The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
The Hard Shell - Bellgrade

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://thehardshell.com/
  • Phone: 8044641476x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner Service:
    Monday through Saturday 4 pm until 10 pm.
    Sunday 4 pm until 9 pm.

    Brunch:
    Sunday 10:30 am until 2:30 pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Seafood
  • Executive Chef: Chef Cory Peay
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Smoking Area (patio only), Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Saturday Evenings 630pm to 930pm

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Huguenot and Robious Roads
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
2nd location for beloved Richmond legend! The Hard Shell offers a variety of fresh and local seafood entrees and appetizers as well as an extensive raw bar menu featuring oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels, crab legs, lobster, and much more. The Hard Shell also features items such as filet mignon, baby back ribs, roasted chicken, vegetarian dishes and gluten free options as well.
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The Hard Shell - Bellgrade reviews from OpenTable diners
105 reviews since June 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.2
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (47)special occasion (46)fit for foodies (37)good for groups (29)great for outdoor dining (27)romantic (26)great for brunch (15)notable wine list (15)vibrant bar scene (14)great for lunch (9)late-night find (7)kid-friendly (7)hot spot (4)scenic view (1)Show More
  • A must try for seafood
    LizM
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Excellent service and quality food. Service from greeting by hostess and throughout dinner was perfect despite a very busy dining scene. Server was able to keep small water glasses full which is a small thing but greatly appreciated as a diner. Ordered halibut which was fresh and perfectly cooked and paired with accompanying sides. Glad they have a decent children's menu too. I will defintely return. Just wish one was closer to me in the West End. : )
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Restaurant Week
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/20/2014
    Delicious dishes and generous portions, even on the Restaurant Week menu. Loved it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Hard Shell at Bellgrade
    Dabski
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    The Happy Hour drinks and appetizers in the bar and on the terrace are very good and great value. Try the shrimp to share. Unfortunately there was no service on the terrace and since the bar was very busy getting drinks was a very slow process. We moved into the restaurant for our meal and the food was outstanding especially the crab legs and the salmon. Unfortunately the service was quite slow. I suspect they were understaffed which is not good for a Friday night.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food at Hardshell
    RichmondExec
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Had a delightful dinner at the Hardshell at Bellgrade. Crab cakes, scallops, shrimp, and Mahi Mahi were cooked to perfection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Did not make the grade
    EatandLove
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Let's start with the positive. At arrival we were greeted by a very courteous hostess and seated immediately. Our Server was very knowledgable and explained the menu well offering some suggestions. On to the food... The lobster dip was too cheesy and the accompanying fried tortillas were oily. Crispy fried oysters had very little flavor. The biggest disappointment was the UNSEASONED chewy Rockfish. Lastly the Apple pecan bread pudding that was just ok, a bit too wet for my liking. Overall the food lacked flavor.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 2 pound crab legs
    Stuffedoncrab
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    The amount of crab legs for $20, well worth the price.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good brunch
    sunsetdonVIP
    Dined on 10/12/2014
    Visited on a Sunday for brunch. They were very accommodating and assisted one of our party who was in a wheelchair and also a 2-year old. The wait staff was friendly, cheerful and very helpful. We had a variety of items including ham & cheese omelets, garden omelet, pancakes and eggs benedict. All were very good and the coffee and juice was flowing. Very nice brunch and easy to work with if you are a group or have special needs.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Filler bit crab
    lcd5
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    My crab cakes has very little crab in them. They are much better at Fresh Market.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • nice dinning experience
    ehornak
    Dined on 10/6/2014
    server was very efficient, food was hot and tasty, ambiance was ok. will be going back again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    I don't know that I would go back to The Hard Shell. The food was just fair/pretty bland. It tasted like something I could cook at home.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Oysters!
    eatfreak
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    The oyster sampler is always a hit! Cast iron ribeye is amazing.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of our favorite places!
    murph
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    We have eaten at The Hard Shell numerous times and have been very pleased with our meals and the service each time. My husband is particularly fond of their fried oysters entree, but they do a great job with other seafood, chicken and beef!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Dining
    Greatdining
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    A great place for groups ..Food is delicious! The service is excellent ..our waitress was courteous and saw to our every need. The atmosphere is wonderful. I would recommend this restaurant over and over again!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Atmosphere of seafood paradise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Besides the service the restaurant is a nice in Virginia, being from New York to find a restaurant with that type of caliber down here is exceptional. Will definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Surburban Gem - Fine Dining
    DeeLicious
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    We were hesitant to select the restaurant but did so after another downtown venue was booked to capacity. Best move we ever made. We were seated immediately. We inquired about the freshness of the calamari and were astounded to discover it really was fresh, not rubbery. Every menu item, including dessert, exceeded expectations! The live band complimented the ambience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    the sword fish special was wonderful with the side dish that made it pop. all the food was great. the bar does a really good mint julep and the special drinks were great also. hats off to katy. and the other wait staff. see you soon
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Well traveled diner
    LisaC
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Traveled to Hardshell as a point between to meet with an long time friend - we both drove 2 hrs - we had high expectations. Our request on the on-line reservations were met and everything else exceeded expectations. Fabulous drinks, well prepared and presented food. We were not rushed, were able to enjoy a leisurely brunch. Both of us have traveled and experienced multiple 5 star restaurants. This dining experiencing exceeded every nuance of what we wanted for our reunion. The drive was totally worth it!!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Our 3rd time there. Fabulous ! Great food, served hot, great service , well worth a trip from the West End . Music was great!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bad Management
