With a menu as thoroughly patriotic as it is premeditated, Fife is the perfect place to take your red-state relatives for straightforward, well prepared American food. The setting is refined but unfussy, boasting a spacious, open dining room painted in rich, warm earth tones. You can snag a seat near the open kitchen and watch chef Marco Shaw’s show, or chill on Fife’s super-pleasant outdoor patio, then tour around this great land of ours with a menu that stretches from Maryland fave crab cakes (crispy and bursting with crab meat) to a Southern-style rabbit gumbo. Chef Shaw’s single-minded obsession with organic, local meats and produce makes homey, potentially bland dishes like cast-iron chicken with bacon-braised kale sing. The best part? Fife’s upscale feel and sustainable cuisine often come with a surprisingly small price tag. Now that’s the kind of patriotism we can really stand up for. (MW)
Signature Dish: Moist, zesty Maryland-style crab cakes.
Standouts: Meaty buffalo sirloin; crispy cast-iron chicken.
Regrets: Can be—what did you say?—deafeningly noisy.