The Hard Shell - Bellgrade

4.5
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1567 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
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, roasted chicken, vegetarian dishes and gluten free options as well.
What 1567 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.6
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Richmond
6 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Very good but not as varied of a menu as used to be. Simply grilled had only one sauce choice that was spicy. Service was excellent and we will return. In the winter, a soup choice with no dairy would be nice!

e
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Excellent service, Food very good, lobster dip appetizer poor no lobster taste. Entrees were very good. Lobster and shrimp pasta was excellent. Everyone was happy with entrees, service, and atmosphere. A little pricey, but will definitely return. Happy hour at the bar is a way to go.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on January 9, 2020

Thank you for the support, as well as the feedback on your dishes. We value detailed, thoughtful feedback such as yours and we will look in to what may have gone wrong on the lobster dip appetizer from Monday. Thank you again, and we hope to see you back for Happy Hour! Chris Franklin

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CK
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall2food3service1ambience2

Our waitress seemed like she was stoned. She left a beer bottle on the table through the whole meal & didn't know who ordered what. The food was good, but the portions were small & it was very expensive.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on January 11, 2020

Hi Cathy, I am sorry to hear your recent visit did not exceed expectations. We strongly value guest feedback, and will use this to improve our steps of service. I am also sorry the portions left you wanting, we always want our guests to leave satisfied and are willing to fix any dishes that need attention. Please email me at the restaurant, as we'd love to have you back.

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RR
Richmond
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

I hadn't been to The Hard Shell at Bellgrade in a while and was disappointed with the removal of the cozy fireplace in the bar area. Overall, the new decor is kind of cold, but the acoustics were improved.
I found the seared Rockfish with the creamy truffle mushroom risotto and asparagus delicious, but my husband felt the amount of fish in the Tacos was not enough and without flavor. Our shared chocolate cake with raspberry sauce however, was enjoyed by both and plenty for two!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on January 4, 2020

Hi Rand, Thank you for the feedback, and welcome back! We appreciate your business, and we will look into what might have gone wrong on our fish tacos, as they are one of our more flavorful dishes with the spicy chipotle aioli, tart pickled red cabbage and sweet pineapple salsa. Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience, and we hope to see you back sooner this time.

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N
Charleston
16 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love this restaurant!! Our server Sydney is the BEST!!!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on January 4, 2020

Thank you, Nance. We appreciate Sydney as much as you do, and thank you for the kind words.

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MG
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Service was excellent. The food was prepared and served in a timely fashion. It was all fantastic.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on January 3, 2020

Thank you Marsha!

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MM
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience2

The meals were less than satisfactory. All portions were exceptionally small, some of the food was cold which had to go back (house cut fries), broccolini was unedible, salmon bordering on dry, wine portions slightly larger than a thimble. While it was New Years Eve the noise level was ear shattering. Impossible to hear others just at our table.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on January 2, 2020

Hi Mike, We are sorry to hear you didn't enjoy your experience. We do value all guest feedback and I truly wish you had taken us up on the offer to replace the broccolini with one of our other sides. We are always more than happy to fix or replace items our guests are not satisfied with during the visit, as we never want you to leave dissatisfied. We'd like to have you back for a better experience, if you could email us here at the restaurant. thehardshellbellgrade @ gmaildotcom

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SJ
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Meal was wonderful- service was great! The bar being so open was loud, we asked to be moved. Noise level needs some work-

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on January 2, 2020

Thank you for the support Sherri, and thank you for the feeedback regarding our acoustics. We hope to see you again, soon!

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit to the Hardshell. Everything was outstanding!!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 29, 2019

Thank you so much for your support!

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Christmas Eve Dinner

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 27, 2019

Thank you!

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LD
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

2nd Visit for Christmas Eve, we miss the fireplace but overall everything was amazing.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 27, 2019

Thank you, Leslie! We're very happy you had a great time.

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OH
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

We dined here on Christmas Eve, a last minute decision. They had a reservation available at the time we wanted to eat. The food was delicious and the service excellent. The only small complaint would be that it was a bit noisy, but not excessively so. We will definitely return.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 27, 2019

Thank you for your support! We hope to see you again, soon.

