Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill
675 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20005
When I first landed into Washington DC, I had arrived pretty late, but I had to pick up my buddy from Reagan Intl at 10pm. He STILL wanted to eat something that night. So where did he want to go? A seafood restaurant in Downtown DC right next to the White House. Wasn't really feeling seafood, but he had wanted to give their "happy hour" a try. Thank God we did.
The Old Ebbitt Grill is a rather old restaurant in DC, having been established back in 1856. It's old.
Located right by the backdoor of the White House, the Old Ebbitt is a Washington institution that has been serving raw seafood and cooked seafood alike, along with steaks and many other 'Merican classics. My friend was here to get some of that half off seafood they have after 11pm every night.
We ordered the Orca Platter ($139), which was half off during their happy hour!! The insane drop led to a $70 bargain. Lobster cocktail, raw clams, raw oysters, jumbo shrimp cocktail, and stone crab claws.
Let's start at the top of the tower with the lobster cocktail. They split a lobster in half for you and pretty much did the grunt work for the meat as well. The plump lobster tail meat comes accompanied with their house mustard/mayo sauce that was good enough to drink. I pretty used that dipping sauce for most other things including the shrimp cocktail. Would it have been weird to ask for extra sauce to go? Let's move on.
The jumbo shrimp cocktail was enormous. It's almost disrespectful to say jumbo, because they were larger than that. These were the Arnold Schwarzenegger versions of shrimp as it almost felt like I ate a mini lobster tail. Complete with cocktail sauce and horseradish and I was in heaven.
The raw oysters were large and surprisingly good. I know they are famous for their oysters, but I say surprising because it was happy hour and they could have used crappy malpeque oysters or something. I wouldn't have even been mad. But these were full bodied, but not overly big like Fanny Bays. Perfect one suckers. The raw clams were nice too because, though they were smaller, they felt more firm. The texture was more tangible, while it definitely was on the sweeter side.
The stone crab claws sucked. Plain and simple. Growing up in Miami, we have stone crabs a lot. The ones here were awful. Not much meat and so much dirt too. They definitely could have done a better job cleaning them and perhaps helping you crack them a bit more so you don't have to work so hard. Maybe I sound like a little bitch right now, but when you're using your hands to pry meat out of the shell, you don't want to look down on your fingers and see a bunch of dirt. Regardless, those stone crab claws were not going to ruin my, otherwise, exceptional meal.
When you go that late, parking isn't TOO hard to find (still hard though). Street parking was free and a quick walk up is all it takes. They also have valet parking, but why pay that though? We also were expecting a lot of dressy attire, but were met with quite a bit of patrons from all walks of life (even some annoying drunkards by the bar who were decked out in hoodies - not trying to sound judgy, but merely observant). Service was stellar with a little whiff of pomp, but nothing too arrogant. Love that Happy Hour. Best believe I will be back to get that Orca Platter again.
Ambience: A- | Service: B+ | Price: B | Food: A-