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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thing 92: Hank's Oyster Bar

Did I have a meal last night at Hank's! Oh, my. I had eaten there once before, a long time ago, but after last night I'm not sure why I don't eat there every day. Everything was delicious!

From the small bowl of goldfish crackers we were offered as we looked over the menu, to the small nuggets of dark German chocolate given to us at the end of the meal, everything we ate at Hank's was wonderful. The menu is divided into four parts -- appetizers, small plates, large plates and sides. From this, you can piece together a meal that will satisfy exactly what you want and how hungry you are.

We started with an appetizer of Old Bay peel 'n eat shrimp, which were sweet and meaty, sprinkled liberally with Old Bay seasoning and served with a great cocktail sauce made spicy with horseradish. Then, seduced by all the side dishes that looked so good I couldn't pick one, or even two, I ordered a small plate of crab cake with sides of macaroni and cheese, caramelized onion bread pudding, and collards. The crab cake was lightly fried with an awesome aioli, the bread pudding was silky and savory, the collards made sweet and sour by a healthy dose of cider vinegar and sauteed shallots. Oh, and that macaroni and cheese, with pungent Gruyere, toasted breadcrumbs and a small dice of smokey ham scattered throughout. Oh, how I would like to eat that every day, all day, for the rest of my life!

The Boyfriend had the lobster roll, full of sweet lobster, lightly dressed and served in a toasted, buttered brioche bun with thin, crispy fries.

Hank's doesn't have a dessert menu, which is just as well because I would have ordered dessert even though I don't know where it would have fit in my mac and crab cake filled stomach. Instead, we got just a small bowl with a bit of high quality dark chocolate, just enough to whet that after dinner sweet tooth.

Hank's is a neighborhood joint, a classy and higher quality answer to the mediocre restaurants along 17th Street. I'm not sure why it took me this long to sit down at its long banquette and enjoy some shrimp, but rest assured, I will be back shortly. And for those of you in Ye Olde Towne, they just opened a second location there, too. Lucky us!