Neighborhood Eatz: Hank’s Oyster Bar
My fiancé and I love to treat ourselves. We treat ourselves after a long day at work. We treat ourselves after a long run. We treat ourselves if it’s been too long since we’ve had a treat. Basically, we love to celebrate and for us, that means a nice meal out on the town.
On weeknights, since we both usually get home and ready for dinner around 7 or 8pm, options are limited to nearby eats. Thankfully, our place is in Eastern Market, home of Barracks Row and the countless restaurants on Penn. Our usual criteria for these kind of evenings is a place where sweats and jeans aren’t scoffed at and where we can have a complete yummy meal. One of our favorite places is Hank’s Oyster Bar for the lobster roll (which we get everytime we go) and the cocktail program, known as The Eddy Bar. For those of you who may not be familiar, the Eddy Bar has been running an amazing innovative program that hosts weekly themes. (This week’s theme was “So what do you want to do with all of this extra liquor” – a little tongue and cheek)
My fiancé and I kicked off dinner with some libations. I played it safe that night and ordered a 2012 Gruner Veltliner by Gobelsburger from Kamptal Austria. But my fiancé, a lover of all things brown – chocolate, whiskey etc- ordered “An Italian Gentleman meeting his future wife’s parents for the first time in Kentucky”. This cocktail was made with Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Aperol, Cranberry, Orange and Berlinerweisse. It was delicious – not too sweet and with just the right amount of whiskey singing through. Win!
Before each meal, Hank’s tosses the table a bowl of Goldfish. I absolutely adore this tradition since it makes it socially acceptable to gobble down childhood treats in public. (We devoured two bowls before our entrée even arrived.)
For the main course, Frank and I decided to split our mainstay Lobster Roll with Old Bay Fries and one of the specials, a Mixed Seafood Grille that included head-on shrimp, octopus and calamari. The Lobster Roll was as we always remembered it – crunchy, creamy and completely satisfying – coupled with the old bay fries the meal is so indulgent and perfect for a “treat yo-self” kind of night. The Mixed Grille was lemony, buttery and had just the right amount of garlic – definitely would order it again.
Our favorite part about Hank’s, aside from the very sophisticated yet local atmosphere, is the fact that they try to keep everything fresh and special – SO key for a seafood place. Of course, we also love the bits of dark chocolate that come as a meal end treat (sadly not pictured since we devoured every bit as soon as it hit the table).
So if you live in the neighborhood, and even if you don’t, I would make it a point to check out this DC mainstay, you’ll always be surprised by the special dishes and cocktail themes and will also always be able to come back to your seafood favorites.