Johnny's Half Shell
400 North Capitol Street NW
Washington, DC 20001Neighborhood:
SeafoodPrice: $31 to $50
Johnny's Half Shell
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.johnnyshalfshell.net/
- Phone: 2027370400x
- 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, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), 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: Merrill Bankston 2027370820x
- 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
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Johnny's Half Shell - Best Restaurants in Capitol Hill ›
Johnny's Half Shell reviews from OpenTable diners
116 reviews since May 21, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (46)fit for foodies (36)great for lunch (34)special occasion (30)good for groups (24)neighborhood gem (23)romantic (22)great for brunch (10)notable wine list (10)hot spot (9)vibrant bar scene (8)scenic view (6)kid-friendly (5)late-night find (2)Show More
- Where's my waiterOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/16/2014Restaurant was not full but the hostess wanted to seat us next to where the wait staff go in/ out of kitchen. We requested another location, which was very nice. Our waiter started out great, but after a while he never came back until we asked someone to get him (twice). Everyone enjoyed their meals though the soft crabs were too salty.
- Good solid seafoodCnj54321VIPDined on 9/6/2014The decor was a little cheesy, but don't be fooled the food is still very good. Not 5-star level, mainly because of the way dishes are prepared, but the seafood tasted fresh and delicious so I can't complain. Definitely a HUGE step above any chain seafood and a relatively laid back environment.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- surpassed expectationsshebabugVIPDined on 9/6/2014Here in the DMV so many restaurants attempt fresh local seafood and fail but Johnny's does not disappoint. The crab cakes and soft shelled crabs were magnificent and if you can luck up and get a bite of their spoon bread you're in for a treat. Didn't care for the coleslaw at all, as it was more vinegar based than I'm accustomed to but overall a great meal. Pricing could always be less, especially for the portion sizes but a great meal nonetheless.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful eveningsusanismVIPDined on 9/6/2014Had mussels appetizer which was a bit spicy with a zing...broiled lobster...then went to arena stage for the theatre which was a five. Minute drive. Terrific and attentive service.Special Features:
- Guilford1960Dined on 9/4/2014We had a very nice dinner while seated in their outdoor dining space. Our server was attentive and responsive to our request for olive oil to replace butter. We had enjoyed many dinners at their previous location but this was our first time to dine at this one.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great experienceDCVisitorDined on 8/30/2014Johnny's was a little pricey for someone from PA but no more expensive than anywhere else in DC. Great service and great food. I would recommend the place to family and friends.Special Features:
- Nothing excitingsaweberDined on 8/25/2014Went for the happy hours and had oysters, cheese and beer with the intention of staying for dinner. Needless to say, it wasn't worth staying! The place was really dead, even for a Monday at happy hour. The staff was rude and seemed to be bothered that we where even there. Once we sat in the outside bar area our main server was a but better but still not very enthusiastic to be working. The bar area smelled funny and wasn't very conducive for relaxing and chatting with friends. The oysters where edible but not great, the cheese was tiny and everything was over priced even at happy hour pricing. Will not be returning that's for sure. The Dubliner around the corner is a great spot, we went there after.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 8/22/2014This was such a pleasant surprise. Appetizer, and entrees were absolutely delicious. Service was great and dining outside was so pleasant!Special Features:
- Wonderful Dining ExperienceFoodieVIPDined on 8/16/2014The food and staff were outstanding. The out door seating area is very romantic. The music played in the background added to the ambience. We were fortunate to have a beautiful August evening. Definitely going back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Second RW dinnerDCcatwomanDined on 8/16/2014Really good dinner. Fried oysters were delicious, shrimp etouffee was spicy & excellent (and a generous portion) & the ginger cake was very good as a well. Definitely will go back.Special Features:
- 1st timeNeverDined on 8/16/2014Could be a lot more happy to see customers upon arrival for a less than half full. Salad dressing burnt our lips and tongue. Must have more than 1 dressing. Cole slaw was interesting but not to our taste. Crab cakes were OK. Good crab meat. Staff was not very friendly. Not outgoing. I made a jovial comment upon seating and got zero response. Staff was attentive to drinks and water. The bar was very noisy from a small group. Set a noisy bar atmosphere. Overpriced menu and drinks.
- Nice, quiet dinnerOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/15/2014This spot is tucked away on Capitol Hill. Great for a quiet dinner for you and yours. Food was an 7.8/10Special Features:
- Nice Restaurant Week MealDCcatwomanDined on 8/14/2014Very nice evening at Johnny's. I had the New Orleans File Gumbo--spicy, creamy & delicious; Sautéed Sea Scallops--tasty and well prepared, but only 4 small/medium pieces in serving--even for RW menu, five would have been a more reasonable portion; Chocolate Angel Food cake was pretty good, but I'd try the other choice, Gingered Peach Shortcake, which might be more interesting. Service was a bit slow, I had to ask for more iced tea for sitting for a while with an empty glass. The server was working very hard on that crowded patio; they were understaffed. Overall a really good meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great PlaceSwoozinDined on 8/14/2014Our party of five were able to dine here for restaurant week on our visit to DC. I thoroughly enjoyed the charbroiled oysters, as did my family! The steak my daughter ordered was amazing! All of our main courses were good, but if you are not a fan of olives, do not order the scallops. I asked that the olives be taken out when I ordered and that did not happen. Overall though, I think this is a good restaurant.Special Features:
- Disappointing Restaurant WeekOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/13/2014Had heard lots of good things about Johnny's Half Shell, but would not return based on the Restaurant Week experience alone.
- honeyDined on 8/13/2014odor in the restaurant, but enjoyed outdoor seating and shrimp and grits.Special Features:
- Restaurant Week LunchOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/13/2014A few of my co-workers and I went for lunch during Restaurant Week. We had outside seating and the food and service were great.Special Features:
- Annual Restaurant LunchGrlsDOL1Dined on 8/13/2014My friends and I have been taking advantage of Restaurant Week for several years. We don't go back to many restaurants as we see this as a chance to try new places. However, Johnny's is a favorite for us. This was a repeat visit.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 8/13/2014The shrimp and rrits along with the shrimp po-boy sandwich was outstanding!!!! I will be back!!! :)Special Features:
- Summer 2014 Restaurant WeekJimJDinerDined on 8/13/2014Lunched for Summer 2014 Restaurant Week. Stand by my former review; food was superb. The Gumbo was a full serving which surprised me. Spicier than my taste, but delicious. Almost enough for a meal. Had the Atlantic Porgy; absolutely perfectly done in terms of tender and flaky. Just melted in your mouth. The pairing w/ sweet red pepper oil was perfect though I was disappointed that it was served over pureed potatoes rather than the heirloom rice salad. The Gingered Peach Shortcake was delicious. And I’m not a big fan of ginger other than in gingerbread cookies. It was quite refreshing and light for a shortcake, almost more like a sweet biscuit, though clearly more ‘short’.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great!ENDCDined on 8/11/2014My experience was love. Very nice spot; definitely recommend to anyone.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointingSunflowerDined on 8/11/2014Service and ambiance were great, but food was disappointing. We ordered from the Restaurant Week menu, and the selections were not nearly as good as last year. Gazpacho, the porgy entree, and the peach cobbler all were, well, blah. Cobbler seemed to have been made with canned -- rather than fresh -- peaches.
- Great Location, Lackluster FoodFoodloverDined on 8/11/2014Restaurant Week lunch at Johnny's was mediocre at best. The gumbo was over-spiced and the porgy fillet was edible but unremarkable. The best part was the peach shortcake, which was divine. Had I made my entire meal out of the dessert, my review may be different. In addition, the strange white overcoats the service staff have to wear are outdated and look mightily uncomfortable. The main server was very friendly, but the rest of the wait staff appeared irritated and unfriendly. This was my first time at Johnny's and most likely my last. I was singularly unimpressed.
- Great food, location and atmospherePACMORDined on 7/25/2014The outdoor dining experience was exceptional. Service was great. Just the right amount of attention to our needs, but never intrusive. Everyone at Jack's seemed to be having a great time! The food was excellent. I have already recommended Jack's and look forward to my next visit.Special Features:
- more than just oystersbeeindcVIPDined on 7/21/2014We stopped in after getting off a bus at Union Station. What a lovely place to unwind. The oysters were out of this world briny and fresh. The whole flounder with lime sauce was amazing. I love the outside area. A nice quiet place to have a great dinner and relaxSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- martinrDined on 7/18/2014a great meal in pleasant sorroundings, and I would like to go back again, for a meal, or just for a drink or twoSpecial Features:
- Great food and serviceJimchicagoDined on 7/3/2014During our visit we had our special dinner here. We really enjoyed the oysters, squid, and broiled crab cakes. The service was great and the drinks were stiff. The menu was great because it had a mix of seafood and meat.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- TreRVIPDined on 6/27/2014The menu had very few options. Not what one would expect from a Washingtonian top 100 restaurant. Oysters were good.
- dinner with friendsRichDined on 6/25/2014Soft shell crabs, halibut, crabs cakes, whole flounder-- all good-- what more can you ask for?? OH YES GOOD WINE TOO!Special Features:
- Yummy foodFoodLoverDined on 6/25/2014We thoroughly enjoyed the fresh seafood. It was soft shell crab season so they had it on the menu and it was delightful. We recommend the crab cakes, they are full of crab meat and not just the fillers. The restaurant is very noisy and your tables are right next to each other so there's no sense of intimacy. The staff is very friendly and attentive, but you pay for it as the price is very expensive.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bill MasonBillDined on 6/21/2014We were pleasantly surprised this had been here and we had never been before. Creative dishes. Mostly seafood--which we were looking for--could have ordered several items on menu. We will be back soon.Special Features:
- Great Choice on Capitol HillPaulDined on 6/19/2014Good food and great service near Capitol Hill. I would recommend it for the atmosphere and the oysters. Seafood selections are first-rate.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Surprised!FreestateDined on 6/10/2014Lobster was extremely small and the broiling made the legs unable to produce any meat. I had to ask for a cloth to clean my hands once finished. Wait staff had on dirty smocks. This was at 6:30 PM. My companions felt their meals were excellent. One ordered a second glass of wine when the meal was half finished. Wine appeared at the table at the end of the meal. Restaurant was not that busySpecial Features:
- Great Food and ViewGracieNJ629Dined on 6/6/2014Very good food! The outdoor dining was perfect with the view of the capitol building. The appetizers were delicious especially the oysters.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Classic upscale seafood experienceLonesomeCowboyBillDined on 6/6/2014Title says it all. If your looking for the white tablecloth, white wine seafood experience, Johnny's delivers, without being generic. Find a spot on the patio if you can.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- SaltyDined on 6/4/2014In DC for the first time. This restaurant was close to our hotel so we decided to try it. We are from the west coast and wanted to try east coast seafood. Prices are roughly the same as the SF Bay Area. We went with crab cakes and blue crabs. The crab cakes were good, but the side dishes were too salty. The blue crabs were too salty also. Service was friendly and attentive.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/4/2014Overall we would say the meal was good but not really what we would expect from a top 100 restaurant for the price. Two appetizers – fried calamari and corn chowder. Corn chowder was a non-creamy bowl of warm water filled with small pieces of corn along with several other vegetable diced very finely, no apparent seasoning. Calamari’s flavor OK, but few of them with a too-thick breading, giving them a gummy texture. Definitely overpriced. For entrees we both ordered crispy whole flounder. The fish was very good, with well-cooked meat a crispy skin. For dessert, strawberry shortcake was made with a biscuit, not cake, just as it should be. The biscuit was very tasty and the plentiful strawberries had lots of flavor.
- Best catfish ever!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/3/2014Ordered the catfish and have also had the Shrimp Etouffee before; both dishes are outstanding!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for groupOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 5/28/2014Excellent salad. Great for groups! nice wine. great service and attentionSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Happy hour trump diners experienceJennSDined on 5/22/2014Upon arriving, there was a huge happy hour at the bar that was spilling into the dining area. To avoid that, We asked to eat outside and sure enough they had set up Another organized happy hour outside, so large that the patrons were spilling over into the dining area outside. We could not wait to leave the screaming hordes of party goers. Our meal was ruined. To pay over 100 for two people to eat marginal food while sitting amongst a throng of loud drinkers was a miserable experience. Never again. And the spinach salad for $14 is a few pieces of spinach leaves with some beets (yuck) and radishes (yuck) on the side. Do. Not. Order.Special Features: