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Share Wine Lounge & Small Plate Bistro (Formerly The Oz), at the Doubletree Hotel in Bethesda


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Has anyone been yet? We went on Friday night on a recommendation from a co-worker. We thought the sushi was a great value (pretty tasty and very cheap). Plus they had half priced wine, with no restrictions, and the wine list was extensive for being a hotel restaurant. Just wanted to see if anyone else had an opinion on this place.

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Seduced by a $25-off coupon, my wife and I went a few weeks back on a weeknight.

Before I talk about the food, let me say that there were only two other tables occupied while we were there; one was sitting when we arrived, and the other came in the middle of our meal. I saw at least 2 servers, a manager, a hostess, and 2 bussers, and we STILL managed to get ignored for much of the meal. The most comically bad service I have seen in years - it took them nearly 30 minutes to figure out how to process a coupon and a credit card on the same check. blink.gif

The space is kind of weird. There's a coffee bar, a sushi bar, a wine bar, and the dining room, that are all almost part of the lobby, but not quite, and all sort of share the same space, basically divided by screens and furniture. If the place was even half full, you wouldn't be able to hear a thing from someone sitting right next to you.

From their website:

"A full-service restaurant epitomizing "Zen-style" flair and focusing on guests' mental and physical well-being. The OZ features a healthy menu consisting of fresh appetizers, salads, and flatbreads, flavorful entrées and tasty desserts, many of which are less than 495 calories each. Desserts are served "by the spoon" for a unique sharing experience that's perfect for dates or gatherings of friends."

So they kind of have the same approach as Rock Creek. The "OZ" part is for ounce - if you order steaks, chops, etc. they list a base price for a certain portion size, and then a per ounce price to add additional ounces of meat to the plate.

I thought the menu was actually pretty inventive, especially for a hotel restaurant. I thought the chef missed as often as he hit, but nothing was bad, ingredients were fresh, and portions were decent. My memory is a bit fuzzy, but I remember a very good flatbread with onions and blue cheese to snack on. I think I had a spinach salad with BBQ duck; the salad was excellent, but the BBQ duck was too sweet - going with a confit, braise, or crispy skin would have been much better. But the duck was well prepared, and the sauce was clearly not from a jar. My wife had a mushroom soup of some kind which I thought was too thin, but she inhaled. For mains, I had a roasted cornish game hen, and my wife had a vegetarian dish. The chicken was very good, excellent crispy skin, but the sides forgettable (and forgotten). The vegetarian dish was very well composed (not just sides on a plate) but I can't remember for the life of me what it was.

With a coupon I had, it was a very reasonable meal, but at full price, especially with their severe service problems, I'm not sure I will return. They do have a 4-course pre-theater meal for $30, which is a pretty nice price, but right now I would question their ability to get you out by curtain time!

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