|Outdoor patio with|
This second Stanford Grill outpost will fuse the familiar-but-premium American comfort food of the existing Columbia, MD location with the world-class sushi of Kinoshita, who comes to Maryland from the acclaimed Tao Asian Bistro in Las Vegas.
Sean Kinoshita in
front of the sushi bar
The chef said his ability to adapt to high-volume service, and work under pressure, allowed him to take on what other chefs might find too ambitious of a venture here. But sitting in the dining room as workers put the finishing touches on the decor and assembled furniture, Kinoshita marveled that "this is probably the most beautiful restaurant in Montgomery County."
Of course, the design can only go so far. What will be on the plate will matter most. "I think we'll surprise people with the sushi," Kinoshita predicted. Being born and raised in Hawaii, where Japanese residents and tourists demand the highest quality in sushi, has been the perfect preparation for his ventures on the mainland U.S., where Kinoshita has managed sushi bars for 15 years. The rolls getting the biggest raves among early taste testers so far? Yellowtail with cilantro and jalapeños, and the Coconut Shrimp Roll.
For those who prefer turf to surf, Stanford Grill is offering meats from a wood-burning grill. The booth-heavy seating configuration - and live musicians who have performed with greats like Eric Clapton and Tony Bennett - will combine with the carefully-sourced beef to create a bit of a steakhouse aura familiar to power lunchers and diners in the District. "The menu is American comfort food," Kinoshita noted. "The food is recognizable."
Not every steakhouse has its own bakery, though. Stanford Grill does. Unlike even some of the best dining destinations in the area, diners here will know that their bread and baked goods were made that morning, in the restaurant. While there may be a bread basket in the future, right now the bakery's output will be found in the bread on your sandwich, the bun on your burger, or on the dessert menu.
|A sneak peek inside the|
glassed-in in-house bakery
|Head Baker Christian Haug|
has obviously already been
What about the libations? Assistant General Manager Phil Guernsey said they'll do their best to provide a diverse selection, despite the notoriously-difficult Montgomery County liquor regime. The sleek bar will host 5 taps, which will include a rotating selection of D.C. Brau and Laurel's Evolution brews. There will be standbys like Stella Artois, Yuengling and Blue Moon. But also local seasonal bottles like Evolution's Jacques Au Lantern.
The initial wine list will be California-heavy, Guernsey said, but also have some selections from France and Italy, including one rosé and one sparkling wine. A handcrafted list of 14 cocktails will lean toward classic concoctions, while emphasizing freshly-squeezed juices and naturally-infused vodkas in drinks like a fresh honeydew martini.
While the patio is surrounded by suburban green space and a fountain, the site is easily accessible from I-270 by taking the Tower Oaks branch of the Montrose Road exit.
Those who take the off-ramp will find "great service, quality food and a great setting," Kinoshita promised. "We don't promise anything other than a great experience, and consistently great food. And everything is reasonably priced."
2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard