Tried-and-True Dishes | Bethesda Magazine



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Year in Review

Tried-and-True Dishes

Editors' Pick

Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Lamb Bolognese

Like Mary and her little lamb, everywhere that Pedro Matamoros went, his lamb Bolognese recipe was sure to go. Devised by the chef during his seven-year stint at Washington’s Tabard Inn, it’s followed him to his kitchens at Nicaro, 8407 Kitchen Bar, Mix Bar and Grille, and now Barrel + Crow. To make the sauce, Matamoros starts with fresh whole lamb from a Purcellville, Virginia, farm. He grinds the meat and makes stock from the bones, then adds mirepoix, fennel seeds, tomato paste, rosemary and cloves, and a light finish of cream and Parmesan. Served beneath ribbons of homemade pasta, this comfort food telegraphs depth, richness and class.

Barrel + Crow, 4867 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 240-800-3253,

Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg


There may not be an older (or airier) signature dish in Montgomery County than the popovers at Normandie Farm, the Potomac restaurant that’s been open since 1931. First lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her staff used to enjoy them, and the tradition lives on with current chef-owner Cary Prokos, whose kitchen is equipped with three double-convection ovens dedicated solely to baking the labor-intensive rolls. Gigantic, hot and hollow, these conversation pieces come with butter and jam, and are served gratis with every meal.

Normandie Farm, 10710 Falls Road, Potomac, 301-983-8838,

Photo by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Eating your vegetables has never been so simple, thanks to the spinach and artichoke dip at Woodmont Grill. The addition of a Parmesan cream sauce certainly helps, resulting in an addictive appetizer that’s easy to share and just as easy to covet. Served by the restaurant since it first opened as Houston’s in 1992, the dip and its accompanying tortilla chips, sour cream and salsa still fly out of the kitchen—up to 200 orders on a weekend night.

Woodmont Grill, 7715 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-656-9755,


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