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    Restaurant Review ~ Silver New American Brasserie / 3404 Wisc. Ave., NW

    Top-grade diner food.

    Several decades ago, two enterprising men, Robert Guiamo and executive chef Ype Von Hengst, launched in Rockville what has become the epic family/American dining destination — the Silver Diner. That concept now embraces more than one dozen locations, plus a very upscale iteration of the diner theme.

    With two locations, one in Bethesda and the newer one in Cthedral Heights, Silver and its founders have hit upon an impressive food draw. The offerings are timely, composed of fresh and natural ingredients, and recipes are creative and unusual, assembled with Chef Von Hengst working some kitchen magic.

    So, welcome to DC then, Silver and Von Hengst. You bring to the city a robust menu for breakfast and brunch dishes, lunch, dinner, and even a kiddie’s menu. Just browse their on-line menus<https://eatatsilver.com/menu/breakfast> and chances are it will wake up your appetite and send you off to Silver, or at least to your local Silver Diner. Why? Von Hengst is really a culinary genius.

    Consider some Silver lunch offerings: Of course, patrons will find a selection of sandwiches and burgers; of entrée salads; and of several starters. Of the last, the recent wild-caught clam-corn chowder is a clear top choice to launch lunch or dinner — maybe even brunch, if it is on offer then. Rich and creamy with just a dash of chopped clams, the chowder will warm the cockles of anyone’s heart.

    Entrée choices are almost too abundant and heady to pick out the clear next course. One way to solve that is order one dish to eat in and order one for take out. That way patrons can at least indulge a little bit. Among the top picks are the burgers made from grass-fed and hormone-free beef. Of the three choices, the Baja burger will capture the imagination of anyone pro Latino-inspired food: cinnamon chipotle spice, adobo mayo, and avocado mix tell the tale.

    Another sandwich creation worth the trip is the lamb meatball gyro. This lamb comes wrapped in Indian naan and is spiced up with tzatziki and feta cheese and is accompanied by a pile of crispy fries.

    But for patrons looking for an entrée salad, the knockout warm grain bowls are some of the best salad creations in town. Choices include a chicken avocado Cobb, an ahi tuna poke bowl, a bowl of warm-roasted local veggie, and — for its ethnic flare — the winner is the Tuscan burrata bowl. Assembled together, with a smear of pesto to the side, are farro, organic white beans, slivered artichoke hearts, feta, thinly sliced arugula, and black olives, plus more. Fortunately, a local Silver Diner in northern Virginia offers a similar dish, and that is a big draw for devoted foodies.

    Actually, Silver offers so many menu options that frequent return trips help devoted patrons work their way through all the offerings. And don’t forget beverages: milkshakes (caloric and low-fat), homemade sodas, organic teas, coffee, freshly-made juices, and a display of wines and liquors lined up behind the lengthy back seating counter. And, as for desserts, the choice is limited to several options, but probably the most popular is Maryland’s Smith Island double chocolate cake — or the apple beignets with caramel drizzle . . . hmmmmm.

    Silver New American Brasserie / Hours: Sun.-Thu., 7am-12midnight; Fri. & Sat., 7am-1am.

    Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, editor, and restaurant reviewer. She has authored books on Asian and Mexican cuisines published by Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, and Macmillan. Other credits include restaurant reviews and food articles for national and regional publications, as well as former editor of the Vegetarian Times and former food editor/writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Click here to visit her website.