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morela

Old Ebbitt Grill

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Hi

The best place for your first oyster is the place you're most comfortable trying new things in; and of course a place where they're guaranteed to be fresh. If people like noisy scenes, sure Old Ebbitt would be a good starter. But if you need a little quiet when mustering effort to try new things, try Johnny's. Plus, a first timer probably won't be looking to eat large numbers of oysters, so cost is less of an issue. Me, I've downed 3 dozen in a sitting, so price-yeah, it matters.

As for Swann, I've been 3-4 times before. It's great, casual, pristinely fresh West Coast seafood served by sweetly gruff men. You have to wait on line, and be prepared to drop $35-40 on lunch. I adore the place.

Acme is somewhere I used to enjoy more. It's still good, at the bar itself, but the last time I went I felt the oysters weren't as good-- and I think it's because my tastes have turned to the smaller, briner oysters (usually West Coast) over the big, meaty, less flavorful New Orleans kind. You can only get those in New Orleans--they aren't generally shipped across the country to be served in major cities, and there's a reason for it. When you eat those, you're not worried about overpowering them with large consumption of alcohol, making them a good New Orleans food. But that's because they lack subtlety. The best oysters should be accompanied by little more than a light white wine, or maybe a beer, IMO. I prefer Uglesich or Cassamento's to Acme when in New Orleans--the oysters are served colder, at least-- and Ugle's bloody mary goes great with them.


Edited by sara (log)

Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I don't like Kumamoto's all that much, so maybe that is why I like the Acme ones so much...

I don't know if I agree all that much with the characterization of Old Ebbitt as some sort of fancied up red lobster either with a bunch of mouth breathers and screaming kids....sure it is a busy place, but most of the bar crowd are more of the attorney/politico/white house staffer ilk than the sweaty hairy flip flp crowd.

Plus I did a week long martini binge at Old Ebbitt, David Greggory, Georgia Brown's and McCormick and Schmick's (for their good happy hour) and Old Ebbitt serves up the best Grey Goose Martini of the lot for the lowest price with the tastiest olives!

You should definitely try the back bar next time too...

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Hi

I would definitely check out the corner back should I find my way back there this summer.

I agree that there's a fair number of politicos there, but what I noticed was some segregation--sweaty family tourist types in the dining room, more yuppie types at the bar (probably only there for happy hour). My guess is that those more in the know just go for happy hour, and skip the dining room.

Don't like Kumamotos huh? Wow. If you prefer N.O. oysters to those, then you'll probably like Long Islanders and Pemaquids too; check em out! Damariscotta Maine has a Pemaquid festival every summer. Never been, but hope to make it sometime.


Food is a convenient way for ordinary people to experience extraordinary pleasure, to live it up a bit.

-- William Grimes

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I didn't have my first oyster at Old Ebbitt, but I'd certainly recommend it as someone's first time. as inferred above, the sheer volume of the production probably makes it the most unique oyster experience in town. Plus, their selection is huge, with usually 6 to 7 varieties per day. If you ordered a half dozen you could try one of each to see what tickled your fancy. Plus you can chow down on some of the biggest shrimp you'ever seen.

I'm t-minus 2 hours for my excursion tonight!!

I've always been an Old Ebbitt supporter. I think due to the times I've visited, I've largely avoided the tourist crowd. You get a macrocosm of people there. I remember one late night in the back bar, it was almost a sitcommy smattering of business stereotypes. There were power brokers with ties loose and sipping their martinis, schmoozing with single 40-something women dressed to the nines, who were hanging on their every word. A lone Japanese businessman sat in the corner smiling and trying to catch the affections of the women. By the end of the night all of them were falling down drunk looking quite disheveled.

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Don't like Kumamotos huh? Wow. If you prefer N.O. oysters to those, then you'll probably like Long Islanders and Pemaquids too; check em out! Damariscotta Maine has a Pemaquid festival every summer. Never been, but hope to make it sometime.

I find them to be a bit sweet for my tastes. I had them prepared at Morimoto in Philly once with all these awesome different sauces for each one and they were really good, but I still wished the sauce was on a raspberry point or blue point. I like the saltiness of those. I've never had a Pemaquid, but might have to check those out, especially if they are good enough to have a festival!

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Well, last night went off without a hitch. Arrived a little after 5:30, not crowded at all. I'm not sure if it's because I usually go later (after 11), or if the items were served colder than I'm used to, but the goods tasted unusually fresh last night. Had some Wellfleets, Kumamotos, and Island Creeks. The shrimp were also more outstanding than I'm used to.

But the biggest pleasant surprise of the night came from the regular menu. Their crabcake entree, normally $24.95, is on special this month for $16.95. These are some of the densest, high-crab content cakes around.

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Wow, that crabcake deal is awesome....was going somewhere else tonight, but might change plans because those are too tasty to pass up

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Wow, that crabcake deal is awesome....was going somewhere else tonight, but might change plans because those are too tasty to pass up

If we go early enough, we can get half-priced oysters AND crabcakes! :raz:

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Wow, that crabcake deal is awesome....was going somewhere else tonight, but might change plans because those are too tasty to pass up

If we go early enough, we can get half-priced oysters AND crabcakes! :raz:

Not today for the 1/2 price deal on the shellfish, it's Monday-Thursday only. :sad: I'm going anyway because all this chat has stirred up a yen for some oysters!


Oh, J[esus]. You may be omnipotent, but you are SO naive!

