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Mix Bar and Grille (Formerly Bezu) Owner Eddie Benaim and Chef Pedro Matamoros - Silver Spring (Potomac Village Location has Closed)


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There is a sign for a new restaurant opening in Potomac Village in the old Picasso Grille space called "Bezu."

The sign says it will be "French Asian" cuisine. Any one have any information about who is behind this and whether they know what they are doing? How about the chef?

Whoever is behind it must be willing to take some risks given the cost to lease space in Potomac Village.

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Hmmm. No idea, but I'm sure to mount an expedition as soon as it opens. Always hoping for something decent to eat in Potomac...

I never ate at Picasso Grille, as I found the previous incarnation (Cafe Roval) to be mediocre and overpriced. Same as (almost) everything else in Potomac.

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If ony Bezu might somehow outshine its predecessors, but I fear that this sentiment may be the triumph of hope over experience.

Hopefully it will. It is being opened by the people who brought you Tel Aviv Cafe in Bethesda 11 years ago when it was really good. They hired a chef-Dennis Friedman-who trained under Michel Richard, Daniel Boulud, etc., and learned Asian-French fusion in Hawaii. They expect to open in October sometime.

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I work next-dorr and I can tell you that they have spent months completely gutting and rebuilding the place, so they clearly are making a significant investment.

On the other hand, I have heard, and perhaps mistakenly, that they plan to be all things to all people with cafe seating, a serious dining room, wine tastings, and a broad menu.

While I recognize the rents are high in Potomac, given the local demographics and the poor dining alternatives at these cross-roads, I would think Bezu has more than a sporting chance of success.

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Chatted with Eddie and Dennis, two of the new partners/owners/chefs (?) today. One of which (Eddie) was involved in the opening of Tel Aviv Cafe in Bethesda, the other (Dannis) was born and raised in Potomac. Place is almost done. Beautiful interior of dark woods and amber upholstry. Pinpoint and indirect lighting. Small sitting area and 10 person bar upfront. High banquets along two back walls. Chef's table in the very back.

Menu is to be french/asian fusion. Starters included a crab tart. Prices low teens. Salads similar. Mains included salmon and veal tenderloin. Prices in the mid 20s. Chefs table to be multi-course with wine pairings, etc.

They are very excited to be in the area and expect to be well received. Our office has already booked lunchs and a Christmas party.

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Bezu is now open. I have only been able to stop by to have a couple drinks at the bar a few times. The bartender has been very friendly and it seems like a welcome addition to the neighborhood. However, from just glancing at the menu, seems a bit out of my price range to become a regular dining destination for me. Nonetheless, I look forward to getting a chance to taste the food at some point in the near future.

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Lunch report: first, they have indeed totally gutted and remade the interior. There's a small lounge in front, a not-too-small bar, and behind this the restaurant proper, booths lining one wall, a banquette on the other, and a few four tops in the middle. They can seat maybe 60 people. It's rather plush, in shades of pumpkin and persimmon, and considering that on a weekday afternoon every table was taken by couples or groups of women (except for two men), the crappy a-melodic new-age music made it feel like a spa restaurant. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but the midday scene is definitely Ladies Who Lunch.

The lunch menu offers a $7 bowl of soup and a $9 chicken salad on the low end, with most dishes priced in the teens, and a $29 Steak Pomme Frites on the high end. Mr P had the Bezu Burger ($14). He enjoyed it, but thought it probably not really Kobe beef as the menu states. The oven roasted steak fries that came with it were pretty tasty, though now I can't remember if they had Parmesan or something else on them. My Wild Mushroom Ravioli were intensely mushroomy, in an instensely mushroomy sauce, but 16 bucks for five largish pasta was kinda steep. For dessert we shared some pleasant if unexciting sorbets.

Other lunch dishes include Nori Tuna, Fuzu Rice Noodles, Grilled Chicken, Crab Cake Sandwich, and a handful of salads.

At dinner the dishes run from soups and salads priced mostly in the teens, to entrees priced from $19 (the ravioli again) to $40-something for a pan roasted veal chop.

If price isn't too much of a consideration and you're nearby and curious and hungry, Bezu is a fine choice. But I'm not sure it'll prove worth the drive, and at these prices I can't call it a nice neighborhood joint, either. Still, I wish them success, because they might be the best thing going in Potomac Village at the moment. I'll report back when I try dinner there.

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Has anyone else tried Bezu? We went for the first time tonight. This is a suburban restaurant - but the suburb is Potomac. Entrees $12-15, mains mostly $32+. Stylish room, "French Asian Fusion" cooking. A seriously older clientele (including us, I guess).

The food was overall very good - I has a perfectly cooked swordfish steak over a melange of thinly sliced radishes, artichokes, fresh peas, and red peppers. Starter was just cooked scallops with endaneme (spelling?) pesto. Wife had "Poke Kobe" to start - a bit gimmicky with tempura batter fried with lots of spikes filled with just seared lukewarm (Kobe?) beef. Her main was tasty skate.

Nice room - rather stylish decor. And a reasonable wine list.

Only problem was that first time customers were very clearly treated differently than regulars. They got amuse bouche - we did not. They were greeted by both the manager and the owner - we were not. When we mentioned the first of these, we were quickly served a mini-chocolate dessert - rather a gratuitous gesture.

Will we go back - probably when we don't want to head downtown (we live in Bethesda) for innovative cooking.

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That's him. He's started doing some MoCo restaurant reviews for the Gazette.

What's interesting to me is that, when teaching the class, he had a unique "voice" and candor that I found refreshing, which seems to be tamed (perhaps by the editor?) in his printed review.

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What's interesting to me is that, when teaching the class, he had a unique "voice" and candor that I found refreshing, which seems to be tamed (perhaps by the editor?) in his printed review.

However, take a look at the below quote (cut and pasted from the linked article):

>Cream of mushroom was the soup of the day. It was a large serving, but the consistency was rather thin, with a one dimensional porcini mushroom flavor. Floating atop the soup was a truffle-infused foam. For $7, I'd rather have half the quantity and twice the quality: more mushroom goodness, more seasoning, more body and less foam.

The previous reviewer (whose name escapes me) never wrote anything like that. Her reviews were uniformly glowing without a single criticism. My intuition (based on what you said and what I've read in the Gazette in the past) is that what we see published in the Gazette by him is, as you surmised, a tamed-by-somebody (the advertising staff?) version of what he originally drafted.

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Received in email this evening:

Dear Bezu patrons-

Your continued patronage to our restaurant has been truly appreciated over the years and we are so grateful for having the privilege of serving you as loyal customers.
Refresh your memories in our final week of operation as Bezu. We are closing, renovating and re-branding to a new innovative concept- "MIX"
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Has anyone been since the switch to Mix?  Friends suggested this place for an outing this weekend.

There are two things about Mix Bar & Grille (formerly Bezu) that folks might not know:

1) The chef is Pedro Matomoros (formerly of The Golden Flame8407 Kitchen Bar, Nicaro, and Tabard Inn).

2) There are plans to open a second branch on Georgia and Thayer Avenue (the same intersection where Lucy is) in Silver Spring, with possibly more coming in the future.

"Potomac's Mix Bar & Grille Opening Silver Spring Location" by Carole Sugarman in bethesdamagazine.com

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I haven't been yet, but their hours seem to be a bit short-sighted considering that downtown Silver Spring has a relatively limited bar scene - what else is open after 10 PM on a weeknight...Quarry House, Sidebar and McGinty's? Seems like a missed opportunity.

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I haven't been yet, but their hours seem to be a bit short-sighted considering that downtown Silver Spring has a relatively limited bar scene - what else is open after 10 PM on a weeknight...Quarry House, Sidebar and McGinty's? Seems like a missed opportunity.

Silver Spring is also dead as a doorknob after 10pm on a weeknight. That said, not too tough to get a drink downtown anymore. After ten on a weeknight you have the above + Denizens, Urban Butcher, Fire Station (lol), Society, 8407 (10:30) and Austin Grill.

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Silver Spring is also dead as a doorknob after 10pm on a weeknight. That said, not too tough to get a drink downtown anymore. After ten on a weeknight you have the above + Denizens, Urban Butcher, Fire Station (lol), Society, 8407 (10:30) and Austin Grill.

Fair - although I'm not sure if everyone would necessarily think of some of those places before a place with "bar" in the name, haha. 11 PM on weekends seems like a bit of a missed opportunity as well.

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Thank you! We went to All Set not long after they opened and were underwhelmed (sorry for the lack of detail, but it was too long ago at this point to provide more).

I was considering Jackie's, too. We haven't been there. Do you think they could accommodate a toddler and a 4-year-old? I was hesitant because they seem somewhat upscale. The toddler is generally pretty good in restaurants as far as toddlers go; I'm not sure about the 4-year-old.

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Do you think they could accommodate a toddler and a 4-year-old? I was hesitant because they seem somewhat upscale. The toddler is generally pretty good in restaurants as far as toddlers go; I'm not sure about the 4-year-old.

I took my (then) 18 month(ish) daughter awhile back and the server was phenomenal. I would say it's generally kid friendly but that may depend on who's working. I see in the Jackie's thread that there have been some recent reports of poor service - definitely something we've experienced. Though other times it's been great. {Don will probably move this post :rolleyes: }

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Had dinner Sunday at the Silver Spring location for the first time. Because the two of us had skipped lunch, we dined at 6, which is earlier than normal. Nearly every seat at the long bar was occupied with folks watching the last quarter of the Giants/Cowboys game. We were one of only three parties seated at table. The TVs (there are many) were turned up pretty high and the crowd in the bar area became boisterous whenever a big play happened. But we were seated far enough away that it wasn't annoying and we enjoyed checking on the game now and then.

We shared the lemongrass crispy shrimp, which came as 4 nicely fried shrimp accompanied by ponzu dipping sauce. The shrimp were crispy as advertised, not greasy, and the ponzu sauce had a nice little kick to it from hot peppers.

My SO had the crab cake, with was a special. It came with so-so shoestring fries and a mixed green salad. The crab cake was just OK. Not as good as the ones we enjoyed at Nick's Fish House last week.

I had the gumbo, which is missing from their online menu. It included 3 shrimp, 2 quarter-size slices of andouille, and about 1/2 dozen mussels, along with rice. It was not a generous portion but tasted quite good, the sauce having a nice balance of flavors/spiciness, and was adequate for my needs.

Overall, I'd say the food was enjoyable and we will probably be back, but not before trying Sligo Cafe, of which I've heard good things.

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19 hours ago, Kev29 said:

Mix in Potomac closed (Joe Zimmermann, Bethesda Magazine, Published: 2018.02.19 03:31)

[This is an interesting case of Dining Guide moderation: What was once Bezu in Potomac Village, changed its name to Mix Bar and Grille, opened a second location in Silver Spring, and then closed the Potomac Village location. As a result, you'll never see Bezu listed in Potomac as being "Closed"; instead, you'll see it as Mix Bar and Grille in Silver Spring, and should that ever close, it will be listed there. A flaw in my algorithm? (Although you can certainly walk it back in this thread and see where it originated.)]

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