Cuisine: Michael Landrum is so obsessive about his aged, hand-trimmed Hereford steaks that he worries a customer might ruin one by ordering it incorrectly. The New York strip can be ordered “rare, medium rare, and medium only.” This might sound like the work of a control freak, but it speaks to what makes the place worthwhile—uncommon engagement from a passionate proprietor that shows up in everything from the cut-rate pricing to the loving odes to regional classics such as crab bisque.
Mood: The anti-steakhouse steakhouse. Harking to the egalitarian promise of the new Silver Spring, Landrum emphasizes accessibility and affordability. The supper-club-by-way-of-Ikea dining room tends toward austerity, but the place is almost always busy, especially pre- and post-movie—the AFI Silver Theatre is across the street.
Best for: Good dining without pretense.
Best dishes: Perhaps the area’s best crab bisque; crab royale sprinkled with Old Bay; among the steaks, the entrecôte and the hanger steak; jumbo diver scallops, blackened or wrapped in bacon; the ten-ounce Ray’s Hell-Burger with most of the fixings offered at the Arlington original; creamed spinach; tangy Key-lime pie.
Insider tips: In the bar area, a three-course Bistro Special offers soup or salad, entrée, and dessert for $23.95. For smaller appetites, the Petit Bistro Special—$18.95 for soup or salad, ten-ounce sirloin, and dessert—is an even better deal. Both bistro menus come with free mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.
Open daily for dinner. Moderate to expensive.