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Redwood, Bethesda Row - Chef Antonio Burrell Has Departed


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Our own oliveDC (Metrocurean) is reporting on her blog that Mendocino Grille and Sonoma's owners are planning a Bethesda outpost for spring of 2008, to be called Pacific. It will have a wine bar like Sonoma and offer breakfast and a small gourmet market. Griz Dwight of Grizform Design, who designed Black's Bar and Kitchen and PS 7 is the designer.

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What are you opening in Bethesda in 2008?

Hi Meaghan,

In early 2008, Jared and I will be opening up a new restaurant in the latest addition to Bethesda Row, on the site of the old Giant.

I think there may be a thread on the topic somewhere on DR, but the idea is we'll be bringing a seasonal, organic, and locally-driven menu to Bethesda, with our usual wine-centric orientation.

See you up there soon!

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Hi Meaghan,

In early 2008, Jared and I will be opening up a new restaurant in the latest addition to Bethesda Row, on the site of the old Giant.

I think there may be a thread on the topic somewhere on DR, but the idea is we'll be bringing a seasonal, organic, and locally-driven menu to Bethesda, with our usual wine-centric orientation.

See you up there soon!

Ellen here. First, thanks for the PM explaining the menu planning situation. I really appreciated the answer. We were actually thinking of trying Sonoma the other night, after a Hill event, but it was too bloody hot to walk over, and then have to schlep back out to Bethesda afterwards. Which brings me to second - great news that you will be coming to Bethesda. We are looking forward to it. It is hard enough for me to force myself to go out of the house and into traffic to go to Bethesda (in nice weather, we can walk) much less downtown.

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Hi Meaghan,

In early 2008, Jared and I will be opening up a new restaurant in the latest addition to Bethesda Row, on the site of the old Giant.

I think there may be a thread on the topic somewhere on DR, but the idea is we'll be bringing a seasonal, organic, and locally-driven menu to Bethesda, with our usual wine-centric orientation.

See you up there soon!

Question....how are you going to handle the challenges of sourcing some great and interesting wines given the MoCo control of the liquor scene? I'm really curious.

TIA!

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REDROCKS, COLUMBIA HEIGHTS� FAVORITE SPOT FOR GOURMET PIZZA, NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH, BRUNCH, AND MONDAY NIGHTS

Bottomless Mimosas, Happy Hour Food and Drink Specials Now at RedRocks FireBrickPizzeria, 1036 Park Rd., NW


Washington, D.C., (Sept. 19, 2007) - RedRocks FireBrickPizzeria, Washington, D.C.'s favorite new pizzeria and café, is now open Monday nights, as well as Tuesday through Sunday for lunch, offering the full menu of gourmet, brick-oven pizza, panini, salads and starters. Located in D.C.'s booming Columbia Heights neighborhood, RedRocks is now also serving a full brunch menu-featuring omelets, Belgian waffles and breakfast pizza, every Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The 95 seat, 1,800 square foot restaurant, opened in July, offers both traditional and gourmet pizzas straight from the 900 degree brick oven. Sunday brunch features Bottomless Mimosas for $9 as well as a wide selection of wines by the bottle and the glass, Chimay Triple, Brooklyn Lager, Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale and Allagash White on tap and 30 beers and microbrews by the bottle.

Saturday and Sunday brunch features specialties such as Belgian waffles served with fresh whipped cream, fruit and Vermont maple syrup, potato and egg pizza with truffle oil and herbs, a variety of omelets made to order, steamed clams cooked in Marsala wine with house-baked toast, and Eggs in Hell-poached eggs in marinara sauce with house-baked toast. A full brunch menu is available online at: http://firebrickpizza.com/brunch.htm.

RedRocks also offers not one, but two happy hours every day, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to midnight. Happy hour special include half-priced cheese pizzas, half-priced house wine, $1 off all draft beers and $4 rail liquor drinks.

"I wanted RedRocks to be a cozy, neighborhood kind of place where people from all over can come, sit on the patio, inside, or at the bar, and hang out for brunch, lunch, dinner, or late night," said owner James O'Brien. "Of course, our brick-oven pizzas are our pride and joy, but specials like our Belgian Waffles at brunch or our twice-daily happy hours are another great reason to stop by and say hello."

With spacious rooms on two levels for inside seated dining, a takeout section downstairs for carryout customers, and a gorgeous and expansive patio seating 35 people, RedRocks invites diners to stop in for lunch, dinner, early or late evening specials, or weekend brunch to enjoy a hand-crafted beer, a glass of wine, and a crisp wood-fired pie.

RedRocks' brick-oven pies come in more than a dozen varieties, including the classic Margherita, with fresh basil and mozzarella. Of course, guests can always play chef and pick their favorites from among 30 toppings. In addition to serving some of the best pizza in DC, the eclectic and casual menu features items such as warm olives with garlic and herbs, baked panzarotti, wood-fired fresh fish, mussels marinara, white bean and tuna salad, and an array of grilled panini on homemade bread. The full lunch and dinner menu is available online at: http://firebrickpizza.com/menu2.htm.

"Columbia Heights is well-known for its history and personality, and our twice-daily happy hour specials and Bottomless Mimosas at brunch are our way of saying thanks for giving RedRocks such a warm welcome to the neighborhood," said O'Brien.

Situated in a beautifully restored rowhouse on the corner of Park Road and 11th Street Northwest, RedRocks is just two blocks from the historic Tivoli Theater, the forthcoming DC USA shopping center (to open in 2008) and only three blocks from the green and yellow line at the Columbia Heights Metro Station. RedRocks is located at 1036 Park Rd. NW.

Dining hours are:

Monday, 5 p.m. to midnight
Tuesday - Thursday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to midnight
Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
***Brunch and full menu available on Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.***

For more information or to arrange an interview, please call (202) 320-7161.

###

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After an ill-fated attempt to purchase iPhones from the Bethesda Row Apple Store, ferment everything and myself walked over to see how Redwood was doing and we were pleasantly surprised to find that Redwood was in the midst of its soft-opening with the bar & lounge area open to the public and dining room open to select patrons (seemingly).

A cursory glance at the bar menu featured a focus on regional providers and included items such as steamed mussels, a chicken liver mousse, a nice burger, and a few other items that Eric will have to jog my memory to recall. The space is impressive but not overwhelming with tall ceilings and rich wood paneling that hopefully did not come from Redwoods, but serves to give that illusion!

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I had the pleasure of attending the soft opening last week and despite some to-be-expected kinks, I really enjoyed myself. Just to clarify, I think actually open to anyone at this point- I simply called and made a reservation. They were doing a prix-fixed menu of three courses for $20. My table started w/bison marrow and then all of us got a beet salad, salmon on some kind of summer succotash, and dessert of a layered white cake with housemade (supposedly) strawberry jam. Everything was impressive, esp. for the second night of service. The service was surprisingly good this early on and our server seemed really excited to be there. The food, kinks and all, was also very good and I am excited to go back for the full menu. The only issue I had was the atmosphere, which felt a little cold and austere for me, esp. for a neighborhood restaurant. I am not sure if that is because everything wasn't quite in place yet but I think they could tweak that just a bit. Overall, I think this will be a great addition to downtown Bethesda.

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Unless I missed something, the previous poster wasn't an invited guest but a member of the dining public who called and made a reservation. Perhaps you could clarify your concerns?

I walked past last night (not looking to buy an IPhone...) and was struck at how industrial the space looked from the outside. I was too busy drooling over the Le Creuset store to go in.

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Hi, Everyone -- REDWOOD is open, but still in a "preview" status. They have been doing this for a couple of weeks. The space is huge and very pretty -- with great outside seating in a literal "row." Lots of little shops with apartments above. Underground parking.

Rock Creek welcomes them to the neighborhood!

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Hi all,

I'm new to this board (and new to the DC area), so apologies if I break the etiquette.

But I'm obsessed with Redwood... I walked by a couple weeks ago and was intrigued by the decor and the beautiful windows. And then happened upon the soft opening. Had the vidalia onion rings and loved them. Then went back for wine and dessert. Had a malbec that was very reasonable and lovely. And the "house made cookies" that were AMAZING! Soft.... warm... and one of the varieties had a cherry flavor that rocked!

We're going back for Bethesda Restaurant week tomorrow night and I plan to review it at my blog - www.youngandmarriedindc.com.

Almost 30 in DC

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Had an excuse to checkout Redwood for dinner while it's Restaurant Week [RW] in Bethesda [still a limited menu during this soft launch]

Nice-looking space. Very long [nice-sized bar area w/ plenty of seats for noshing & chatting, and the main dining area is separated by the Hosts stand when you 1st walk-in]

Since it was RW, seems that they had full reservations for the dining room. No matter. Since it was pretty early in the evening [5-ish], they agreed to let the girlfriend & I order off the main menu while seated in the Bar area. [not their normal course of action it seems, the Host had to let the Bartenders know we had "permission" to order for the menu].

