Southern Food with French Flair on Macon’s New Lunch Menu

In Chevy Chase, the southern hospitality of Macon, Georgia meets the classy bistro atmosphere of Mâcon, France at Macon Bistro & Larder.

Owner Tony Brown, a Macon, Georgia native who has lived in Chevy Chase for 15 years, opened Macon in May of last year after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Brown’s philosophy for the restaurant is that food shouldn’t be about showing off your talents, but about bringing people together and creating community. And they do just that, with their elevated comfort food that marries the best of the South’s culinary heritage with the refined traditions of French cooking. Their hearty dishes feature locally sourced seasonal ingredients.

The setting is an elegant, full-windowed space in the Chevy Chase Arcade (very Parisian) with beautiful vintage fixtures and flatware with personality. Open-air seating is available in the arcade or on the patio. They also have a larder where diners can purchase house-made sweets and treats.

In July, Macon launched their lunch menu, and I had a chance to sample some of the offerings.

We started with a side of Essie’s Biscuits, served with honey butter and pepper jelly. Classic buttery flavor, and dense in the best way.

Then came the appetizer – classic fried green tomatoes amped up with deviled crab (!!!) and smashed herbs. I was so sad when this was over.

When our feast arrived, there was hardly enough room on the table to fit all of the deliciousness!

I had the Bistro Steak, which was topped with blistered green tomatoes and accompanied by a bush bean and wheat berry salad with olives. The meat was perfectly cooked, and the intensity of the tomato topping really brought out the umami flavors of the steak.

Zach ordered the Market Fish, which was Mahi Mahi. It was served on a bed of shaved fennel, filet beans, citrus vinaigrette and picked herbs. The bite I had was quite flaky and full of light, fresh flavors.

We opted for three sides to share: ‘Mac’-on Cheese (a play on the name, how could we not??) sprinkled with panko, Hoppin’ John (sea island red peas, smoked pork, and Carolina gold rice), and Spicy Kale with crispy grits (think Southern version of Arancini), shallots, garlic and chilies.

The sides were my favorite dishes – impossibly creamy mac, hearty & smoky beans, and kale with a kick. Plus, I couldn’t get enough of the crispy-on-the-outside-creamy-on-the-inside grits nuggets.

For dessert, we shared the Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake. The mint syrup and thyme that accompanied the cake balanced the sweetness and made it easy to scarf the whole thing down.

Macon’s lunch menu has a lovely variety, HUGE portions, and is quite reasonably priced. They serve lunch from 11:30 am – 2 pm Tuesday through Thursday, brunch on Sundays from 10 am – 2 pm, and dinner from 5 pm – 10 pm Tuesday through Thursday and Sundays, and 5 pm – 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays. The larder is open from 2 pm until close Tuesday – Sunday. The bistro and larder are both closed on Mondays.

Definitely worth the trip, especially for three symbolic stamps on your passport!

Macon Bistro & Larder

5520 Connecticut Ave, NW

Washington, DC

www.maconbistro.com

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