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I'm in Bethesda

I tried Assaggi. Food was a 6/10. Service was a 2/10.

Any suggestions of must tries here in Bethesda or close by?

Any great brunch buffet places?

Crab joints? I can't imagine any place here that can beat Baltimore for crab cakes. I had some of the best I have ever had. See my posts in Baltimore crab cakes for that.

If someone would like to meet up, send me a quick message and we can go venture out and eat. I'll be here in Bethesda till Sat.


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  1. I highly recommend Grapeseed Bistro http://www.grapeseedbistro.com/index2...

    and Passage to India

    It's not crab season, but if you insist, Bethesda Crab House is probably the place to head.

    1. Yeah Assaggi is awful.

      Passage to India and Jaleo are the only two destination restaurants in Bethesda. Food Wine & Co can be good. Shangri-la is decent Nepalese/Northern Indian cuisine. Grapeseed can have a good tasting menu sometimes. Redwood usually has good pasta. There's a food truck by the Women's Co-operative called One3Five that makes good sandwiches and soups.

      You can get crab cakes at Newton's Table but they're out of season right now and super expensive.

      A little bit south of Bethesda is the new Range in Chevy Chase which is getting a lot of good reviews. Further north into Rockville you get some decent ethnic eats. Pizza CS for Neapolitan, Spice Xing for Indian, Sichuan Jin River for Chinese.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ajyi2012

        +1 on Jaleo. We always get the "Croquetas De Pollo" (aka chicken fritters and "Espinacas A La Catalana" (aka sauteed spinach with pine nuts. There used to be a cioppino on the menu that was aMAzing but it went away.

      2. i've always enjoyed bangkok garden. my go-to is drunken noodles with pork, beef and chicken combo, traditional heat. they also have a "secret menu" so, if you don't see what you want, ask.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Vidute

          They seem to be good for a while, then they go downhill. We always get a woman who brings us the wrong food. Also note they were shut down recently for what I consider serious violations, but my understanding is that they are reopened.

          1. re: ttochow

            the waitress doesn't bring you the wrong food, she brings you the food wants to go to you! ;)

            i didn't know there were violations, but, according to the Post, they reopened the day after they were cited.

            i still think they're the best thai restaurant in the dc/baltimore area and i've visited all the thai restaurants in baltimore, columbia, hanover, ft meade and many of the dc/maryland area restaurants.

        2. I sometimes arrange for group meals. My e-mail is in my profile.

          The highlight of Bethesda (maybe of the entire DC area) is the spinach, buttermilk, and peanut dish at Passage to India. Add the pickles, spices, and black dal from the last page of the menu, and that is a feast for two. Add the baby gourds, and three people can eat superbly. It doesn't get better than that.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Steve

            Some of us visited Green Papaya. Here is the chowdown report:


              1. re: Mister Big

                And in its place, 100 Montaditos. The name says it all at this Andalusian chain. Tapas-size baguette sandwiches come with 100 fillings, from Serrano ham to a hot dog with bacon. 4922 Elm St., Bethesda. Projected opening: April.

                Here are some other places opening in Bethesda soon, courtesy Washingtonian:

                Brickside Food & Drink.The owners of Adams Morgan’s rowdy bar GrandCentral and Fairfax’s cozy Villa Mozart are teaming up on a restaurant featuring pizza alongside ribs, TVs tuned to sports, and a weekend DJ. 4866 Cordell Ave., Bethesda. Projected opening: spring.

                4935 Bar and Kitchen. What was once Tragara has been taken over by Ashish Alfred, who plans to combine his Indian heritage with his French training. Dishes will include a watermelon salad with paneer and mussels and clams steamed in coconut milk. 4935 Cordell Ave., Bethesda. Projected opening: January.

                TJ’s Grill Bethesda. Tommy Joe’s Alan Pohoryles is turning an upholstery shop into a restaurant and has recruited chef Jed Fox, whose résumé includes the Inn at Little Washington. We’re guessing one of the biggest draws will be the 250-person rooftop. 7940 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda. Projected opening: summer.


          2. i second the grapeseed rec...and if you are in the mood for lebanese, Bacchus of Lebanon is decent.

            1. Mussel Bar for mussels, pomme frite and belgian beers
              jaleo for tapas
              Taylor Gourmet for good italian hoagies- i love the fried chicken cutlet with roasted red peppers and broccoli rabe is great
              Cornacoppia is a small gourmet italian market that has fanntastic sandwiches with priscutti and mortadella on italian toasted bread with arugula and balsalmic reduction
              Blacks is very good more upscale seafood, gulf style
              Bethesda Crab House for steamed hardshell crabs on paper
              Tako grill for sushi and japanese
              Uncle Julios has decent tex mex- i like the shrimp brochettes (grilled and wrapped in bacon) and their dry rub ribs and the house ceviche washed down with a dos equis or margarita or 10

              1 Reply
              1. re: dining with doc

                Woodmont Grill has outstanding crab cakes, no filler. Comes with a a mustard sauce, fries and coleslaw. I think their crab cakes are the best in the entire DC area.

              2. I know Bethesda really well. Actually too well given the huge majority of places to grab a meal (whether casual or high end) are mediocre or worse.

                Really only three I can suggest for you in good conscience, two of which have already been suggested upthread.

                1. Grapeseed: Very solid new American food with a totally engaged chef/owner. Can't go wrong with this.


                2. Blacks: Also very good and reliable. A bit higher priced than Grapeseed. Venue is good for business or casual lunches and dinners.


                3. Given your focus on crab, I'd also strongly recommend a newer place, next door to Grapeseed and owned by the same person: Freddy's Lobster and Clam. This place is the best place for lobster and clams in the mid Atlantic region. No exaggeration. They have a 300 gallon tank and get regular deliveries of live Maine lobsters. No other spot in or around DC does that. Some others will claim they have fresh lobster but no way to know. Here you can see them swimming. Also, whole bellied clams. Also rare in a part of the country where most think clam strips are fried clams. Casual environment like a New England lobster shack but with plenty of seating. If you go here, stick to the fried clams, lobster roll (cold not warm!) and lobster chowder. Other dishes are okay but can be hit and miss. This place is a real treasure for the entire DC/Baltimore area. Surprised it wasn't already suggested. Have fun!


                1. Food Wine & Co for their mussels. Service is usually very good, but they can't decide if it is a sports bar or a restaurant.

                  Grapeseed is over rated and fairly mediocre. Jaleo is fun, but the Bethesda spot not as good as downtown Jaleo.

                  Mon Ami Gabbi is a fake bistro with decent snails.

                  I miss Rock Creek.

                  When I ate at Grapeseed I found it pleasant enough, but more ambition than execution. I like that they have half glasses of wine which allow for well paced pairings, and I like the chef's attempts at pairing. However, the pairings prove unimaginative, and the wine is definitely overpriced for what it is. A cava paired with average fried oysters proved average, and the wine was served long before serving the oysters, which is inexcusable with a sparkling wine. The grouper was well cooked but unmemorable in seasoning. No real selection of desert wine, and an ice wine was one with no real complexity, just sweet.