Redwood's proclaimed mission "Bring customers a seasonal menu, rooted in American tradition, that showcases the Mid-Atlantic's ingredients. Our produce is organic or sustainable whenever possible; our meats are naturally-raised; our seafood wild or sustainable/ We support local artisanal cheesemakers,growers, ranchers, fisherman, and encourage you to do the same by buying local at your farmer's market or grocer." Whew, that was a mouthful to read off the menu :lol:

The RW Deal was 9 choices for Starters, 11 choices for Mains [2 of which were entrees for 2: whole roasted rockfish & a smoked beef short ribs], and about 5 for Dessert. Some items has upcharges.

Food was quite good, as I'd expect from the owners of Sonoma & Mendocino Grille. We 1st ordered a small cheese platter [extra from the RW deal, heh when in Rome...]. It was nicely presented, the cheeses were fine [Goat, Blue, & a Hard Cow], but what we definitely liked were the accompaniments of actual honeycomb & some sort of apricot spread [although covered with some seeds of a sort, changed the flavor substantially, sorry forgot to ask what it was]. For our Starters, we had Bison Marrow Bones w/ a Mushroom-Berg crust [yum] but the winner for this course was Iron Skillet Mussels in a wonderful Garlic-Parsley Butter sauce. For our Mains, we tried a Quail w/ Spice Glaze, Braised Kale and Figs [good flavor, sorta wierd presentation to us], and a Pork Loin w/ Grits and Melted Vidalia Onions [juicy & flavorful, loved it]. As for Dessert, we tried their version of Central's Kit-Kat bar [nice peanut butter ice cream & tasty chocolate cake, I'd get this again].

As for the wine & drink menu, their by-the-glass wines seemed fine enough but started around $8 [Malbec] but most were in the $10 - 15 range [a little pricy imo, but this is Bethesda & they spent some coin on the place]. Tried their Redwood cocktail, Ok but didn't particularly impress me. Oh, and a decent selection of Draft & Bottle beers [nothing too crazy, I wish they'd put some of Belgians on the menu!]

Service was good in the bar area, they checked on us just the right amount.

As others said above, this is quite promising place, can't wait for full menus to be available and for them to get the kinks out.

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When I was there over two weeks ago the menus contained the request that those participating in the soft lauch not post about their experiences. Suffice it to say my praise would have been effusive.

Last I heard Mendocino is now in the extremely capable hands of Troy Bock, who under Eli and Jared was responsible for the wine program both there and at Sonoma.

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I keep reading this line, but didn't I read somewhere that Menocino is no longer owned by the same group?

I heard it's becoming a burger joint-taqueria-yogurt shop. So many trends to keep up with these days!

Of course, reality isn't as exciting as rumor. Jared and I remain sole owners of Mendocino, Troy Bock, our longtime wine buyer, is overseeing the intimate restaurant while we open Redwood.

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No such request last night on the menu about not postings experiences [maybe that's changed?]

When I was there over two weeks ago the menus contained the request that those participating in the soft lauch not post about their experiences. Suffice it to say my praise would have been effusive.

Last I heard Mendocino is now in the extremely capable hands of Troy Bock, who under Eli and Jared was responsible for the wine program both there and at Sonoma.

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Has anyone else gone to Redwood for restaurant week? I have reservations for tonight and have called repeatedly to get information about the menu - we are taking picky teenagers with us and I want to make sure that they will not mope. Yesterday I was told that there would be three options but the person that answered the phone had no way of knowing what was on the menu. I did not expect specifics but the total lack of information was surprising. Today I was told there would be a fish option, a meat option, a hamburger option etc. The person I talked to could give me no more information. The previous post makes the food sound so much more interesting than the restaurant does. So, if anyone else has gone please post about your experience.

Thanks,

Toby

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[There are any number of valid, legitimate, customer-friendly reasons why a new restaurant might not want to promote their Restaurant Week here.]

Perhaps -- although none comes immediately to mind.

But in any event, this isn't a matter of advertisement. Certain folks who are very interested in this restaurant, and hoping that it succeeds, asked what its Restaurant Week policies are. Certainly that's relevant information to those of us who are trying to decide whether to eat there during the Restaurant Week. It's not a state secret -- it's information now known to the hundreds of patrons who have been to Redwood in the past few days, and to anyone who asks on the phone. One of the proprietors actually reads the thread, and could save everyone here the trouble of calling/stopping by, by simply telling us this public information.

But he doesn't do so, even though he bothers to post twice, thereby leaving it to others to find out and to announce it on the list. For what purpose? How is that "customer-friendly"? I'm genuinely curious, because this seems so evidently to be very poor customer relations. (And I say that as someone who has very much enjoyed every visit to Sonoma and Mendocino, and is looking forward to Redwood.)

