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Bethesda dinner options - with parents

u
uwsgrazer Apr 13, 2013 08:21 PM

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.

  1. j
    Just Visiting Apr 14, 2013 02:53 AM

    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
      u
      uwsgrazer Apr 14, 2013 04:21 AM

      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
        law_doc89 Apr 14, 2013 04:31 AM

        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. d
      dining with doc Apr 14, 2013 09:45 AM

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

      3 Replies
      1. re: dining with doc
        j
        Just Visiting Apr 14, 2013 03:53 PM

        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
          d
          dining with doc Apr 20, 2013 07:39 AM

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

          1. re: dining with doc
            law_doc89 Apr 20, 2013 08:54 AM

            If you could say why you like or disliked it?

      2. m
        msjess Apr 14, 2013 03:20 PM

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

        1. r
          reiflame Apr 15, 2013 05:09 AM

          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. p
            Pappy Apr 15, 2013 11:37 AM

            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
              law_doc89 Apr 15, 2013 02:49 PM

              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
                p
                Pappy Apr 16, 2013 05:40 AM

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

                1. re: Pappy
                  law_doc89 Apr 24, 2013 05:22 AM

                  Make sure you practice the secret handshake, however.

            2. u
              uwsgrazer Apr 23, 2013 08:01 PM

              Thank you all for the great ideas. We didn't get a chance to go out this past weekend, but over the Memorial Day weekend we will probably try at least one place. At this point we're considering Food Wine & Co, Redwood and Bistro Provence. I guess Newton's Table could also work, but I had trouble accessing the online menu on my parent's computer and wasn't able to show it to them.

              I'll report back, assuming we visit one of these places. Thanks again!

              1. 4
                4X4 Apr 24, 2013 07:17 AM

                The Daily Grill is pretty good, and very close to Metro.

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