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Jun 4, 2010 07:53 AM

Pines of Rome (Bethesda)

As a long (long) time Bethesdan, I have a real craving for Pines of Rome. Does anyone know if it's as crowded as it used to be? Should I expect a wait at 7 or 7:30 on a Friday or Saturday night? Or have the many expansions plus increased restaurant competition generally lightened the load?

And all you PoR haters...keep it to yourselves. If you can't enjoy the white pizza with fontina cheese, marinated peppers with garlic and anchovy, whole grilled fish, linguini with sweet sausage and red sauce, and veal saltimbuca while drinking cheap red wine out of a jelly jar than you just don't get it.

Pines of Rome
4709 Hampden Ln, Bethesda, MD 20814

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  1. I have no recent experience, but the last time I did go (three years ago?), the place was fairly deserted. Nothing like it used to be - in terms of popularity.

    1. are you sure its still open? i live near there and have never seen it look open, let alone crowded.

      3 Replies
      1. re: elegantelliot

        It's been years and years since I've been there...I just assumed it was still going. Provided that's the case, I guess you guys answered my quesion.

        1. re: Pappy

          It is open, and will be busy. You hit my menu on the head. The prices will surprise you, however. $18.95 for veal. If you are willing to travel to the suburbs, there is a "cousin, " the Italian Pines, near Quince Orchard HS. Half carafe of red -$6

          Italian Pines
          9627 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877

          1. re: nickdanger

            I've always thought it was funny that the soup du jour was always and eternally, Pasta e Fagioli. Why don't they just say that. By the way, it is a pretty good Pasta e Fagioli. The pizza is pretty good too.

      2. Saturday night, 7:30PM, no wait for a 4-top. I will say in general though, curiously, all of Bethesda seemed 1/2 empty. Must have been a lot of graduation parties etc keeping people away.

        Food was great. White pizza with loads of fontina cheese. Sauted Escarole with garlic. Softshells delicious. So was a Veal Saltimbuca (sp) special.

        You do have to appreciate the "charm" to make this a nice evening. The Chianti Classico, at $31 the most expensive bottle on the 3 bottle wine list, was virtually undrinkable. And either I am maturing, or the place just keeps getting drearier with awful lighing and questionable cleanliness.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pappy

          Yes to your last paragraph. Go to the suburbs, Il Porto in Gaithersburg or my aforementioned Italian Pines near Quince Orchard HS, for the same menu, without the dank ambiance of the fading dowager.

          Italian Pines
          9627 Lost Knife Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20877