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January 2005: Persimmon

Night after night, Persimmon dishes up comfort and romance. A cozy dining room with walls of persimmon and saffron make this the perfect spot for a tête-à-tête; deft service and plates of luxurious Modern American fare take care of the rest. Thai lobster

BLUE RIBBON AWARD WINNER

Night after night, Persimmon dishes up comfort and romance. A cozy dining room with walls of persimmon and saffron make this the perfect spot for a tête-à-tête; deft service and plates of luxurious Modern American fare take care of the rest. Thai lobster bisque, crabcakes with bacon-studded mashed potatoes, pecan-crusted rack of lamb with mustard potato gratin—familiar flavors but far from boring.

Chef Damian Salvatore worked with both Jean-Louis Palladin and Bob Kinkead, and it shows. Fennel-and-arugula salad gets jazzed up with shavings of ricotta and lemon-oil vinaigrette. Roast chicken is paired with a fragrant vegetable ragoût. Bleu cheese shows up in ravioli with a splash of truffle oil. Halibut goes crunchy with a crust of focaccia and refined saffron lobster sauce. The star of the menu, though, is veal done two ways—pan-seared and braised. Desserts include pumpkin cheesecake with candied walnuts, house-made ice creams and sorbets in spoon-licking flavors like banana pistachio and bittersweet chocolate, and pears three ways—in strudel with figs and hazelnuts, chai poached, and as a sorbet.

Persimmon, 7003 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-654-9860; persimmonrestaurant.com. Open Monday through Friday for lunch, daily for dinner.

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