I think the official opening is today. We were there Saturday night for dinner, and although they filled half the tables, my guess is that many of those were friends.
The room is very attractive. By far the nicest dining room in Mont Co. There is a large bar/lounge area on the East/West Hwy side that is sure to bring in the afterwork crowd that has previously suffered at the Hyatt and Ruth Chris. They also offer two private dining rooms, with windows to the south, that hold I think 35 and 45 that will be very popular. Linens, silver, crystal are all first rate.
The staff has been mostly garnered from other Bethesda restaurants, but seem also to have received some additional training in fine dining. The front of the house is probably Bice Corporate, complete with Italian suits and accompanying accents.
The menu is long with something for everyone, including an extensive list of salads, starters, pizzas, pastas, mains, and a final curious page of grilled steaks. Much of the pasta is homemade. The wine list, as management immediately noted, is severely limited right now and will need a lot of work in the coming months. Food prices are exceptionally cheap, with salads $8 - $12 and the most expensive pasta, with lobster, coming in at I think $19. Watch for those to creep up quickly. The most expensive dish on the menu was a seafood stew at $29.
I'll refrain from commenting on the cooking, as I understand they are still getting their feet under them. Frankly, I suspect many of us will be so pleased with the quality of the setting that we will be happy to find a few dishes on the long list of offerings to satisfy us.
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