Monday, July 25, 2011

Bethesda Restaurant week is better at FOOD WINE & CO (7-24-11)

While officially Bethesda Restaurant week ended last night FOOD WINE & CO ( at 7272 Wisconsin Ave, NW has extended it through the end of July! The $30 three course menu is quite large with many options for mains from pizza to pasta to sandwiches as well as the standard meats and fish courses.
On arrival we were happy to see complimentary (validated) parking in the garage below and a welcome greeting at the door.
As I jotted about the decor (butcher block tables/lots of comfy booths/high ceilings and windows--adding a bit to the noise factor--but not awful), I told our server Shannon not to worry as I just had a food blog. She said she knew and had googled me up already and read some of my comments! WOW, that shocked me.
We started with a bottle of crisp SANCERRE Reserve Durand 2010 (the wine list is quite huge and diverse and reasonable). After asking, the tasty French bread arrived.
We decided to add on to the menu with a dozen oysters which were all superb East Coast plump and tasty with Blue Point(NY) and Rappahannock and Old Salts(VA) sharing the plate. Next came Will's divine (but a bit smallish on the portion size) TOMATO-WATERMELON GAZPACHO with Ricotta, Cucumber and Olive Oil. It was tasty and tangy (but smooth; Will likes it chunky) and nobody can have enough gazpacho in this heat!
My FRIED ARTICHOKES with Sauce Gribiche (a lemony remoulade with pieces of boiled eggwhites) was much larger and quite filling. They delicate hearts are ever so lightly battered and for this reason are crisp and delightful, not greasy or overbattered at all.
Will went the pizza route with a superb ROASTED MUSHROOM, TRUFFLE OIL, PANCETTA and Mozzarella and I took Shannon's suggestion for the RED CURRY MUSSELS with Toasted Coconut, Lime and Cilantro. This huge portion of plump mollusks is not sweet at all, indeed it has quite a spicy punch and one of the best sauces around town I have had. We switched to an Austrian ZWIEGELT from SATTLER 2007 in Burgenland that was perfect with the spice in the mussels and the pizza as well.

Thinking of the menu we decided this was a great place for kids, although on a Sunday evening it was completely devoid of any children!
We chose our desserts based on Shannon's suggestion. Will went with her #1 choice-PANNA COTTA with Strawberry, Guava, Basil, Kaffir Lime Marshmallow and he got the better. The BLACKBERRY CROSTATA with Lemon Syrup, Candied Ginger and Oatmeal Creme came to the table hot, but the crostata pastry itself was a bit dry and badly needed the sauce and cream to moisten it a bit. Otherwise it was a nice dish, I just left some of the pastry.

We enjoyed our meal deal and know that FOOD WINE & CO is a great place to go....