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Voila! There it is! The perfect place in Bethesda to share some wine and good eating with friends. Like Goldilocks seeking the perfect bed, I have sought the perfect place to tip a glass of red or white that doesn’t come with sports TV blaring in the background or in a cramped, standing-room-only wine shop. Vino Volo is just right for any type of gathering.
Meeting a friend for happy hour and a small bite? Perfect! Try sampling their wine flights while seated at the bar. Looking to create a wine tasting event for friends or special clients? Vino Volo’s wine tasting room evokes the feeling of a rustic winery in the heart of Bethesda Row. Meeting a small group of friends for lunch or a business meeting? Look no further. Vino Volo has plenty of room to seat your group comfortably in their restaurant and they offer a delectable menu to accompany their unique wine selections.
Vino Volo has won a place in the hearts of many a weary traveler who found solace in their airport retreats throughout the US. In fact all of their other locations are situated on concourses. Their airport wine bars offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of travel and a place to relax and refresh your spirits.
The new Bethesda location is their first departure from the gates of the airport halls. Someone must have known that Bethesda was a safe bet for their first “baggage-free” location, as we are lovers of good food and drinks in this town.
The wine list at Vino Volo is quite unique -a refreshing change from the same ‘ole wine list I have noticed elsewhere. The food choices are intriguing with menu options at this location that are more extensive than what their airport shops can offer.
Sample their creatively named wine flights during your visit or opt for wines by the glass or bottle. The staff is helpful and friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed and warm. Vino Volo is an exciting addition to our Bethesda restaurant and bar scene. For more details about Vino Volo check out their website at www.vinovolobethesdarow.com.
It’s time again to enjoy the airy pleasures of an outdoor evening meal or an afternoon sandwich in the sun with friends. Bethesda’s restaurant week is a great excuse to do so! Restaurant Week is happening NOW, April 16th – 22nd, 2012 at participating restaurants including:
Assaggi Mozzarella Bar
Le Pain Quotidien
Mon Ami Gabi
Parker’s Classic American
Three course lunches are $15 and three-course dinners are $30. Reservations are highly recommended, especially for dinner.
You can check out their menus for the week (makes my mouth water to read them!) and also sign up to win a $200 dining certificate at www.BethesdaRow.com.
Buen Provecho! ~Amy
Merry Christmas Bethesda. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this holiday season.
When my daughter was getting ready for her first day of high school some years ago, the most absolute of all necessities on her school supply list was not paper, pens, or binders but a backpack from The North Face store! At the time, we lived in Seattle and The North Face was all the rage. Coats and backpacks emblazoned with the logo were paraded around by every teen. Interestingly, it was not just the teens who got hooked on the look – adults of all ages could be seen with their coat of choice around town too. With plenty of color and style options, it became something of a personality statement to don your apparel of choice and “be seen” wearing The North Face.
C’mon, if I looked in your closet right now, wouldn’t I find at least ONE item with The North Face logo stitched on it? But why not, their stuff is great! Plus, the store appeals to the “greenie” in me with their efforts to strive towards environmental responsibility and sustainability in all their business practices. Their written commitment ”to protecting and preserving our outdoor playground” speaks to any nature lover or outdoor sports enthusiast. In fact, the November 29th post on their official blog site includes their first public sustainability report and some other interesting material. Check it out at NeverStopExploring.com.
The North Face has now brought their technical, innovative gear and apparel to our very own Bethesda Row with a brand spanking new store located at 4848 Bethesda Ave. So if you or your honey have a wish list that includes a little something with that well-recognized logo neatly stitched upon it, you can just head on down to the heart of Bethesda. The store is larger than it appears from the street and I love the fitness gear section in the back (I have a few items on my wish list from that part of the store). My now college-age daughter who wanted the school backpack all those years ago (and by the way continued getting a new one each year of high school) is getting a pair of gloves this year with special tips on the fingers so you can still use a Smart phone while wearing them. Innovation baby.
If you plan to pop into the Bethesda Row store by December 24th, bring your gently-used coat for Clothes4Souls and replace it with a great new puffy, fluffy or shiny one! If you plan instead to shop on-line, today happens to be their last day for ground shipping before Christmas. You can always ship to the store for pickup there at no charge though. I’m glad to see that Bethesda has a new face – The North Face! ~Amy
When my girls were little, I made a dress-up trunk for them. In went old Halloween costumes, high heel shoes that weren’t in fashion anymore, old purses, aprons, dresses and costume jewelry. The girls would spend hours dressing up and pretending to “go to work” or acting like models on the fashion runway. Their dress up trunk offered hours of fun and laughter and I have the pictures today to enjoy forever.
Recently I visited tugooh toys & Yiro located at 4823 Bethesda Ave. for a walk down memory lane with my eldest daughter – now 22 – who was visiting Bethesda from Seattle. They had all kinds of great toys from her youth and mine – classics like wooden train sets, doll houses, Lamb Chomp puppets, Rubik’s Cube and lots of dresses and costumes that brought back those dress up trunk memories for both of us. tugooh toys & Yiro also offers new favorites as well, so every kid from 4 to 40 would be pleased. I still have no idea what tugooh means but the toys are well-made in appearance, many of which are educational in nature. There is also a nice selection of books available. Yiro is the upscale, eco-friendly organic clothing line you’ll find displayed in the back of the boutique.
