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  1. Hard to believe a restaurant in business since 1977 has no thread here, unless I missed it. Wife and I were in Bethesda tonight strolling around and decided to give it a shot after years of driving by it. Short story - average old school Italian, awful wine list, great service, decent value for what you get. Handwritten receipt - love it. Would rather head here when looking for Italian over Olazzo and other mediocre Italian spots in Bethesda. Not many options here for Italian food, someone save us.
  2. Surprised there isn't a thread for this place yet. It has, for my money, the best Ethiopian food in Shaw/U Street. Wonderful veggie platters, plus delicious kitfo and doro wat. Note that they don't have fuul or chicken tibs though (just beef and lamb). Great takeout too; tons of food at great prices. Anyway, I'm posting because of this exciting, yet concerning article. Chercher is expanding, which is great, but the article contains a tidbit that I desperately hope will turn out not to be the case: ""Abebe says he’s also started work on a 60-seat Columbia Heights location at 3608 14th Street NW that’s scheduled to open in February. That Chercher, the smallest of the bunch, will house a large kitchen in the back where staffers will prepare and cook all of the food for the entire chain. Abebe says he’s installing a central kitchen, in part, to maintain quality control across the brand. "Ethiopian Chain Chercher Plots Massive Area Expansion" by Lenore Adkins on dc.eater.com (*) “The problem is … they don’t cook the same,” Abebe told Eater DC. “Because why does it take a while to cook a stew, like chicken stew long hours? So we (will) cook in one place so everywhere people go, they get the same kind of food.”" They're going to make all the food in Columbia Heights and then, what, reheat it? This sounds like a no-good, very bad plan.
  3. While I have never made it to New Haven, I have certainly seen it on TV and have wanted to make a trip to try the clam pie. According to the MoCo Show, in late 2020, a location will open at Montgomery Mall!!!!
  4. I wanted to like this place. At least, I love southeast Asian street food. But when I saw the menu I knew it wasn’t going to be great. A mishmash of Korean, Singaporean, Japanese Chinese etc. No rendang as feared, everything was a dumbed-down version. Papaya salad with no kick, terrible (inedible) Szechuan wontons...skewers were fine, as were summer rolls. But, as feared, if you want good Asian food you still need to pay top dollar at Q, or head on up to Rockville...
  5. Update on the Bethesda Fine Dining Location, which reports a May opening (credit--Bethesda Magazine)
  6. Last night Olazzo in Silver Spring. Fair to middling, but economical and close to the house. When I pointed out that we could have gone to Dino for the same money, my plus one made a puss-face.
  7. Dog Haus opened today. The second local location, the other being in Bethesda. It's a chain from California. It's a small footprint, but a tight concept with a full bar, tons of taps, and hot dogs, sausages, burgers, and plant based choices as well. I will wait until it calms down a bit (free dogs today and before opening there was a line around the block at least 100 deep!).
  8. Foong Li is not great, but it isn't nauseating. We've been all over the menu at Foong Li, trying the familiar and the not-so-familar and while we have had dishes we didn't like, none were as bad as those at HEOTB. Are you telling me that we shouldn't order spicy shrimp wonton (and if so, why?) or that they are supposed to served in a greasy glop? Are you telling me that a dish that is supposed to have ginger and scallions, but has no ginger is the fault of the Westerner who ordered? Maybe I am supposed to know that authentic Chinese ginger is flavorless? Sorry - I really think this was bad cooking, not bad choosing.
  9. One that comes to mind for me is Grapeseed in Bethesda. Had a great meal there last month. I find this to be one of the highlights of the Bethesda restaurant scene. There are so many restaurants downtown, but hardly any GOOD ones. Anyone have any thoughts on this place?
