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top picks in Bethesda/Chevy Chase?

Next week I will be reuniting with a good friend who lives in Chevy Chase. She's asked me to research restaurants in her area, but alas I don't know the scene in DC too well, much less in Bethesda or Chevy Chase. Help, please? We both have adventurous palates, so I'm just looking for your top picks (high or low-end)...

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  1. I've never been, but my parents really liked Lia's in Chevy Chase on Willard.

    8 Replies
    1. re: ohyeahofcourse

      Raku for Asian fusion-trendy, casual, good food (I love their Chilean seabass, sushi, appetizers.) Ollazzo for casual red-sauce Italian-very good quality food. Persimmon for slightly more upscale basic food. Jaleo or Divino Lounge for tapas. Mia's for gourmet pizzas, Moby Dick for Persian food (kebobs, etc), Faryab for Afghan food, and Burger Joint for AMAZING burgers and sweet potato fries. (Moby Dick and Burger Joint are the most casual but I added them as they are my personal favorites and I find that they are consistently good.)

      1. re: chicken kabob

        thank you, chicken kabob... and dartmouth01, ohyeahofcourse, and lauman... I really appreciate the tips. If you're ever in LA (or Bangkok or Sofia, which is where I've been working lately), I hope I can return the favor...

        1. re: chicken kabob

          Olazzo??? I unfortunately ate there once and literally could not manage to eat even half of my entree it was so disgusting. This NEVER happens to me, as I am an extremely frugal/cheap person who will choke down most anything I've payed for. It was lasagna. It was covered in excessive amounts of cheese and mediocre sauce. I found it absolutely inedible. I would never return to this place. Sorry for the harsh words, but this was probably my worst dining experience ever in DC.

          1. re: hamster

            I have had only great meals and they are usually packed which say something for the food. Sorry you had a bad experience.

            1. re: chicken kabob

              Let's not confuse popularity with quality. The busiest restaurant around is probably Cheesecake Factory, and nobody here is likely to argue that CF is the best restaurant in Bethesda.

              1. re: chicken kabob

                Yeah, it was packed that night as well, which I found puzzling. Oh well.

          2. re: ohyeahofcourse

            I was at Lia's this past Thursday and it was really, really good... Try getting there for the twilight special-a three course meal for $20.

            1. re: dartmouth05

              Lia's is great. It's great for anything from pizza to fancier food. The bar has GREAT happy hour deals if you want something more casual, and the dining room in back is very quiet for catching up.

              Service is above average, prices are worth it, and the gelato is fabulous.

              Only downside is the construction across the street ruining, temporarily, the beautiful patio to dine outside during nice weather.

          3. In addition to the previous suggestions, I'd add Grapeseed (wine bar with good nouveau American cuisine) and Passage to India (an excellent Indian restaurant), both in Bethesda. Black Market Bistro in Kensington has nice brunches and dinners. If you both appreciate a good steak, you could drive to nearby Silver Spring to Ray's the Classics.

            1. Bethesda has a lot of good restaurants, but not that many great ones. Others you might want to consider are Guardado's, Black's, maybe Lebanese Taverna.

              1. I second the recs for Grapeseed, Black's, and Jaleo.

                But I un-recommend Lia's (with a caveat). I haven't been to this location, but I've made multiple trips to the other Chef Geoff's locations, and they're all mediocre and overpriced, and foodie friends I trust have said that Lia's is the same.

                3 Replies
                1. re: DanielK

                  Near chevy chase is Murasaki for sushi. Which I think is very good with a nice outdoor seating also. For pizza Vace for takeout in bethesda. Mias is good pizza for dine in bethesda. I also will recommend Olazzo which I have found to be consistently very good. Passage to India is also one of my go to restaurants.

                  1. re: chowzer

                    Whoops, yeah, I should have seconded Passage to India and Mia's as well.

                    1. re: DanielK

                      I used to like Passage to India more - I think they've declined a bit from when they first split off from the other Heritage India. These days when I go for Indian in Bethesda, I go to Shangri-La; some of the menu is just standard Indian fare, but they have some Nepali dishes as well.

                2. Cornicopia for great italian lunch in an italian grocery store. Assagi Mozzarella bar for same but at a restaurant and more sophisticated. Dinner at Ruths Chris, Mortons, Perssimon, or Black's for high end, Tako grill for sushi, Rio Grand Cafe for tex/mex (shrimp brochettes wrapped with bacon and ribs are exceptional), Jaleo for tapas, Raku for asian fusion, Cafe Deluxe for american, Tastey Diner for classic diner, Giffords for ice cream, Grapeseed for small plates, Rock Bottom Brewery for brewpub, Panang for Malaysian food, Bethesda Crab House for Maryland steamed crabs are all in downtown bethesda!. Eat well....I'm sure I have left out some worthy mentions.