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SR
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

The ceviche had too many onions - also very small appetizer serving. Would recommend the broccolini. We were a table of eight and when it was time to clear main course dishes, the server only cleared a small portion of the table and handed out 2 dessert menus. The rest of the table sat with dirty plates for at least 15 minutes with never a visit from the waiter. At this point we became annoyed and no one wanted dessert. Throughout the late lunch with minimal people in the restaurant, we were not even asked if our food was good or did anyone need anything. Very disappointed in the wait staff.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 29, 2019

Good evening, I am very sorry to hear your lunch experience was so unsatisfactory. This is definitely not the standard we strive for, and your feedback will help us take corrective measures. Holidays are always a special time to get together, and I'm sorry this wasn't as enjoyable as it should have been. Could you please email me directly at the restaurant regarding this visit? thehardshellbellgrade @ gmaildotcom Thank you, Chris Franklin

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MN
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Oysters were disappointing

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 28, 2019

Good Evening, I'm sorry to hear you did not enjoy your oysters this past Monday. We appreciate all guest feedback, and I'd like to know more about the specifics of your experience so we can correct our missteps. Could you please email us directly at the restaurant? Thank you, Chris Franklin

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AB
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They never disappoint. I and members of my family go there often and continue to choose this restaurant over others because of reliability. They have never dashed my expectations

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 27, 2019

We appreciate the kind words, and we hope to keep providing the experience you've come to expect.

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N
Charleston
16 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love it!! Great food, attentive service and staff!!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 27, 2019

We appreciate the kind words, Nance.

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OT
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Matt was excellent. He was very friendly and knowledgeable of the menu. I had a great time.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 25, 2019

Thank you for the support!

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LZ
1 review
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience3

We really enjoyed our food and our service was outstanding. However, the prices have gone up and the portions have gone down. I am not happy to still be hungry after I finish my meal. I had the grilled mahi with mashed potatoes and asparagus. I got 1/2 cup of potatoes, 3 tiny asparagus, and I could have eaten double the mahi I received. A little disappointing here.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 25, 2019

Hi Lou, Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your recent visit. I am sorry that we didn't offer the value you've come to expect from the Hard Shell. I realize we may have delivered on the service and taste aspect, but if we missed the mark on portions, that is also important to us. Please contact me here at the restaurant, as we appreciate your patronage and feedback. thehardshellbellgrade @ gmaildotcom Thank you, Chris Franklin

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C
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing service
Great Food
Beautiful place to dine.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 27, 2019

Thank you, Camilla.

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OT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a good time at The Hardshell. Great place for seafood. Service is always good. We try to go there often, never disappointed. Thanks Hardshell!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on December 27, 2019

Thank you so much for supporting us.

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J
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was great. Serve was exceptional. New layout allows for more guests so i is a bit louder.

GT
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

great food and service

D
Richmond
25 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

First time dining here. Nice restaurant. Decor was simple but comfortable. Reservation was promptly honored. Our server greeted us promptly. She was friendly and attentive but not overbearing. Menu selections were very good with chef selected combinations or build it your way. I had the She Crab soup and my wife and I shared a house salad. The soup was very good and the salad was fresh and very large, good that we shared. My wife had the chicken, which was excellent. They readily substituted vegetables for the potatoes on the menu. Very accommodating. I had the grilled Mahi which was moist and flavorful. Good selection of wines. Prices were reasonable. We will be sure to return again.

DG
Philippines
2 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner at Hard Shell Bellgrade. Our server was very attentive and efficient, she got all our orders correctly considering we were a big group. After learning that we were there to celebrate 2 of our friends for their birthday, they gave them dessert for free. Food was also delicious and we got a good value for our Sunday crab pasta special.

RA
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

My sisters and I really enjoyed dining here and had a wonderful experience. The manager was responsive and quick to resolve an issue that we had that our waitress misunderstood. Our waitress was kind and helpful. The staff was welcoming and warm and responsive to requests.

MF
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was amazing. Customer service was great and we enjoyed all the drinks and cocktails that were recommended by our waiter. I'd definitely go back again.

CB
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

just too loud, need to do something about the noise.

I
Western NC
4 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent date night! Enjoyed the apps, and entrees. Recommend stone crab and salmon special.

