Hank’s Oyster Bar
Seafood / $$$ / 1026 King St., Alexandria
This year there’s been an expansion with a new bar, a new late night menu and daily lunch. Plus chef and owner Jamie Leeds will open Hank’s Pasta Bar in Alexandria next month, but Hank’s Oyster Bar is still a tiny neighborhood gem. It’s solid food, even if it’s a non-seafood sandwich: think rosy, thick-cut slices of steak (servers actually ask you how you want your steak cooked … for a sandwich) with watercress and a horseradish sauce served with Old Bay-seasoned fries. Mornings reveal crab cakes—and isn’t it nice to get a patty of lump made for you after a summer season of pickin’ it yourself—next to about-to-burst poached eggs. Dinner can be simple fish, usually accompanied by a simple salad and a simple lemony sauce, or, of course, a dozen oysters.