If a visit to Cape Cod isn't in your travel plans this summer, there's a new place in downtown Silver Spring to get your chowder, fried clams, and lobster rolls. All Set Restaurant & Bar opened yesterday with a New England bent.
The owners of All Set don't technically hail from New England. Restaurant vet Jennifer Meltzer, who's worked front-of-house at places like Founding Farmers and BLT Steak, comes from Silver Spring, but her father grew up outside of Boston. She also used to go to summer camp in Maine and worked at a restaurant on Cape Cod.
Chef and co-owner Edward Reavis, a Virginia native who's worked at Tico, the Front Page, and District Commons, was most recently a sous chef at an oyster bar in Nantucket. The two initially met six years ago at the Capital Grille in Chevy Chase, where he was a broiler cook and she was a waitress who won a rib-eye selling competition. "We just partnered up, and we've been working together ever since," Meltzer says.
Their homage to New England includes appetizers like whole belly fried clams with an Old Bay tartar sauce and a smoked fish dip with grilled focaccia. Two types of lobster rolls are available: one served warm with butter and another that's chilled with a light lime aioli. There's also a raw bar and entrees like fish and chips and crab cakes. On Sunday nights, All Set offers prix-fixe fried chicken ($30) and clam bake ($35) menus that include salad and dessert. The restaurant is also open for lunch with the same menu as dinner.
Bar Manager Molly Horn designed the cocktail menu, which includes a twist on a dark and stormy with pineapple juice called the Perfect Storm and a dirty vodka martini named Whereda Fagawi after an annual regatta from Hyannis to Nantucket. The drinks come in sets: For every spirit, there's one cocktail that's fruity and refreshing and another that's boozy and more savory.
Beers are available exclusively in bottle form, and half of them come from New England. The wine menu includes about 70 bottles and will grow to around 100. Happy hour with discounts on food and drinks is available from 3 to 6 p.m.
Meltzer has tried to avoid going the kitschy route with buoys and anchors hanging on the walls. Instead, the space aims to have a sand-worn, wind-blown feel with weathered wood flooring, pops of blue, and nautically inspired rope chandeliers.
The restaurant is open Monday through Friday for lunch and Monday through Saturday for dinner. Brunch will launch in about two months, and breakfast is also in the works with more quick-serve items. Among chef Reavis's a.m. specialties is a cheddar sriracha biscuit with fried chicken with a sausage gravy.
All Set Restaurant & Bar, 8630 Fenton St., Silver Spring, Md.; (301) 495-8800; allsetrestaurant.com
Photo courtesy All Set