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“Bathrooms, cutlery sorting, ice/beverage and kitchen noise -- not ambiance, and a poor welcome.”
Review of Hank's Oyster Bar

Hank's Oyster Bar
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Ranked #57 of 3,236 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Dupont Circle
Description: Hank's Oyster Bar
arizona
Level 6 Contributor
121 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Bathrooms, cutlery sorting, ice/beverage and kitchen noise -- not ambiance, and a poor welcome.”
Reviewed November 1, 2010

Dupont Circle has wonderful welcoming restaurants...go anywhere else!
Arriving at opening to beat the crowds, our family of five was told that we needed to wait because there were no suitable tables ready. The restaurant was empty except for two tables and bar. Waitresses put two tables together at a long rear banquette in a narrow passageway to the kitchen. Family sat down, crayons were given to our quiet 5-year old girl who started to draw. We settled in to enjoy the fabled ambiance of a DC institution and I noticed that we had the only tables that faced three utilitarian bathroom doors, cutlery sorting bins, kitchen and back room doors, and the beverage/ice station. All of the above immediately became busy...loud clanking of loads of cutlery, loud filling of ice, kitchen work. I told the waitress that I have problems hearing when there is such kitchen noise, and she replied that the rest of the restaurant would be noisy from music and the chatter of customers when they arrived. Finally she took me to a table in front, (oddly large enough for five!) and said that she could move us if I really wanted. I went back to the family, who indicated that since our five year old was settled with her coloring, we should stay.
I also hesitated to speak up because I know what happens in restaurants when a party asks to change tables and the staff who seated a party in very undesirable tables for no reason decides to continue the same kind of welcoming treatment throughout the meal. I would not say that our service was inattentive, but after being pushed to order, "I will come back when you make up your minds" was followed by a15 minute wait while the waitress disappeared outside to chat. When she finally reappeared, she asked "Have you had enough time to make up your minds yet?"

The kitchen staff who brought out our food and kept the soft drinks and water refilled were very attentive and very friendly. Our waitress did not serve the food. The restaurant filled up but no one was seated even close to our lovely spot by the time we ate and received our check. As I sat talking, the waitress did reappear to ask whether I had any problem understanding the bill! I guess we were not moving fast enough to suit! Our family group included six Masters degrees and a PhD university professor and a very well-behaved five year old. Oh, we did understand, completely.
Oh, as for the food, read the local reviews.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank andarcaminos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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645 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Everett, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“so-so”
Reviewed October 14, 2010

Service was great, food was only mediocre. The calamari was good.
Of my five days in DC, this was one of my least favorite meals.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cheflora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Vibe and Good ribs!”
Reviewed October 10, 2010

On a recent trip to Washington we went to Hank's twice. Good service and a varied menu. In addition to the normal menu, each day they have a special. One of the days we went it was baby back ribs which were the tenderest meatiest ribs we had ever had.
Also had seafood which was excellent. Interestingly Hank's does not do puddings, but do provide some yummy chocolate with your bill which is a nice touch.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank LisaMitch100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Knoxville, TN
Level 6 Contributor
317 reviews
170 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 759 helpful votes
“Pleasant but typically overpriced DC”
Reviewed September 28, 2010

We dined early at about 05:00 pm. This was in August and the temperature was swelteringly hot. Luckily the attentive servers kept our drinks refilled with a smile. I had a lobster roll, and we also had the baby back ribs. The food was good and the portions were about normal - definitely not oversized. The only thing that WAS oversized was the bill. It's not a cheap place, but then again where in DC is a cheap place? It's in a very very pleasant part of town. I actually really enjoyed the stroll from the Dupont Circle Metro Stop to the restaurant.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tmynatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina, USA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“gale force loud”
Reviewed July 1, 2010

Pretty good food, but hard to hear anything, the place was so loud and crowded. Lots of very young folks (interns?), including some dreamy-eyed groping couples.
I was there with two friends and we were seated at a spacious table, but were hemmed in by too many people seated at adjoining tables. One four-person table had seven at it and the 7th person was closer to our table than to the group he was with - he, of course, was oblivious.
My fried oyster plate was huge but had visceral looking coleslaw and, while the many oysters were initially good, after a few I began to lose my appetite because of the heavy batter and the soggy centers. I could not eat all of them, nor did I want to.
Very responsive service, but no one questioned me why I was leaving my plate largely uneaten. A missed op, I'd say.
I'll think about returning. If I do, I'll try a different, lighter, entre, and will sit outside (less noise) but only if there is plenty of space.
I hope for the wait staff that all those extremely loud folks are good tippers.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JohnL41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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