The Hard Shell - Downtown
- Surfaces sanitized between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
- Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
- Limited number of seated diners
- Distancing maintained in common areas
- Extra space between tables
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
house tartar sauce
grilled or poached, roasted potatoes, asparagus, lemon butter
whipped potatoes, sauteed spinach, corn relish, cilantro lime crema
Absolutely loved this place first time going there and would most definitely go back!
Great lunch! Food was excellent as was the service. Highly recommend to anyone visiting Richmond!
Taylor our server was awesome! We will return again.
Brandon the bartender was a rockstar! Our waiter Vincent was very attentive. And our food was delicious! We are in town visiting our son and we will definitely return!
Positives: the Chesapeake oysters were sublime! The server was very friendly and made sure that each dishe came out at the appropriate time.
Negatives: our mahi-mahi and scallop entrees were overcooked and flavorless, the she crab soup consisted of a bowl of luke warm cream with small bits of crabs, and the crab cakes were mediocre.
We’ve had excellent meals at the downtown hard shell many times throughout the pandemic and previously, but the poor food preparation on this occasion was disappointing.
The food was incredible…generous and just outstanding. It was cooked to perfection. The brussel sprouts appetizer cannot be described in words…applause perhaps but silence with the look of utter sensation on my face. Both seafood meals were superb. The veggies on my scallops and shrimp were outstanding. Our waitress with the VERY best…friendly, enthusiastic but not overly, knowledgeable, and lovely. The Hard Shell is a soon to return to in Richmond next time. Bravo and thank you!
Really nice and laid back plus classy vibe! Food was amazing and brought out in a timely manner!
We loved Taylor, our server. Food is always good and servings are adequate. BUT we were seated in the banquet room and the temperature was so hot I was uncomfortable throughout the evening. As a mother of fact it was so hot that seat caused a bandaid on my forehead to move from the sweat.
Service was great. Place was loud.
We got exceptional service from Jennifer. Food was decent and wait time was short for food.
Reservation was for 6:00 on a Friday night. At that hour, it was very conversation-friendly. Server was attentive and well-informed. Food was a little underwhelming/bland, IMHO. But overall a great experience.
Food was great. Staff was excellent and they even gave us a free dessert for our wedding anniversary.
The service was great. The seafood was wonderful. The vegetables on both our plates were sent out cold. They offered to fix this but I wasn't feeling like waiting. They did comp our desert and discounted my meal. That was fair in my opinion. The only reason they didn't get more stars is that I expected alot more.
Great lunch - can't wait to go back!
We started with the Chesapeake oysters which were outstanding.
My husband had the special swordfish with tomato and basil. He loved the crispy fish.
I had the poached lobster tail with lemon butter. It satisfied my craving for lobster
The chocolate truffle torte could have been more moist and more raspberry sauce.
The service was very good and attentive.
As all restaurants these days it was very loud.
Celebrating Marlene’s 70th birthday. The food was absolutely delicious. Staff was wonderful and not one person complained.
Our experience at the hard shell was a solid 10/10 from beginning to end. Our waitress was super attentive and sweet. My husband and I went to celebrate our anniversary & a great night! Definitely recommend
Delicious food and very friendly staff
My husband really enjoyed his birthday dinner. The wait staff was very attentive and even volunteered to take a photo for us. I can't wait to go back!
Great lunch. Too loud. Service was good.
Lots of items out of stock. Waiter pretty clueless, gave our drinks to another table by mistake but didn’t let us know, waited for us to ask where our drinks were before he explained what had happened. Food was pretty good.
Absolutely outstanding! Fantastic service and food! Beautiful place.
We loved it and will be back!
Seated us later and were very gracious!
All the food was average at best . The rockfish had this ridiculously hard outer crust I couldn’t bite in to. Calamari was soggy . Creme brulee was super undercooked , consistency was like scrambled eggs and tasted similar . Not creamy at all. Gave me the bill with cream and sugar, forgot the decaf coffee. Will not be returning any time soon
Hard Shell is our go to seafood restaurant in RVA. Last night we had to send the Spiced Shrimp back because it was undercooked. Disappointed. They used to serve the best, now I’ve lost confidence in the food and food prep. Brian, our server, made it right with discount and over and above service. Still, not sure it’s enough.
EXTREMELY noisy. No rugs or tapestries on the wall to absorb sound. We were literally yelling at each other to converse. We had a dozen oysters as appetizers, then placed our dinner order. We hadn't eaten two oysters yet and the waitress brought our dinner to which I expressed dismay. She said because they had two large parties the kitchen staff was hurrying to get food orders out. The calamari was good. My fish tacos were lukewarm, horrible presentation, as evidenced by ingredients being thrown in to the soggy tortilla and spilling out all over the plate. There was hardly any grouper in each taco, and more pickled red onions than anything else. Huge disappointment.
food was delicious. service was great. would definitely return!!!
I will definitely be back!!
Good food and great service
Lobster tail was amazing, as were the bacon-wrapped Brussel sprouts and crab cakes. The Key lime pie was better than in Key West, Florida.
I was disappointed. I was expecting a classier restaurant for my husband's birthday. It was more of a bar atmosphere.
The food was truly awful. My rice tasted like soap. The pineapple was not ripe. I paid $70+ for mostly vegetables.
We won't be back.
Visiting Richmond for the first time. The food here was excellent and our waiter was very attentive. I highly recommend the Hard Shell.
Mediocre and the table had chips out of the laminate. Not upscale, but if I was looking for an expensive dive this would be it.
Everything was great from the service to the ambience to the food! I actually appreciated the noise level; not too loud to where you couldn’t hear your table’s conversation but loud enough that the tables close by weren’t an interruption. The calamari is a must try. I had a fish special which was delicious. Our guests had the 6 oz filet, shrimp and scallops, and ribs which were all reportedly perfect and delicious. We were served cheesecake for my father’s birthday which was amazing and a great complimentary end to the evening.
Taylor was our server and she was fantastic. Very professional, personable and attentive. Outstanding service and excellent food. From a menu perspective it was disappointing that the Cary Street location does not offer happy hour and half priced appetizers like the sister restaurant at Bellegrade. Still, all in all very good.
Four girls at table next to us were very very loud. Had to move to another table but the staff accommodated us no problem.
The Hard Shell has become our favorite restaurant in Richmond, which we visit frequently.
The food and service are always top notch. The ambiance is unpretentiously chic.
Every appetizer and meal has been prepared perfectly.
I feel the prices are very reasonable for this level of quality and service.
The clams were very small so they discounted them. The tuna was tough, couldn’t easily cut it. Lobster & rockfish were great and so was Ryan, our waiter.
You can order delivery directly from The Hard Shell - Downtown using the Order Online button. The Hard Shell - Downtown also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (804) 643-2333.
The Hard Shell - Downtown is rated 4.5 stars by 1401 OpenTable diners.
Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.