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Old Ebbitt Grill, Operating since 1856 - 2000 Covers a Day, Half-Priced Raw Bar during Happy Hour


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Chef Tom ripped the ass off a crab for me! I feel so special (don't ruin it by telling me he'd do it for anyone who ordered the dish).

I'm on a kick to resolve a character flaw and reacquire my test for at least some seafood. I'm starting with crustaceans. The kind folks at Corduroy helped me sea all that is good with crab with this dish. Lightly crispy without being greasy and well matched with barely wilted greens and ver jus to round it out. I'm still a little iffy about eating these critters but I would certainly order this dish again.



For your next challenge, you need to plunge into the raw bar at the Old Ebbitt. Half price from 3-5 and 11-1.
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Tried my first Orca Platter two weeks ago (whole lobster, dozen oysters, dozen shrimp, dozen clams, dozen crab claws), so I'd like to share my thoughts.

What this thing really needs is some alaskan king crab instead of the jonah claws.

While we were all excited about the size of this platter, in the end we thought next time we'd probably rather have two Walrus #4s for just a little more money. Those crab claws are a little hard to work with and aren't that flavorful.

Does anyone know if you can buy just the lobster separately?

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Tried my first Orca Platter two weeks ago (whole lobster, dozen oysters, dozen shrimp, dozen clams, dozen crab claws), so I'd like to share my thoughts.

What this thing really needs is some alaskan king crab instead of the jonah claws.

While we were all excited about the size of this platter, in the end we thought next time we'd probably rather have two Walrus #4s for just a little more money. Those crab claws are a little hard to work with and aren't that flavorful.

Does anyone know if you can buy just the lobster separately?

The Grand Shellfish Platter at Oceanaire usually has king crab legs and stone crab claws on it in addition to lobster, shrimp, oysters, clams and mussels. Last week at Old Ebbitt we were successful in substituting more clams for the jonah claws.

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For your next challenge, you need to plunge into the raw bar at the Old Ebbitt. Half price from 3-5 and 11-1.

Isn't that a bivalve thing? I have probably dissected a few too many of those to eat them. But...it is mere steps from my office...

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Isn't that a bivalve thing?  I have probably dissected a few too many of those to eat them.  But...it is mere steps from my office...

There is a range of bivalves from oysters, to clams mussels to scallops. Might I suggest that you work your way up to oysters by starting with the scallops at Ray's or Corduroy. Or perhaps the mussels at Eve.

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There is a range of bivalves from oysters, to clams mussels to scallops.  Might I suggest that you work your way up to oysters by starting with the scallops at Ray's or Corduroy.  Or perhaps the mussels at Eve.

Clams and mussels are non-starters. Probably oysters too. Scallops I'd have to think about. Maybe diver scallops.

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Have reservations tomorrow night's 11 pm happy hour for a whopping 14 people. Hope they are well stocked. Thought I'd share an e-mail exchange I had last week:

Question/Comment: Dear Old Ebbitt,

My friends and I love your raw bar and its diverse selection of oysters. We are particularly big fans of the kumamoto variety. Do you have any plans to feature these on your menu in the near future? (I'm not familiar with the seasonal availability of certain oysters.)

And the reply:

Many of our guests (and all of our staff) love the Kumamotos.  Unfortunately they have been harder to keep in stock due to their increased popularity around the country.  While we do not have them on right now, we do expect them in some time over the next few weeks.  When we are able to get some, as you might expect, they do not last very long.  Thanks for the nice comments about our raw bar and I hope you return to the Old Ebbitt Grill soon and often.

Cheers,

David N. Moran

General Manager

Old Ebbitt Grill

202-347-4801- ext. 202

202-347-6136 (fax)

www.ebbitt.com

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I know a lot of foodies turn up their nose at OE but I always enjoy my visits there. Friendly service and a large menu usually means there's something for everyone. Ok, it ain't cutting edge but it's my kind of place. Raw bar is awesome and a what a deal at half price. One of these years I'll make it to the fall oyster night.

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I said it before, and I'll say it again: Old Ebbs is one of the best-hidden late night dining options. Any place where I can tuck into the half-price raw bar after the closing shift (between 11 pm and 1 am) is good enough for me - bad Shropshire B&B (read: Irish setters with bulging eyes) wall art notwithstanding.

And it's a really good late-night date idea. Raw oysters and chilled white and two hotels on the same block, need I say more??

Face it, there ain't too many places in the city you can sit your bottom down after 11 pm that isn't a filthy dive bar.

Edited by Nadya
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I said it before, and I'll say it again: Old Ebbs is one of the best-hidden late night dining options. Any place where I can tuck into the half-price raw bar after the closing shift (between 11 pm and 1 am) is good enough for me - bad Shropshire B&B (read: Irish setters with bulging eyes) wall art notwithstanding.

