Some restaurants stand out for really good food, some for a striking setting, others for amazing cocktails. Spike Gjerde’s folksy-cool place pulls off all three, which is why it’s worth the drive to Baltimore. But make a reservation–or be prepared to angle for a seat at the bar.
No place in Washington resembles this factory-like space, with towering windows and two-story brick walls softened by stacks of firewood and servers in vintage aprons. A ’50s-style menu board announces the day’s specials, which often pull from local farms. Our best meals have been composed of the shareable starters and snacks–often farm-to-table spins on comfort cooking–and excellent, old-timey desserts. Entrées tend to be rich, sometimes overly so.
What to get: Skillet cornbread served with honey and butter; pickled kohlrabi; deviled eggs; pole-bean salad; warm, creamy crab dip; a sizzling skillet of shrimp with peanut sauce; cheeseburger; shrimp pepperpot; malt-ice-cream/marshmallow sundae; chocolate pudding; candy plate; Gov’t Mule cocktail with vodka and ginger beer; old fashioned with three bitters.
Open Monday through Friday for dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Expensive.