Lisa Markiewicz lends more than her zen-like surname to the wine bar and lounge she recently opened in Mount Vernon. Her extensive knowledge of pan-Mediterranean cuisine—including grecian tapas and grecian lamb chops—informs the menu at Waterstone Bar & Grille, and her love of the region’s signature libation shines through in a drink menu that features more than 100 wines sold at retail price.
The restaurant’s chic lounge space, recently opened for lunch in addition to dinner, strikes a balance between Old-World elegance and the hipness of the Mount Vernon neighborhood that surrounds it. Exposed-brick walls give way to plum pastels—a contrast mediated by the gauzy black curtains draped over windows and doorways, and the restaurant's prime location puts theaters such as the Hippodrome, Lyric, and Centerstage within close walking distance.
MangoGrove Restaurant bases its menu of vegetarian Indian fare on the ancient philosophy of Ayurveda, which calls for food to help dictate a flow of health and holiness between the body, the mind, and the spirit. Each spice and herb used at MangoGrove, for example, has been selected for its specific therapeutic value. Keep all three wheels of wellness on your bio-tricycle in order by kicking off consumption with the chef's pick appetizer, Aloo Ki Tikki ($4.95), in which Delhi-style potato patties are combined with hearty flavors of ginger and cilantro. This dish––like all of MangoGrove's appetizers––is served with mint and date sauces and either chutney or sambar, a stew made with fresh vegetables, lentils, and a variety of spices. Curb hunger by cannonballing into a curry, such as the Kumbh Makai Mutter, featuring mushrooms, baby corn, and green peas ($12.95), and the Paneer Pasanda, which includes wedges of cottage cheese simmered in an almond cream sauce ($14.95) that curries favor with the chef. Dosai crêpes come stuffed with potato, onion, and cheese fillings ($10.95–$12.95).
The chefs at Koto Sake Japanese Steak House dazzle diners with their fast chopping and knife-wielding skills as they prepare Japanese seafood and steak meals directly at the table. “For those who are not familiar with the experience,” a reporter for The Baltimore Times wrote after a visit, “hibachi is a style of Japanese cooking in which the food is prepared in front of the patrons on a large iron stove. In addition to seeing your food cooked before your eyes, restaurant-goers are treated to a theatrical show that blends impressive utensil juggling, culinary acrobatics, and sarcastic comedy.”
Along with hibachi dinners, the cooks also fry rice and cook large pots of noodles. Like a spy movie set in a hotel for twins, the deep-fried and traditional maki rolls are full of surprises, from shrimp tempura to asparagus.
Husband and wife Tom and Sandy Nash might as well have mustard flowing through their veins. They both boast rich pasts in food service, as they explain in an article in the Baltimore Sun. Tom spent 18 years as co-owner of a deli in Silver Spring before launching Charter Deli with Sandy, who has plenty of expertise to lend to the venture thanks to growing up in a family of grocers.
Their New York–style deli stacks thin-sliced meats such as corned beef, pastrami, kosher bologna, and genoa salami to create sandwiches whose surrounding bread nearly quakes from the weight. All sandwiches, from basic BLTs to those piled high with shrimp salad, can be made on the customer’s choice of bread and with the customer’s choice of condiments. Morning meals include bagels with lox and scrambled-egg sandwiches.
Supper Thyme's goal is to de-stress the breakfast, lunch, and dinner hours by inviting visitors to craft hearty and nutritious meals beforehand. After perusing the monthly rotating menu, customers can select an assortment of calorie-conscious, family-friendly, or organically inspired dishes and schedule an appointment to come in and assemble the ingredients. Staff members then gather all of the necessary ingredients and utensils, ensuring that each meal can be assembled in as few as 10 minutes. In between portioning out servings, visitors can enjoy a snack while listening to music or chatting with fellow attendees in the shop’s casual, low-stress kitchen environment. The meals can remain safely frozen in homes' freezers, with easy-to-follow cooking instructions allowing customers to quickly thaw and cook entrees whenever they might need to feed families, guests, or a lost restaurant reviewer.