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    I booked a table for 4 to entertain a business partner and his wife at The Hard Shell Midlothian. It was a slow Tuesday night and our reservation was at 7pm. There were only 2 other occupied tables in the place. Admittedly, our group of 4 was the loudest in the place, and having so much room, I wish we had been sat further fro the other 2 - 2 tops. The server was great and the food was fine. We just felt like we were keeping the rest of the staff against their will. Maybe this place is better on the weekends when they expect people to come in and have fun...
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good as ususal
    AESRichmond
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    Hard Shell at Bellgrade has consistently good food. Service was great too.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A real gem!
    Betty2
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Creative, fresh seafood. Excellent service. Really enjoyed the live jazz music!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • MotaVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Good solid meal with terrific service and reasonably priced seafood as their feature. Specials every day add to an already extensive menu that has creative fish dishes that are atsty and economical.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Not so hot
    retiredfrequentdiners
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    This was our first visit to the Hard Shell. The appetizer - Oysters Hard Shell- was tasty. The salad (wedge) and she-crab soup were good. We both ordered fish (blackened mahi-mahi & rockfish). The meal was mediocre. My mahi mahi portion was very small, dry and not very tasty. My wife's portion was good, but dry and her rice was cold. The waiter said the meal quality was caused by a large group that was being served at the same time- of course that made us feel much better about the money we spent.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very good experience
    apple
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    We had a group of 11. Our server, Erin was very attentive and did a great job of keeping everyone happy. I would definitely go back for dinner for tow or a larger group as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always Enjoy the Hard Shell
    LoriBee
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    This was my first time at this location. I went specifically for crab leg night. They were very very good but not the quality I seem to get on nights when there is less demand. Service and atmosphere were excellent. I'll definitely go again even on crab leg night.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • If you like crab...
    generob61
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    2 lbs. of crab legs for$20, are you kidding me?! And the she crab soup too?! If you enjoy crab like I do, this is the place to go on Sundays!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tracy
    justshoeit
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    This is one of the best restaurants in Richmond. We have been coming for years. Food is delicious and wait staff is very friendly and knowlegeable.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice brunch
    Kelly
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Eggs benedict were very good. Quiet Sunday. Nice atmosphere. Not rushed.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Very good service and food but a really loud band and freezing AC almost ruined it for me. I can't see going back. When the server gets your drink order screwed up because she can't hear it over the band, then you've got a problem.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • very nice
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    I had a business meeting/dinner there. It was perfect. The food was great, service was very good and it wasn't too noisy. I highly recommend it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • smelled of dirty carpet!
    the2js
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    the filet tasted spoiled on 8/3 evening. Surf and turf was good however
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great
    AClosetedFoodie
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    I spent my birthday dinner here the other night and the staff made sure I was well taken care of! From being seated by the hostesses and being waited on by great staff I will definitely recommend this to friends and family!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OUTSTANDING & FABULOUS FOOD!!
    Foxcrest
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Can they please open a Hard Shell in Greensboro, NC??? PLEASE!!!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • what's not to like
    Chris
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I had the crab cakes. They were small, but very delicious with little to no filler. Wonderfully presented. My date had the steak and lobster tail, and she let me try bites of both. Excellent. The booth was superb, and I didn't feel cramped or wedged in there likes many Fan restaurants.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lilysnewfind
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    dining experience was satisfying and the quality of food was good.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place
    ReasonableexpectationVIP
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Excellent seafood, live jazz, impeccable service. Thank you for a wonderful dining experience. Truly loved the oysters!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    very disappointed. This restaurant came highly recommended and my sister was in town for a visit and I took her there for dinner. For the price (and this is NOT an inexpensive restaurant), I had expected the food to be much better. When I made the reservation online, I had made a note that this was a 'special occasion' but there was absolutely nothing special about this dinner. Will not be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • So enjoyable
    Fabulous
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Our experience at The Hard Shell was the wonderful. My dinner was with friends from 50+ years and was able to sit and talk for 2+ hours. Our server was the best. Wish I could remember his name because he made our evening so special. Very patient while we talked prior to deciding what to eat. He also was able to have the chef make my order just like I requested. The She Crab soup was the best I'd ever had. We closed the place down.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • First Visit at the Hard Shell
    1pickydiner
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    My husband and I had a fabulous first time visit at your restaurant! We were celebrating his birthday. The service was excellent; food delicious; atmosphere pleasant; and prices well worth it! Thanks for a wonderful experience! We'll definitely return ourselves, but we've also recommended out friends.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • New England natives stay away
    RickVIP
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Went there for Lobster Night (Mondays) to celebrate a birthday and was very disappointed not to find a plain steamed lobster on the specials menu. They would serve you one at the market price of $28 that included two sides but that was more than we expected to pay. No self-respecting Mainer would eat any of those options. Got the lobster chowdah and they did add a little lobster to a vegetable soup that had almost no lobster flavor. The calamari Caesar salad was okay but not what we wanted for lobster night. Go to Legal Seafood (nearest one may be Crystal City) but it will be worth the trip. They know how to cook lobster and will have the steamer clams to go with it. Great clam chowdah, too. Aye-yuh.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate