Macon Bistro and Larder

Hellish commutes to Rockville for professional development have recently led me past Macon on Connecticut Avenue, a place I’d ordinarily never go. It lies immediately across the street from a Safeway that, as far as I can tell, is as yet un-nicknamed. I hereby dub it “the Suburban Safeway.” You’re welcome. Back to Macon: a quick google later, the menu was approved and a reservation was made. I could hardly wait.

My mother-in-law loved it from the get-go. It has everything she loves: dark, paisley wallpaper, marble counters at the bar, white wine by the glass, and a chalkboard menu with basically every one of her favorite appetizers. The place was not too crowded and the drinks, while pretty sad in the beer department, looked good. I had the summer vodka tonic, which was kind of bland and didn’t even last me until the food arrived, no matter how hard I tried to ration it, but everyone else enjoyed their beers and wines.

My mother-in-law and I both ordered the brick chicken with different sides, my father-in-law got the New York strip with a cup of the lobster bisque, and my husband, after an arduous decision-making process in which he weighed pleasure against macronutrient goals, ordered the lamb rack. “Oh, and can we have some deviled eggs too?” asked my mother-in-law. I’m surprised she didn’t order the entire appetizer menu.

“No, you can’t,” our surly waiter said sarcastically and we all chuckled in an acknowledgement that he was attempting to be funny.

We waited what seemed to be a very long time before the lobster bisque arrived. It looked like this:

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It was definitely full of lobster meat but had a distinctly sherry-y flavor that we were split on. I didn’t mind it, although I think it was overpowering of the cream and the seafood. My husband fell solidly into the “no thank you” camp on it.

Then we waited a loooooong time. I saw a plate of deviled eggs come out. Nope, not for us. Then our actual meals arrived. So maybe our waiter actually meant it when he said we couldn’t have any and was just really bad at communicating that?

I had the brick chicken with brussels sprouts. The chicken was absolutely fantastic with a crispy skin and spicy gravy. It was huge too–I ate only half of it. The sprouts were not super crispy the way I like them but they went well with the lardons and sweet glaze. I ate them all. My mother-in-law had the same chicken but with mashed potatoes, which were creamy but not overly rich.

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My father-in-law’s steak was mostly good and cooked to the requested medium-rare. He did have several pieces that were overly chewy, however. It was, once again, a large amount of food for the money. Also, fries? I can’t respect that.

My husband’s lamb rack was bigger than expected for sure, and I really enjoyed the meat itself, which was cooked well and only had a couple of fatty pieces. It was served with roasted cauliflower and romesco sauce, two of my favorite accompaniments to make at home, but which left my husband sorely disappointed at Macon because theirs weren’t as flavorful. I’m obviously flattered and proud of my own romesco but at the same time, I have to ding any restaurant that can’t cook better than me. Come on, guys. Do better.

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Price: $40 per person.

Bottom line: All in all, Macon was successful but not life-changing. I would go back if I were asked to or were in the immediate neighborhood. My biggest complaint is with the weirdly slow and possibly not very tone-aware service.

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