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Bethesda dinner suggestions

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What's the best special occasion American or European dinner restaurant in Bethesda?

My limited sampling of places there so far:
Cesco-Outstanding, only one I'd call special
Louisiana Express-Sadly, get's second place
Rock Creek-Good
Levante-OK
McCormick-OK
Black's-Overrated
Jaleo- Disappointing
That "French" place near the movie theater-You've got to be kidding

I take it the "best" are David Craig and Persimmon, maybe Divino and La Miche?

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  1. Persimmon and Divino Lounge are both very good. Persimmon was rated the best restaurant in Montgomery County....but is priced accordingly...

    1. David Craig and Persimmon are great. You can coax and excellent and affordable meal out of Tragarra's if you order the seafood salad, the agnoletti, and the osso buco, for example, although the setting is a little bit '80s. See my earlier post re: Passage to India. Black's has been a terrible disappointment for me. Le Miche is awful, but it's been a few years since I've been there, so there may be some updates. The most unknown great meal in Bethesda is Brasserie Monte Carlo. Not cheap, but a fantastic chef owned place. Avoid the new Visions at all costs.

      1. My last two meals at Blacks were really wonderful. I would eat there more often if my dining dollars allowed. My one meal at David Craig was very good as well. I've had good meals at Grapeseed, but I've always had bad service and I find it pretty expensive for what you get.

        otherwise, I'd say that Bethesda's better/best restaurants are its inexpensive ethnic spots rather than American or European places.

        4 Replies
        1. re: nc213

          i would have to agree, i think blacks is one of the best spots in the area. Persimmon is also great. you can get a nice steak at Mon Amo Gabi. i am not sure what you consider "special occasion" places, because though i like louisian express it wouldnt come close to my list of good places for a special occasions.

          1. re: elegantelliot

            I have never liked anything that I have had at Blacks not very original or fresh. I really like Levantes. My grandparents took me to David Craig for my birthday and that was really nice. If you are willing to go out of the American/European, I would say Passage to India, Bacchus and Penang.

            1. re: Goldielocks1225

              I second Passage and Penang. Two of the best spots to eat in Bethesda (though the service tends to be brusque at Penang.)

              1. re: Goldielocks1225

                when was the last time you ate at Blacks?

          2. I've always enjoyed Grapeseed over Persimmon and David Craig. I haven't eaten there since the expansion but it was always really good food and the service is terrific

            1 Reply
            1. re: bethesdam

              I have not yet been to Persimmon or David Craig, but I can recommend Grapeseed. We had dinner there about 2 weeks ago and had excellent food and service. The front is pretty boisterous, but there are booths and tables in the back that are much quieter.

            2. Try Vieux Logis on Old Georgetown Rd near Battery Ln for classic French fare and an excellent (for MoCo) wine list. Been around for ages.

              1 Reply
              1. re: keithdcil

                I concur with the Le Vieux Logis rec, particularly for a special occassion. It's a beautiful and cozy space. Classif french fare with professional yet non-stuffy service. And unlike alot of places these days, there's no concern about being able to hear your companion(s).