100 Best Restaurants 2008: Grapeseed Bistro
No. 51: Grapeseed Bistro
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Grapeseed
Address: 4865 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-986-9592
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Saturday 5 to close. Closed Sunday.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Roasted piquillo pepper with goat cheese; fried oysters in beurre blanc; smoked trout with pears and crème fraîche; mushroom fricassee; calamari with chorizo and lemon; lobster in caramel sauce; roasted balsamic chicken; grilled quail; braised short ribs;
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Valet Parking Available, Party Space, Good for Groups
Scene:
Food Specials
Happy Hour Details:
Monday through Friday 5 to 7 $5 appetizers, $5 select wines and premium rail cocktails.
Happy Hour Days:
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays

Cuisine: A wine-friendly menu that takes its inspiration from an eclectic array of sources—the Mediterranean, New England, California, even summer camp.

Mood: The newly redesigned restaurant can accommodate twice as many diners as before in an airy, softly lit space decked out with wine barrels and a stone-arched room lined with wine racks. The effect is like walking off a Bethesda street into the trendiest boîte in Healdsburg.

Best for: Wine lovers looking to relive their Northern California vacations, groups seeking some privacy.

Best dishes: The menu changes regularly, but recent highlights have included cornmeal-crusted fried oysters in a bacon beurre blanc; goat-cheese-stuffed piquillo peppers with romesco sauce; grilled tuna with a decadent wedge of prosciutto-laced bread pudding; roast pork loin with apples and rapini; chocolate roulade with coffee ice cream; “s’mores,” a fudgy brownie topped with house-made marshmallow and browned under the broiler.

Insider tips: Groups of up to ten should ask if the cozy Cellar Room is available. Diners looking to view the action can seek out the six stools at the small bar along the open kitchen. Booths for two in the backroom offer privacy for couples. The wine list, one of Montgomery County’s best, is strongest in the “other” category of quirky blends and unusual wines.

Service: ••½

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 01/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews