3 Top Bethesda Dinners, 3 Top Bethesda Lunches
That's it. Three. ONLY three. What are your top 3 favorite dinner restaurants and top 3 favorite lunch spots? Dives, fancier, food truck, doesn't matter. It just has to be delicious. (And favorite dishes at these favorite restaurants would be good to hear about as well!) Thanks!
1. Counacopia for mortadella, priscutti arrugula balsamic on Italian toast
2. Taylor gourmet breaded deep fried chicken cutlet sub with broccoli rabe and roasted red peppers
3. Freddie's lobster and clams for clam chowder, fried clams, lobster roll aNd fried chicken
4. Haven pizza for white fresh shucked clam pizza
1. Blacks bar and grill for raw bar and seafood or fresh fish
2. Mussel bar for Belgian style mussels and Belgian beers
3. Jaleo for tapas, sangria
4. Ruths Chris Steakhouse for prime steaks, lobsters, wedge salad, cream spinach and great banana cream pie plus huge cocktails
Agree with Marty - Bethesda is not full of great restaurants. For dinner, I would chose Persimmon but I haven't been there in quite some time, so I can't pinpoint a specific dish. I haven't been to Grapeseed, either. Need to rectify that soon. Of course, Black's Kitchen, but again, it's been quite a while so I can't recommend a specific dish. I've never had a bad meal at Redwood and the atmosphere is superb, though I can't say I've ever had anything phenomenal either.
Lunch - Nando's (because I love peri peri chicken and their's is quite good, as are the sides). Freddy's. That's all I can come up with even after going through the entire list on bethesda.org. I happen to like Cosi *if* it is high volume, i.e., when they are pulling the bread out of the oven as you are giving your order.
re: Just Visiting
I think we are all in an agreement that Bethesda, though bountiful in the number of restaurants, lacks places worthy of note. I would say my favorite places to go in Bethesda are Woodmont Grill and Black's Kitchen. At Woodmont, I would recommend the Hawaiin steak (can't remember which cut it was) and at Black's Kitchen I would recommend the Georgian Mussels.
Passage to India - menu is stellar across the board, but you have to order the pickles.
Grapeseed - menu changes too often to pick out dishes
Faryab - anything lamb
Freddy's Lobster and Clams - must get the lobster roll, Maine style
Corned Beef King - 4733 Bethesda Ave on Tuesdays!
Taylor Gourmet - can be inconsistent, but I like the 9th Street Italian, Vine Street Expressway (breaded), and the Pattison Avenue. I'm from Philly, and they definitely hit the flavor profile of the hoagie shops I grew up eating at.
There isn't much that's fantastic in Bethesda -- and there is much that's mediocre and overpriced (it's a captive audience). Daniel is right to single out Passage to India. Freddy's and Jaleo can be excellent -- but not always; there's some inconsistency. Don Pollo and its sister restaurant Pollo a la Brasa are very good (not life-changing) for Peruvian chicken. The daily lunch specials at Moby Dick are good. I think Haven is very good for New Haven style pizza (but not for the salads or the gelato) -- not Pepe's quality, but fairly reliable. Still haven't been to Faryab or Grapeseed, for some reason!; but I'll bet Daniel is right on those, too. I've heard very mixed but promising things about Annie's Bistro -- might be worth a gamble. Very good carry-out sandwiches and other delicacies at Cornucopia.
My list would be pretty close to DanielK's. Though I might switch Faryab for Raku, which I think gets overlooked because it's "pan-Asian." But they actually have very good sushi. IIRC, they often have some interesting fish on their specials menu, some of which are flown in from Japan.
I haven't checked out the Corned Beef King truck yet, but I've heard good things. Other favorites would be Mia's Pizza and Satsuma (for Yakiniku only). Burger Joint was great when it first opened, but I haven't been recently. They've been rapidly expanding, and it sounds like quality is going down. (This story sounds familiar...)
I'm only ever in Bethesda for dinner, but I guess any of these could apply to either lunch or dinner.