Restaurant review: Coles 735 Main

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Boo Vivant

After serving for many years as the location for one of Chevy Chase’s most popular neighborhood bars and restaurants, Furlongs, 735 Main St. is home to a new neighborhood hot spot that has seen interior updates and and a completely new menu.

Coles 735 Main has settled nicely into the neighborhood, maintaining a somewhat formal dining room and more casual bar and patio seating. Many of the original Lexington-centric wall murals have remained intact, though the general ambience inside the dining room feels a bit more spiffed up than Furlongs did.

As for the food, Cole’s boasts a fairly straightforward approach to upscale Southern cuisine, with entree choices that include citrus glazed short ribs ($23), seared diver scallops with roasted tomato risotto ($28), shrimp and grits ($24) and braised baby back ribs ($18). A handful of items add a touch of exotic interest to the menu, such as the Moroccan butternut squash stew ($18) and the Spanakopita (spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo dough, $8), but for the most part, the menu doesn’t stray too far from the beaten path of Southern fine dining options.

My guest and I decided to start with the panko-fried avocado filled with crab salad and aioli ($8). When he made his round toward the end of the night to check on all the tables, the chef, Cole Arimes, he told us it was the most popular appetizer item, and with good reason – the warm, buttery flavors and combination of textures made for a delightful treat. We each ordered a salad – my guest went with the iceberg wedge with bleu cheese, bacon, tomatoes and hard cooked egg ($8), while I went with the roasted beet and goat cheese salad (also $8). My guest was quite pleased with his wedge salad – he puts away wedge salads like it’s his job – and while the golden beets in my salad were a bit more tart than I was expecting, my salad was lovely as well.

When it came time to order entrees, we both had our sights set on a number of different items but ultimately decided to go with the Horseradish Citrus Crusted Scottish Salmon ($23) and the Wild Mushroom Encrusted Beef Shoulder Tender ($18). The shoulder was sliced thin, cooked to a perfect medium rare and served over thinly sliced fingerling potatoes, spinach, caramelized onions, shiitake mushrooms and drizzled with a Pommery demi glace. It was a delicious and generous portion. The salmon was perfectly prepared and served over garlic mashed potatoes and grilled Brussels sprouts.

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