No Idea Tavern cultivates a lively sports-bar atmosphere with craft beers, pizzas, burgers, chicken wings, and ample opportunities for watching football, baseball, hockey, and European Premier League soccer. There's a vast array of games and entertainment here—you can fill the bar with a danceable soundtrack from the Internet jukebox, challenge friends to games at the beer-pong table, or impersonate firemen at the pole in the lounge area. Meals such as crab pretzels, margherita pizzas, and cheesesteaks make for excellent tailgating fare as fans watch every Penn State, Jets, and Liverpool match. Brunches kick off weekend mornings with spreads of bloody marys, maple-syrup-drenched pancakes, and french toast.
The family-owned Monterey Mart & Caf? beckons shoppers with its bright yellow and red walls and cheerful atmosphere. Inside, racks are lined with local groceries that range from milk and bread to essential home-cleaning products. The convenience store's selection also includes a counter devoted to drip Caribou Coffee, and Torani syrups give customers the option to take black coffees to the next level with flavors such as tiramisu. Local favorites like Hershey ice cream and Utz potato chips make for quick on-the-go snacks, while Salads, sandwiches, and other simple foods are on display for those with heartier appetites or much bigger pockets. Customers can round out their trip by taking a peek at the coolers, which contain a gallery of beer showcasing domestics and local craft brews.
Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits has been a local go-to since the 1930s. Over the years, this neighborhood institution has developed a national reputation as a fine curator of alcoholic beverages. While it may be called Chevy Chase Wine and Spirits, this liquor store may be best-known as an international cornucopia of beer. There are more than one thousand craft beers from which to choose, including twelve-ounce bottles, 25-ounce bottles, cans and six-packs. While the beer selection is unparalleled, the long and narrow store also packs in a wide selection of wines, and often hosts Saturday afternoon wine tastings. The store also has a full range of spirits, and there’s even free parking in the back.
Marinara-bathed mussels, crusty margherita pizza, and heaps of rich spaghetti carbonara each vie for patrons' affections at Luna Italia Restaurant. Traditional takes on classic recipes to satisfy many of Luna's hungry guests, including lasagna, ravioli, baked ziti, and manicotti. They also update a traditional romaine salad by grilling the leaves.
A fire snaps fingers of flame behind the brick storefront as alarmed figures run to and fro, cradling and dragging valuable objects through the doors and into the daylight. These altruists weren't carrying gold, or silver, or fine statues, but photographs signed by Johnny Unitas. Patrick's Restaurant has recovered since this disaster, keeping intact a collection of artwork and sports memorabilia carried over from the Golden Arm, a restaurant opened by the Colts football legend. Framed photographs and Tiffany lamps hanging over the bar bear the Johnny Unitas label, and Golden Arm’s recently restored mural gazes from the wall out over chattering visitors.
The main dining room provides a foil to the bustling bar area, surrounding visitors with a calm sea of white-clothed tables, chandeliers, and glass windows etched with pairs of courting sweethearts. From the foyer, interior studio windows grant glimpses into the restaurant’s wine cellar, filled with towering racks that hold up to 2,500 bottles, exactly enough for one person to learn to juggle wine bottles. Strains of Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra warble throughout the space, launching smoky harmonies through tendrils of steam rising from varied dishes.
Head chef Carole Brosso lets an education at the Culinary Institute of America and certification from the American Chefs Association shine through in simmering pasta sauces and reductions destined to cloak plates. Carole takes diners’ palates on European tours through a menu of italian pastas, French-inspired seafood, and Spanish recipes, drawing upon local meats, and fish and shellfish brought in daily from an area fishery, and seasonal veggies still laced with notes of a scarecrow’s perfume.
No matter how busy Legends Café is, the same pair of seats is always taken. And by the same diners, too: the life-sized sculptures of the Blues Brothers, which patrons often pose with for pictures and fruitlessly heckle to sing. Elwood and Jake aren't the only movie stars represented here––black-and-white photos of legendary celebs like James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor adorn the dining room's exposed brick walls.
Despite all this front-of-the-house star power, the real star of Legends Café is its co-owner and head chef, Jim Fields. The classically trained culinary wizard crafts an extensive menu that puts an upscale twist on steak-house staples. His team tosses wings in rosemary and black truffle oil and crowns burgers with jumbo shrimp, crabmeat, and an original Old Bay spread. Mains run the gamut from new york strip steaks basted with bourbon and brown sugar sauce to ricotta-stuffed ravioli soaked in roasted garlic cream sauce.