Jump to content
MC Horoscope

8407 Kitchen Bar, Silver Spring Metro - Chef Oscar Jimenez Moves Up From Sous Chef - Closing in Late October, 2017

Recommended Posts

Don's report jives with what I've discovered recently. But call me "Captain Oblivious." I didn't realize there was ownership commonality between these two restaurants until this appeared on the 8407KB Facebook page recently:

I'm keeping an open mind but I'm worried that the dumbing down will continue and they will lose others of their excellent staff. Apparently the departure of Nancy, the former GM who was very dear to us, was the first warning sign (Captain Oblivious didn't realize it unit now).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am kicking myself for not getting back here while Chef Bittner was still in the kitchen. I am so dismayed by the turn of events (a lunch buffet????) and fear for the future of this Silver Spring jewel.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been my go-to place to take my brother to lunch on his birthday (in November). It is right next to his office and thus, right next to the Metro. Please don't tell me I have to find another place! :angry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait a minute ... Don, are you sure it was a lunch buffet? I had heard recently (2-3 months ago) that the Sunday brunch had been converted to a buffet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait a minute ... Don, are you sure it was a lunch buffet? I had heard recently (2-3 months ago) that the Sunday brunch had been converted to a buffet.

Could be - that part of the letter I left unedited, so your guess is as good as mine. BTW, my impression reading the letter was that it was a weekend brunch - I don't know *why* that was my impression, but it was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weekday lunch quality has not diminished, and I went just a couple of weeks ago.There WAS no weekday lunch buffet then. Must be Sunday brunch.

I had lunch at 8407 today and didn't see a buffet either. They were busy with Restaurant Week diners and apologetic about the time lags between courses.

My choices included the sweet corn soup (summer!), sirloin (with a bordelaise sauce that smacked more of soy sauce than wine reduction), and what my server assured me was Dolci Gelati sorbet. Their RW lunch menu was diverse enough to be crowd pleasing.

Too bad 8407's website hasn't been updated in some time. It would probably help drive business if prospective diners were able to preview their RW dinner menu.

post-226-0-67462200-1408066090_thumb.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't realize there was ownership commonality between these two restaurants until this appeared on the 8407KB Facebook page recently: 

I didn't make the connection either.  That makes a lot of sense now.  The last time I went, Mrs. K's was a mess--over priced and mediocre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
He called me back that Monday and said it's better if I just go - we're losing business because of service issues, and all the comments are about the horrid buffet and ..." [and that's where the story should end.]

Service issues are what happens when you push out quality employees and others leave because they see the writing on the wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got back after taking my brother here for his annual birthday lunch. We got the same booth as we've had for three or four times now and still had the same waiter. (I wish I had asked his name--when I exclaimed that he was still there, he said "Where else would I go?" I should have told him "Any of the numerous new restaurants who are in desperate need of trained servers." But I'm not that quick-witted, alas.)

The lunch menu is quite a bit smaller than I remembered and there was no Duck Confit.  :( There were mussels, however, so I ordered those. My brother got the steak sandwich. I should have asked him how it was, but didn't and he didn't voice any complaint. The mussels were small and kind of shriveled, and there wasn't much sauce in the pot. I've had better mussels for less money at any number of places. The fries were fine. The bread basket was quite nice; but, I just found the food to lack the "finesse" that used to be a hallmark of this place. Because I mentioned that it was his birthday, the waiter showed up with a piece of bread pudding with a candle in it and two forks. That was an unexpected treat that we didn't manage to finish between the two of us.

We each had a glass of wine--one Malbec and a Dr. Loosen Riesling. Nothing to complain about there. The bill came to $51 and change before the tip.

I can't speak to dinner here, because I've only been for lunch. It remains the nicest place close to my brother's place of work and has never been very busy when we've been there. It's always been easy to converse there and catch up on the goings-on with his family. So, as long as my brother doesn't want to take the Metro into town (which he has done in the past), we will likely be there next year at this time--he won't be able to retire until his daughter graduates from college.

I've long given up hope that The Classics would open for lunch.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was worried when a friend suggested 8407 for NYE dinner because of the staff changes, but wanted to go with the flow so despite the jacked up prices (an additional $1-4 per appetizer or entree) and a limited menu I agreed to go and was pleasantly surprised overall. It was pretty dead the entire evening so our party of 10 had no trouble getting cocktails at the bar (I had a really tasty whiskey cocktail from their "craft cocktail" list that I can't remember the name of) or being seated on time.

We ordered both appetizers for ourselves and apps to share so I got to taste a fair amount. The beef tartare I ordered was delicious after I requested and added a healthy dose of salt. Calamari was on point, tender with a light, crisp coating and a salsa verde dipping sauce. The chicken liver pate seemed to be the table favorite and was really outstanding - melt in your mouth smooth and well seasoned. Bone marrow was also well done, but in my opinion also helped by a touch of salt (not so glaringly underseasoned as the tartare though).

Entree choices were limited. None of us were interested in the surf and turf (filet and crabcake) or the salmon, and the scallops served over pasta didn't seem to appeal either. That left the table divided between the duck and steak dishes, with a few ordering the vegetarian gnocchi. The duck dish is on the current menu, a seared breast alongside a confited leg served over Burmese red rice, haricot verts and a butternut squash veloute. Aside from the dry leg (how can confit be dry? So sad), I enjoyed this dish. The breast was a perfect medium rare and frankly the rice was surprisingly delicious, possibly the star. I would happily order this dish again in the hopes that the confit was as it should be. The steak was a bit of a different story. It's the preparation currently on the menu - a pretty standard dish of mashed potatoes, asparagus, onion and red wine sauce - with ribeye subbed in for strip that night. The components of the dish were all well done. The problem was that these were the thinnest ribeyes I've encountered in a restaurant setting and the result was steaks that were cooked medium to medium well when they had been ordered medium rare. A real disappointment at $40 a plate and I was very glad I had decided on the duck. I didn't taste the gnocchi or hear anyone's feedback so can't report on that dish other than to say it was a generous portion.

I was pretty full, but wanted a mouthful of something sweet so I ordered the eggnog "sorbet" for dessert. The server swore up and down that it was sorbet, not gelato, but we were all mystified by how that would be possible. Easily confirmed on the Dolci gelati website after the fact that it was indeed gelato and not sorbet, which for someone who is sensitive to dairy isn't thrilling. Thankfully I wasn't that enamored with it so I didn't eat much.

Overall I really enjoyed the meal. Our service was good, but not great throughout. In particular he seemed troubled when we opted to order appetizers without also placing our entree orders. In retrospect, seeing how dead they were by the time we finished and the fact that they had shut down both bars by then, I suspect he wanted to get us out of there and get on with his NYE, but it was a bit off putting how he dealt with it. Other than that, having to flag him down for a drink order here or there, and the gelato issue things went smoothly. All in all an enjoyable evening with for the most part very well done food. I am happy that the food quality doesn't seem to have suffered, at least based on this one meal.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to avoid dinner out on NYE for a number of reason, but went to the same party as Choirgirl and had a great time.  She covered it all well so only a couple comments from me.

1) Someone owes me for the bet on the "sorbet" which I just found out about.  Eggnog sorbet is an illogical concept.  I should have wagered more.

2) The ribeyes were pounded out, not sliced thin. Why, I have no idea.  They were about 8 feet long and a quarter inch thick.  Enormous chicken fried steak cuts, really.  Everything was still tasty but they certainly weren't medium rare and the only way they could be would be the backwards slow heat quick sear method which these were not.  Any other night I would have sent back in a split second, but this was more a party than a dinner, in a way.

3) Choirgirl is being unusually gentle about the server.  He was awful.   I'm sympathetic as I waited/bartended on more than my share of NYE's but that's life as a server, you get to the party late or not at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The owner dumbed it down a few years ago in a cost-cutting move. He got rid of or forced out the excellent GM, Nancy, and the last chef who made the restaurant chef-driven. Others on the staff headed for the door. The menu then became nearly set in stone, with little variation. We had only dined there maybe 2 or 3 times since the massacre and, though I'm sad for folks who work there now, we won't miss it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×