The Needle: Grapeseed
Reviewed By Kate Nerenberg
Comments () | Published May 1, 2010
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Grapeseed
Address: 4865 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: 301-986-9592
Neighborhood: Bethesda/Glen Echo
Cuisines: Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open Monday through Thursday 5 to 10; Friday and Saturday 5 to 11
Nearby Metro Stops: Bethesda
Price Range: Expensive
Dress: Upscale Casual
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;

Before wine bars became trendy, chef/restaurateur Jeff Heineman was pouring by the taste, glass, and bottle and changing his menu by the season at his Bethesda bistro. An early-spring dinner showed he’s caught up in another fad: recession cooking. The bread tasted like a holdover from the day before, its airy pockets belied by a leathery texture, and the ramps and mushrooms with gnocchi were meager. But a deeply smoky/spicy broth holding rings of sautéed calamari and coins of chorizo offered a glimpse of the seafood skills Heineman mastered at Kinkead’s. And down-economy dishes can have their upsides, too: Heineman’s deep-fried chicken livers are a preparation even the squeamish should like.

This article appears in the May, 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.

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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 05/01/2010 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews