100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Passage to India

The dining room at Passage to India in Bethesda, Maryland. Photograph by Chris Campbell.

Some of Bethesda’s best cooking goes on in the kitchen behind this quietly elegant white-tablecloth dining room, showcasing dishes from northern, southern, eastern, and western India. It’s a restaurant that rewards conservative choices such as chicken tikka masala—among the best we’ve tried—as much as it does more adventurous ones. Tamarind-laced fish vendiam curry stands out among the southern-influenced dishes. Malai chingri, juicy shrimp in coconut sauce, is a tasty ambassador for the East. And a Parsi-style lamb stew dotted with apricots is a standout western offering. Weekdays at lunch, enjoy a satisfying meal—including soup, entrĂ©e, naan, lentils, and dessert—for less than $15.

Open: Daily for lunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Mulligatawny soup; yam-and-apple salad; goat curry; tandoori scallops; cheese dumplings with figs; garlic naan; masala chai tea; rice pudding.

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