Johnny’s new chef as of late March, David Garcia Reyes, spent his childhood in a Mexican border town working at his mother’s family restaurant. His resumé includes stints at the Greenbrier, the Baltimore Country Club and, most recently, as chef de cuisine at Charleston. Stepping from the exacting presentations of Cindy Wolf’s solemn space into a more clamorous setting—featuring strip steaks, chopped salads and all-you-can-eat brunches—may seem like a demotion of sorts. It’s anything but. The chef-owner (he is a partner in the restaurant) puts his training to good use. Look for ramped-up classics like crispy fried green tomatoes with sweet corn succotash, melt-in-your mouth salmon tartare and seared Arctic char on a bed of risotto. “You have to know the foundation of a dish before you change it,” Reyes notes. “You don’t just change something because it’s cool.”
4800 Roland Ave.
This article appears in the May/June 2016 issue of STYLE.