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Day 361: Planning to Ring in the New Year in Bethesda?

Happy New Year Bethesda!

It’s Day 361 and that means that there’s only 4 days left in 2011.  Do you know yet what you’re going to do for New Year’s Eve?  It’s time to plan!

You deserve a fun night out, don’t you?  Don’t give in to that temptation to curl up in your pj’s and watch everyone else have fun while the New York Times Square ball drops – get on out and make your own memories of ringing in the new year!  Here are some ideas to kick off your 2012:

American Tap Room is offering a 3-course dinner from their new menu and champagne toast for $50 per person.

Assaggi has some festive music planned and party favors to ring in the new year.  They have seatings at 6 PM, 8 PM, and 10 PM with dinner specials all night long.

Redwood is getting really creative and appealing to the “agency folks” of Bethesda by offering a James Bond themed-party!  Too fun!  Make your reservations directly at 301-565-3515.

The Daily Grill has a prix-fixe 4-course dinner including prime rib, crab cakes and Grande Marnier creme brulee for $75 per person.

Jaleo is shaking it up Spanish-style with unlimited tapas.  Reservations starting at 8:30 PM.

Lebanese Taverna is having a Mezze Madness Party starting at 9 PM.  Get this!  They will have a belly dancing show as well as party favors, a champagne toast and of course endless mezzas for $65 per person.

If you’re looking for dancing, try Union Jacks or RiRa (or I’m sure any of the other local bars in town).

Union Jacks is having a Little Black Dress Ball with a DJ, dancing, heavy hors d’oeuvres, party favors, a midnight toast and even a continental breakfast after midnight – all for $51.05.

RiRa will have an Irish-style New Year’s party with a 7 PM Irish New Year celebration and more music, drinks, live music with T-Akila Jones and fun through the Bethesda new year too.

Call ahead, click on our links above or check out open table for reservations at local restaurants.  Most importantly, take some time to plan a fun New Year’s Eve celebration to ring in 2012.  ~Amy

Day 28: What's on Tap?

American Tap Room

What’s on Tap at American Tap Room?  Over 16 beers including one of my favorites – an English beer called Boddingtons!  Smooth and creamy, Boddingtons is a beer experience that even non-beer drinkers seem to like.  American Tap Room is our featured restaurant on this 5th day of Bethesda Restaurant Week.  Why?  Because it has become a lively, hip place to be on a Friday evening in Bethesda.  Their circular bar is often crowed with patrons and standing-room only.  This probably has a great deal to do with the fact that they offer over 50 beers and 50 wines on their menu.

One of the intimate dining areas

The atmosphere is dark and muted with pine wood walls, deep leather chairs at the tables and intimate dining areas.  The menu is really cool – it actually lights up!  Since the lighting is muted, it is helpful and a fun surprise to have illuminated menus.

The food selections are traditional American fare – steaks, seafood, sandwiches, salads and the like.  You can see their full menu on their website.  They even offer a gluten-free menu.  American Tap Room is a fun place to take the kids who get free homemade cotton candy at the end of their meal.  I wish they would give that to adults too!  But the chocolate lava cake is a great alternative.

If you can’t make it to American Tap Room for Bethesda Restaurant Week, consider Valentine’s Day weekend for their $80 per couple special menu.  Reservations are strongly suggested.  Located at 7278 Woodmont Ave., American Tap Room is a new hot spot in Bethesda with a lively atmosphere.         ~Amy

Day 24: Jaleo – The Uproar in Bethesda

Jaleo Bethesda

One of Bethesda’s most unique restaurants is Jaleo.  For restaurant week – January 24 – 30th - we felt it was only fitting to begin with one of our town’s most popular sensations.  Inspired by the John Singer Sargent painting “El Jaleo” whose mural graces the walls inside, this Spanish tapas restaurant is now located in 4 cities: Bethesda, DC, Crystal City and now its new location in Las Vegas.  Jaleo which means “revelry” or “uproar” in Spanish is located at 7271 Woodmont Ave.  You can’t miss the brightly colored building right on the corner of Elm and Woodmont.  Reservations are accepted and encouraged at this popular restaurant that offers a relaxed but lively atmosphere.

If you have never tried Jaleo because you are unsure what to expect from the seasonings and sauces your taste buds may have never experienced, just let down your guard and give it a try!  I promise you will be glad you did.  It is a taste sensation you will not soon forget.  Restaurant week is your perfect opportunity to try something new at an affordable price.  They are offering a 2-course lunch PLUS dessert for $20.11 and a 4-course dinner plus dessert for $35.11.  I suppose the $0.11 is for 2011?

One important thing to note is that if you wish to select from the restaurant week menu, they require the entire table to participate. There are quite a lot of menu options though, so unless you have a picky eater in your group, you should be fine.  If not, you can always send that picky person across the street to the American Tap Room for a burger if necessary!

Jaleo is the first critically acclaimed tapas restaurant in the country!  Tapas simply refers to the traditional cuisines of Spain served in a small-plate style called “tapas.”  The selections they are offering for restaurant week are listed on their website and include such tasty sensations as seared piquillo peppers filled with goat cheese, tapa of shrimp sautéed with garlic, seared salmon over sautéed vegetables, pork loin with roasted onion and cabrales sauce, among many other items.  Although the food is reason enough to check it out, I must suggest you also take some time to enjoy the drink menu – offering unique wines, sherries and sangrias from Spain.  Stop by during Jaleo hour (4:30 – 7 PM Tues-Sat) in the bar for $4 wine, sangria and beer.  Another interesting option is the brunch menu offered Sat & Sun until 3 PM.  The menu looks absolutely divine!  Visit their website for details.

OK Bethesda, this is only Day 1 of restaurant week.  Get eating and don’t forget to make reservations!  See you at the gym next week!     ~Amy

P.S. If you try Jaleo, we hope you will share your experience and leave some comments here.

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