Macon Bistro & Larder is not your typical chicken ‘n’ dumplings jaunt. When they describe their food as “elevated Southern cuisine,” they really mean it. Located in the heart of charming Chevy Chase, this place should be your go-to for really any type of occasion, even if you need to pick up a quick dessert or snack – because they sell those, too…
One of the many exciting things about Macon Bistro is the emphasis they place on their bar program, including gluten-free beverages. After being convinced by my waitress to step outside my comfort zone, I ordered a glass of mead. Contrary to popular belief, mead is much more than a rank beverage consumed by Vikings. This mead, from Oregon, was crisp, refreshing, and had a great story. This is a must-try. As an appetizer, I ordered the heirloom tomatoes with mussels, clams, and shellfish chantilly. The tomatoes were in peak season, and the shellfish provided a perfect briny contrast. I had to order two entrées – naturally, the pork shoulder with duck fat potatoes, heirloom apples, and apple cider just accompanied by the Amish chicken breast with black-eyed peas, country ham broth, and chard. In an addition to the entrées, I ordered the collard greens and the “Hoppin’ John.” I have to say, this “Hoppin’ John” with red peas, smoked pork, and Carolina gold rice was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I’ve always been irrationally fond of red beans and rice, but this little side dish took me to an unimaginable dimension for such a simple combination.
The meal was concluded with a gluten-free dessert especially prepared by chef – yet another testament to the care Macon Bistro & Larder puts into each and every interaction. The restaurant may not serve gluten-free bread or pasta, but with so many other delicious options, who cares! Next time I go for dinner, I know I’ll be trying the mock scallops and the bistro steak.