Wednesday, December 02, 2015

a reasonable review for REDWOOD in Bethesda, MD (12-1-15)

A while ago we won a 4-course tasting for 2 with wines at the charming Bethesda eatery, REDWOOD. It was chilly last night and wet, so we were grateful for the (albeit $4) underground parking at Bethesda Row (which is not validated for diners) and proceeded to the virtually dead restaurant at 7pm. It's quite a pretty place with lots of redwood touches such as the tables, walls, accents, etc and tall glass windows overlooking the shops on Bethesda Row (a pedestrian mall) and even lots of outdoor seating which was not in use with 48degree temps and lots of rain!
The bar was quiet and occupies a large area, but we were seating in one of two adjacent areas.
We were seated and presented with the 4-course tasting menu, which had no options at all. They also left a wine list, despite the fact that pairings were included. After our bread arrived (super hot mini-baguettes with superb whipped butter that melted so fast), a manager arrived to apologize and ask if we wanted to move to the other dining area as a group of 70 or so were expected at the bar area for a event! We moved as quickly as you could snap your fingers.
Our server Nely was awesome, and she explained the menu and poured the first glass of Biutiful Prosecco, which we have had before and is okay. This was paired with a Farm Beet Salad which was a huge salad of purple & golden beets, beet greens, arugula, orange sections, whipped goat cheese and a divine Pistachio-citrus gremolata. the flavors burst in every bite and I have to say I was impressed.
Next came huge bowls of Yellow Beet Gnocchi with sliced cooked red beets, sliced red cabbage, asparagus, cherry tomatoes all in a garlic-herb butter sauce with roasted black garlic cloves and a dash of red beet cream. It was very rich and quite indulgent, so we left about 1/3 of each of our bowls, which Samuel was happy to take to school today for lunch (we told him it was veggie gnocchi, as he would never have eaten beets!).
The Mountain View Pinot Noir 2013 from Central Coast, California was an intense 13.9% alcohol pinot with lots of flavor and worked perfectly with the food.

We were quite stuffed and had a 30-minute rest before the next course arrived. Laguiole-like knives (actually Fortessa) arrived but were not needed for the very tender and tasty Wood-grilled Flat Iron Steak with grilled Asparagus and housemade steak sauce. We could not really figure out the ingredients of the "secret sauce" but knew there was an aged balsamic and a smoky element that gave it both a bitter and sweet taste. It was good, but I was not overwhelmed; Will liked it more than me. The True Myth 2012 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon was divine with the intense flavors on the plate, again which part of went home for later as we were so full.
A trip to the loo had me passing the now very busy bar, but sadly the 20 & 30-somethings from had left the restrooms quite a mess; don't parents teach their kids to clean up after themselves? Indeed, when Will went to the W.C. (which was how 3 of the 4 were marked), these dot.comers were all in a line waiting for the one bathroom that had a man/woman figure on it, not knowing that the three others with "WC" on it were also bathrooms!

The dessert was Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate ganache and Orange segment and I cautiously asked Nely if there was  a lighter fruit option. Will loved his cake, but I adored my White Chocolate/Cranberry Whipped Mousse on Graham Cracker Crust with Cranberry Sorbet atop and dots of Cranberry Coulis. It was light and so refreshing as well, especially the sorbet. Grahams' Late Bottled 2008 Port was a delight and we waddled out with our doggie bags.
I only wish we had some choices and could have created our own 4-course menu, then perhaps we might have been a little less full, so maybe we will go back to Redwood to try some other items on the menu next time.