The more I talk to Ann Cashion and John Fulchino, the more I’m amazed at their discipline to maintain such a tight focus with Johnny’s Half Shell. The longtime business partners have not only had to weather this turbulent economy, they’ve also had to suffer through the usual seasons of the Hill—namely, in session and out. But despite these stresses to their business, Cashion and Fulchino have refused to budge from their original operating philosophy. You could call it obstinacy. I call dedication to a cause. The pair haven’t introduced small plates, gourmet comfort foods, or any other desperate measures to stay afloat. No, they’ve remained faithful to their belief in the utter deliciousness of Southern cooking, a liberal definition that stretches from the Gulf Coast all the way up to the Chesapeake. In fact, Cashion’s Chesapeake bouillabaisse, with a miniature crab cake buried within its sweet and silken lobster broth, may be the ultimate mid-Atlantic take on a culinary classic.

400 North Capitol St. NW (202) 737-0400