[10,000 unique visitors a month and they don't want to be overrun in their second week of business?]

"We're offering any appetizer, any entree and any dessert on our menu for $30 this week. However, I should warn you that because we just opened, and it's Restaurant Week, we are already almost fully booked for the week. If you can't get a reservation, we'd love to have you join us even after Restaurant Week -- fear not, because as at Mendocino and Sonoma, we charge very fairly for the quality of fare offered."

Would that be so hard?

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Perhaps -- although none comes immediately to mind.

But in any event, this isn't a matter of advertisement. Certain folks who are very interested in this restaurant, and hoping that it succeeds, asked what its Restaurant Week policies are. Certainly that's relevant information to those of us who are trying to decide whether to eat there during the Restaurant Week. It's not a state secret -- it's information now known to the hundreds of patrons who have been to Redwood in the past few days, and to anyone who asks on the phone. One of the proprietors actually reads the thread, and could save everyone here the trouble of calling/stopping by, by simply telling us this public information.

But he doesn't do so, even though he bothers to post twice, thereby leaving it to others to find out and to announce it on the list. For what purpose? How is that "customer-friendly"? I'm genuinely curious, because this seems so evidently to be very poor customer relations. (And I say that as someone who has very much enjoyed every visit to Sonoma and Mendocino, and is looking forward to Redwood.)

"We're offering any appetizer, any entree and any dessert on our menu for $30 this week. However, I should warn you that because we just opened, and it's Restaurant Week, we are already almost fully booked for the week. If you can't get a reservation, we'd love to have you join us even after Restaurant Week -- fear not, because as at Mendocino and Sonoma, we charge very fairly for the quality of fare offered."

Would that be so hard?

Perhaps you can explain to us why this is such a BFD? Bethesda Restaurant Week is over. I personally think your treatment of Elias is rather harsh.

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Perhaps you can explain to us why this is such a BFD? Bethesda Restaurant Week is over. I personally think your treatment of Elias is rather harsh.

Hey, I hardly meant to be harsh -- as I said, I'm a fan of his establishments -- and I agree entirely that this is not a BFD at all. Which is why it is all the more strange that Elias would go out of his way to refuse a very reasonable request for information from his customers -- to leave an impression of hautiness and disrespect where it is so unnecessary.

Imagine, for instance, Mark, if someone on this list had called Citronelle trying to discover the price range of Rieslings there, had not gotten a clear answer, and asked for information on this board -- after which you had posted that the curious poster should PM you, but you proceeded not to provide a clear answer in the PM, let alone any accurate information here on the board for the rest of us who are interested.

You wouldn't do such a thing, right? Because it would only antagonize folks who really like Citronelle, and its wine list -- loyal customers, that is.

That's why I find this whole thing strange -- particularly for a restaurant trying to get off on the right foot.

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Perhaps -- although none comes immediately to mind.

But in any event, this isn't a matter of advertisement. Certain folks who are very interested in this restaurant, and hoping that it succeeds, asked what its Restaurant Week policies are. Certainly that's relevant information to those of us who are trying to decide whether to eat there during the Restaurant Week. It's not a state secret -- it's information now known to the hundreds of patrons who have been to Redwood in the past few days, and to anyone who asks on the phone.

Would that be so hard?

Yes, it would be hard, because this is a thread-appropriate forum. (See example here on RW in DC.)Not everyone who visits the Redwood thread wants to know about its RW policies (such as I). Especially when it just occurs for such a short duration. When I visit this thread, I am curious on what worked and didn't work here (only this part would include the RW dining experience). I think based on what Elias posted here, he was more than willing to work out issues through PM, and any posters that have beef with him or Redwood should take it one-on-one and not involve others.
Hey, I hardly meant to be harsh -- as I said, I'm a fan of his establishments -- and I agree entirely that this is not a BFD at all. Which is why it is all the more strange that Elias would go out of his way to refuse a very reasonable request for information from his customers -- to leave an impression of hautiness and disrespect where it is so unnecessary.
This is a common problem with writing an email or posting on a forum -- tone. And I have to agree with Mark that you came across as harsh. You have an option to edit your post for 24hrs, and you could've easily edited [name] out for another instead of being a bit snippy. I'm not trying to start a fight with you (you can PM me if you want to start one), but again, we all learn by posting one way or another on this forum.
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Yes, it would be hard, because this is a thread-appropriate forum. (See example here on RW in DC.)Not everyone who visits the Redwood thread wants to know about its RW policies (such as I). Especially when it just occurs for such a short duration. When I visit this thread, I am curious on what worked and didn't work here (only this part would include the RW dining experience). I think based on what Elias posted here, he was more than willing to work out issues through PM, and any posters that have beef with him or Redwood should take it one-on-one and not involve others.

