100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Johnny’s Half Shell

The bar at Johnny's Half Shell restaurant in Washington, DC. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Ann Cashion has been hailed over the years for championing
local foods, but the James Beard Award winner is perhaps more properly
understood as an advocate for place. At her bustling Capitol Hill
restaurant, the traditions of the Mid-Atlantic are given their due in
unfussy preparations, while the divides of Congress are surmounted as
politicos find commonality in food and drink.

It doesn’t hurt that Cashion sends out some of the city’s
finest seafood, from perfect crabcakes to an immensely satisfying grilled
lobster.

Leave room for cakes and pies that, like the restaurant, never
show off and always hit the spot. Don’t miss: Barbecue
shrimp; grilled chicken wings; tequila-cured gravlax; charbroiled oysters;
oyster stew; sautéed soft-shells; crab imperial; lemon chess pie;
chocolate angel-food cake. Open: Monday through Friday
for lunch and dinner, Saturday for dinner.
Expensive.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013

Get Our Weekend Newsletter

The best DC news, delivered straight to your inbox.
Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.