On the strength of some good reviews in the Post and the Washingtonian, my wife and I decided to try the Cafe Bethesda in, you guessed it, Bethesda. Although we usually consider Bethesda to be too much of a schlep to be worth our while, we happened to be in the area. We each had the Chef's Tasting Menu. I also had the wine add-on. I think it was something like $52 for five courses. The wine add-on was (I think) an additional $25, including slightly more than half a glass of a different wine which each of the five courses.
It started with pan-seared scallops with shredded pear and mixed greens in a lime vinagrette. Really fab. Not a combination that I would have considered. That was followed by a cream-of-asaparagus-and-cheddar-cheese soup. Also very good. That was followed by grilled swordfish with a basil vinagrette over mixed heirloom tomatoes, with spinach. Also first rate. Normall not something I would have ordered, since swordfish is usually pretty boring. Next came duck breast in some kind of reduction sauce, with a dollop of bread pudding. Very nicely flavored. Finally, we had a choice of desert. My wife had a strawberry shortcake. Really, really good. One of my problems with strawberry shortcake (and strawberry pie, for that matter) is that it rarely has much real strawberry flavor. This did. Just great. I had peach cobbler with rum ice cream. The ice cream didn't taste much like rum, but it was still good. It was a very refreshing closer for a very nice meal. The wines really worked very well with the food, and was a great deal. My only regret is that I did not take notes.
Overall, I have to say that this is one of the best meals I have had in a long time. Definitely goes on my recommended list.