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It takes bravado—and lots of bull-headed determination—to run a wine-centered bistro in Montgomery County. Grapeseed chef/owner Jeff Heineman has both. He works the whacked-out county-controlled liquor system as well as a mere mortal can, building and maintaining a wine list that’s deep, approachable, and, at its frequent best, altogether satisfying. Heineman custom-builds the dishes on his menu to pair with specific wines, like his recent portobello-mushroom take on chilaquiles, that classic Mexican breakfast dish, which he suggests you sample with a cool, fruity glass of French rosé, for an Old World/Third World partnership that snootier toques would never touch. That’s the thing about Heineman; his vision of New American cuisine often has a wide lens. It could be that chilaquiles, or it could be his goat cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers, which are more roasty and tart than spicy. Now, I just wish Heineman would bring back his chef-driven take on chicken and waffles (in bourbon sauce!), which makes a mockery of the other insipid versions around town.4865 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, (301) 986-9592
Next up: Heritage India