A
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We especially appreciated the low noise level, it was a pleasure to be able to converse at a normal level.

OT
Richmond
30 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated my husband’s Veteran’s Day and took advantage of two Monday Lobster Night Specials—the Lobster Tail and Lobster and Shrimp Pasta. Both were excellent and service was impeccable.

C
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Salmon was cooked perfectly. Rack of lamb: chops very small, hence a touch overcooked for med-med rare. Sides excellent; good portions. Server/waitstaff friendly, knowledable and unobtrusive.

B
Richmond
5 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

We wanted to sit in the bar area for the light fare and happy hour, but it was full. If the bar area is full, then we should have been able to receive the same options at a table.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on November 10, 2019

Hi Bill, Thank you for the feedback. Friday night happy hours are definitely busy, and we are always happy to put you on our wait list for next available seating. We hope to see you again for happy hour though!

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BN
Richmond
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

I enjoyed my dish, salmon with beet couscous and apple something salad. The presentation was beautiful the couscous and apples were very tasty. The salmon while having an excellent taste was a little too cooked for me. Regardless I am going back because there is so much on the menu I want to try. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who loves seafood.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on November 10, 2019

Thank you for the feedback Beth! We do hope to see you again, and will be more than happy to get that salmon cooked exactly how you prefer.

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CW
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a large party. I was able to call ahead and order appetizers that came out as soon as we were seated. Rachel was amazing. She kept us happy and even showed us prime picture spots. The drinks and food were amazing and all of the staff was friendly. My steak was so tender, I could cut it with a butter knife!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on November 10, 2019

Thank you, Charmelle! We are happy to hear you enjoyed everything and thank you for the kind words about Rachel...we feel the same way!

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RL
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience5

My Wife and I had The split Lobster and crab cake.. There was a smidgen of lobster. I was upset
with the amount of lobster

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on November 10, 2019

I'm sorry to hear our stuffed lobster portion seemed small, Raymond. We appreciate your feedback, as typically our 1.25 lb lobsters are very consistent in size and your dish should've had a claw and half of a tail to go with your crab cake. We're always happy to fix dishes that do not meet expectations, and would love to have you back. Thank you, Chris Franklin

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OT
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Loved the server. Dinner was great, good drink specials. Wouldn't order bread pudding again.

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on October 28, 2019

Thank you for the feedback! I'm sorry the bread pudding was off the mark. We hope to see you again, and we can definitely offer you one of our other desserts.

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DO
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We had an excellent brunch with friends! .

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on October 30, 2019

We're so happy to hear, and thank you for the support!

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MS
Richmond
9 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We ate at the Hard Shell as part of Richmond's Restaurant Week and it was a great deal. For 29.50 we had three courses and a great selection to choose from. I had the she crab soup as my appetizer which was wonderful, and then I had the salmon for an entree and had the most fabulous chocolate cake for dessert. My salmon was yummy, but I didn't care for the beet coucous that accompanied it. I like beets and like coucous but didn't care for them together. Our waitress was it outstanding with a great knowledge of the different types of oysters the restaurant has as well as knowledgeable on all the wines as well. We appreciated that very much, and the other diners I was with both ordered oysters and LOVED them! We all enjoyed the wine recommendations our waitress made as well. My only slight negative was that it took a very long time for our first course to come out, but other than that, we had a great dinner and would recommend this restaurant to others.

v
Richmond
131 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went for Restaurant Week and could not have been more pleased. The food was delicious and the servings were very generous - so much so, in fact, that we had to ask them to box our desserts to take with us. Our server could not have been better - professional, personal, very attentive - unfortunately, this was her last weekend as she was moving to VA Beach. Hard Shell is one of the restaurants that participates in Restaurant Week but also offers its regular menu. Consequently, we saw a variety of food coming out of the kitchen - all of which looked as good was what we ordered. We will be going back!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on October 28, 2019

Thank you for the support, sir!

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TD
Richmond
23 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and cocktails was delicious! Thanks Ms. Eva for the great service!

The Hard Shell - Bellgrade
Responded on October 25, 2019

Thank you, Toni! We appreciate the support, and thank you for recognizing Eva's hospitality.

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