Hard Shell

★★★★☆
  • 1411 E Cary St

    Richmond, VA 23219

    Map & Directions
  • 804-643-2333

About Hard Shell

Hours
Mon. - Thu., Sun. 11am - 10pm;Fri. - Sat. 11am - 11pm

Food

Food
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We've been there several times and the food is always great!

2
★★★★★

We've been there several times and the food is always great!

Pros: Food, Service & Atmosphere....all great!

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The best night to go is on Sunday. Crab leg night! Blackened Mahi - Mahi was absolutely delicious. You must try the Hard Shell Elixir martini it is quite refreshing. Services is outstanding and the price it worth it!

5
★★★★★

The best night to go is on Sunday. Crab leg night! Blackened Mahi - Mahi was absolutely delicious. You must try the Hard Shell Elixir martini it is quite refreshing. Services is outstanding and the price it worth it!

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Hard Shell is one of the best seafood restaurants I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. I travel all over the country and especially love seafood and Hard Shell is one of the best in the U.S. I had the Hard Shell pasta, with lobster, shrimp, mussels and scallops and it was awesome. The seafood was tender, cooked just right and the broth was light yet very flavorful. The friendly service was prompt and attentive. I couldn't ask for more in a dining experience. I will definitely visit there again the next time I'm in Richmond.

2
★★★★★

Hard Shell is one of the best seafood restaurants I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. I travel all over the country and especially love seafood and Hard Shell is one of the best in the U.S. I had the Hard Shell pasta, with lobster, shrimp, mussels and scallops and it was awesome. The seafood was tender, cooked just right and the broth was light yet very flavorful. The friendly service was prompt and attentive. I couldn't ask for more in a dining experience. I will definitely visit there again the next time I'm in Richmond.

Pros: Exceptional seafood, outstanding service

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We've only been there once but it was just plain awesome! My husband and I went on a Saturday night...thinking we would have to wait...we were seated pretty quickly. We had a great waitres very nice and attentive. We both ordered their filet, shared the crab legs with a bottle of wine. We ended up right under $100 bucks. Great food, great service and wonder ambience! Definitely will go back and will share with friends and family!

2
★★★★★

We've only been there once but it was just plain awesome! My husband and I went on a Saturday night...thinking we would have to wait...we were seated pretty quickly. We had a great waitres very nice and attentive. We both ordered their filet, shared the crab legs with a bottle of wine. We ended up right under $100 bucks. Great food, great service and wonder ambience! Definitely will go back and will share with friends and family!

Pros: Nice dining areas, waitstaff, great food, etc....

Cons: Maybe parking..but that's par for downtown I guess.....

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Extensive raw menu featuring oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels, crab legs, and lobster. You won't be disappointed in the beef or lamb either. The Hard Shell is truly a wonderful dining experience.

5
★★★★★

Extensive raw menu featuring oysters, clams, shrimp, mussels, crab legs, and lobster. You won't be disappointed in the beef or lamb either. The Hard Shell is truly a wonderful dining experience.

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I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this was definitely not what I was expecting. I just moved from Palo Alto, CA to Richmond and I really had high hopes for the great restaurants that are here. Hard Shell is not going to be one of my favorites.

Right off the bat there was no hostess at the front when I walked in and I had two different waiters look at me before a third finally helped me. After sitting down, no one came to take my drink order, so waiter #3 came over and offered to get me something while I waited for my waitress.

I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Whitehaven Vineyards and it tasted like Martinelli's sparkling cider. My waitress finally showed up and I ask whether the lobster chowder or she crab soup was better and she assured me the she crab was better. I'd really hate to taste the lobster chowder because the she crab was pretty gross. The flavor was fine, but the texture was more like melted cheese with 2 lumps of crab meat.

The main reason I went to Hard Shell was for the crab cakes. I figured a seafood restaurant would have some of the best. The crab cakes were really good and they're about the only reason I would go back. They were really moist and hardly any filler. They were served with dried up rice and thin asparagus.

I guess being from CA I know more wine than I should and the wine list was decent, but the prices were outrageous. They had a $17 bottle of Frogs leap Sauvignon Blanc for $42. That's just crazy.

1
★★☆☆☆

I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this was definitely not what I was expecting. I just moved from Palo Alto, CA to Richmond and I really had high hopes for the great restaurants that are here. Hard Shell is not going to be one of my favorites.

Right off the bat there was no hostess at the front when I walked in and I had two different waiters look at me before a third finally helped me. After sitting down, no one came to take my drink order, so waiter #3 came over and offered to get me something while I waited for my waitress.

I ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Whitehaven Vineyards and it tasted like Martinelli's sparkling cider. My waitress finally showed up and I ask whether the lobster chowder or she crab soup was better and she assured me the she crab was better. I'd really hate to taste the lobster chowder because the she crab was pretty gross. The flavor was fine, but the texture was more like melted cheese with 2 lumps of crab meat.

The main reason I went to Hard Shell was for the crab cakes. I figured a seafood restaurant would have some of the best. The crab cakes were really good and they're about the only reason I would go back. They were really moist and hardly any filler. They were served with dried up rice and thin asparagus.

I guess being from CA I know more wine than I should and the wine list was decent, but the prices were outrageous. They had a $17 bottle of Frogs leap Sauvignon Blanc for $42. That's just crazy.

Pros: Crab cakes and the outdoor seating was nice

Cons: The service was bad, she crab soup was bad and the wine list was expensive.

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I'm not very downtown savy, but this place is pretty easy to get to. The website has directions, which is a plus, because using the other direction websites are confusing and wrong most times. Once there, I was very impressed. The atmosphere was great because it can go a couple different ways, dressy or casual, and neither party feels over or under dressed! It's priced to be dressy, yet the place looks casual. The first time I went the service was great, the food was great and the whole experience was just leaving me wanting more. So The next weekend I went back for Fathers day. I went on saturday nights, both times and around 8 is when it gets busy. I like dinner around 6:30, and it is a good time to go. You can make reservations, or walk in. Yea, the menu is kinda pricy, but you are getting quality seafood cooked to perfection alongside great steaks or veggies that are so tasty it makes you chew slower to actualy taste your food and not just eat. I love the atmosphere, with the brick walls, wood floors and outside dining I will be back sooner than later. the food was better than expected, the lobster dip is a must order and the cheese cake is the perfect ending to a mouth watering dinner. The service was perfect the first time I went, being an ex-waitress of 3 years, and so so the second time. But both times the parking was free, the food was perfect and the atmosphere is just one of those you have to experience!

2
★★★★★

I'm not very downtown savy, but this place is pretty easy to get to. The website has directions, which is a plus, because using the other direction websites are confusing and wrong most times. Once there, I was very impressed. The atmosphere was great because it can go a couple different ways, dressy or casual, and neither party feels over or under dressed! It's priced to be dressy, yet the place looks casual. The first time I went the service was great, the food was great and the whole experience was just leaving me wanting more. So The next weekend I went back for Fathers day. I went on saturday nights, both times and around 8 is when it gets busy. I like dinner around 6:30, and it is a good time to go. You can make reservations, or walk in. Yea, the menu is kinda pricy, but you are getting quality seafood cooked to perfection alongside great steaks or veggies that are so tasty it makes you chew slower to actualy taste your food and not just eat. I love the atmosphere, with the brick walls, wood floors and outside dining I will be back sooner than later. the food was better than expected, the lobster dip is a must order and the cheese cake is the perfect ending to a mouth watering dinner. The service was perfect the first time I went, being an ex-waitress of 3 years, and so so the second time. But both times the parking was free, the food was perfect and the atmosphere is just one of those you have to experience!

Pros: Atmosphere, food experience

Cons: might be a little pricy for those who don't know good seafood!

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Nice ambiance... kudos to the designer and owner for creating a great setting for an excellent meal... Unfortunately, nobody told the management or the Chef... terrible food and service. My grilled fish was completely overcooked until it was dry and hard on the outside... and yet it still smelled as if it was sitting around for several weeks. The wait staff didn't care... she aknowledged that it was bad, snarled her lip up at it and walked off.

I dine out as I travel several days each week and enjoy a nice dining experience. This was one of the worst I have ever experienced for a fairly high-priced meal. I didn't mind the prices in the menu when we first entered the restaurant, but charging what they did for a truly disgusting meal was criminal.

I still cannot believe the response I got when I showed the fish to the staff. She finally removed it when I told her I could not eat it... never offerred any comp or to take it off the bill.. never offerred to bring something else. That turned out to be a good thing, since I ended up getting sick about an hour later.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Nice ambiance... kudos to the designer and owner for creating a great setting for an excellent meal... Unfortunately, nobody told the management or the Chef... terrible food and service. My grilled fish was completely overcooked until it was dry and hard on the outside... and yet it still smelled as if it was sitting around for several weeks. The wait staff didn't care... she aknowledged that it was bad, snarled her lip up at it and walked off.

I dine out as I travel several days each week and enjoy a nice dining experience. This was one of the worst I have ever experienced for a fairly high-priced meal. I didn't mind the prices in the menu when we first entered the restaurant, but charging what they did for a truly disgusting meal was criminal.

