts, much less a pastry chef, so the server brings out a few hunks of dark chocolate with the check.
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Posted at 11:14 AM/ET, 01/23/2007 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews