Best of Bethesda: Great Plates

Sometimes a single delicious dish can turn a restaurant into a destination. Here are some recent standouts.

Bone-in chicken breast cooked over charcoal with piquant lemon-garlic dressing ($17.25) and Ping-Pong-size balls of crispy falafel with tahini dipping sauce ($6.50) at Bacchus of Lebanon.

A dozen steamed extra-large blue crabs ($85) at Bethesda Crab House.

Perfectly fried ham and chicken croquetas ($5) and rounds of grilled chorizo with chimichurri sauce ($4) at DiVino.

Creamy, cheesy, Old Bay–spiked crab dip with French-bread slices for spreading ($11) at Gaffney’s Restaurant.

Baltimore maki roll with lump crab, avocado, and a shake of Old Bay ($8) at Hanaro.

Feta-filled fried cheese pies ($5.50) and thick house-made yogurt drizzled with tangy olive oil to spread on a pita or just about anything ($5) at Lebanese Taverna.

Roti canai, a flaky pancake that comes with a crock of chicken curry for dipping ($3.65), and pulut hitam, a dessert of Malaysian black sticky-rice and coconut milk ($2.75), at Penang.

Fish tacos with tilapia tucked into house-made tortillas and dressed with avocado cream, shredded cabbage, and pico de gallo ($13.95) at Uncle Julio’s Rio Grande Cafe.

Crusty mashed-potato cakes flecked with green onion, sour cream, and balsamic drizzle ($6.95) at Rí Rá Irish Pub.

Crisp fried turnip cakes tossed with ribbons of egg, scallions, and sprouts and served with Sriracha sauce to personalize the heat ($8) and the house-special eggplant with spicy ground-chicken patties, shrimp, and calamari ($15) at Sweet Basil.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.