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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
  • 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
  • "The 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."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "We 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 relax"
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "a great meal in pleasant sorroundings, and I would like to go back again, for a meal, or just for a drink or two"
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "During 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."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "The menu had very few options. Not what one would expect from a Washingtonian top 100 restaurant. Oysters were good."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Soft shell crabs, halibut, crabs cakes, whole flounder-- all good-- what more can you ask for?? OH YES GOOD WINE TOO!"
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 6/25/2014
  • "We 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."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Good food and great service near Capitol Hill. I would recommend it for the atmosphere and the oysters. Seafood selections are first-rate."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Lobster 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 busy"
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "Very good food! The outdoor dining was perfect with the view of the capitol building. The appetizers were delicious especially the oysters."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "Title 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."
    Dined on 6/6/2014
  • "In 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. "
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Overall 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."
    Dined on 6/4/2014
  • "Ordered the catfish and have also had the Shrimp Etouffee before; both dishes are outstanding!!!"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Excellent salad. Great for groups! nice wine. great service and attention "
    Dined on 5/28/2014
  • "Upon 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. "
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "Great place and many good seafood options. Highly recommend."
    Dined on 5/22/2014
  • "Won't make you forget the Acme Oyster House, but kudos for having Leidenheimer bread"
    Dined on 5/20/2014
  • "The food and service was incredible. We went twice. I cannot wait to return!"
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Great meal, great waiter, great patio. When I made the reservation I noted that it was my mom's birthday. At the end of the meal, our waiter brought out a hand-signed birthday card from the owner. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Not sure what they were going for In regard to atmosphere. Modern 90s ? The food was well prepared but portions a bit small. Dinner for two with cocktails and no wine came to +/- $160.00. Free parking in a neighboring underground garage made the experience a bit more enjoyable. Amtrak's Union Station is within sight of the restaurant."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "My husband and I were just in DC for my MBA graduation. I read great reviews on Johnny's and since we love oysters it was a must. The service was excellent. The food was delicious. We sat outside and it was really beautiful. The wine list was great and we couldn't stop talking about how good the oysters were. They even gave me a card that said Congrats from Johnny's. We'll be back for sure!!"
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "This was our first time here. We picked Johnny's Half Shell because we wanted a restaurant close to Union Station where we had an event later in the evening. It was a great choice--both the food and the service were very good. We had several different dishes at our table and all were very fresh and great flavor combinations. Our server was very attentive without being too attentive and the front staff was extremely understanding when we were slightly delayed by traffic and were able to seat us very promptly."
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "Excellent service and food. Definitely worth a return visit next time we are in DC. A hint... Request a table towards the back and you will be away from the bar noise making for a very pleasant evening. Only negative is that there wines by the glass are very limited. "
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Johnny's has very good food. The service is always above and beyond. Lunch is affordable. Everything here is great!"
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "Our meal started out poorly, with the beet salad my girlfriend wanted unavailable (she had the asparagus instead and liked that) and the Trotter Tots I tried tasting dull. Things improved markedly with the entrees. Her flounder was cooked hard as requested and my Shrimp Etouffee (a daily special) was very tasty. Our friendly and accomodating waiter, Will F, brought her some cookies -- her favorite dessert -- although those are usually available only as accompaniment to gelato or ice cream. I tried a shot of the Hum Botanical for dessert and thought it very interesting and strong. I'll go for the Hum & Stormy cocktail next time."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "Had the crispy chicken salad for lunch. Chicken was ok, salad was weak. Advertised beets...barely had any and the rest was romaine. "
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "Johnny's has the best crab cakes of abnt place I've ever been. Get them broiled. They also have a creative and innovative cocktail selection. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "I love being able to hear my friends and enjoy good conversation over wonderful food, thoughtfully prepared. When investing time and energy in a night out, it's also gratifying to be skillfully taken care of by waitstaff who've mastered the art of leading and following. Our evening out in DC with an old family friend was perfectly facilitated at Johnny's. Just a stones throw from our motel on Capital Hill we had the BEST oyster appetizer I've enjoyed in 32 years on the east coast--recommended by our waiter--along with a house created mixed drink. I ordered what may be the best crab cakes in the region--with a lovely side of wilted spinach as opposed to fries---again suggested by our waiter. A perfect evening."
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "I chose Johnny's with a couple factors in mind, I wanted quality dining but not overly expensive, knowing I was willing to spend a little more. I booked reservations for 8:30, we arrived at 8 and it was not busy at all. They saw my reservation and noted we were celebrating my boyfriends birthday. We got seated right away. We ordered a couple drinks and soups. The soups were delicious, I got the gumbo and my boyfriend got the oyster stew. Perfect way to start our meal. We each order a fish entree, I got the salmon and he got the whole trout. It was all superb. My boyfriend wanted dessert so we ordered the chocolate angel cake, they put a candle in! They brought out complimentary champagne with a birthday card. It was a perfect celebration."
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "When visiting DC I was in the mood for seafood and searched the Washington Post for seafood restaurants, Johnny's was highly rated and we had a fabulous meal. Parking is available under the building but be prepared to have your car searched by security."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "During our recent trip to D.C. eagerly anticipated a seafood meal, especially Chesapeake Bay oysters. Imagine my surprise when only Washington State and Massachusetts oysters were available. We then ordered a half bottle of wine only to be informed it wasn't available. Our meal was very good but not outstanding; service lackluster on a slow night."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Brought a customer to lunch here on a beautiful afternoon. Raw Oysters were great, but the lobster roll was a complete joke for $24. Mostly mayonnaise and no chunks of lobster whatsoever. If I wasnt with a customer I would have sent it back. Nice room and attentive service, but its hard to get past that lobster roll."
    Dined on 4/21/2014
  • "We ate here during Restaurant Week and wanted to try it with the full menu. The food was fabulous and the service outstanding. We will definitely be back. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Just an okay meal at okay place. Do have kids menu but items are $11. Service was okay. Place was empty but we were seated behind checkin location so it added to chaos. With other options around, would try other places next time. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "Food and service were great as always. No complaints, I will definitely return."
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Had reservations and the place was almost empty and still waiting 30+ mins for a table....sat at the bar and waited for some to acknowledge us for 15mins. Food was just OK, nothing special....pretty disappointed to be honest."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "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