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Washington DC & Baltimore

Johnny's Half Shell report

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Johnny's Half Shell report

wyf4lyf | Jun 3, 2005 08:31 AM

We're in DC for 4 days with our teen boys, and wanted seafood last night. Went to Johnny's with one son (the other was too tired and grumpy to go out after a VERY long day of walking). Glad it was only 3 of us as I was not prepared for the prices. I'd heard of this place on this and another board, but somehow missed it would run over $20 per entree. However, once we succumbed, it was a great meal.

We introduced our 17-year-old to oysters on the half shell and he decided he didn't need to have them again. :) But I love that fresh taste of the sea. The small salads we had were lightly dressed with a vinaigrette and had lots of shredded veggies in it. Much nicer than most these days. Entrees were fabulous. Husband had the soft-shell crabs, I had the broiled lobster and shrimp which came with twice-baked fingerling potatoes. Those were a revelation! Rich and buttery and a wonderful complement to the seafood. Our son had the bouillabaise that was a huge hit. The broth had a bit of tomato in it, so was a fuller-bodied base that was complex in flavor, using lobster in the stock. The fish and shellfish was all good but the thing that put it over the top (aside from the broth) was the large slice of bread floating on top that had been slathered with the aoli...very pungent garlic, and as it melted into the broth, it gave it the most wonderful flavor. Eating the bits of garlicky bread at the end was a real treat!

Desserts were an apple-rhubarb crisp that would have been twice as good if it had been heated. Husband forgot to ask and they forgot to offer. Oh well. Son had the chocolate angel food cake with caramel sauce, and we were expecting a thick, gloppy caramel sauce like one gets with ice cream. This sauce, however, was way better. It was as if one had taken a creme brulee and put it through the blender. It was a thin consistency, like half-and-half that tasted custardy with that burnt sugar taste. Fabulous with the cake.

The portions were small for the price, but the flavor was great. Service friendly, and the totally nonsmoking atmosphere was perfect.

Glad we went!

P.S. Wbrought our grumpy son a piece of the chocolate angel food cake with the sauce which he devoured in about 2 seconds. :)

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