Before he owned K Town Bistro, Gonzalo Barba busied himself with feeding presidents and politicians at the Watergate Hotel. This experience, along with the rest of his 40 years in the restaurant industry, bred a respect for the careful balance of upscale cuisine and familiar atmosphere that characterizes many prestigious eateries. Gonzalo preserves this relationship today, serving K Town Bistro's European-inspired dishes in a warm, friendly setting marked by coral-colored walls and lace curtains.
The bistro's chefs pull from American, French, and English traditions when arranging their entrees. Beef wellington—filet mignon surrounded by a mushroom-liver mousse—is a crowd favorite, though it vies for the spotlight with seared salmon and lamb shanks. Lunchtime heralds crab-cake sandwiches and the omelet of the day, all of which are in the running to become the omelet of the eon. Guests can also pick their courses from a prix fixe menu and pair them with wines from Spain, France, Chile, and the United States.
After a 23-year career working at the Hay Adams Hotel, Jose Cardenas branched out and opened his own restaurant, Jose's Grill. He brings many Latin American and Bolivian flavors to his menu, as he grew up eating those foods, but also works in dishes culled from his career at the hotel, resulting in a Latin-influenced selection of international dishes.
He shows off pure Bolivian flavors with his salte?as, beef-filled pastries filled with a sweet and spicy sauce center, much like the Earth's core. For the main course, he grills New York strip steaks and T-bones, saut?s shrimp scampi, and boils shellfish, fish, and octopus in the rich broth of his sopa de mariscos. He finishes off meals with a pair of sweet and creamy desserts: flan and cheesecake. He even adds special touches the two classic sweets, topping his flan with liquid caramel and icing his cheesecake with a layer of sweetened soft cheese mixed with cream and eggs.
The dark wood façade of Mezeh’s Mediterranean Grill creates a stylish, modern presence in the food court at Annapolis Mall. Patrons walk along the eatery’s glass case, first selecting a base for their meal—salad, rice, tortilla, or fresh-baked pita—to complement one of five fillings, including crisp rounds of falafel and morsels of chicken shawarma. Their dishes can be topped with tahini or spicy harissa sauce, along with vegetable blends such as red cabbage slaw or pickled turnips. All items on the menu are crafted without trans fats or preservatives, making them a healthy alternative to making ham sandwiches out of other ham sandwiches.