Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hank's Oyster Bar

One of the joys of living near a major body of water is the pleasure of having some of the freshest seafood available to you on a daily basis. While the waters of the Chesapeake Bay may not compare to the eastern shorelines of Massachusetts, Maine or Florida we still produce some decent seafood.

The tri-state area bolsters a bevy of options when it comes to serving fresh local seafood. One of my favorites is Hank's Oyster Bar which uses local catch to produce classic New England dishes. Hank's opened its doors in 2005 right along the cozy block of Q St. between 17th and 16th Street. A short walk from Dupont Circle Hank's has been serving patrons what they call "Urban Beach Food" under the guidance of executive chef and owner Jamie Leeds.

Chef Leeds came to DC and opened up Hank's which she named after her father who inspired her career in food. Since 2005 Hank's has become a one of the best locations to get fresh seafood in the city. Hank's does a fantastic job blending classic New England dishes with local ingredients and techniques.

Having an endless passion for all seafood I find it necessary to eat as much as my wallet can support. I enjoy visiting during the summer months when I can sit outside and grab a drink or have a cozy meal. Hank's is most famous for their raw oysters and oyster shooters as their name may suggest. Being a huge fan of these mollusks I love splitting an order with some friends or having a Po Boy.

(Popcorn Shrimp & Calamari)

Check on their chalkboard for daily specials and try their oyster shooters which combine oysters with alcohol that provide a unique culinary experience. Their popcorn shrimp and calamari is an excellent way to start off a meal or a good dish to share over a couple of drinks. The portions are fair and the food is fresh and delectable.

My favorite dish on their menu that I have sampled has to be the lobster roll which is a staple of New England. The roll is accompanied with fries that are seasoned with Old Bay which is exclusive to this region. This marriage between cultures is well worth the hefty price tag of $23. The lobster meat is amazing and the buttered roll makes you want to stand up and praise the food Gods.

(Lobster Roll)

From their fantastic food to ambience that their restaurant provides (specifically their outdoor seating) Hank's is a must try. They have another location in Old Town Alexandria that I have yet to visit which may be more convenient to any readers from Virginia. To residents of the District they have prime real-estate and their outdoor seating provide a tranquil experience when the weather is nice outside.

Prices are a bit expensive which I why I can not go more often but the freshness and flavor more than justify it. It can get busy especially when the warm weather makes sitting outside alluring. So if you are ever in the mood for fresh seafood give Hank's a shot you will not be disappointed.

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