The ingredients stocked in the kitchen at Noodle Charm have a unique history. While half of the ingredients?such as produce and meats?are sourced from local farmers, the spices, chilis, and herbs have traveled half way across the globe. The chefs go to all this trouble because they know that the best ingredients are a key component of the best dishes. The freshly cut green veggies offset the rich flavors of the creamy peanut sauce slathered onto rice noodles, while the five Thai spices and herbs create a complex marinade for the pork shoulder that stews to a tender finish after 48 hours.
But the flavors of these fresh ingredients aren't just up to the chef. Customers can design their own dish by choosing the style of noodles, type of meat, and variety of soup stock. They can then make each dish their own without figuring out how to write their name in noodle cursive by adding in splashes of fish sauce, vinegar, bits of powdered chilis, and scoops of ground peanuts that are all conveniently stationed at each table.
Shareable creamy crab dip, hummus with goat cheese, and fried broccoli and cheese bites bring groups together inside the cozy 2110 Bistro. After whetting their appetites, diners move on to homestyle bistro entrees.
Chargrilled steaks and crab-stuffed salmon share menu space with vegetarian, vegan, and halal selections, including vegan ribs with Asian-inspired root vegetables and veggie Mojo sandwiches dressed with creamy horseradish. Meals conclude with rotating desserts made by the owner's grandmother.
In addition to catering to the surrounding diverse community with a variety of meals, the 2110 Bistro celebrates it by showcasing the work of local artists. And on select nights, comedians tell saucy jokes and musicians display the ocarinas they've fashioned out of hairdryers.
If you haven't heard of Stang of Siam's Baltimore's Crab Fried Rice, it's time to get acquainted. Fried rice might seem like a surprisingly simple standout. But the Baltimore Sun proclaims the dish a perfectly executed "must-have" that is so elegantly plated, it "earns its place on a Saturday night table."
Stang of Siam has quickly built its reputation for serving dishes that taste as good as they look, which is no surprise coming from owner Chuchart "Bobby" Kampirapang, a DC-area chef also responsible for Dupont Circle's acclaimed The Regent. Duck gra prao is one of the more popular signature dishes, sweetening boneless, crispy duck with basil and chili-garlic sauce. That same sauce reappears in the restaurant's take on classic drunken noodles, but is refreshingly absent from its custard and sticky rice desserts.
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.
A creative spirit thrives at Creme Restaurant & Lounge. As the chefs meticulously plate their eye-catching entrees, diners enjoy live performances from locally and nationally renowned musicians on the dining room stage. That combination of cozy ambiance and refined food creates a welcoming environment that encourages guests to linger for a while or attempt to move all their belongings in. The Baltimore Sun succinctly summarized the restaurant?s charm by noting, ?If you have had a bad day or simply need to reward yourself with some rich, artful comfort food, this is the place.?
The chefs take a more refined approach to contemporary American cuisine. Shrimp and spicy sausage arrive with a bed of creamy grits and salmon emerges from the kitchen with a bold teriyaki and bourbon glaze. Even the bartenders demonstrate a willingness to push the boundaries of the expected by infusing their own spirits and creating specialty cocktails with chipotle-infused vodka and hibiscus-infused gin.
With its dark wooden floorboards and sunflower-yellow walls, the restaurant?s dining room exudes a similarly cozy, yet stately spirit. Intimate tables flanked by simple black chairs fill the long, narrow space, although virtually every seat presents patrons with a clear view of the stage at the front of the room. Some small touches add extra whimsy, including a dangling chandelier, an ornately decorated fireplace, and a collection of framed eggs benedicts.