Tag Archives: Washingtonian

Only One “Very Best Restaurant” in Rockville?

Washingtonian magazine just released their annual “100 Very Best Restaurants” and it includes only one in Rockville: A&J Restaurant at 1319 Rockville Pike. Just outside of Rockville, they include Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana in Darnestown. I don’t want to diminish these honors, but geez, they’ve been listed many times before—is anyone at the magazine venturing out further? To provide some inspiration, here are some of my suggestions:

O’Donnell’s Market, 1073 Seven Locks Road, “Potomac” (officially in Rockville off Seven Locks Road, across from the Potomac Springs neighborhood). Among the best seafood in town and a very straight-forward preparation, and you can also buy fish and oysters, along with prepared side dishes and baked goods to take home.

Mosaic, 186 Halpine Road, Rockville (south end of the Rockville Pike, near Twinbrook Metro). The owner is from Lyon, France and it promotes itself as an “authentic French restaurant,” but more accurately it’s French-inspired. So they serve classics such as salad niçoise, duck confit, and beef bourguignon (alas with noodles, not potatoes) as well as a crab cheddar quesadilla, cajun shrimp omelette, and parmesan chicken picatta. Light, airy Belgian waffles dominate the menu and show up by themselves, in sandwiches, and the “bread” for entrees. I love ’em!

Java Nation, 11120 Rockville Pike, “North Bethesda” (across from the White Flint Mall, just south of Rockville). It’s an exemplar for independent coffee shops but it also serves terrific meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus wine, beer, and signature cocktails. The “very best” food doesn’t have to be expensive.

Il Pizzico, 15209 Frederick Rd, Rockville (north end of the city at East Gude Drive). Friends love this restaurant and claim it serves the best Italian food in the region. I rarely visit because it’s across town and takes me more than 30 minutes to get there. It’s in a dull office building and parking is limited but inside you’ll find meals that are a step up from the usual fare, such as tagliatelle al ragu’ di vitello or filetto di maiale al balsamico).

Any other suggestions that you’d consider among the very best?

Three of the Very Best Restaurants are (mostly) in Rockville

Rockville’s Spice Xing

The January 2010 issue of Washingtonian magazine lists a couple restaurants in Rockville among the “100 Very Best” in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.  They are part of an exclusive club that includes Komi (#1), the Inn at Little Washington (#11), and 2 Amys (#28).  We’re delighted that the restaurants in Rockville are being recognized and that a few of them are meeting an extraordinarily high standard for quality.  Here are the gems in our fair city:

45.  Cava, 9713 Traville Gateway Drive (west of Fallsgrove).  “If all you know about Greek food comes by way of family-style diners trading on heaping portions of mousaka, this cozy mezzeteria—the creation of three Rockville natives and longtime friends—will be revelatory.  It straddles the lines between authenticity and modernity, between lightness and heartiness.”

52.  Spice Xing, 100-B Gibbs Street (Rockville Town Square).  “The sibling restaurant to chef Sudhir Seth’s Passage to India [Bethesda] trades the elegance and formality of its big sister for a more casual and vibrant experience.  It’s a looser operation but the profusion of flavors emanating from the kitchen—complex, vivid curries, lovingly rendered street snacks, well-blistered breads—is testament to the commitment to authenticity.  A tantalizing roster of cocktails complements—and balances—the heat in the dishes.”

77.  Addie’s, 11120 Rockville Pike (across from the White Flint Mall).  “What has come out of the kitchen at Jeff and Barbara Black’s folksy first restaurant can best be described as uneven.  But now it’s a different story with Nate Waugaman behind the stove.  Gone are the scattered attempts at fusion fare and in its place are house-made charcuterie (plus a whole lot of excellent Benton’s ham from Kentucky) and rootedly American roasts and fish dishes.  Finally, the food has one personality, not 15.”

Rockville has very porous boundaries and only Spice Xing is actually inside the official city limits, but these three restaurants call Rockville as their home, so we’ll welcome them.  Do check them all out since they’re so close (Addie’s is one of my favorites for a special occasion, Spice Xing for an inexpensive lunch downtown, and although I’ve never been to Cava, I’ve heard lots of good things).