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Johnny's Half Shell
Johnny's Half Shell

Johnny's Half Shell Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.johnnyshalfshell.net
  • Email: johnnyshalfshell@comcast.net
  • Phone: (202) 737-0400
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 9:30am; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Ann Cashion
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Whether it is business or pleasure, Johnny is Half Shell wants your private event to be memorable. Our five rooms, including our outdoor terrace, are versatile enough to accommodate any size party, and any style event. In addition, the entire restaurant, or a portion of the restaurant, may be reserved.
  • Private Party Facilities: Whether it’s business or pleasure, Johnny’s Half Shell wants your private event to be memorable. Our five rooms, including our outdoor terrace, are versatile enough to accommodate any size party, and any style event. In addition, the entire restaurant, or a portion of the restaurant, may be reserved.
  • Private Party Contact: Melissa Glasser (202) 737-0820
  • Entertainment: Live Jazz The Charles Woods Quartet Every Saturday 6:00 pm - 10:00pm

Getting there

  • Cross Street: between E Street and Louisana Ave.
  • Public Transit: Union Station on the Metro Red Line. Walk across Massachussette right onto E street turn lelf on North Capitol. We are next to Wells Fargo Bank.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Free validated parking in the Hall of the State lot on E Street between New Jersey and North Capitol available nightly after 5:00 pm.
A word from Johnny's Half Shell
Opened in 1999, and chosen by Gourmet Magazine in 2000 as one of "America's Best Restaurants," Johnny's Half Shell relocated to its present Capitol Hill location in September 2006. Renditions of Chesapeake and Gulf Coast Seafood remained the kitchen's focus, and the restaurant's new home maintained its homespun conviviality. Said Washingtonian Magazine, "The capitol dome shines in the background, a reminder of the new, more serious-minded neighbors who come here. But Johnny's still feels like home." In September 2007, New York Times dubbed the new venue a "Capital Gain" for Washington, DC.Continued
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Diner Reviews
  • "Slow and poor service during busy Saturday night. Wanted more from a high-end restaurant."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Being from Boston and traveling often to Maine, I'm sometimes hesitant to try fish restaurants. To my surprise Johhny's half shell was amazing! I had the grilled rock fish and I ate every bite. It was such a delicious piece of fish! You can tell everything is fresh. Our server was so kind and helpful! He really cared how out experience was. I would absolutely recommend this restaurant to anyone in the area. Best fish place around! Quick tip - if you go, try the shrimp and grits appetizer. Phenomenal!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "As a tourist, it was interesting to see political celebs at the restaurant. My husband felt underdressed wearing a sweater when all other men had on suits. Felt like a lot of big things were being discussed. Food was good. Bloody Mary was good."
    Dined on 4/7/2014
  • "Fresh oysters. Good grilled flounder. Excellent service. Mediocre cocktails."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "The acidity of the lemon vinaigrette with the nicely done crispy shallots, slight bitterness of arugula and smoky char on the squid (done just right and not over) was the right balance. Also solid on the charbroiled oysters with good flavor and smokiness although I was a little overwhelmed by the cheese on top - delicious, just overpowered the oyster in my mind. Grilled rockfish and salmon were done just right. Very enjoyable overall!"
    Dined on 3/31/2014
  • "Waitress was such a friendly person! We were SO glad we tried Johnny's - the meal was excellent! We had the Rockfish and the scallops - delicious!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "the food is basically good, not spectacular. the fried oysters were a little soggy, and the rockfish fillets were not trimmed properly. rockfish is one of those fish which has a dark meat strip in the center of the fillet, which has a very strong fishy taste and must be removed. wine list excludes italian wines, which are very popular now,"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Our reservation, for my wife, myself, and a granddaughter and her fiance from San Francisco, was for lunch on March 17. Because there had been snow overnight, we attempted repeatedly to reach Johnny's Half Shell by phone during the morning and got nothing but the recorded message. Finally, on our way to the restaurant, we got a message that the restaurant was closed. We called Bus Boys and Poets on our mobile phone and were welcomed to a bustling restaurant fully staffed and full of customers. We never heard a peep from Johnny's to advise us or apologize."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Dinner at this restaurant is an enjoyable experience. We had the crispy flounder (whole). Fish was good but not outstanding. Would have preferred another option besides fried flounder (eg. broiled) but not available. The accompanying eggplant side dish was delicious! Butternut squash soup was excellent as well. The setting is quite comfortable and service was attentive."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We went for lobster rolls and oysters on a Friday in Lent. They had run out of lobster, which was diappoibting, but northern oysters were amazingly good. Everyone was happy with what we got."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Great lobster! The food is tasty and a little bit Southern. Ambiance is nice and weather permitting the patio is wonderful."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Had the oysters and one of them was not cleaned properly. Also one was mini size. Cocktails were good. Fish was cooked nice. Sides not so good, sort of an afterthought. Service lukewarm. Expensive for the meal in comparison to nearby restaurants. Perhaps this place is still living off the heyday of its capitol hill glory days."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "I ate here while on a business trip. I ordered the crab cakes and was not disappointed. The atmosphere was very nice and this place would be a great spot for a special night out. French fries were a little blah but the crab cakes made up for it. If you like seafood or steak I'd recommend this place."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Thought the food was excellent, but wine list limited. Waiter did not follow requests well. He was attentive though."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "As always, the service, food prep, and attention to diners is superb."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Used to be a favorite but service a Has become unbelievably slow; food inconsistent."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Johnny's Half Shell remains one of the best kept weekend secrets in D.C. Seldom crowded with a great selection of seafood. Oysters are always great and the cocktails are wonderful. The service is superb. You can not go wrong going to Johnny's!