The Grilled Oyster Company Is Coming to Potomac

Husband-and-wife team Valerie and Rick Dugan plan to open their bivalve-centric new spot by the end of the month.

Fresh bivalves will be served grilled, fried, swimming in stew, and on the half-shell at the Grilled Oyster. Photograph courtesy of Shutterstock.

Good news for Potomac residents: The Grilled Oyster Company, a Chesapeake-themed seafood eatery, is slated to open in the Cabin John Shopping Center around August 29.

Husband-and-wife team Valerie and Rick Dugan are restaurant industry vets who have worked in managerial positions around Washington for the past 25 years, including stints at the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, Brio Tuscan Grille, and O’Donnell’s Sea Grill. Taking over the space that formerly housed Pomegranate Bisto, this 130-seat spot is their first solo venture. The kitchen is set to serve oysters chilled on the half-shell, simmered in stew with bacon, and fried, with jalapeño-lime aïoli on the side. The signature grilled oysters—live ones cooked on the grill until they pop open—will arrive with everything from dipping sauces such as Champagne vinaigrette to a Rockefeller-style topping or decked out with andouille sausage and green chili hollandaise.

Valerie shared an early copy of Grilled Oyster Company’s menu, which may change before the late-August opening. Other nods to the Chesapeake region include plenty of crab (dip, cakes, soup), fresh fish specials, and a few non-seafood options such as Eastern Bay rosemary chicken with wild mushroom sauce. Customers can pair it all with beers, wine, and what Valerie describes as a “classic cocktail bar” stocked with the makings for martinis and Manhattans.

Stay tuned for more on the opening, plus plans for their debut of a French-press brunch, at which pots of Chesapeake Bay Roasting Company coffee will be brewed at the table.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.