One of the many things brunch is great for is snapping yourself out of a funk leftover from an evening that didn’t pan out quite as well as you’d expect for a Saturday night. A few mimosas, tasty food and good friends will get you laughing and smiling again. I needed one of these types of brunch recently – as did another good friend – so we met at the new Hank’s Oyster Bar on Capitol Hill, which has been a very welcome addition to the neighborhood since it opened in late July.
It was a sunny, gorgeous day — also very helpful in turning our moods around — and a table opened up outside just as we arrived. We settled in to look at the menu and quickly shifted the conversation from rehashing the previous nights’ events to more positive stories, something made much easier as the server brought a bowl of Goldfish and our drinks. Yes, goldfish. Instead of bread, Hanks serves bowls of Goldfish, a treat that I have found addictive since I was a little kid.
The brunch menu at Hanks offers a great mix of their regular raw bar and seafood offerings, as well as some brunch items to mix things up for a morning appetite. There’s an ice bar offering of oysters, shrimp and ceviche. Small plates include yogurt and granola, lobster bisque, fried oysters and popcorn shrimp and calamari. Large plates are plentiful. Fish & chips, bacon & eggs, and shrimp & grits are just the start. There are also two types of eggs benedict – crabcake and salmon – a specialty burger, Hangtown Fry, crabcake sandwich with remoulade, a smoked salmon platter, lobster roll, and an oyster po’boy. Oh and a selection of specials and slides.
My friends ordered the oysters and the crabcake eggs benedict, while I chose the smoked salmon eggs benedict, which came with a large side of crispy old bay fries that that are hard to resist no matter how full you are. Our plates were all clean and our appetites well satisfied as we ordered one last round while we watched the foot traffic pass along on the street and admired some sequin-studded costumes on the patrons of the nearby Remmington’s Nightclub. I don’t know what was going on in there on a Sunday morning but it looked like quite the party.
Hank’s has been a great addition to that section of the Hill ever since it opened in July, and clearly not just for dinner. I think I have found a new favorite neighborhood brunch spot.
Another thing to love about Hank’s is the drinks. Mixologist Gina Chersevani makes some fantastic cocktails that has made Hank’s a destination for more than just the food. I was a bit wary of the mixed drinks that morning — tequila at noon was not going to help me accomplish anything but a nap for the rest of the afternoon — but if your tolerance for daytime drinking is stronger than mine, order away. I stuck to the mimosas and will return for the signature cocktails another evening.