  10. Bar Oysters - $1.35 each. Their menu says "We are Currently Receiving the Freshest Oysters Available on the East Coast," and I have no reason to doubt them. The problem lies with the word "receiving." Figuring the bar oysters would be whatever they had the most of, or weren't selling that night, I ordered a dozen. To my horror, the bartender began pulling preshucked oysters out from beneath the bar. He assembled the platter, then walked it back to the kitchen, where the chef took hold of it, and like the Road Runner pecking at bird seed, leaned down and gave a fake millisecond-long sniff to about four of the oysters. It was the same shtick they put on at BlackSalt, but he wasn't actually smelling them; he was simply putting on a show - it reminded me of what I've recently seen twice at an otherwise great wine bar (Taberna del Alabardero), where the bartender opens the bottle, touches the cork to his nose without sniffing it, and then pours the glass of wine. Please don't bother doing this stuff: It's pretentious and anyone who knows what they're doing will realize you're just going through the motions. The platter arrived, and the oysters looked good and fresh, and when I smelled one myself, there was no odor. That's because icing down an oyster can work wonders in terms of masking its flaws; it's only when you eat it, and the temperature quickly rises inside your mouth to 60, 70, 80 degrees up to a theoretical maximum of 98.6 - that's the moment of truth, and that's when oysters that haven't been freshly shucked reveal their flaws, which lie entirely in the finish and not in the nose, tasting like bad sea urchin. 'How are the oysters?' the bartender asked, after I had eaten one. 'When were they shucked? The first one I had wasn't fresh.' 'Oh, about an hour ago. They shuck them for Happy Hour and keep the extras on ice.' This conversation took place at 9 PM this evening. The Black's Seafood Gumbo was not cooked properly. The shrimp was still cold - colder than room temperature - but the andouille sausage was piping hot. Three bites and done with it. The beer and wine list is laughable. Fifty bucks wasted. Rocks
  11. We're going to see some friends play Friday night at an Irish bar called Flanagans on Cordell Avenue and want to have dinner beforehand. What's good these days in the moderate category near the bar so we can park early and then walk? --- [The following posts have been split into separate threads: Flanagan's Irish Pub (ustreetguy) Buono Sera (porcupine) Kabob Bazaar (Pool Boy) Bangkok Garden (Pool Boy) Grapeseed (Choirgirl21) Parking in Bethesda (jrichstar) Tout de Sweet (jandres374) Freddy's Lobster and Clams (jandres374) Pizzeria Da Marco (Pool Boy) Jetties (jandres374) Bold Bite (Pool Boy) bd's Mongolian Grill (jandres374) Red Tomato (Pool Boy)]
  12. Haandi in Bethesda is now Kadhai. Interesting...this is from Robert Dyer on his excellent Bethesda blog. http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2013/05/haandi-changes-name-to-kadhai-in.html The gist is, Haandi in Bethesda changed its name...don't know if it's with the same owner/management or not. If you look at Haandi's web site is says the Bethesda location is permanently closed. The other location seems unaffected. There are a bunch of new menu items as well.
  13. Mr P and I tried Passage to India for lunch today, and it may just be the best Indian food I've ever had. The first adjective that popped into mind, after trying a bite of lamb stew with dried apricot and thin sticks of fried potato (salli boti jardaloo), was "elegant". I don't believe I've ever felt that way about Indian food before. The words "subtle" and "nuanced" also came to mind. In addition to the stew, we tried aloo tak: crisp potatoes in three sauces - yogurt, tamarind, and, um, green samosa chaat: a samosa perched on mildly spiced chickpeas - quite good although the bottom of the samosa got soggy rather quickly makhmali kofta: vegetable dumplings in a delicious creamy sauce that I can't begin to decipher palak makai: spinach and corn cooked together - soft, creamy, subtly nuanced and elegant... also, I asked for and was served a half portion, at close to half price; this isn't on the menu but good to know that they'll do it chaina kheer: a dessert not unlike my beloved rasmalai, tiny paneer patties in a milk sauce with saffron and pistachios the tea was pretty decent, too; think I tasted cardamom and cinnamon in it No dinner for me tonight. I last dined in this space when it was an outpost of Heritage India, and the experience was not good. Passage to India, though... wow. Damn fine food. And there's goat on the menu! I'll be going back soon.
  14. Excellent meal last weekend, simple French not overly sauced, vegatables treated as they should be. The clientele was definitely older. Did not see anyone who seemed younger than 65. Younger folks don't know what they are missing
  15. That's the salt cod. I worry about what that does to his business, because it probably turns a lot of people off. The fish is actually very fresh-- never had a problem. They supply a lot of restaurants in the area.
  16. In the old Levante's space, which is closing at the end of the year. Planned opening for the spring. Clickety. Even as casual as this seems to be, it could instantly be one of the best restaurants in mediocre-heavy Bethesda.
  17. Has anyone tried the recently-opened Fresh Baguette in Bethesda? The pictures on their Facebook page look great, for whatever that's worth.
  18. Don Pollo, at 7007 Wisconsin Ave in Bethesda (just south of Bradley Blvd). Wow! Some of the best Peruvian chicken I've ever had. Mash potatoes to die for and great Cole Slaw, All for $6 dollars
  19. This is the only mention I can find of Bangkok Garden on this board. I've always admired the dowdy Bethesda location for putting out authenic food and resisting the fad of aquarium-themed decor. Thanks to a post from MartyL on Chowhound, many of us found out Bangkok Garden has a Thai language menu. I was part of the June Chowhound lunch at the Bethesda location and was able to get a copy of the multicolored menu.
  20. Silly website aside, I wonder if will be in the same league as his Provence, which was brilliant. Mashed potatoes with a ladle of rosemary-infused olive oil where the gravy goes....mmmmmmmmmmmm
  21. Signage is up for Del Frisco's Grill, taking over the old Les Halles space on Pennsylvania Avenue. Looks to be a more casual off shoot of Dallas-based Del Frisco's steakhouse. Steaks, cocktails, burgers, sandwiches, seafood, big salads, flatbreads, and yes truffled mac and cheese....you know the drill. But I suppose, realistically, only something corporate and chainy can afford that space.
  22. Crave, a restaurant that specializes in sushi, wine and American cuisine, is the latest eating establishment to announce plans to be part of Westfield Montgomery mall's new Dining Terrace. Bethesda will be the first venture into the Mid-Atlantic region for Crave, which has nine locations in the Midwest, Florida and Texas.
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