If you’re looking for some of the best oysters in DC, just head over to the ever-busy Barracks Row and walk into Senart’s Oyster & Chop House. It would have been easy money to bet that restaurateur Xavier Cervera’s new gem on 8th Street SE would be a smashing success, yet every time I walk into Senart’s I’m amazed by the fact that it is constantly packed.
Let’s start with the exterior, which was great to see being renovated during the construction period. The Senart family resided in the building between 1913 and 1939, and lived of the second floor while serving bar fare and fresh oysters on the first. Seventy years later, the place is updated and back. You can even see the restored mural on one side of the building – classy.
Walk inside and the oyster bar is narrow, but it just keeps going and going back. (I almost thought I would never actually make it to the bathroom.) It is just beautiful – marble and 50 ft. long. Personally, I’d rather sit outside on the patio under the patio umbrella very similar to the one on PatioPro, but as you can imagine, that’s hot property during the spring and summer.
You have to get the oysters here and split them with friends. There’s a regular cocktail sauce and another that works to add some zest to each shell. They’re big, they’re plump, and I could rave about them for hours. Yes I ate them so quickly that I totally forgot to get a picture!
The Maine Lobster Roll Sliders are also good, though I would call the filling more of a lobster-salad type, and the brioche bun could be better. That being said, it’s still a must-have.
My favorite side is the onion rings. The batter comes out crispy without being overwhelmingly thick or disappointingly thin. Get the Grilled Hanger Steak and it will come with a side of onion rings (score!). The steak doesn’t comes out like a New York strip, but with big chunky pieces. It’s delicious and like always, my vote is to get it medium rare.
The best entree by far is the Seafood Lasagna “Cippino Style”, which is like no lasagna I’ve ever had before. The garlic crostine is light and tasty as is the sauce. It’s a little bit like a seafood medley, and it is a winner, just like Senart’s.
Senart’s Oyster & Chop House is located at 520 Eighth St. SE. The closest metro stop is Eastern Market (Blue/Orange Lines). For more information, call 202-544-1168.