Every family has a few secret spots, places suffused with good memories where one turns when in search of comfort or guaranteed excellence. For my family, at least whenever we’re in Washington D.C., that place is the Woodmont Grill. In fact, my mother has been going to the Woodmont Grill since her college years, way back when it was known as Houston’s, and it has been with our family ever since. As if family traditions weren’t enough, though, every feature of Woodmont Grill, from the wood furnishings to the staff, seemed to represent comfort on my most recent visit, which couldn’t have come soon enough.
Upon entering the restaurant, my friend and I were immediately confronted by the larger-than-life dimensions of the Woodmont Grill. There’s the huge wraparound bar, the large leather chairs and the grandiose aluminum portal that provides a glimpse into the hustle and bustle of the kitchen — and that’s not even to mention the food. None of this is intimidating, though; it just coalesces into the culinary equivalent of a hug from one’s favorite aunt.
Confirming this, our server on this most recent trip to the Woodmont Grill treated us like family. From giving us complimentary first-round drinks because it was my friend’s birthday to replacing an order of homemade cornbread that wasn’t up to snuff in her eyes, our server showed uncanny professionalism and warmth that were more than welcome.
And then there’s the food. The Woodmont Grill is in the business of perfecting American classics, and, in my opinion, it succeeds resoundingly at its task. While the specialty of the restaurant is steak and other carnivorous wonders, the restaurant maintains an admirable quality across its entire menu, creating quality offerings in everything from appetizers to aperitifs.
We arrived for a late lunch with evening quickly approaching. We’d both had nothing to eat and were both ravenously hungry upon our arrival at the restaurant, which meant ordering more food than was ever advisable.
We started with an order of the world’s best spinach and artichoke dip as well as a kettle-cooked, homemade cornbread, quickly followed by an order of the new house salad. To be clear, my qualifier of the spinach and artichoke dip is not meant in jest. In my mind, with its perfect consistency and taste, as well as its delicious accompaniments — sour cream, salsa and fresh tortilla chips — the grill’s spinach and artichoke dip is an incredibly strong contender for best around, and the house salad isn’t far behind.
Next, the entrees arrived: For my friend, a delicious and overwhelmingly large burger, and for me, an incomparably delicious center-cut filet. One look at my friend’s burger let me know it wasn’t to be trifled with, but my mind could only think of that for a moment before becoming fully preoccupied by the perfectly cut steak lying directly in front of me. The steak is not doused in sauce but instead has subtle, delicious seasoning and a quality cut — this steak was quite literally a work of art.
Tucked away in Bethesda, the Woodmont Grill is a bit of a trek from the Hilltop; for anyone who’s looking for quality and comfort from his next dining experience, however, it’s well worth the hike. Featuring not only phenomenal food but also atmosphere and service to match, the Woodmont Grill embodies all that’s worth loving about dining out.