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Bethesda dinner options - with parents

I'm looking for a place in downtown Bethesda. Within walking distance of the Metro would be fine, but not essential, e.g., somewhere farther down or up on Wisconsin would also work.

Looking for not too loud noise-level, as I'll be with my parents. Similarly I'm looking for a place where we can dine in a reasonably leisurely fashion. After checking out the board, the short-list includes Food Wine & Co, Bistro Provence and Freddy's Lobster & Clams. As is perhaps evident from the list we're pretty flexible in terms of food, just nothing real spicy (hope to try Passage to India another time). I guess food preparation on the more healthy side would be nice (or at least a menu with some healthier options).

Any recent reviews of Bistro Provence? From what I can gather the prices seem pretty reasonable, especially given the chef's background. Food Wine & Co. sounds almost perfect, but is it loud and geared to a younger crowd? The reviews for Freddy's seem mixed and I can't really tell if it's worth a visit.

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  1. How old are your parents? Are you in your 20s and your parents in their 50s, or are you in your 50s and your parents elderly? That makes all the difference.

    I'm not a fan of Freddy's. Been there three times and they just didn't hit the mark any of those three times. And with the hard surfaces, it is not quiet. I personally like Redwood, especially when the weather is nice and they have the windows open and you can sit outside, but it too, can be noisy when very full.

    Have you considered Newton's Table? It gets good reviews and it is definitely on the healthy side.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Just Visiting

      Thanks, JV. My parents are elderly -- over 80 but very fit for their age.

      Redwood looks like a nice option, especially for good weather.

      I did consider Newton's Table. I don't know, the menu just struck me as overworked(?). Too many ingredients that I feared might not work for a given dish. I guess I prefer to err on the side of simplicity. Also, the menu seemed a bit pricey if the dishes were going to be disappointing. But healthy fare would be good.

      1. re: uwsgrazer

        Food W ine & Co has a more traditional back room which may be more to their liking. It sounds like you already know their food.

    2. How about Ruths Chris. Near metro, perfect for everyone.

      3 Replies
      1. re: dining with doc

        Sorry to be beating a dead horse (or dead restaurant) but the Ruth's Chris in Bethesda is beyond awful. The food is truly terrible.

        1. re: Just Visiting

          Very much disagree. I have had great steaks and seafood there every time i have been there.

          1. re: dining with doc

            If you could say why you like or disliked it?

      2. Assagi Mozzerella or Grapeseed are good options. Well Grapeseed is more of a hike.

        1. Freddy's has added some healthy options to their menu that are really, really good. I don't know if it's the best place for a meal with your parents, but the quality of the food there has skyrocketed in the last month.

          1. You want Food and Wine. It's a pretty close walk, and the menu will suit you perfectly. It can get a little noisy when full on weekends, and beware of Friday happy hour when they draw a crowd. Just ask for a booth against the windows. I'm not sure what LawDoc is talking about....I've been there a dozen times and never seen a "back room".

            Blacks is another good choice you should check out.

            Freddy's is probably out. First, it's an order-at-the counter place, with food served in atop wax paper in a plastic basket, which doesn't seem to be what you're looking for. Not to mention, the food is awful.

            Bistro Provence is very good. It's quite a walk though. And very expensive. The seating is cramped. And the service is demeaning.

            We like Newton's Table a lot. Sedate. Redwood is a big place that has never impressed anyone, but it's certainly a nice enough place and has a new chef. Beware: I think I read that Bethesda Row is having a Restaurant Week promotion this week.

            If you want steak, get off the Metro at Friendship and Capital Grill is right above you.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Pappy

              Next time you go, ask for the back room, then you will :~)

              The one problem about FWC is the hostess who steers diners to the busiest, noisiest parts of the place.

              1. re: law_doc89

                I assume I don't need special password? Thanks! I'll be sure to ask!

                1. re: Pappy

                  Make sure you practice the secret handshake, however.