Hank's Oyster Bar - Old Town Alexandria VA
Although Washington, D.C., has long played host to the world, it’s never been known as much of a food town—relegated to “big city” offerings such as let’s-make-a-deal steak houses and some international dining. Today, however, a new generation of culturally conscious chefs and restaurateurs is determined to imprint the city with a different culinary identity: its own. Diners now crave local authenticity, and chefs, taking note, have discovered that D.C. is, make no mistake, a Southern city. It’s smack-dab in a widespread agricultural area and steeped in cast-iron cookery, and it enjoys the bounty of a long growing season through the homesteading arts of curing and preserving. Like its coastal counterparts New Orleans and Charleston, the D.C. area benefits from proximity to a plentiful estuary: the Chesapeake Bay, which produces about 500 million pounds of seafood per year.