Executive chef and Highland Inn owner Brian Boston knows his way around a kitchen. The celebrated chef, who has won awards from Zagat and Wine Spectator, to name a few, opened Highland Inn to combine his passions for fresh, seasonal food and fine wine. Brian and his culinary team look to local farmers to supply the restaurant with its ingredients, pouring these elements into a menu of traditional and contemporary American dishes that complement a wine list featuring 150 pours.
At dinner, diners can dig into duck breast from Maple Leaf Farm, or a Maryland crab cake served with a crispy polenta cake with pickled yellow tomato relish and lobster sauce. The eatery also churns out lunch and brunch, the latter of which features crabmeat omelets and fried dough with vanilla-infused maple syrup and powdered sugar.
Soretti's specializes in serving a robust menu of authentic, home-style Ethiopian fare, which is traditionally eaten with injera, a light, spongy flatbread that serves as an edible utensil. For dinner, embark on a culinary odyssey with the gomen be-ayib, (collard greens with homemade cheese, herbed butter, and toast, $6.95) before tongue-hopping to the veggie combo #1 ($11.50), which features red lentils, cabbage, potatoes, split peas, string beans, carrots, and tomato salad. Meatier dishes including the beef tibs ($11.50) sautéed with jalapeño, onions, and herbs, cater to carnivorous cravings. Soretti’s also features a lunch menu and traditional weekend coffee service with eggs, toast, and omelettes. With its butter-hued walls and cozy tables, Soretti’s interior is as warm and inviting as diving off a springboard into a tub of margarine. Reservations are recommended for parties larger than six.
Squisito's chefs bake 14 specialty pizzas either on New York-style or square flatbread crusts. Extending their menu into Italian territory, they also make a dozen pasta entrees, six seafood dishes, and chicken or veal entrees such as the mushroom- and capellini-based marsala. All of Squisito's food is made to order, and the restaurant's concept is fast and casual, like a bunny in boat shoes.
Gee whiz, Skip, is it true that Cheeburger Cheeburger's been voted Best Burger in 29 Cities? Yup. This is a real 1950s-style hot spot. This is a place that takes pride in serving additive-free, 100% all-natural Angus beef and frothy milk shakes in thousands of possible flavors. Amidst vintage-inspired decor, cooks fry freshly cut Idaho potatoes and onion rings in cholesterol-free peanut oil and top American-bred, vegetarian-fed beef with a choice of 30 toppings. Modern day soda jerks also add one of more than a dozen syrups to flavored sodas and scoop ice cream into floats fizzing with cola, root beer, Dr. Pepper, or the lesser-known Pepper sibling, Gary, who forever lives in the shadow of his brother's medical degree.
Bottles populate the menus at Mannequin Pis, advertising the extensive selection of Belgian beers and primarily French wines that lines the dining room's shelves and windowsill. Originally founded by Belgian chef Bernard Dehaene, the restaurant "feels as if it were plucked from a cobblestone street in Brussels" according to the Washingtonian, which awarded Mannequin Pis a spot on its list of the 100 Best Restaurants in 2011.
Although the menu includes pan-seared trout and roasted pork loin, the spotlight is reserved for its mussels. Kilograms of bivalves bask in one of the chefs' 17 signature broths, waiting to be opened by deft hands or sincere compliments in wine- or beer-based mixtures that incorporate bacon, coconut milk, or lobster bisque.
Chefs at Taste Mezze craft small plates of Mediterranean fare laden with meats, seafood, and veggies—all based on the owner's family recipes. Flaming kasseri cheese and feta cheese whipped with chilies appear on tables alongside gyros, pan-seared scallops, and spanakopita. Smaller portion sizes enable patrons to share dishes or slip them into pants pockets where they keep a tiny but constantly hungry black hole.