This is a common problem with writing an email or posting on a forum -- tone. And I have to agree with Mark that you came across as harsh. You have an option to edit your post for 24hrs, and you could've easily edited [name] out for another instead of being a bit snippy. I'm not trying to start a fight with you (you can PM me if you want to start one), but again, we all learn by posting one way or another on this forum.

Goodeats: I sincerely don't know what you mean by saying that this is a "thread-appropriate forum." Of course not everyone who visits this thread wants to know about Redwood's RW policies -- just as not everyone wants to know what the wine list looks like, or where the restrooms are hidden. But all of those things are relevant to the discussion of the restaurant, and all of them are informative . . . to those who care about such things.

No one was asking Eli to "work out issues." We were simply trying to find out, and inform DR readers, what it was serving for RW. This shouldn't be like pulling teeth.

As for my tone: As I said, I wasn't trying to be harsh or vitriolic. But I've gone back and deleted a couple of lines from this afternoon that might have been viewed as snarky, just to be sure -- thanks for suggesting that.

FWIW, heaven knows I don't have a "beef" with Eli and have no desire to start a fight with you or anyone else. I'm assuming Redwood will be as terrific and as welcoming as Mendocino and Sonoma have been. Carry on.

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As for the wine & drink menu, their by-the-glass wines seemed fine enough but started around $8 [Malbec] but most were in the $10 - 15 range [a little pricy imo, but this is Bethesda & they spent some coin on the place]. Tried their Redwood cocktail, Ok but didn't particularly impress me. Oh, and a decent selection of Draft & Bottle beers [nothing too crazy, I wish they'd put some of Belgians on the menu!]

Service was good in the bar area, they checked on us just the right amount.

First of all, what a beautiful restaurant this is. Sitting at the bar, with the huge wood-and-glass panels wide open on a mild August evening, everything has the feel of checking into an open-air Caribbean hotel.

And Kudos to Redwood for being conservative, and serving only a limited bar menu in the bar area. They're being careful about what their kitchen and staff can handle, and for now, Redwood Bar gets its own separate thread because the dining room is a completely separate venue (I will merge the threads if and when they begin serving the main menu in the bar area).

Wines by the glass here are indeed expensive, and will be quite a profit center if foot traffic is anything like it might be. For two-or-more people, buying by the bottle will be the way to go. Tuscarora Farms Beet Salad ($9) with wild watercress, and organic Lancaster yogurt cheese is a perfect match for the domestic Arneis, and the Roseda Farm Dry-Aged Beef Burger ($10), ordered and served medium-rare, on a brioche bun with house-made pickles, is a very good burger which, due to the relatively high grill-char, might benefit from a bit of cheese (white-cheddar, gruyere, or gorgonzola, $2 supplement), and will work with either a medium-bodied red wine or one of Redwood's fine beers.

Dolcezza is next door, and that's the only aspect of dessert that isn't made in-house - I very much enjoyed my frozen goat-cheese souffle with almond dacquoise and local plums ($8) with a Dow 10-Year Tawny which should have been served a bit cooler.

A good meal, backed up with solid, friendly service behind the bar by a staff that is genuinely enthusiastic about this new destination restaurant in Bethesda Row. Was I spotted? Let's just say that I'm childlike in my approach, but I'm not completely naive. And if I was, they handled it invisibly and I couldn't care less either way - I had a nice dinner this evening, and have nothing but good things to say about this important restaurant about to become a major player on the Bethesda dining scene.

Congratulations to Eli, Jared, Andrew, and the rest of the staff at Redwood.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Dunno if you were spotted Rocks, but I can attest that I received similar enthusiastic, friendly service at the bar area.

And thinking about it further bottles are the way to go if prices stay consistent to what they're going for now. [just used to Sonoma pricing I suppose since I'm often in the Eastern Market area].

Psst, at least give me something like Delirium Tremens on the beer menu [or some sort of tripels / dubbels like a Chimay on tap!] :lol:

A good meal, backed up with solid, friendly service behind the bar by a staff that is genuinely enthusiastic about this new destination restaurant in Bethesda Row. Was I spotted? Let's just say that I'm childlike in my approach, but I'm not completely naive. And if I was, they handled it invisibly and I couldn't care less either way - I had a nice dinner this evening, and have nothing but good things to say about this important restaurant about to become a major player on the Bethesda dining scene.

Congratulations to Eli, Jared, Andrew, and the rest of the staff at Redwood.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Details, anybody? Anything worth drinking on draught or in bottle?
When I went the other week, I had the Loose Cannon that was on tap (if I remember correctly, the other taps were fairly common beers). I don't think they had anything hard-to-find that would merit a special trip for a beer geek like you :lol:
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When I went the other week, I had the Loose Cannon that was on tap (if I remember correctly, the other taps were fairly common beers). I don't think they had anything hard-to-find that would merit a special trip for a beer geek like you :lol:

Still, good to know if there's anything worthwhile in case I'm in the area. And Loose Cannon is definitely worthwhile.

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I don't remember anything grabbing my attention in particular. Some IPAs, lagers, etc. [think they focused on small breweries]. I ended up choosing MagicHat #9 [bottle] to wrap-up the meal.

We've got eight beers on tap, all domestic (many local) microbrews. They'll change from time to time based on the season, availability (from Montgomery County) and our beer loving whims...

Right now we've got the following:

Dogfish Head: Lawn Mower Light (Delaware)

Flying Dog: In Heat Wheat (Colorado)

Hook & Ladder: Golden Ale (Maryland)

Fordham: Copperhead Ale (Delaware)

Clipper City: Loose Cannon IPA (Baltimore)

Harpoon: IPA (Boston, MA)

Wolaver's: Brown Ale (Vermont)

Dominion: Oak Barrel Stout (Virginia)

Our bottle list will grow, but for now we are carrying;

Stoudts: Pils (Pennsylvania)

Shiner: Hefeweizen (Texas)

Otter Creek: Otter Summer Ale (Vermont) -Look for their Copper Ale on draft soon as well! (An owner favorite!)

Anchor Steam (San Francisco, CA)

Clipper City: Hang Ten Weizen Dopplebock (Baltimore)

Magic Hat #9: American Pale Ale (Vermont)

Wild Goose: IPA (Maryland)

Brooklyn: East India Pale Ale (Brooklyn, NY)

We should be adding a few more in the next few days, so I'll let you know if anything else pops on the list... or you could come on over and have a beer... ;)

Jared Rager

Owner

Redwood Restaurant and Bar

www.redwoodbethesda.com

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Lovely meal last night before heading over to see Bottle Shock. Started with a yummy chicken liver pate and followed it up with the whole roasted rockfish - simple and very tasty. Sides were braised wild greens, mac/cheese and grilled corn on the cob - all were quite good with the corn being particularly flavorful. Drank the 2006 David Noyes Pinot, which I'd never heard of - well priced and quite delicious. The space is really very beautiful and an incredibly welcome addition to the Bethesda dining scene. Bravo Eli and Jared!

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Going to be a quick review since I have to run to a meeting in a few, but, in short, it was pretty damn good for brunch on Sunday.

The space is beautiful and perfect for a day like yesterday, the windows were open and you couldn't tell the difference between the inside and outside. I am thinking they spent a pretty penny to get this place in this kind of shape.

The service is still a work in progress. Nothing that was bad, just a bit disjointed, and they were auctioning off plates right and left, something that irks me to no end.

The drinks, not that we had that many, were merely average. The bloody mary had relatively good flavor, but was light on the vodka. When I ordered a second one, I asked for them to be a bit heavier with the alcohol, but it came out with the same amount. In the future, I will likely stick to wine (didn't see the list, so I can't speak to it).

The food was solid, but the proportions seemed to be off. We got the potted rabbit, which was a generous portion, but only got four crostini and a small dab of apricot mustard. We asked for more and received it without any issue, but you needed at least two or three times more crostini to finish that rabbit. The doughnut plate came with five, but the chocolate sauce was enough for about ten or more doughtnuts, and we were rolling the doughtnuts all through the sauce. Buttermilk biscuits came with not nearly enough gravy, etc. Just some tweaks that need to be made.

The rest of the food, and we had a lot, was all very good. Burger, fritatta, chicken hash, steak sandwich, onion rings along with the items mentioned above, were all pretty creative dishes that tasted good for reasonable prices (didn't pay the bill, so I don't know the total damage, but all the entrees seemed to be between $8 and $15, the appetizers were a bit less).

Overall, good start for a place that I will likely not frequent that much, since Bethesda is an area that I rarely ever get to. But take it as a compliment that I wish it was closer to me.

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We dined at Redwood for the first time tonight, and I am disappointed to say that most of the dishes I tried were on the low side of mediocre.

The room, as others have noted, is gorgeous with many wood and stone finishes and appealing upholstered banquettes. The high ceilings and large sliding windows provide an open airy feel to this space, which seems like its capacity must be well north of 100.

With an eye toward sampling a number of plates, I ordered three starters and one side.

The Tuscarora farms beet salad looked appealing on the menu, but was lacking in execution. Described as including beets, wild watercress, and lancaster yogurt cheese, this salad had as much cucumber as beet--a relatively flavorless counterpoint to the savory cress, beets and cheese. Why this isn't called "beet and cucumber salad" is anyone's guess.

The soup of the day (ordered by the Mrs.) was chilled corn with a white bean puree and peeled cherry tomatoes. This was our favorite dish of the meal; the sweet corn flavor that makes us love summer so much was a real star in this bright vegan soup.

The cold blue crab claws and baked stuffed cherrystone clams were in contrast the great disappointments of the evening. The crab claws, served on seaweed over ice with a ramekin of cocktail sauce, had little taste and a texture that suggested they had thawed and been refrozen. I ate about half of them, hoping to find one that was firm and flavorful without success.

The clams were served on the halfshell over rock salt. Described as including brioche, old bay, and parmesan, they were very bready and overcooked. I felt like I was eating stovetop stuffing with a brunoise of celery and rubber bands. I only ate one of the three on my plate. This is one dish that needs serious rethinking.

The bacon macaroni and cheese gratin was very rich but also very good--so I recommend ordering one to share, but not with too many people.

The fries, too (ordered by the Mrs.), were very tasty and well prepared: pleasingly crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside.

On the whole, the Mrs. fared better for this meal. Her soup and day boat scallops entree were the two dishes we finished.

Our consensus: we're willing to give Redwood another try, but not for a few months or so. Our servers were excellent but the kitchen needs some time to develop.

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Went to Redwood last Saturday with Mrs dcdavidm to check it out. I'd give it mixed reviews, but it shows promise. Liked the room (but we like contemporary settings anyway) which was a lot bigger than we had anticipated. Despite the hard surfaces and background din, conversation was quite easy because of the generous spaces between tables. The attractive bar area looked enticing; we'll have to try it. As for the neighborhood, I especially liked being able to park in the Montgomery County garage next door.

I started with the beet salad, which, in this case, had a generous proportion of beet to ruby-red-stained cucumber, and had both good texture and taste. It was a nice presentation.

For the main course, I had an off-menu roast suckling pig presentation that was tender, juicy, and flavorful. Mrs. Dcdavidm went for the chicken, which also was tender and juicy and impeccably cooked, but totally devoid of flavor; it has a long way to go to reach anywhere near Palena's version. Interestingly, we took some leftover chicken home, and it was better cold out of the fridge the next day than at the restaurant.

A side dish of mac and cheese was terrific; no leftovers from that plate.

A trio of gelati and sorbet shared for dessert was just right.

Our primary server was excellent, describing the menu perfectly and pacing the meal nicely, but a few oddities occurred that we thought amusing. In between the appetizer and the main course, a server brought a small plate that he said was for Mrs. Dcdavidm's chicken bones. A few minutes later, a staffer removed the plate. Then, our primary server replaced it, only to have it removed the next time a staff member passed by the table. The game played out until the chicken arrived, but with the alleged bone plate removed permanently. No matter, but amusing, nonetheless. The second oddity was when I inquired about the flavor and serving size of the gelati and sorbets. The server said there were three flavors, and a serving was three scoops. All the flavors were appealing, and I requested two scoops of one flavor and one scoop of another. The server paused, and said that she did not know if that was possible; she would have to ask the chef if it was okay to serve two flavors. Give me a break. I'm all for eating dishes as the chef intended, but we're talking about three scoops of frozen dessert in a bowl.

All told, though, it was an enjoyable evening that we will at some point try to repeat.

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I inquired about the flavor and serving size of the gelati and sorbets. The server said there were three flavors, and a serving was three scoops. All the flavors were appealing, and I requested two scoops of one flavor and one scoop of another. The server paused, and said that she did not know if that was possible; she would have to ask the chef if it was okay to serve two flavors. Give me a break. I'm all for eating dishes as the chef intended, but we're talking about three scoops of frozen dessert in a bowl.

This has happened to me at several restaurants, and I just don't get it. Would love to have someone in the business explain what that's all about.

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Maybe they are worried about running out of one of the flavors when they get down to the end of the batch of the others.
Or, similarly, they put a scoop of one flavor on a different dessert (eg, a scoop of vanilla on a slice of chocolate cake).
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Those are both possible reasons, (I could see either scenario occurring,) but generally speaking the kitchen is pretty eager for the guests to get what they want.

I'm afraid, in this case, our servers mistakenly got the impression that we don't do substitutions, or allow for any modifications, which has never been the case. I believe we've made it clear to our staff (since then), that in the hospitality business, the goal is to make the guests happy, so our staff should be more accommodating.

Thanks for the feedback, I'm glad you enjoyed your dinner.

---------------------

jared rager, owner

redwood | redwoodbethesda.com

sonoma | sonomadc.com

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Had an early dinner here on a friday nite. Very spacious, modern and warm ambience. I had the blue crab claws with roasted tomato cocktail sauce (the sauce was great but the crab tasted like it had been frozen and thawed with tougher consistency rather than juicy and tender, but i still ate it), and the scallops with mashed potatoes and chanterelles (excellent). The fries were decent, the hanger steak was alright, according to my husband. It came with sauteed greens which didn't have a lot of flavor but the accompanying sauce for the steak was rich and yummy. The Duroc pork loin with Anson Mill grits and vidalia onion is delicious. The bacon mac-n-cheese is also delicious, a separate side dish, served in a mini Le Creuset pot (nice touch and also nice marketing for the Le Creuset shop across the courtyard). Overall, a nice experience with solid, good food (except for the crab claws which were disappointing). The only minor quibble re service: The server was obviously steering us to order an appetizer, entree and side dish per person. We definitely ordered enough for 4 people (including wine) to make his tip substantial, but acting like we should be ordering one of each per person was irritating. This, coupled with his insincere questions (if he would just wait a second after the question for an answer before he assumed everything was ok), made the experience less than superb. The rest of the staff were very friendly and sincere, even the water filler who saw that there were floaties in my water and got me a new glass. Nice addition to the Bethesda dining scene.

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Has anyone had brunch here?

Just returned from a yummy brunch with my daughter and girlfriend. Everything was spot on. We started by sharing the donuts - more aptly called donut holes, with the consistency of a really good beignet. I had the breakfast sandwich - 2 buttery muffins with fluffy scrambled eggs, a touch of gruyere, and what I'm guessing was applewood smoked bacon. Daughter had 3 humongous, fluffy, delicious pancakes with pecan syrup and a side of that tasty bacon. GF had the wild mushroom frittata. It was omelet thin, very flavoful and balanced. A side of crispy hash browns completed a great first experience with Redwood's brunch menu. On a day like today the patio was filling up but we opted to escape stroller land and sit inside alongside the large open windows. Really lovely - I'll be back.

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Sounds great!! Thanks for the report Mark! My one friend who will be at brunch with us is a notoriously picky eater, so I'll have to give some more thought to the subject... incidentally we'll be at Proof tonight with more out of town friends - looking forward to it!

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<snip> Our consensus: we're willing to give Redwood another try, but not for a few months or so. Our servers were excellent but the kitchen needs some time to develop.
I have not seen a post for lunch, so I thought I would post a small impression. I'm quoting Tripewriter, as my friend and I experienced the reverse during our meal: service needed to develop a bit more, while the kitchen was mostly spot-on for lunch. It was strange to try to flag down someone (4 times between trying to get our server, any other server, or even the water pourer person) just for a pepper mill. Then when she finally gave one, it was empty and she had to fetch another...anyway, onto the more interesting stuff.

Right now, the kitchen has a comforting Fall soup: Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, made with vegetable stock, cream, creminis, and shitakes. It was a nice starter for my friend, who is still getting over her cold, and a good way to open up the body to enjoy the main course.

The sandwich of the day was the Pulled Chicken on a Brioche Bun. The bun was spot-on, soft, melted in the mouth, coupled with a sweeter, tangy BBQ sauce on the chicken. The bun never fell apart, but tore very easily when shared. What was not spot-on was the side salad and potato salad that came with it -- quite flavorless. Salad had the minimalists of dressings, while the potato salad lacked picnic-style-tang (or any flavor for that matter) and tasted like potato + mayonnaise.

The better bargain of the day is the Plowman's lunch: pork terrine or artichoke terrine, biscuit, local cheese, including a cup of the soup for $12. I chose the pork terrine, having never had something like it before. Ever. It was well-done according to my friend. I enjoyed it very much - it was a thick-slice with chunks of cured ham - flavorful, with the ham slightly salty, it paired with a flaky-layered biscuit quite nicely.

Overall, a lovely, leisurely lunch for two - very enjoyable.

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