For Sam's birthday we tried Redwood in Bethesda, MD.
I had wanted to visit this place for a while - allured by their well designed facade. Actually going IN I was pleased that the aesthetic carried on inside as well.
The schtick here is sustainability which is represented in the menu comprised of locally grown, seasonal, organic and naturally raised food. The food was very good but not awfully clever - I had salmon and Sam had pork ribs. The one exception bit - and I mean EXCEPTIONAL - was the monocacy silver ash rind goat cheese from Cherry Glen Farms, MD. It nearly melted in your mouth and looked pretty awesome to boot.
Their beverages were also some of the best I've had in a while. I judge a bar by how good they make a dirty, dry vodka martini. This one went down like water. We also had wine with our meal - Grooner! from Austria. My reasons for loving this should be obvious: Austrian! and it's name has an exclaimation point at the end! !!
The sad bit to this whole story was the service. We stopped by without reservations, and were told we'd have a 20 minute wait. No problem! We had out marinis at the bar. But an hour later.. I had to check in and look irritated (not hard, apparently this is my face's default). We were seated within 2 minutes. Our server seemed new and was a little flustered and generally dropped things, but that didn't bother me so much - people learn and she was generally attentive.
We polished the night off with desert which wasn't too remarkable and hopped off to The Barking Dog for a friend's birthday party. All in all not too shabby of a night.