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The food was very basic and flavors weren't there. We ordered oysters which were good but dirty shells which resulted in sandy textures in the mouth. Calamari was good though. Ordered scallops which were alright and crab cakes were very basic. We won't be returning."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "The squash salad was really good. The crab cake appetizer was not bad. The scallops were way too lemony. The lemon and olive flavor overpowered the scallops."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We had a great time! Best surprise was the secret wine specials....Oysters were great and the seafood was wonderful...thanks"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "We were struck by the limited menu. That was ok since we weren't that hungry. Never experienced gumbo without rice (or did they forget it?). We had no complaints about our service which was probably the most notable part of the experience."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "I had two dozen of oysters on the half shell and they were heavenly. My friends had the crab cake and found them heavenly."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Our food arrived in good time. The mussels I'd ordered (which arrived in a lovely wine sauce flavored with sweeter items like oranges and golden raisins (I think) was surprisingly delicious--a perfect blend of sweet and tart (which I adore). My sauteed spinach also was wonderfully seasoned and not too oily. Was very pleased wtih my lunch meal."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "I have come here many times for po' boy sandwiches at lunch but this is only the second time I had dinner. The dinner prices are very steep but the food is wonderful. The happy hour crowd in the bar in front is 25 years younger than the dining crowd and fairly noisy but we were seated in a back room where the sound was happily muffled for us oldsters who could afford the full menu."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Was expecting great seafood. The calamari appetizer was delicious. My entree, the salmon, was good but not outstanding. Service was good. Wine list was limited, not much variety."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Whenever we visit the nations capital Johnny's is on our restaurant list because of the quality of the food and the excellent service. Over the past 4-5 years we have consistently dined at Johnny's and found it to be one of our favorites. The fire and ice appetizer made for an excellent entree this past weekend -- try it if you can -- you will not be disappointed."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "A little pricey. Food was good but disappointing value."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Lunched during Winter 2014 Restaurant week ($20.14). Had never been there though I work in the neighborhood; HUGE interior. Didn’t look at regular menu before visiting. Had I known how outrageously priced it was, I would have been intimidated. I suppose its proximity to Capitol Hill provides an ample clientele of powerful and well-moneyed. Food was superb. Shrimp and grits (reg 10.75) was not a lot of grits, but seasoning was perfect. Norwegian Salmon (reg. $28) was perfectly prepared and had a nice char. Not a fan of banana crème pie (it wasn’t on the printed menu), it was the preferable outcome of what my choices were (Not a big dessert guy – everyone once in a blue moon). Best banana crème pie I’ve ever had."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "I gave everything four stars - all well deserved. But the food itself was the highlight of the night, probably should get another half star. Everything was flavorful. Best scallops I have had in some time."
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "My friends and I went to Johnny's to celebrate a birthday. The waiter didn't infirm us of some changes to the menu and when the bill came he seemed to not know what we were talking about. I was very disturbed by this. The lobster bisque was bland and crab cake was full of breading. I am a foodie so I will NEVER go back here again."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Came to DC for birthday celebration. Friday nite here @ Johnny's after flying in to DCA. Thought a later dinner might catch a busy nite scene--surprisingly (very) quiet. Not a complaint, just surprised."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "The food was ok. The service was good until the end. The waiter appeared to get annoyed when we questioned him about the bill and the cost breakdown."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "I went here for restaurant week and really enjoyed everything that I ate! I had one specialty cocktail which was also very good. I liked the atmosphere and decor. Wait staff was attentive. Very good fish!"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "It was a good choice for dinner during Restaurant Week. The food and the atmosphere was great. However, if you want privacy or quieter area please request. The bar area gets crowded and loud during after work/ happy hour. You don't have to worry about parking after 5 because you can park in the public garage and the restaurant validates your parking which is a winner. Overall, me and my mate really enjoyed the place."
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "The food was ok, the wine list a little strange, and the service passable. There are simply too many other places to try to consider going back."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "My friend and I decided to try Johnny's for Restaurant Week, as they had a large and great-looking menu. We were definitely not disappointed! Friend got fried oysters, duck, and banana cream pie. I got the gumbo, crabmeat imperial, and angel food cake. Everything was great, but we both LOVED the oysters and the crabmeat imperial was so creamy and tasty! Our server gave us space/time to eat but food came out quickly. We thought we might have trouble booking a table on the last Saturday of Restaurant Week but there were many reservations available. When we sat around 6 there were only a few other tables filled. It only got crowded around 7. I would DEFINITELY go back again!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "I dine at Johnny's several times per year and try to make it there during Restaurant Week. The menu is extensive--I was there for lunch and there were at least seven main courses from which to choose--and each course was well-portioned for lunch. Also, the service is very good. It is refreshing to find a restaurant where staff have been trained not to ask each person at the table who gets what."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "A good choice for restaurant week in DC. Food was good as was the service, but there was nothing outstanding about the experience."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "This was my first time at this restaurant and all I can say is EXCELLENT!. The food and drinks were very good. Will definitely go again."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Nice quiet place to have dinner. Gumbo is Great!!! My suggestion is to have more selection of salads!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014