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.
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.