January 2004: Addie's

By: Cynthia Hacinli

It's hard to become a neighborhood hangout when the neighborhood is Rockville Pike, but Addie's has. This retro-stylish place with vintage prints on the walls and an old stove in the front hall woos fans with updated comfort food. Hankering for duck-leg confit? Try it on a bed of endive with roasted baby beets, parsnips, and toasted hazelnuts. It's billed as a starter, but you can make it the star of your meal. Chili-crusted cornmeal oysters with Smithfield ham, corn, and spinach, and diver scallops over cauliflower purée are also generous-enough plates to share.

The hardwood-grilled items account for the best of the main courses: a pork chop with mashed sweet potatoes and apple-pecan slaw, Angus rib eye with Cabernet demi-glace and fried onion strings, and for low-carbers, yellowfin tuna with wilted spinach. This is not the place to order pasta, which falls short on flavor. And like its sister restaurant, Black's Bar & Kitchen in Bethesda, the kitchen here, under the helm of executive chef Jeffrey Black and chef de cuisine Joseph Zumpano, occasionally layers on too many ingredients. Good at lunch are the Argentine steak salad and buttermilk-battered fried calamari with chipotle rémoulade. And pumpkin bread pudding is worth falling off the wagon for any time of day.