Black’s Bar & Kitchen

At the cocktail hour, office workers waiting for rush-hour traffic to subside, mechanics from nearby car lots and local apartment dwellers all converge on Black’s Bar & Kitchen.

A perennial favorite that won in the Best Brunch category last year, Black’s offers an extensive wine and martini list, discounted seafood at happy hour and a nonintimidating atmosphere.

First opened in 1999, Black’s was refurbished about five years ago, but owner Jeff Black decided to keep the bar area separate. He describes the upscale but casual setting as “neither loud nor stodgy.”

“And for whatever reason,” Black says, “we have become the mega-spot for first dates.”

7750 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-652-5525,

Other Top Vote Getters: Redwood, Mussel Bar by RW, American Tap Room, Woodmont Grill