- From the South Park Mexican Starring Frog from South Sri Lanka episode

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Wow, that crabcake deal is awesome....was going somewhere else tonight, but might change plans because those are too tasty to pass up

If we go early enough, we can get half-priced oysters AND crabcakes! :raz:

Not today for the 1/2 price deal on the shellfish, it's Monday-Thursday only. :sad: I'm going anyway because all this chat has stirred up a yen for some oysters!

Ahhh.... today is Friday :sad: I am rarely at work on Fridays so I've been a bit confused all day. Guess my brilliant plan will have to wait for Monday.

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I didn't have my first oyster at Old Ebbitt, but I'd certainly recommend it as someone's first time. as inferred above, the sheer volume of the production probably makes it the most unique oyster experience in town. Plus, their selection is huge, with usually 6 to 7 varieties per day. If you ordered a half dozen you could try one of each to see what tickled your fancy. Plus you can chow down on some of the biggest shrimp you'ever seen.

I'm t-minus 2 hours for my excursion tonight!!

I've always been an Old Ebbitt supporter. I think due to the times I've visited, I've largely avoided the tourist crowd. You get a macrocosm of people there. I remember one late night in the back bar, it was almost a sitcommy smattering of business stereotypes. There were power brokers with ties loose and sipping their martinis, schmoozing with single 40-something women dressed to the nines, who were hanging on their every word. A lone Japanese businessman sat in the corner smiling and trying to catch the affections of the women. By the end of the night all of them were falling down drunk looking quite disheveled.

This has always been my experience as well. I feel rather fortunate that I've always managed to avoid the tourist crowds. I've also only eaten in the dining room once and have never eaten at the front bar. I like the atmosphere and generally the better availability of seats in the corner and back bars.

Old Ebbits was my first oyster experience and still my favorite. Kumomotos and Raspberry Points ... :biggrin: I have to quit talking about them ... the cravings are getting unbearable!!


Some say the glass is half empty, some say the glass is half full, I say, are you going to drink that?

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Wow, that crabcake deal is awesome....was going somewhere else tonight, but might change plans because those are too tasty to pass up

If we go early enough, we can get half-priced oysters AND crabcakes! :raz:

Not today for the 1/2 price deal on the shellfish, it's Monday-Thursday only. :sad: I'm going anyway because all this chat has stirred up a yen for some oysters!

Ahhh.... today is Friday :sad: I am rarely at work on Fridays so I've been a bit confused all day. Guess my brilliant plan will have to wait for Monday.

Ack! Didn't you read Kitchen Confidential? Don't east seafood on Monday!


Mark

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Went to Old Ebbitt last night with girlfriend and her mom - despite my constant distraction by the Masters at the bar (though that chip on 16 couldn't be missed for the WORLD), dinner was quite good, as it was comprised almost solely of their raw bar items.

The big feast was the Orca - 12 oysters (we got mostly Newports, after getting a dozen mixed before, with mostly Raspberry Points), 12 clams, 12 shrimp (these were DELICIOUS - probably some of the biggest shrimp I've ever eaten), 12 crab claws, and a whole lobster. I wasn't terribly impressed by the lobster, but on Wednesday, we had fresh 2 pound Maine lobsters that had been off the boat for about 12 hours, so I guess I'm biased. To accompany - a bottle of Matua & Seleni Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (perfect with the fresh seafood, and I liked the Seleni a little better - it had that grapefruit zing that I like in NZ wines), and a half-bottle of Bonny Doon Vin de Glacier (which admittedly was a little disappointing, but still not bad). At the end of the night, the bartender looked at us and said "You guys sure know how to party!"

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Old Ebbitt happy hour rules. Mind you that it applies to the happiest of all hours between midnight and 2 a.m. What fun! Get off the closing shift, get a few buddies and haul bottom in to kick back in style with oysters and chilled white. Where else can one be so sybaritic so late at night?

And oh, the best part is that at that time, the wide-eyed visitors to DC are usually fast asleep in their Holiday Inns, dreaming, no doubt, of cherries and blossoms. No one but the true criminals around.


Resident Twizzlebum

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Old Ebbitt happy hour rules. Mind you that it applies to the happiest of all hours between midnight and 2 a.m.  What fun! Get off the closing shift, get a few buddies and haul bottom in to kick back in style with oysters and chilled white. Where else can one be so sybaritic so late at night?

And oh, the best part is that at that time, the wide-eyed visitors to DC are usually fast asleep in their Holiday Inns, dreaming, no doubt, of cherries and blossoms.  No one but the true criminals around.

I had an awesome "Orca" last night for half price! Yikes!


Mark

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So if I make a reservation using open table can I still get the happy hour discount? Or do I have to sit at the bar?

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The discount is valid anywhere in the establishment, provided it's during the window of hours. (Monday through Thursday, 3 pm to 6 pm and 11 pm to 1 am.) There's no stiputlations on what or how you have to order (provided it's from the raw bar menu, of course).

It's one of the city's most significant discounts. The new orca platter (plan to have my first in two weeks) I think is like $79.95 or something regularly, so the happy hour discount is $40 off!


Edited by The Doctor (log)

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The new orca platter (plan to have my first in two weeks) I think is like $79.95 or something regularly, so the happy hour discount is $40 off!

Holy crap I need that. I'll have to go asap.

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I just looked at the Old Ebbitt's website, and after a little searching, found the Orca platter listed on their appetizer menu. Looks like it's $84.95 regularly. So I guess half price would be $42.50 ish?

I think if you eat it all yourself it should be free.

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