100 Best Restaurants 2009: Passage to India
No. 38: Passage to India
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Rina Rapuano, Eve Zibart
Comments () | Published February 1, 2009
100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Passage to India
Address: 4931 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-656-3373
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Indian
Opening Hours: Open daily for lunch 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and for dinner 5:30 PM to 10:30 PM.
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Sev-murmura chaat; samosa with chickpeas and yogurt; lamb cooked in the tandoor oven; shrimp in coconut curry; pickle plate; fresh mango with yogurt.
Price Details: Entrees, $10.95 to $23.95.

Cuisine: Owner/chef Sudhir Seth’s careful approach to regional Indian cooking—the menu covers a wide swath of the subcontinent—translates into refined plates that are light and complex.

Mood: Intricately painted and carved doors hung as wall art reinforce the “passage” motif in the serene dining room.

Best for: A lingering night out; lunch or dinner that ventures far beyond tandoor and palak paneer.

Best dishes: Sev-murmura chaat, a pileup of puffed rice, tamarind, cilantro, and dates; masala-spiced mounds of lump crab; warqi pudina paratha, a mint-flecked whole-wheat flatbread; Parsi-style lamb stew with apricots and straw potatoes; curry of okra and onions with mango powder; shrimp stew with cloves, ginger, and cinnamon; the area’s best Indian pickle plate.

Insider tips: Servers may look formal, but engage them and they’ll help put together a meal so you avoid the trap of many first-timers: too many similar-tasting dishes.

Service: ••

Open daily for lunch and dinner. Moderate.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurants

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 02/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews