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Mar 26, 2008 06:02 PM

Taking the Boss to Dinner in Rockville

Hi y'all,

I'll be in Rockville with my boss and a colleague on a Monday night next month. We're staying at the Courtyard next Shady Grove and the 270.

I'm looking for a nice-ish place for dinner. Nothing too fancy, a place we can go in jeans or casual dress. Nothing too out there, probably no middle Eastern or Asian foods. I'm thinking more American, New American, Italian if it's great, Med is ok, continental, etc. Probably about $40 a head or less including a glass of wine or beer. Willing to travel 10-15 minutes from our hotel.

My colleague is pretty adventuresome, but I don't think the boss is too much.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have!!!

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  1. My first though based on location was Cava, which is Greek tapas. The food is very good, but might fall into "Middle Eastern"?

    Il Pizzico is down the Pike a bit. The food is good and the interior is nice, but it's in this ugly strip mall. If your boss is concerned about appearances, that might put him off. It's Italian, as you may have guessed.

    If you hop on 370 and head up to the Washingtonian Center, you can try Red Rock Canyon Grill. It's standard American fare. I've always found the food a little overpriced for the quality, but it's one of those places that even the pickiest will find something to eat. They do have a heavy hand with the black pepper, though.

    That's Amore is also down the road. It's pretty standard red-sauce Italian. Not good, not bad, just more than I like to pay for standard Italian. I'd go to Il Pizzico over That's Amore any day of the week.

    Hope this helps! I work right around the corner from that hotel, and there's lots of great ethnic eats, but not too many places I would take my boss to (unless I knew my boss really well).

    1 Reply
    1. re: reiflame

      I love Cava, but it can get very noisy and its the kind of food that you have to get your hands dirty with, if you know what I mean. The plates are meant to be shared and that may be a little awkward with the boss. Depends how casual you/he wants. Definitely the best food out of the options reiflame has suggested.

      I've found Ill Pizzico to be really hit and miss, and have actually almost stopped going (last three meals have been a definite miss).

      All things considered, I gotta agree that Red Rock Canyon unless you are willing to travel further. The food is SAFE and consistent, and it is certainly quieter than Cava (and without the potential wait at Pizzico). If it's a nice night they have a large outdoor patio and the place isn't bad to have a stroll around.


      This sounds exactly like what you've described.

      1. Tower Oaks is a Clydes but a fairly relaxing setting. It's been a while and might be high for your budget, but Nick's Chophouse is nearby as well.

        1. I like Il Pizzico, but like reiflame said, it is in a small stripmall and doesn't look like much from the outside. I don't particularly like That's Amore, but the servings are huge and if you want basic red sauce Italian, it is ok.

          In downtown Rockville (Rockville center) are several restaurants. Greystone Grill, while not a favorite of mine by a long shot is one of those typical chrome and leather steakhouses. Service can be hit or miss. I don't recommend it, but it would probably satisfy the cautious steakeater. There is a nice Peruvian place there too, as well as La Tasca, a so so tapas place.

          Sol de Espana, on Rockville Pike across from Wintergreen Center is has fairly decent Spanish food. Taste of Saigon, while being Vietnamese, serves some excellent steak as well.

          Tower Oaks is part of the Clyde's chain, but is fairly good, but it is large, crowded, and occasionally noisy. Food is ok however.

          If you want to lowbrow it, you should try Urban BBQ at the corner of Twinbrook and Chapman Ave in Rockville. Good ribs, the best wings you ever had, and some interesting creations like Soul Rolls. Nice folks and definitely friendly. Great locally made Root Beer too as well as beer on tap and some longnecks.

          In Gaithersburg there is a place called the Golden Bull. Steaks, salad bar, etc. Again, nothing special but quiet.

          Too bad you aren't interested in Asian or Middle Eastern food, Rockville has some excellent Chinese, Indian and Thai restaurants.

          1 Reply
          1. re: dinwiddie

            flor de la canela in gburg looks fancy, allows for casual dress and is within your budget. You also get points for being adventurous but safe, as Peruvian food is very likeable and ranges from safe to more exotic.

          2. Bonefish in the Kentlands...if you're into fish, maybe 10 min. away from where you're staying..delicious food, nice yet casual.

            Roy's Place in Gaithersburg...5 min. away from your location. Gaithersburg Institution.
            200+ sandwiches on the menu, (Sandwiches with a sense of humor) terrific beers on tap and full bar. Highly recommend the brisket and the roast beef, though the lobster salad is delish and they just added real crab cakes to the menu which are fall apart yum! There is no other place like Roy's very unique to Gaithersburg.

            Pizzico in Rockville...just down the road as well...service is great, food is delicious, though disapointed with my last visit, it's usually terrific.

            Tower Oaks...standard american fare, food is delicious, always pleased..parking can be annoying there.

            Ay Jalisco on N. Frederick Ave. for mexican

            Thats Amore...pretty standard italian fare, served family style, but you can get individual dishes. Its good (not great) and right down the road.

            Red Rock Canyon at the Rio in Gaithersburg...Noisy, always a wait. be prepared for serious peppered food (they love pepper), but terrific margaritas, ribs, tuna, steaks and a veggie entree that is fabulous. Consistent, and I always have left overs.

            Fontina Grill- for decent italian, nice place, casual, good pizzas, some of the entrees have been disapointing, but as a whole I am usually pleased. I believe they have a full bar as well.

            Growlers in Old Town Gaithersburg...a charming local spot in the heart of the mini historical district...if you like micro-breweries, the beer is good. The food has been hit or miss since opening, (though I've been a big fan of certain menu items since they opened).I understand they have changed the menu, more tapas oriented, I recently saw a little seafood paella pan being served it looked delicious. I have had decent meals there in the past, and think it might be a nice spot and easy to get to.

            Golden Bull or Flaming Pit...Old School steak houses, good food and iceberg lettuce.
            G-burg Institutions. Early bird specials at both and full bars.

            Enjoy your stay.