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Best of Bethesda: Dining
Comments () | Published September 7, 2010
BRING THE FAMILY

BGR the Burger Joint
The ’80s music is loud and the lines long, but this growing local chain gets a lot of things right: crisp Yukon Gold and sweet-potato fries, thick stand-a-spoon-in-’em shakes, and meaty burgers fashioned from dry-aged beef on a house-made brioche bun. We like the classic cheeseburger with its rosemary-flecked bacon and the messy, Greek-inspired version with ground lamb, tzatziki, and feta. Details aren’t overlooked, either—tomatoes are ripe, onions are grilled, beer and wine are available, and syrup shots for sodas (e.g., cherry Coke!) are free. 4827 Fairmont Ave.; 301-358-6137. Entrées $6.99 to $14.99.

Cesco Trattoria
This 14-year-old spot is much-loved for family celebrations. Plates evoke Italy’s Tuscany and Piedmont regions: white beans glistening with olive oil, bright salads of shaved fennel and roasted tomatoes, delicate squares of butternut-squash ravioli, whole rockfish roasted in a carapace of salt and fileted tableside. Breads are made in-house, and it shows—the focaccia is one of the best around. 4871 Cordell Ave.; 301-654-8333. Entrées $12.95 to $26.95.

Mia’s Pizzas
This cheery spot is run by Melissa Ballinger, who once worked at DC’s Pizzeria Paradiso. She’s hit a winning formula with her pies (try the standard-setting Margherita or the sausage-and-pepperoni-topped Salsiccia), small but interesting wine selection, and casual small plates, which include meatball sliders and miniature mac and cheese for kids and roasted olives and bowls of mussels for parents. 4926 Cordell Ave.; 301-718-6427. Pizzas $7.25 to $12.95.

Raku
Oversize chopsticks and bright parasols swing from the rafters at this Asian-fusion eatery. Silky tuna tartare; pumpkin-ginger soup; buttery wok-charred, miso-glazed Chilean sea bass; and coconut red curry with noodles and meats are among the draws. Bento boxes are fun, too, and while sushi and rolls are good, they’re not the hits of this menu. Everyone’s drinking boutique sakes, but you can also get a decent glass of wine. 7240 Woodmont Ave.; 301-718-8680. Entrées $17 to $29.

Woodmont Grill
The restaurant formerly known as Houston’s—part of a national chain—is trying to shake its mass-market association with a new name. Little else has changed, and that’s a good thing. Fans of the old place will find the same addictive spinach-and-artichoke dip, generous lump crabcakes, and standout veggie burgers, plus such new additions as airy-battered fried shrimp and roasted prime rib. Houston’s has always been praised for its spot-on service, and it’s carried on here—we’ve yet to see an empty soda or water glass. 7715 Woodmont Ave.; 301-656-9755. Entrées $19 to $36.Next >> Transporting Experiences and Weekend Brunch  

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Posted at 05:00 PM/ET, 09/07/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Articles