Morton's, long the haunt of beef-loving expense-account types, is going after Bethesda's young crowd. Bar 12-21, at the new Morton's in the Hyatt Regency, is offering a menu of 50 martinis and noshes that are less pricey than Morton's regular menu.
Bar bites are available throughout the evening, but the real bargains are between 5 and 6:30 and 9:30 and 11 on weeknights, when the little plates go for $1 to $3. Among the offerings are oysters on the half shell, petite filet mignon sandwiches, mini cheeseburgers, crab-and-artichoke dip, and colossal shrimp. In the dining room, with its mahogany paneling, leather booths, and LeRoy Neiman prints, things are pretty much the same as at other Morton's steakhouses in the area: Waiters show off oversize specimens of beef and vegetables as they rattle off menu highlights.
Morton's is known for its double-cut filet, 48-ounce Porterhouse, and rib eye, though seafood makes a showing, too. The addition of the Bethesda restaurant makes the Washington area the nation's biggest Morton's hub. Bethesda has two other high-end steakhouses: the New Orleans-based Ruth's Chris and the kosher Red Heifer.
Morton's Bethesda: 7400 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-657-2650.
Open Monday through Saturday from 5:30 to 11 and Sunday 5 to 10. The bar opens at 5 PM daily.