Bethesda to many Washingtonians, where life is centered around Metro Center and Gallery Place, seems like the other side of earth. To those that frequent the downtown Bethesda and Rockville scene, Bethesda is the place to be on a Friday/Saturday night. Since I have more than a few reasons to find myself trekking down Wisconsin Avenue (*i.e vintage shopping, Landmark Cinemas & of course, L’Academie de Cuisine), I have often passed the building dawning Food, Wine & Co. on the windows. Curiosity had me visualizing what was hiding inside this restaurant that boasted FREE parking (*unheard of around these parts…) and a simple, contemporary storefront.
This summer I pumped the breaks and made the U-Turn into what is potentially one of the top 10 hidden gems of Bethesda. Housing a library I adore, shelves and shelves of wine that would make even the most seasoned sommelier take a second look, Food, Wine & Co. invites wine connoisseurs and the like in for a night of relaxed, casual dining. Besides a dimly lit, warm atmosphere fitting for after-work drinks, Food, Wine & Co. warms the palate with recognizable fare. I knew Food, Wine & Co. was on to something when they told us how there were certain items that never leave the menu. This is a common mistake that many restaurants in the area make: never take off the items that brought people into your establishment.
Fried Potato Tots and Fried Artichokes are the restaurants staple and Executive Chef Michael Harr promises these will never leave the menu. Though the restaurant names speaks clarity to its speciality, I spent much of the night learning about the extensive beer menu which gives the areas most notable brewery houses a run for their money. Food, Wine & Co. celebrates the age old American dinner with a few face-lifts: contemporary comfort food, endless wine selections and an environment wielding good company. Refreshing to see a restaurant that is true on its face: Food, Wine & Co.