Macon Bistro & Larder has always been fetching. (Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)


From the start, this Southern accent in the Chevy Chase Arcade was a looker, fetching in green (seats, china, walls) and aglow with lights spelling out the restaurant’s name behind the bar. The downside? A lot of the cooking, from underbaked biscuits to grainy coconut cake.

The February arrival of a new chef, Daniel Singhofen of the late Eola, makes Macon Bistro & Larder a destination for more than just neighbors in a part of town where the options aren’t choice. Of Singhofen’s starters, I’m partial to his golden consomme with its precision-cut vegetables, the craggy fried oysters and the meaty lamb croquette, the last dish teasing with cayenne and touched by a vivid watercress puree.

A category called “Supper” summons diners with deeply flavorful chicken and mustard greens, as well as faux scallops carved from turnips and lavished with sauteed mushrooms, wild rice and an anchovy-sharpened pistou. Some meals — hake in a wan broth with beans — taste like dinners of yore here.

Yet the lesser impressions are nothing an attentive server and a slice of pecan pie can’t overcome to get y’all to come back. REMEMBER HOW YOU HAD TO SCREAM TO BE HEARD HERE? Recently hung velvet drapes and sound buffering give the ears a bit of a break.

2 stars

5520 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-248-7807.

Open: Dinner Tuesday through Sunday, brunch Sunday.

Prices: Prix fixe dinner $35, dinner entrees $21 to $27, brunch entrees $12 to $22.

Sound check: 74 decibels / Must speak with raised voice.

Previously (2014):

This review appears in The Washington Post’s 2015 Spring Dining Guide.