Table Talk: Chefs Favorite Cool Summertime Drinks

Plus, quick takes on three new eateries

Summertime can be rough on chefs. When they can’t stand the heat and need to get out of the kitchen, there’s often no relief to be found outside. So we asked some chefs at new, local restaurants to tell us about their favorite cool times, cold drinks and sweet treats.

Photo by Andrew Metcalf.

Nick Palermo

Barrel & Crow


Syracuse, New York

“Salt potatoes—boiled new potatoes in super salty water. If you go to any barbecue there [Syracuse], you’ll find them.”

“I like to barbecue ribs, half chickens, corn on the cob.”

“Gin and tonic. I like Hendrick’s.”

“I’m not a big sweets guy. I’ll occasionally have ice cream or gelato—mint chocolate chip.”

Photo by Pat McArdle.

Ben Hoffman

Old Town Pour House



Saginaw, Michigan

“Fish fries with my dad.”

“To me, there’s nothing like sitting out back on the patio and smoking some pork shoulder or brisket and drinking Bell’s Two Hearted.”

“I’m not too big of a booze drinker.”

“Who doesn’t love strawberry shortcake?”

Courtesy Photos

Corey Locker

Sligo Café

Silver Spring

Orange County, Virginia

“I’m a typical D.C.-Virginia- Maryland person. I ate a lot of crabs and barbecue in the summer, and I still do to this day.”

“I like to play with pork and veal shanks. I do osso bucco on the grill. I’ll throw on an oxtail.”

“Serendipity [on the Sligo Café bar menu]: grapefruit-infused tequila, honey, lime juice and IPA. It’s my new go-to.”

“I’m a gelato nut. I like all flavors.”

Courtesy Photos

Edward Reavis

All Set

Silver Spring

Emporia, Virginia

“We grew cantaloupes and mini watermelons, and my dad and grandfather would add a little salt to the fruit to make it sweeter. That’s one trick that stuck with me.”

“I’m from Southern Virginia, the home of the pig…so I grew up eating pork. But now that I’ve been exposed to the culinary arts, I know how to add char and smoke to it.”

“I love a beautiful mojito or a frozen margarita with top-notch tequila.”

“I’m a milkshake guy.” 

Courtesy Photos

Dan Singhofen

Macon Bistro & Larder

Chevy Chase, D.C.

Orlando, Florida

“Fishing. We’d catch snook, redfish, snapper, grouper. Sometimes we’d eat them raw…we’d do it right on the boat if we wanted a quick snack.”

“For my daughter’s first birthday, we had friends over for brisket, pork ribs and pork shoulder.”

“I drink a lot of gin-based cocktails—Negroni, gin and tonic, Bee’s Knees.”

“Strawberry sorbet with summer berries; it’s one of my favorite things in the world.” 




Owner: Bethesda resident Jaimie Mertz, 25

Bio bits: Grew up in Gaithersburg, attended L’Academie de Cuisine’s professional pastry program after graduating from the University of Maryland in 2011.

The goods: All cakes, cupcakes, brownies, granola, muffins and savory snacks are gluten free (instead of regular flour, Mertz uses a mix of white and brown rice flours plus potato and tapioca starches). Many are also vegan, but not nut-free.

Taste test: Best bet is the dark chocolate gluten-free Bonfire Brownie. 

Where to buy: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sundays, Bethesda Central Farm Market, 7600 Arlington Road, Bethesda. Items can also be purchased online, plus Mertz will prepare custom orders.




Chef Patrick Pak, whose résumé includes stints at downtown’s Komi and Blue Duck Tavern, and his wife, Eunice, recently opened an unpretentious and reasonably priced French bistro in Rockville. 

Photo by Andrew Metcalf.

TAKEAWAY: Mostly lovely with a few misses; can’t go wrong with butter lettuce salad, Parisian gnocchi, house-cut fries, rockfish and tarte Tatin.   

101 Gibbs St., Unit C, Rockville (in Rockville Town Square), 301-296-6682,



Bertrand Houlier, former owner of the beloved Saint Michel Bakery, sold his Rockville shop and equipment to Ed and Altyn Maguin, and showed them how to make his killer croissants and breads before moving back to France. Only the bakery name has been changed; the Maguins retained two former Saint Michel employees and reclaimed a spot at the Bethesda Farm Women’s Market.

Photo by Andrew Metcalf.

TAKEAWAY: Croissants and baguettes are commendable, but heavier and denser than Houlier’s, at least on the day we tried them.

5540 Wilkins Court, Rockville, 240-360-3697, Bethesda Farm Women’s Market, 7155 Wisconsin Ave., on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  




After 20 years of working in Montgomery County delis and markets, Indian-born Caje Fernandes finally opened his own place—a 500-square-foot kitchen and counter space, named after his 2-year-old daughter, in Westfield Montgomery mall’s dining terrace.

Courtesy photo

TAKEAWAY: So he’s not from New York, and he’s not Jewish, but Fernandes knows a thing or two about corned beef, knishes, matzo ball soup, latkes, whitefish salad and other deli specialties—most of which are made from scratch. An unexpected and welcome addition to the mall.

7101 Democracy Blvd., #2116 (Westfield Montgomery mall), 301-312-6516,

Comings & Goings

Michael Harr, former executive chef at Bethesda’s Food Wine & Co., has resurfaced in Gaithersburg at Largent’s Restaurant & Bar, at 654 Center Point Way. The plan is to rebrand the sports bar into a dining destination; at press time, the downstairs had just been remodeled, and Harr’s preliminary menu was in place. By summer’s end, the restaurant will also have a new name: Kentlands Kitchen.

Silver Spring’s Katerina Georgallas, who’s been selling Greek pastries at area farmers markets, was scheduled to open a retail location of Baklava Couture in June at 10560 Metropolitan Ave., Kensington. Georgallas will be sharing the shop with her brother-in-law, Chris Panagiotopoulos, a former partner in Bethesda’s Mamma Lucia restaurant who now runs a catering company called Talia’s Cuzina, offering Mediterranean and Italian cuisine. Baklava Couture will sell pastries, Greek breads, coffee and pantry goods, and Talia’s Cuzina will offer sandwiches, salads and dinner carryout.

Update on Bethesda’s Lot 31 development at Bethesda and Woodmont avenues: Silver, the Silver Diner’s upscale-diner concept, is shooting for a late August opening; while PassionFish, Passion Food Hospitality’s signature seafood restaurant, anticipates docking in early September.

Also making debuts in late summer-early fall are Miso Café, an Asian fusion eatery; Samovar, a Russian eatery that will be run by a father-daughter team who have been caterers for Washington, D.C.’s Tajikistan Embassy; and Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub, offering traditional Irish fare. All will be in Rockville Town Square. In downtown Bethesda, Soup Up DC plans to open in September in the former Bang & Olufsen space. Fall will also bring an addition to Westfield Montgomery mall: Shanghai 66 Innovative Kitchen, from the owner of Rockville’s Bob’s Shanghai 66 and Bob’s Noodle 66.

Meanwhile, June saw the closing of 100 Montaditos in downtown Bethesda. The restaurant is moving to a new location in Washington, D.C.



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