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: (202) 737-0400
- Hours of Operation:
Breakfast: Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 9:30am; Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Friday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
- 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, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, 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
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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
89 reviews since July 31, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (36)fit for foodies (35)great for lunch (29)special occasion (24)good for groups (20)neighborhood gem (18)romantic (16)hot spot (8)notable wine list (6)great for brunch (6)vibrant bar scene (6)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (2)late-night find (2)Show More
- Johnny's is excellent for dinner and hearing!DianaDined on 11/14/2014Five active women finally had a chance to catch up. Johnny's was perfect for delicious food and a location where we could hear each other. Our servers were wonderful and very attentive but not intrusive. We all commented that our dinners were delicious. We could all hear each other. What more could one want?Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nov 7: Dinner at Johnny's HalfJeffVIPDined on 11/7/2014I had a great dinner with 4 separate appetizers: crab cake, fried oysters, 1/2 doz raw oysters and shrimp\grits. All were very good and I would eat them all again. The service was very good & allowed my dining companion to catch her 9pm train at Union Station.
- A little spendy for a thrifty lunchNoNicknameReviewerDined on 10/28/2014I brought my party of four here for lunch on a Tuesday and unless one is pretty well heeled or on a cushy expense account, the menu items for lunch are on the high $$ side. Food was pretty good, but too expensive for what we got. On the other hand, the service was amazingly good!Special Features:
- How the mighty have fallenPCatVIPDined on 10/27/2014The food was bad. The service was worse. Johnny's was good once but not any more. The crab imperial had hardly any crab. The crabcakes were all filler. The waiter was slow and not helpful. I will it be back.
- Glad to go back!SusanVIPDined on 10/25/2014It's been a few years since I visited Johnny's Half Shell; what a fabulous place! The service was terrific; the food fabulous! My go to place for a special occasion.Special Features:
- What an amazing find!DiningdivaVIPDined on 10/17/2014We booked this restaurant for our last night in DC because it was close to our hotel & we had a very early morning flight out of BWI. We were dazzled by the entire experience. The ambiance, service and food were beyond our expectations in every way. It is a cozy, pretty little restaurant (old school) but the food is anything but ordinary. I had Maryland crab cakes & my husband had an entire fish and both were sensational. The autumnal soup was tasty and satisfying but not too rich. Our server was present when needed but not under foot like some servers can be. The pace of the meal was perfect...neither too quick nor too slow. I highly recommend this restaurant to all diners who appreciate a quiet, romantic, delicious meal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Overpriced portionsSpawolaDined on 10/17/2014Maybe we paid for the view??? Perfect weather for outdoor dining, but the outdoor bar guests were quite noisy. Crabcakes were teeny tiny (3oz) and way overpriced to only include slaw and fries (~$40). Shrimp and grits were tasty and but they should be for $20. Not pleased with the food for the price we paid. We won't be back. On to the next...Special Features:
- consistently solidhappyeatsDined on 10/9/2014The food is consistwntly good. The service is always excellent and fast. It is great for business lunches and dinners.Special Features:
- Wasn't Worth The PriceDisappointedCoupleDined on 10/3/2014The Ginger Ale was great, that's about it.. Customer service was horrible, I've never been to a restaurant with that type of service.. I've gotten better service from Mc Donalds.. We had to constently weave our waiter, because he never gave us a proper greeting. The food quality was very poor.. Even down to the alcoholic beverages... I wouldn't bare go back to this place..Special Features:
- Place for seeing your congressmanVRfromTROYDined on 10/1/2014The place is very close to the Capitol and, as we were told by our charming waitress, is teaming with the Congress members, when the said Congress is in session. Unfortunately, the food was undistinguished: we had a salmon and crab. Perhaps raw bar dishes are better. The wine though, some white Bordeaux, was very good.Special Features:
- DisappointingTawneyVIPDined on 9/29/2014I look a friend to lunch for a special treat and it was far from special. The last time I was there I had a fabulous caviar appetizer. This time my friend ordered the fried oyster PO Boy on a special bread. It was served on ordinary French bread, overfried and with a package of potatoe chips (still in the bag" no home made chips! Won't be back.Special Features:
- Was disappointedOpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 9/26/2014I have gone to this restaurant when I first came to the area. Their food was fresh and very well presented. This last time, the food was salty and the service was .Special Features:
- Excellent foodMmarcusDined on 9/24/2014We enjoyed the menu choices. As North-westerners I had never had soft shell crab. The entree was well described by the waiter and I tried it for a lovely dinner. The most enjoyable part of our evening was the pacing of the meal thanks to the expertise of our waiter and kitchen staff.Special Features:
- noisy capitol hill eateryhillyDined on 9/18/2014have a really nice restaurant. Service good and very tasty menu I would go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always delivers, always classyGsquaredVIPDined on 9/18/2014Johnny's is always one of my go to places for lunch with invited guests after a Capitol Hill meeting or event. We arrived well after the lunch rush and were seated immediately and provided discreet but helpful service. The crab cakes were terrific as always and the seafood soup excellent. The food, excellent service and it not be intimidatingly elegant make it great for out of town guests - they can feel well taken care of without being overwhelmed.Special Features:
- 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.
- The following 1089 reviews are from the Johnny's Half Shell reviews archive.
- 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.