Young and Hungry

Young & Hungry Dining Guide by the Day: Grapeseed

One by one, we’re running through the 50 restaurants that made the cut on this year’s Young & Hungry Dining Guide. If you have visited the day’s featured restaurant, let us know what you think. If you’re planning to visit for the first time, tell us about your meal when you return.

It takes bravado—and lots of bull-headed determination—to run a wine-centered bistro in Montgomery County. Grapeseed chef/owner Jeff Heineman has both. He works the whacked-out county-controlled liquor system as well as a mere mortal can, building and maintaining a wine list that’s deep, approachable, and, at its frequent best, altogether satisfying. Heineman custom-builds the dishes on his menu to pair with specific wines, like his recent portobello-mushroom take on chilaquiles, that classic Mexican breakfast dish, which he suggests you sample with a cool, fruity glass of French rosé, for an Old World/Third World partnership that snootier toques would never touch. That’s the thing about Heineman; his vision of New American cuisine often has a wide lens. It could be that chilaquiles, or it could be his goat cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers, which are more roasty and tart than spicy. Now, I just wish Heineman would bring back his chef-driven take on chicken and waffles (in bourbon sauce!), which makes a mockery of the other insipid versions around town.

 Grapeseed, 4865 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, (301) 986-9592