In the days of yore, opting for diner comfort food often meant sacrificing style. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your favorite mom-and-pop shop, sometimes an upscale dinner atmosphere is simply needed. Those days have thankfully come to an end with Silver, Bethesda’s new American Brasserie.
The latest concept from the founders of beloved Silver Diner, Silver’s menu offers the same level of comfort, but in a sleek, art-deco setting in one of D.C.’s most stylish suburbs. Big, comfy booths line the edge of the restaurant, while padded diner chairs sit along the gilded bar. Geometric light fixtures hang overhead as you await a table from the chic, yet friendly, hostesses.
Once seated, the menu is filled with classic Maryland favorites, and not wanting to miss the taste of the state, Maryland bay seasoned shrimp with house remoulade was the unquestioned starter. Both were well flavored and a tasty way to begin the meal.
While nibbling on the shrimp and awaiting our entrees, I sipped on the Mulled-hattan made with Bulleit bourbon, mulled wine, Ramazzotti and a brandied cherry. As the Hungry Lobbyist Urban Bourbon columnist, I found it delicious, but wouldn’t recommend it for the warmer months. Opt for something slightly more refreshing and save this one for a cozy fall evening.
For a meaty main course, I ordered the truffle bison meatloaf. Organic bison is covered in a light demi glace with hedgehog mushrooms, roasted pearl onions, peas and scallions. It’s served alongside yukon mashed potatoes with a basil oil drizzle and wilted garlic spinach. I adored the dish, as it brought comforting memories of my mother’s meatloaf in Kentucky, but elevated the flavors and presentation. It perfectly achieved Silver’s entire goal of providing upscale American classics.
It was during dessert, however, when Silver shined brightest. I’m still drooling over their take on Maryland’s classic Smith Island Cake, which stacks thin layers of yellow cake with creamy chocolate frosting. The dish isn’t suitable for someone who isn’t a fan of frosting, but for those of us with a serious love of sweets, it’s scrumptious. My dining companion, Nate, doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and opted for the pistachio mousse and chocolate brownie. The mousse provided a savory touch to the chocolate, and when combined with the crunch of candied pistachios and freshness of raspberries, it was amazing. We agreed this was the best part of our meal.
Ultimately, this brasserie strikes a great balance between a nice evening out and a hearty, home cooked dish. I would return again for the dessert alone and hope it sees as much success as its more casual sister chain. Silver is a golden option in Bethesda that Washingtonians simply must try!