- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2008

Bice Ristorante, 7501 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, 301/654-2250. Italian. Bice returns to the Washington area with an elegant, spacious restaurant with generous space between tables.

Perfect gnocchi, veal Milanese (cutlet) and large osso buco and other Italian standbys are prepared with care and served in generous portions.

Expensive, but a perfect setting for a special-occasion dinner in a calming 1930s setting. Excellent service.

Gabriella Boston

Restaurant 3, 2950 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington; 703/524-4440. American comfort food with strong Southern overtones. The newest venture by the owners of Whitlow’s in Arlington serves a knockout rib-eye steak. Scallops and grits share the menu with steaks, pork chop, lamb shank, flash-fried calamari, fried oysters and a variety of fresh fish.

Sunday brunch includes Carolina Low Country breakfast. The wines and service are first-rate.

Corinna Lothar

Chris’s Charcoal Pit, 1946 West St., Annapolis; www.chrischarcoalpit.com, 410/266-5200. Greek. An Annapolis institution for more than 30 years, Chris’s has never changed the heart of its menu.

The chicken rice soup is considered legendary — some say it has medicinal benefits.

For dessert: baklava, kataifi, krema Katalana, rice pudding.

Scott Haring

Marvin, 2007 14th St. NW; www.marvindc.com, 202/797-7171. Belgian-American with Southern accents. Marvin is named for Marvin Gaye, the late District native and soul music legend who once lived in Belgium. The dishes are imaginative and always good. Start with a terrific dish of baby-back ribs or shrimp with creamy and lightly cheesy grits. Mussels are a house specialty.

The ultimate international combination: Southern-fried chicken and Belgian waffles.

Corinna Lothar

Overwood, 220 N. Lee St., Alexandria; www.theoverwood.com; 703/535-3340. American.

Executive chef Boubker “Rami” Errami takes old favorites and enhances them by adding unexpected flavor, color and presentation twists.

Service is attentive and knowledgeable without being too familiar and chatty.

Overwood is unpretentious and offers great fare at a fair price.

Gabriella Boston

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