8 Places We Love in Bethesda (Besides Jaleo)

By Rina Rapuano  |  April 1, 2014

It's tough to get a slice of the limelight when an international superstar like José Andrés is hogging all the attention. But there are plenty of restaurants in Bethesda that are holding their own against Jaleo's mass appeal, vivacious space and consistent good times. Here are eight other places to consider the next time you're near Woodmont Triangle: 

  • Bethesda Bagels

    Washingtonians have long bemoaned the absence of decent bagels in town, but Bethesda Bagels is widely thought of as the next best thing to driving to New York. They have all the serious flavors for hard-core fans, such as everything, salt and egg, as well as such whimsical varieties as orange cranberry and cinnamon chip. 

    4819 Bethesda Ave.; 301-652-8990

  • Food, Wine & Co

    Chef Michael Harr made a name for himself at such Downtown destination dining rooms as Red Sage and Butterfield 9. Suburban diners now have the benefit of his magical touch in this kitchen, where he creates dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious - such as his deviled eggs pickled in red wine.

    7272 Wisconsin Ave.; 301-652-8008

  • Grapeseed

    Chef-owner Jeff Heineman presides over the kitchen at this neighborhood wine bar, where you can find a reliable yet seasonal lineup of American dishes with Asian and Latin influences - and wonderful wines to pair with them. We have enjoyed mushroom fricassee over truffled polenta, filet mignon and a Greek yogurt cheesecake (not to mention a butterscotch pudding that is long gone from the menu but not from our memory). 

    4865 Cordell Ave.; 301-986-9592

  • Mussel Bar

    Robert Wiedmaier's homage to Belgian beer, mussels and frites continues in this more casual version of his Downtown Brasserie Beck. Burgers, salads and wood-fired pizzas are also on offer, but when you've got a proven Belgian chef serving mussels and fries - and the word "mussel" is in the restaurant's very name - we think this is the most satisfying way to go.

    7262 Woodmont Ave.; 301-215-7817 

  • Newton’s Table

    Former PS 7's chef-owner Peter Smith may have been brought on as co-executive chef late last year, but many of the Newton's Table classics we know and love remain on the menu, such as the light-as-air gougeres, the nori-wrapped tuna with soy-mustard vinaigrette, chef-owner Dennis Friedman's signature Fuzu noodles and the pig brittle dessert. 

    917 Elm St.; 301-718-0550

  • Passage to India

    We love that this thoughtful Indian kitchen doesn't try to sell Americans on the idea that all Indian food is the same. Instead, the menu is broken into four geographic quadrants, each celebrating the beautiful differences of each region. We have a weakness for the spicy baby eggplant in a sesame-peanut gravy from the south and Parsi-style lamb stew with apricots from the west. 

    4931 Cordell Ave.; 301-656-3373

  • Puree Artisan Juice Bar

    This bright, cheerful space opened a few years back with the goal of bringing the owner's big-city juice-bar addiction closer to home. It remains one of only a few dedicated juice bars in the metro area, using a commercial juice press to squeeze the organic fruits and vegetables the shop tries to source locally. 

    4903 Elm St.; 301-654-7873

  • Yuzu

    Chef-owner Yoshihisa Ota - a former part-owner of Kushi - has been wowing Bethesda residents with his wonderfully fresh sushi since the restaurant opened about a year ago. Adventurous diners should opt for the chef's choice omakase menu, served at a hand-hewn maple table.

    7345 Wisconsin Ave.; 301-656-5234