I still cannot believe the response I got when I showed the fish to the staff. She finally removed it when I told her I could not eat it... never offerred any comp or to take it off the bill.. never offerred to bring something else. That turned out to be a good thing, since I ended up getting sick about an hour later.

Pros: ambience is great

Cons: food was awfull and service was terrible as well

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Extremely pricy. Not much selection on the menu. Extremely noisy.

1
★★☆☆☆

Extremely pricy. Not much selection on the menu. Extremely noisy.

Pros: free parking, outdoor dining

Cons: noisy, Expensive, crowded

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A group of 8 went on a Wednesday night and were glad we had reservations. The restaurant was very busy and we had trouble hearing more than 1 people down the table. Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was very good.

2
★★★★★

A group of 8 went on a Wednesday night and were glad we had reservations. The restaurant was very busy and we had trouble hearing more than 1 people down the table. Everyone enjoyed the food and the service was very good.

Pros: Very good food

Cons: Noisey

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The Hard Shell, located right in the heart of Shockoe Bottom, is an awesome restaurant. We recently help our wedding rehearsal dinner there, and we were very happy with them. The food was delicious, the service attentive, and the atmosphere is very cozy.

They have a private room that seats about 50 people maximum, with separate handicapped access and a door to go outside for those who smoke.

All of our guests raved about the food. My one and only (very minor) complaint was that they changed the menu that I had signed the contract for. The changed the one dish that I really wanted to something that I didn't care for. We complained about them changing the menu on us, and they very happily let myself and anyone else alter the dishes that were on the menu to suit our tastes.

Very accomodating and easy to work with even prior to the dinner- they made the whole planning process very smooth!

5
★★★★★

The Hard Shell, located right in the heart of Shockoe Bottom, is an awesome restaurant. We recently help our wedding rehearsal dinner there, and we were very happy with them. The food was delicious, the service attentive, and the atmosphere is very cozy.

They have a private room that seats about 50 people maximum, with separate handicapped access and a door to go outside for those who smoke.

All of our guests raved about the food. My one and only (very minor) complaint was that they changed the menu that I had signed the contract for. The changed the one dish that I really wanted to something that I didn't care for. We complained about them changing the menu on us, and they very happily let myself and anyone else alter the dishes that were on the menu to suit our tastes.

Very accomodating and easy to work with even prior to the dinner- they made the whole planning process very smooth!

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The Hard Shell is a great restaurant. The location - on the slip in downtown Richmond - is wonderful. There wide offering of raw bar selection is unbeatable and they have many other items on the menu. They also have a back room great for parties. I hosted a brunch here and it was amazing. We have about double the number of guests anticipated and they were quick to accomodate us.

4
★★★★☆

The Hard Shell is a great restaurant. The location - on the slip in downtown Richmond - is wonderful. There wide offering of raw bar selection is unbeatable and they have many other items on the menu. They also have a back room great for parties. I hosted a brunch here and it was amazing. We have about double the number of guests anticipated and they were quick to accomodate us.

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Sometimes you just need to go out and spend a few bucks, and when that happens you want to make sure it's going to be worth it. The Hardshell has a great selection for any seafood lover, the rawbar is terrific, and the lobster stuffed with crab for under 25 dollars is unbeatable. This place has a great atmosphere for people who want a fancy meal in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The live jazz only adds to the flavor of the great seafood you'll get here.

2
★★★★★

Sometimes you just need to go out and spend a few bucks, and when that happens you want to make sure it's going to be worth it. The Hardshell has a great selection for any seafood lover, the rawbar is terrific, and the lobster stuffed with crab for under 25 dollars is unbeatable. This place has a great atmosphere for people who want a fancy meal in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. The live jazz only adds to the flavor of the great seafood you'll get here.

Pros: Fresh Seafood, Great Selection, Live Jazz

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Best calamari in Richmond. My favorite seafood place so far. Have not tried Mile Post 5 yet. Love all of their appetizers and not much to miss on the menu. Ambience is great. Jazz is a nice touch. Wine selection is wide and varied but their house wine is excellent. Little pricey but worth it.

2
★★★★★

Best calamari in Richmond. My favorite seafood place so far. Have not tried Mile Post 5 yet. Love all of their appetizers and not much to miss on the menu. Ambience is great. Jazz is a nice touch. Wine selection is wide and varied but their house wine is excellent. Little pricey but worth it.

Pros: food, ambience, wine

Cons: price

Editorial from

Seafood is the name of the game here, and you'll get plenty of creative cooking for your well-spent dollar. Be sure to check out the daily specials before tackling the dinner menu, but we recommend the flash-fried calamari or the lobster…

 

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