Just wanted to mention 2 terrific birthday dinners I had these past few days.
The folks took me to Bello Mondo, which has been in the Bethesda Marriott for years. They had fresh Italian breads for dipping into olive oil, also marinated olives to sample, and an antipasta bar that the waiters would visit to bring you dishes.
I had a scrumptious Chilean sea bass ($24) in a tomato-based sauce - it melted on my tongue. My folks enjoyed their t-bones (~$21). Our mixed greens salad ($5) was fresh and yummy.
My birthday dessert treat, courtesy of the restaurant, was a tiramusi that we all shared - mmmm. We also received frozen grapes as a palate cleanser - a good idea.
The restaurant accepted my Dad's Entertainment 2004 card. We had excellent service from Michael.
My husband gathered some friends of ours last week at Haandi, an Indian restaurant we visited before on Fairmont Ave. We all shared an appetizer sampler and had various curries (incl. several vegeterian ones) and tandooris. My salmon tandoori was excellent. We were all so full from the appetizers, fresh-baked naans and pooris, and entrees that we could not fit in any dessert. Service was good considering we were an indecisive bunch of 10 lingering for 2 & 1/2 hours. Haandi has made the Washingtonian lists (as relative as they are) for many years.
So there you go - 2 excellent restaurants for your consideration.