Stanford Grill

Dedicated foodies who love to dine–or brunch or lunch—in an elegant setup will be thrilled with this restaurant. Off the main drag and in a semi-wooded setting, the relatively new Stanford Grill is staffed by talented and courteous wait and kitchen and bar staff who can pull off for their patrons a memorable moment in their busy lives.

What makes this restaurant so notable, besides its iconic setting, is its menus. Take, for example, what has shown up on its weekend brunch menu: roasted pear-stuffed French toast. This comes along with other more standard offerings, such as the club salad, bulging with meats, cheese, crumbled bacon and greens, and their unique Bravo salad with chicken, avocado, greens, goat cheese, and dates. Other main course brunch fare includes their stuffed California burger and their French-dip sandwich with roasted prime rib and a horse radish dressing. Not to miss: appetizers include a savory guacamole and a spinach-hot cheese dip served with taco chips and salsa.

Lunch or dinner menus offer extensive options of contemporary American food, reflecting how America's heritage and culinary world has embraced folks from other countries. You will find everything from Italian meatballs and Japanese sushi rolls as appetizers, and among entrée choices, a seared ahi tuna salad, British bangers and mash, and grilled Scottish salmon—or if you prefer another fish choice, fish tacos. With all meals, ask about house cocktails and which are the wines recommended for your dining selections.

Whatever else you may choose, do not skip past dessert. The selection may be limited, but nothing will send you out into the world quite like their creamy, seductive Key lime pie topped with whipped cream and paper-thin lime slices. And get your cup of French press coffee.

Owned and operated by the same restaurant group that runs the Stanford Grill in Columbia, Maryland, this set of owners know how to attract their clientele. Although the interior décor of the Rockville setting is elegant and afford large picture windows so patrons can enjoy the outdoor setting, their main stress is to keep the ambiance casual though upscale. Even the bar area, slightly apart from the main seating, is totally classy. And on weekend brunches, you may hear a duo playing the harp and a piano. Despite the air of luxury dining, parents do bring in their youngsters, probably as a way to indoctrinate them to good eats.

For anyone who loves to find a restaurant that offers classic ambiance and décor and an inventive menu, Stanford Grill is the must-go destination. The only hitch is that parking takes place in the underground garage—the upstairs is a set of business offices—except that in the evenings, the restaurant has valet parking. Note: plan to make reservations for evening eats.

The Stanford Grill, 2000 Tower Oaks, Blvd., Rockville, Md. 240-582-1000.

For more Washington DC dining and travel news, click here. Alexandra Greeley is the D. C. restaurant editor at the Daily Meal. You can follow her at