And it's a really good late-night date idea. Raw oysters and chilled white and two hotels on the same block, need I say more??

Face it, there ain't too many places in the city you can sit your bottom down after 11 pm that isn't a filthy dive bar.

SSSHHHHHHHH! The place is already packed at midnight.

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I celebrated the proximity of my new job (woohoo, I'm employed again :P ) to Old Ebbit by stopping by for a dozen and a half oysters and a bunch of clams with a dman good Bloody Mary to wash them down. This really is the best deal in the city. They had komomotos, two varieties from Maine (laniloa, how is this possible?) plus my favorite raspberry.

To the left of me were tourists from NYC lamenting that the Grand Central Oyster Bar doesn't do the same thing and the right of me were the only three people from the Hill who are actually working right now. It doesn't get much better than this on a hot August day.

Has anyone been to their Oyster Riot? Is it worth it?

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Looks like they once again have their $16.95 crab cake special, which is normally $24.95. I've always had a soft spot for their cakes.

I should also put in a plug here for The Old Ebbitt Express, which is one of the greatest to-go lunch choices in the area. Like the restaurant, it's a great bang-for-your-buck. Here's the menu:

http://www.ebbitt.com/main/home.cfm?Sectio...=Ebbitt_Express

The specials change daily and everything I've tried has been a winner. Most of the stuff is around $7 or $8 and you get ridiculous portion sizes. For example, Tuesday's grilled chicken taco salad is so big they don't even have a proper container that will accomodate it, and the same day's delicious chicken francaise has more food than you probably had at dinner tonight. Wednesday's turkey blue cheese wrap at $7.50 is a deal anyways, plus you get chips, cookie AND a beverage of your choice included (even most bottled beverages).

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Took my MIL to OE after a lovely dinner at Cashion's Friday night and before dessert at Ceiba. She deemed the Ebbitt as her favorite spot of the night because 1) the oysters ARE good and 2) the atmosphere is laid back and 3) the clientele is varied.

It's a classic for a reason, I suppose.

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Mr. S took me out to brunch at OEB today--my first visit. It's a very lovely space, and the service was excellent.

Mr. S had half a dozen oysters on the half-shell, which were nicely presented, and the Reuben sandwich.

I had Eggs Long Island: scrambled eggs, spinach, and fried oysters on an English muffin, topped with dijon-chive hollandaise, and home fries on the side. I had a lovely Virgin Mary with that--just the right combination of tomato juice, horseradish, and Old Bay (or similar seasoning).

My eggs were perfectly scrambled, and the spinach was just wilted. The oysters were nicely fried and very tasty. All in all, that was a great combination.

The home fries were quartered baby new potatoes sauteed with red and green bell peppers (and onion?). I thought they were soggy and flabby, without very much flavor, but that's how most home fries seem to me, so maybe I just don't like that preparation. I'd rather have had something crispy, like the French fries Mr. S had with his sandwich.

I didn't get to taste his sandwich. He liked it but wasn't waxing rhapsodic about it. He felt the large quantity of corned beef in the sandwich overshadowed the other flavors.

It was a very pleasant experience, overall, and I will go back, but not till I knock a few more places off of my list.

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Tried my first Orca Platter two weeks ago (whole lobster, dozen oysters, dozen shrimp, dozen clams, dozen crab claws), so I'd like to share my thoughts.

What this thing really needs is some alaskan king crab instead of the jonah claws.

While we were all excited about the size of this platter, in the end we thought next time we'd probably rather have two Walrus #4s for just a little more money. Those crab claws are a little hard to work with and aren't that flavorful.

Does anyone know if you can buy just the lobster separately?

I partook in my first Orca Platter last week. I thought it hit the spot. And at first I was kind of down on the Jonah crab, but like heroin, I was hooked on them after a couple and enjoying them more.

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I partook in my first Orca Platter last week.  I thought it hit the spot.  And at first I was kind of down on the Jonah crab, but like heroin, I was hooked on them after a couple and enjoying them more.

And to think someone said that two people would have a hard time eating the entire thing. HA! I even had room for dinner TemptAsian a couple of hours later. Urp! :)

The crab was OK. I think the next time I will just do plates of oysters and some shrimp.

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Parents and brother were in town tonight and we ended up deciding on Old Ebbitt for dinner. I'd never been before, but had always heard good things, and since my fam was being touristy all day, they weren't exactly dressed and ready to go out somewhere too nice.

None of us are big oyster fans (creatans that we are) so we didn't partake in the raw bar that receives such raves. But everyone thoroughly enjoyed their meals nonetheless.

