Thanks to the hounds for some great suggestions for this past weekend. We totally enjoyed our visit to Hank's Oyster House. Very convivial spot, warm and friendly on a cold night with a happy crush of people, but noise level still comfortable to hold a conversation. Started with icy, fresh oysters from Rhode Island. I had the oyster po'boy--brimming with luscious fried oysters with a brittle, fragile crust, meltingly tender inside. Decent cole slaw but wanted more. Berkleygary had the bouillabaise special--amazingly large scallops, tender calamari, mussels and crab in a saffron cream sauce. The saffron taste came through and the cream and butter just added to the luscious seafood. Excellent service. We'd definitely go back.
Saturday night we ran across Bistro Du Coin at 1735 Connecticut Ave in DuPont Circle, close to the hotel. A real find. Very reminiscent of a neighborhood bistro in Paris--funky interior with soaring ceiling--eclectic crowd, white butcher paper on the small tables. Very warm service. I had a beautifully crusted strip steak with bearnaise sauce and a small hill of frites. Berkleygary had the special onglet (hangar) steak--also with the frites. Strip steak was beautifully cooked, bearnaise was excellent. I thought the onglet offered a little more beefy flavor and had a better, chewey texture. We shared a liter of a house rhone. Went back the next day for a quick tartine--olive tapenade, prosciutto and melted cheese with a fine little tossed salad. Very French, very personable and comfortable. Again, we'd go back in a heartbeat.