Owned and operated by chef Dennis Friedman – formerly an executive chef at a string of impressive venues – Newton’s Table offers great food and drinks to Bethesda natives and locals alike. When he isn’t cooking in the restaurant, Friedman works at a teen chef academy to help bring along new talent. Dishes include short rib risotto, where a gently roasted short rib of beef is cooked alongside a parmesan risotto with peas and a beef demi-glace. Fish dishes count poached halibut among their number, where melted butter gently froths at the edge of the fish to give it a delicious caramel flavour.
Newton’s Table, 4917 Elm St, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 718 0550
Raku Asian Dining
Raku Asian Dining celebrates three things: Asian style dining, sushi and sake. As well as serving wok-fried dishes, Raku specialises in raw fish delicacies with warm sake. Bento boxes are by far the best value for money, with a selection of teriyaki marinated meats with either rice or noodles. After that, the options are almost limitless, with a la carte sushi available and made freshly to order. While sake is actually Japanese for alcohol, the variants here follow traditional interpretations with both warm and cool rice wine available to try; be careful though, the stuff can pack a serious punch.
Raku-An Asian Dining, 7240 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 718 8680
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
An upmarket, elegant steak restaurant, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is well known for its sizzling beef. The venue is decked in dark wood furnishings, accompanied by vault-like soaring ceilings. Ruth’s is perfect for everything from large gatherings to intimate meals for two. Chef Jose Ramirez and the team will take diners on a beefed up journey of great American steaks. Guests can choose everything from petite fillet to cowboy ribeye and can even opt to share a porterhouse steak. All of these are served on 500°C plates, so diners can continue to cook their meat until it is exactly suited to their tastes.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 7315 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 652 7877
An elegant but unfussy dining room is the best way to describe Morton’s Steakhouse in Bethesda. This restaurant is the place to go if diners want their meat with a side of comfort. Bone in fillet, served with blue cheese butter and caramelised onions, is just one example of an indulgent and delicious main. There are also copious choices in the form of seafood and chicken if steak isn’t for everyone. Desserts include a fantastically gooey chocolate cake that is sure to appease chocoholics everywhere and also a selection of high quality ice creams and gateaux.
Morton’s Steakhouse, 7400 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 657 2650
Despite being part of the Hillstone Restaurant Group, Woodmont Grill remains an independent and unique restaurant in Bethesda. The Woodmont Grill is celebrated not only for its great cuisine, but also for its fresh daily baked goods and live jazz in the evenings. Signature dishes include spit-roasted chicken with apricot glaze and tabbouleh, as well as jumbo crab cakes, or even pan-seared salmon. While the desserts section is limited, the Woodmont Grill perfectly executes both a hot fudge sundae and a key lime pie; American classics if ever there were any.
Woodmont Grill, 7715 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 656 9755
Le Vieux Logis
A charming French restaurant in downtown Bethesda, Le Vieux Logis translates as The Old Lodge and serves up great food with old world charm. The restaurant has previously been awarded the Bethesda beauty spot award for bringing the fantastic elements of nature to the heart of Bethesda’s urban setting. Specialty dishes include duck ‘orange you delicious?’ – the restaurant’s own interpretation of the classically French duck a l’orange – as well as slowly roasted beef short ribs. Vegetarians can opt for the ‘vegetarian extravaganza’ – essentially a culinary rainbow of seasonable grains and vegetables – or the portobello burger, where a plump mushroom is roasted to perfection, with all the trimmings.
Le Vieux Logis, 7925 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 652 6816
Praline Bakery & Bistro
Specialising in both great cooking and sumptuous patisserie goods, the Praline Bakery & Bistro has something for everyone. The bistro menu features a great selection of quick French dishes, including duck confit, scallops risotto and even lamb roasted in Dijon mustard. The bakery, however, is world class and simply cannot be missed. Parisian style macaroons, glazed fruit tarts and delicate pastries adorn the counter, glinting jewel-like with additions of honey and sugar. The best thing about this venue is that guests can easily choose between making a flying visit, or choosing to make a lengthy afternoon of food and wine.
Praline Bakery & Bistro, 4611 Sangamore Rd, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 229 8180
Bethesda Crab House
The Bethesda Crab House is an institution and, having been opened in 1961, is one of Bethesda’s oldest eating establishments. A family run restaurant, the Crab House is one of the most passionate seafood places around. Platters of crab cakes kick off proceedings, served with corn, tartar sauce and a sweet and spicy cocktail sauce. Specialties include snow crabs, king crab legs and a platter of soft-shell crabs. For the exceptionally hungry, all-you-can eat crab feasts are on offer, with 65 to 110 crabs available for chowing down on. A classic key lime pie is available for dessert, although perhaps not easily manageable after eating 110 crabs.
Bethesda Crab House, 4958 Bethesda Ave, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 652 3382
Chef Tony’s is a seafood and tapas restaurant at the heart of Bethesda. Working with local and artisanal producers, Chef Tony’s produces some of the very best in rustic Spanish and Italian food. Recognising that in season ingredients are undoubtedly better and tastier, the kitchen team make the very most of what is locally and readily available. The restaurant also exhibits a fantastic six course tasting menu, which allows guests to savour the very best in Mediterranean fare across an enjoyable and protracted dining session – perfect for catching up with family and friends. However, if the only time available allows for a speedy lunch, then that is easy to find at Chef Tony’s too.
Chef Tony’s, 4926 St Elmo Ave, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 654 3737
La Panetteria is a traditional Italian restaurant serving regional specialties from northern and southern Italy. The restaurant has been a regular fixture on the Bethesda dining scene for more than 25 years and is widely held as the best Italian restaurant in the whole city. The restaurant is decorated in the style of an Italian tavern, complete with aged furnishings, high ceilings and hanging baskets. Dishes include everyone’s favourites, such as chicken parmesan, pasta dishes and meats from the grill. Starters include light Italian bites and classics such as minestrone soup.
La Panetteria, 4921 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD, USA; +1 301 951 6433