There’s a reason you don’t see more high-end diners. It’s a tricky genre to make work. Upscale the cooking too much and you risk losing the unassuming feel of a diner. Don’t upscale it enough and people are likely to wonder what they’re paying for.
Cathal Armstrong strikes the proper balance. At his retro-style Old Town restaurant, he and chef Shannon Overmiller whip up a deft brand of comfort food for their audience of big-city sophisticates while being mindful that the fare should have heft and soul. If you’ve grown weary of dishes that promise to dazzle but rarely deliver, the superlative Caesar (prepared tableside) and perfect fried chicken will come as a welcome relief.
The Majestic doesn’t claim to be fine dining, but the cocktail list is first-rate and the staff as well drilled as they come.
- Chicken-liver mousse
- Country pâté
- Chesapeake seafood stew
- Grilled whole fish
- Coconut cake
- Banana-pudding cake
- Churros with Mexican chocolate