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new to MD, friends coming to visit, fun restaurant in bethesda?

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I recently moved to maryland and my friends are coming to visit this weekend. We would like to stay in the maryland area on friday night since we will be going to eat in DC on sat. Is there a young, fun place to eat in Bethesda? Where's a great place to take visitors to the area? I would like to take them to a place that is unique to the area, not some chain. Thanks for your help!

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  1. What about Bethesda Crab House for crabs and beer?

    3 Replies
    1. re: DanielK

      My personal favorites in Bethesda are the new BURGER JOINT and MOBY DICK (Persian food.) Excellent and fresh food at both places, but casual and counter-service only, so it may not be what u r looking for w/ your friends. However, being new to MD, I think you should definately check them out on your own. You may get hooked, like I am! (Moby Dick is also a local chain.)

      1. re: chicken kabob

        Like you said, probably not great for entertaining friends (from nyc), but I will definitely check them out on my own. Thanks for the suggestions.

      2. re: DanielK

        thanks for the suggestion. I will check out their menu.

      3. Jaleo is a pretty good tapas place, there is another one in DC, but it's not a chain. It's in the thick of things in downtown Bethesda, so there are a lot of other options around there.

        1. I'm probably getting unqualified to give advice on "young and hip" but if you are looking upscale, I would try David Craig. Probably more hip, and less expensive, would be Black's (or its sister restaurant, Addie's). If tapas are appealing, then I'd recommend Guardado's. Bethesda Crab House is good suggestion (if crabs and beer sounds good).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Doh

            Raku. Its in the heart of downtown bethesda and anyone whom i have ever taken there loves it. It gets very crowded so be prepared to wait a little if you go during peak hours.

            1. re: elegantelliot

              If you go to RAKU...I recommend the chilean seabass. It is delicious! I agree... Raku is a great choice. Also, Gifford's (across the street) for ice cream. They have a 72 percent chocolate flavor that is out of this world.

          2. Rira

            1. Grapeseed. You can sit at the bar or at a table. They have wonderful food and a tremendous wine list, to enjoy via 'tastes', glasses or by the bottle.

              1. Jaleo is a local restaurant with a few locations. I think it is really well priced, good food, they have a valet, and it is fully downtown. Tapas are great for a large group and they honor reservations. The scene isn't young and hip but neither is most of Bethesda. I think it is pretty mixed in terms of crowd but it is definitely fun. Also, the decor is pretty decent and the place does have a nice vibe. As for price, I tend to spend about $40/p including all food, drinks, and tip.