GrillMarX Steakhouse and Raw Bar in Olney
We went to GrillMarX last night for dinner. Located in the new Fair Hill Shopping Center in Olney, they opened six days ago. If yesterday was any indication, they will do well. They were packed. The only problem we had was that they were so popular that they were not able to seat us until 8pm even though we had a 7:30 reservation. I think that they are still getting the hang of how to time their reservations. They were doing a thriving bar business and the raw bar was very busy.
Dinner started with a dozen Wellfleet oysters. Very fresh, briny, plump and well presented. They were served with lemon, hot sauce, freshly grated horseradish, and a grapefruit mignonette.
My son ordered the Kona ribeye, which is marinated in Kona coffee, brown sugar, spices and herbs. Very flavorful if not to my particular taste. He ordered it rare, and it came rare.
I ordered the regular boneless ribeye, asking for it to be on the rare side of medium rare. Again, it came exactly as ordered. We ordered baked potatoes to go with them but though seriously about the classic paring of creamed spinach. The steaks are 14 ounces and were quite good.
My wife ordered the crab cakes, asking for the mustard sauce to be on the side. When they arrived, the sauce was on top of the crabcakes. When she said that she had ordered the sauce on the side, they whisked them away and replaced them with new ones, sauce on the side, in 90 seconds. They came with a very good salsa of corn and red peppers.
The wine list is not large, but well selected for the menu and considering that this is Montgomery County, well priced. Unfortunately, as in most restaurants, the wines are fairly young. We ordered a 2006 Franciscan Oakville Estate Magnificat that at $65 was the oldest, and one of the most expensive bottles on the list. A fair price for the wine for MoCo restaurants. We later added a half bottle of 2007 Stonestreet Cab that was not nearly as good as the Magnificat. Glassware was adequate and they brought us new glasses with the second bottle.
Dessert was the Amaretto Mascarpone Cheesecake for my son and the Apple Crisp for me. The Apple crisp was huge, came with two scoops of vanilla ice cream and was quite tasty. I didn't taste the cheesecake, but he didn't seem to dislike it as it disappeared quickly.
Service was friendly, and efficient. Because my son ordered iced tea in addition to drinking the wine (actually, my wife had less than half a glass of the Magnificat and we drank the rest), the waiter brought him two glasses at a time due to how packed the place was.
All in all I think this is a great addition to Olney, which needs more restaurants of this category. I look forward to them ironing out the scheduling, but I can't say that it was their fault, folks seemed to want to linger. If I had any complaint it was that the place was quite loud, but that is to be expected when there are that many people there at the bar. We will definitely be back.