On the spur of the moment, we decided we wanted to go out to dinner this evening. I got on OpenTable and made a reservation at Mrs. K's Toll House in Silver Spring, someplace I had never been. The restaurant has been there since 1930 (as a restaurant, it was a toll house in the early 1900's) and I don't know how I've not managed to go there at least once in the last 25 years.
Our trip started on a sour note, the people who entered the parking lot in front of us parked in the last handicapped parking space (they did not have handicapped plates or a placard) forcing us to find a place further away (my wife recently broke an ankle and has a temporary placard while she is healing).
However, when we entered the restaurant things got much better. The house is lovely, and larger than one would think. (there is also a lovely patio and gardens that are used in the summer). We were shown to a very nice table and given the menus and wine list. And what a wine list, it is huge, abet fairly expensive (but it is Montgomery County) but has wines in all ranges. There were 5 or 6 vintages of Ridge Monte Bello available (outside my price range unfortunately) as well as several pages of Bordeauxs and a 1979 Petrus, which did not have a price (but obviously well outside the price I was looking for) It was difficult choosing. After deciding that we would order a glass of Pinot Grigio for my wife to go with her fish, and a bottle of a red for the steaks my son and I were having, I settled on a 2001 Worthy Sophie's Cuvee, but the server came back and said they couldn't find it, but did I want the 2004. I declined and asked for the list again and ordered a 2003 Chateau la Nerthe CNdP. About 10 minutes later the server came back with two bottles in his hand and again said they could not find that vintage. He had called the owner and was told to offer us our choice, at the price of the la Nerthe. He then presented a 1999 Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley Reserve and a 1999 Louis Latour Château Corton Grancey to choose from. I was sorely tempted to take the Mondavi, but knew my wife would much prefer a Pinot Noir (she does not like Cabernet) so I chose the Corton. It was fantastic, as only properly aged Burgundy can be. Lots of sweet ripe cherry, casis and plums with fine, well integrated tannins and a fairly long finish. Needless to say, we all loved it. (I cross posted this paragraph on the wine board.)
Dinner was quite good too. I started with a grilled Mediterranean octopus salad, then had the New York strip steak served with a wild mushroom cognac cream sauce. For dessert a wonderful bread pudding with whiskey cream. My son started with a grilled portobello mushroom with roquefort cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette. It was followed by a 23 oz. cowboy steak (servered very rare, as requested) and for dessert a huge piece of absolutely fantastic cheesecake. My wife started with the shrimp and scallop ceviche, which unfortunately was fairly bland, needing more spice, but then had a wonderful blackened rockfish. For dessert she had a butterscotch sundae that she pronounced as wonderful. Coffee and espresso ended the meal.
Service was fantastic, friendly, discrete, and efficient. When dinner was over, the manager gave my son and I a tour of the wine cellar (pretty cool, and huge, but overflowing with cases of wine since they just got a shipment, which might explain not being able to find things) and apologized for not having the wine we had first ordered. (Like I was going to complain, I got a wine that cost three times as much for the same price, and was fantastic to boot.) All in all, a very good meal, with the added bonus of getting a much better wine than I had originally ordered for a third of the wine list price. We will return.