We started with the crab and artichoke dip appetizer. It was a generous portion that 4 of us didn't end up finishing. It was good, but a bit too thick for my tastes. Almost like eating a block of cream cheese.

My brother had the fish and chips and although I didn't try any he said it was tasty. I did have a bite of my mom's french dip sub and she especially liked the horseradish sauce that accompanied it. She also raved about the bread it was served on. My dad had the much praised crab cakes and I must say those lived up to the hype. Tons of crab and little filler. And the saffron aioli it was served with made it that much better. If/when I go back I think I'd opt for this dish. Although mine was tasty as well. I had the seared halibut special served with asparagus, creminis, and gnocchi with a roasted tomato vinegrette. Absolutely nothing to complain about there!

Some of the desserts delivered to neighboring tables looked good, but we were stuffed, so we walked around the White House a bit before eventually heading over to Corduroy for a late dessert <_<

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Old Ebbitt is a very dependable place for uncomplicated food. We dine there frequently after the theater. (The kitchen stays open til 1 am on weekends.) And where else can you find calves liver? Sometimes late at night, plain good food is what I'm craving.

-Ed

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We went late last night for some oysters. We sat at the oyster bar (the actual tiny bar in front of the shuckers where we talked with one of them as he opened quite a few dozen even at midnight!). The oysters were good... we especially loved the wauwena (?) and the Island Creek. The selection was only 4 types, not a lot for an oyster bar. The beedr on tap selection was redhook, yuengling, bass, who cares..., the booze selection just standard. All in all it was a loud and fairly manufactured feeling place. I would come back for a half price oyster feed, but would not be looking forward to it for other than that based on its plastic feel.

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We went late last night for some oysters. We sat at the oyster bar (the actual tiny bar in front of the shuckers where we talked with one of them as he opened quite a few dozen even at midnight!). The oysters were good... we especially loved the wauwena (?) and the Island Creek. The selection was only 4 types, not a lot for an oyster bar. The beedr on tap selection was redhook, yuengling, bass, who cares..., the booze selection just standard. All in all it was a loud and fairly manufactured feeling place. I would come back for a half price oyster feed, but would not be looking forward to it for other than that based on its plastic feel.

You need to go Monday-Thursday and sit in Mike's Bar. Much more convivial. The half price deal helps, too.

Orca Platter for $45. That's crazy!

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If I'm correct, tickets go on sale today for the 2006 Oyster Riot. We went last year and had a blast - though I learned a few things.

1. Oysters do a lousy job of soaking up alcohol. Hit the bread and cheese trays to lay down a small base.

2. Whatever you do, don't lay down a base of vodka/tonics.

3. Pace yourself.

Good lord, I was full of oysters and completely knackered by 9pm!

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I just got mine for friday night. can't wait.

the takeaway message for me from last time is to take notice of which ones are the most popular, and make sure you hit them before they run out.

here's hoping they have some decent beers this time around...I'm not holding my breath, though.

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My wife and I are relatively new to the metro area, and though we've been to OE, we have not been to Oyster Riot. Sadly, we found out about it too late, and I missed out on the opportunity to purchase tickets. It looks like a ton of fun, and we love oysters. Am I really missing out on something here? They don't reserve any tickets for the door do they?

Thanks.

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Lots of people missed out this year. You can check craigslist.com for tickets but there are about a dozen people already clamouring for tickets.

There's one guy selling a pair and he will only accept $290. Strange number....and making a tidy profit off it. I'm not going to post the link here - I'm not a big fan of scalping. But you can always go on craigslist and check for yourself.

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Lots of people missed out this year. You can check craigslist.com for tickets but there are about a dozen people already clamouring for tickets.

There's one guy selling a pair and he will only accept $290. Strange number....and making a tidy profit off it. I'm not going to post the link here - I'm not a big fan of scalping. But you can always go on craigslist and check for yourself.

Thanks for the info.

Whats it like, though? Is it AYCE? What is included in the price?

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Thanks for the info.

Whats it like, though? Is it AYCE? What is included in the price?

AYCE of about 25 differetn varieties of oysters, AYCD award-winning white wines (as judged by an Old Ebbittt Grill panel of experts) and beer.....some passed oyster appetizers

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AYCE of about 25 differetn varieties of oysters, AYCD award-winning white wines (as judged by an Old Ebbittt Grill panel of experts) and beer.....some passed oyster appetizers

Sounds great - wish I had known about it. Oh, well. Now that I know, I 'll have to be more aware for next year.

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I intend to have the Orca as soon as I can figure out how to park near Ebbitts.
Ebbitts has free valet parking after 6PM, Monday through Saturday, but the timing doesn't coincide too well with the early half price Orca Platter. I think the free parking is all night, though, so you could hit the late night happy hour. Given how much parking costs nearby, that complimentary valet is quite a good deal.
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Anyone going to the Oyster Riot this weekend? Lisa and I will be there on Friday night. We were thinking of hitting Restaurant Kolumbia before doors open. I'm not making the same mistake I made last year (going on an empty stomach - those oysters don't suck up much alcohol).

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Anyone going to the Oyster Riot this weekend? Lisa and I will be there on Friday night. We were thinking of hitting Restaurant Kolumbia before doors open. I'm not making the same mistake I made last year (going on an empty stomach - those oysters don't suck up much alcohol).

See ya there Friday, and depending on how work looks on friday, maybe at Kolumbia too. Thinking bar or table?

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Oyster Riot: that was interesting. You start out a little restrained, let's see what this table has, oooh a couple of Wellfleets, some Olympias...and after about 30 minutes you realize "Holy shit, I can eat as many as I want." And after that it was like putting an addict down in a room full of drugs. I must have gruffled at least a kilo. Favorites were the Kusshis and Wellfleets.

I was very happy to discover the table in the back where non-Sauv Blanc was offered.

xcanuck, you were smart to eat beforehand. Eating afterwards did nothing to soak up the booze.

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xcanuck, you were smart to eat beforehand. Eating afterwards did nothing to soak up the booze.
Yes, indeedy!! My hangover on Saturday was merely inconvenient, as opposed to last year's debilitating one that had me wishing for a quick and easy death.

I don't remember the types of oysters that I enjoyed...it seemed like the larger ones (usually from the North Atlantic) were too bringy. Some of the really small ones had an almost 'creamy' texture that I didn't care for. The small-to-medium sized ones had a nice balance of sweet and sea with a great texture and wonderful taste. Not to be nationalistic, but the NB and BC ones were my favorite. This opinion seemed to be backed up by the fact that ferment everything and crew had staked out a spot next to the BC oysters and pretty much single handedly demolished them. Excellent choice!!

Did anyone actually eat the shrimp "thing" they served up? I tried it last year and found it be a poor way to occupy my intestines.

Second runner-up and third-runner-up wines reminded me of urine. The first runner-up was our favorite.

All in all, I'm not really sure if we'll go back next year. We had a great time, but I think that's a function of the people we were with, as opposed to the Riot being any gastronomic extravaganza.

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Seven of us went for dinner here on Friday night. The crowd of people by the door suggested that lots of people were waiting to eat, but luckily they held our reservation even though we were half an hour late (we rang to warn them). The crabcakes were very good, very meaty and tasty. It was just what we wanted-perfect for the family who had just flown in from the UK.

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Went there on Tuesday with some folks from work for a farewell happy hour for a colleague. We got one of the large tables in the back bar area, and pre-ordered a couple of the large Orca platters at half price.

Normally, I love the half price raw bar at OEG (and the other Clyde's locations), but it was somewhat disappointing this time. The shrimp were very good, but the rest was only mediocre. The lobster and stone crab had very little taste, and after two requests still no drawn butter. The raw clams were pretty tasty, but the oysters had no taste whatsoever. Don't know what varieties they were, but there was just nothing to them - no brine, nothing.

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Went for the 1/2 price oysters last night. Beer selection is pretty poor, but we made do with Wild Goose IPA and Bass on top. Would it hurt to have something along this lines of rogue or Dog Head or Mendo Brewing company?

Onto the Oysters. First off at regular price of $21.05 a dz, OEG is one of the lower priced oyster places in town. But from 3 to 6 it is a steal. First up was an oyster sampler: 2 of each. We settles in on our favorite three: Wellflleet, Island point from Massachusetts and Pickering Point from Washington. The last were very meaty and dense in flavor. The Wellfleets had lots of briny flavor. The Island points were briny and very bright, our favorites. We polished off 8 of each.

Still a little bit hungry, we ventured onto the menu and had an order of Buffalo wings. As always, do not eat the food at Old Ebbitt. Do not eat the food at Old Ebbitt. Repeat: Do not eat the food at Old Ebbit. We could have had another 9 oysters for the price of underdone, flavorless wings in mundane hot sauce served with what tasted like Sysco blue cheese dressing with one, count it, one celery stick.

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don't forget the late night happy hour which, iirc, starts at 10pm.

That it does.... but with a wife with a day job getting there that late is a pain..... but I think OEG is the best oyster destination in DC flat out and more so when the price is considered. Just wish they had better beer and wine.

The HH is Monday thry Thursday

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As always, do not eat the food at Old Ebbitt. Do not eat the food at Old Ebbitt. Repeat: Do not eat the food at Old Ebbit.
That's a pretty strong statement coming from a local restaurateur. Besides the wings, what else have you had at Old Ebbitt recently that you think should be avoided?
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