Pedro Matamoros, former chef at Silver Spring’s 8407 Kitchen Bar and Nicaro restaurants, has been named executive chef of the Golden Flame.
“I’m excited about this,” said Matamoros, who wants to embrace the history and tradition of the 40-year-old Silver Spring restaurant, while adding some of his own twists to the menu.
“It’ll be a combination of the old things they were doing, and the new things I’ve been doing for the past eight years,” he said.
That means retaining the prime rib, crab cakes and other traditional dishes. “I’m keeping the French dip. I love French dip. I love clams casino,” he said. At the same time, he’ll be adding his signature lamb Bolognese and charcuterie items, for example.
Matamoros also says he wants to bring back old-fashioned cocktails and martinis, similar to the ones served when the restaurant’s popular lounge opened in 1972.
Nick Marmaras, son of Golden Flame owner and chef Bill Marmaras, said his father “needs to relax” now, but that he will still be working in the front of the restaurant.
Nick Marmaras, who with his brother Simos, owns The Big Greek Café on Georgia Avenue, said he got to know Matamoros when the chef ran the adjacent Nicaro restaurant. Matamoros worked there until 2009.
When Marmaras learned that Matamoros had recently left 8407 Kitchen Bar, he said he asked him if he would have any interest in joining the Golden Flame.
Matamoros said he was intrigued with the history of the place, the longevity of owner Bill Marmaras, and the clientele who’ve been coming for the past four decades. But he’s also interested in attracting a new, younger crowd. “That’s the whole idea,” he said.
8630 Fenton St., Silver Spring, 301-588-7250, www.goldenflamerestaurant.com (the new menu is not yet on the website)