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Dining at Society

March 26, 2012

Us at SocietySaturday evening it drizzled a little, but my wonderful “Everyday Guru,”  Susan Cunningham, invited four of us to a tasting at Society Lounge.

As well as pleased with the company, I was also curious about Society. I’d been hearing how a local sports hero had returned to his old neighborhood to open a restaurant in my hometown of Silver Spring, Maryland.

George Mason basketball great Jason Miskiri’s hometown is Georgetown, Guyana, but his heartland, like mine, is this bustling little we-try-harder suburb just across the DC/MD line. Quickly now, before the self-coddling sob of autobiography enters my voice, let’s make it clear why you need to get some friends together and go eat at Society

Four-stars. What does a sports legend bring to dining? Not surprisingly, both his belief in a quality team and genuine love for the fans. Society looks and feels like a winner’s space — and the food is sensational.

Yes, along one wall, there’s a fine sports bar facing ESPN on flatscreens, but the decor is not without a touch of elegance, and the sound is kept strictly local. Set apart casually in back, framed by a cool perfect fireplace: a nook with couches for small parties to settle down together. The main area spaces out comfortable tables and chairs.

Jason remains his charismatic self, charming and welcoming: the perfect host. And on our night, the staff can best be described as stunning — alert,   urbane and delightful. Impeccable professionalism and yet, without intruding, they were as fully-rounded personalities as any of us in our party. So, judging from our experience, even if you come alone, you will dine with interesting people:

Society is toney because it has class all right but class for everybody: neighborhood sophistication. A destination where dropping by might just turn into an occasion.

The David-Copperfield Crap; and Why it Matters

I grew up just across the DC/MD line in a three-story-tall Silver Spring: perennial poor cousin to plush, flash Bethesda at the other end of East-West Highway.

I saw my first movie at the old Silver Theater. We lived in DC but within easy walking distance of tiny, stranded Acorn Park where trickled-out the eking ebb of that same mica-bright “silver spring” discovered by the historical Blairs during a day’s ride in 1840.

The old Silver is now an American Film Institute showplace, and across the street wails the new Filmore, a national venue for hot musicians. Not to mention, the Discovery Channel is located just down the street. My point being, twenty-five-story Silver Spring today is polyglot, vibrant and hustling.

When I see the old place grown big and international, I think back to the tales the old-timers told about America’s greatest cities in their brawling infancies, when every third person had just gotten off some boat or other. When exploding towns like old New York and upstart Chicago awed a younger world, the memoirs of their heroic sons in retirement always looked back wistfully to three things: the great men, the beautiful actresses, and the mighty restaurants.

My hometown, too, is growing up to an immense and brilliant future. A mighty man of the people has opened a great new restaurant meant for these hard-workers whose dreams he knows to his fingertips. The owner names his location after his customers making future history everywhere in the streets around Society.

This, dear friends, is how legends start…

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