We spent a long time browsing through the store, laughing and playing with toys – old and new – on display. No one hassled us and we received prompt service when the time came to check out with our goodies. One of the things we selected was Mad Libs – a word game that’s always a raucous good time on a long car or airplane ride with family or friends. If you have never tried them, check them out! tugooh toys & Yiro is a great shop for browsing with your kids, to find unique and classic gifts and for a walk down memory lane! ~Amy
It has been a long, hard week so Friday night started early for us this evening – around 4 PM. With our stomachs growling we headed out for some sushi. Word to wise, in Bethesda, every sushi shop seems to be closed between roughly 3 PM – 5 PM. So don’t bother. I guess they’re out catching fish! We were too hungry to wait so we went on to Plan B. We parked in the parking lot opposite Barnes & Noble on Bethesda Ave and of course used Pay-By-Cell to pay for our space - no quarters needed!
After crossing the road on this cool, crisp evening we decided to share a long, relaxed early dinner at Mon Ami Gabi - one of our favorites in Bethesda. It is tough to find a table on a Friday evening at Mon Ami Gabi but if you show up around 4:15 PM it’s no problem! We sat down and checked out the appetizer menu and selected a bowl of their Onion Soup and a plate of Warm Brie Cheese. We also selected a fabulous bottle of Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley in France which has some nice nuances of lime, grapefruit, green apple and kiwi (so says the website for the winery). To us, it just tasted darn good!
The onion soup was delivered in a big crock with a layer of Gruyère Cheese so thick that Brian had to use a knife to eat it. I enjoyed the roasted garlic cloves smeared on french toasted bread with the warm Brie cheese – it was heaven on Earth. At some point we got around to ordering entrees (in between some good belly laughs with our server Alex!). Although Brian’s meal was quite nice, the Friday night special Dover Sole blew us away! In fact, Alex said that people actually call ahead to reserve their Dover Sole on Fridays because it’s so popular that it often sells out! Wow, don’t I feel lucky to snag one early. It was amazing – delicate, tasty and flaky and paired perfectly with our Sauvignon Blanc called “Attitude” mentioned earlier.
After emptying the bottle and clearing our plates, we decided we couldn’t help but re-visit the Spring Mill Bread Company for another yummy brownie experience. We stopped by Dunkin’ Donuts for a Milk Chug – the perfect brownie pairing! By the way, when Brian got the milk he learned that Dunkin’ Donuts is offering FREE iced coffees on March 21st (with a coupon) – just FYI.
But what really knocked our socks off this evening was what we observed after we emerged from Bethesda Lane - a line of people waiting to enter the Apple Store that would put Georgetown Cupcakes to shame… stretching all the way down the street past Parkers! What the heck?! We then realized that today is the release of the iPAD2 and there are a LOT of Bethesda folk that just can’t wait to get their hands on it.
So now we have popped up to our RE/MAX office at 4825 Bethesda Ave. Suite 200 to share this blog with you, our faithful readers, before we head to Bethesda Row Cinema for a great flick and delicious Peet’s Coffee that they serve at their snack bar. I highly recommend the raspberry latte! If we are able to keep going after this, we may head over to Union Jacks for a game of billiards and a beer! Happy Friday Bethesda. ~Amy & Brian
In 1992, the Democratic National Convention was coming to New York City. In anticipation of the big event, some clever restaurant owners in New York City partnered with the convention bureau to offer the attendees a special welcome in the form of “Restaurant Week.” They banded together to share the promotional and advertising costs for the event, offering a fixed price meal at any of the participating locations to entice the attendees to try their culinary delights.
Restaurant week was a huge hit not only with the convention attendees but with New Yorkers themselves and as a result, the tradition has continued and expanded to this day. Now you can experience the phenomenon in many cities throughout the U.S. – including Bethesda of course. This week, January 24 – 30th, is restaurant week in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area.
With almost 200 restaurants in our town, Bethesda is known for its diverse array of culinary experiences. People come from all over the greater DC area to dine here (one of the reasons our parking garages are absolutely nuts in the evening, especially on Friday and Saturday nights). Bethesda restaurants reflect the mixing pot of cultures you find in its residents and you can have some truly unique food experiences here.
Brian and I enjoy eating – perhaps far too much! So restaurant week is a great excuse for us to try a new restaurant or to frequent one of our regular haunts. As such, we plan to feature a restaurant a day this week on Bethesda365.com - bringing you our tips, reviews and thoughts on some of our favorites amongst those participating. Please feel free to add your comments or suggestions too!
In 2011, over 35 Bethesda restaurants are offering a 2-course lunch menu for $12 - $15 and a 3-course dinner for $30 – not including beverage, tax or tip. Don’t forget to make a reservation AND check on whether your meal of choice has a fixed price meal option available. Some restaurants only offer the pre fixe meal option for either lunch OR dinner, but not both. For a complete list of restaurants visit the BUP (Bethesda Urban Partnership) website.
Bon Appetite Bethesda! ~Amy
When it comes to watching a great flick Landmark Theatres Bethesda Row Cinema is the place to go “hands-down.” Landmark Theatres has 56 theaters nationwide and specializes in bringing diverse and entertaining films to a sophisticated viewing audience (oooh I feel sophisticated already…). Bethesda Row Cinema showcases a wide variety of films — ranging from Independent and Foreign film to 3-D movies and intelligent films from Hollywood. According to Landmark Theatres, it is the nation’s largest theatre chain dedicated to exhibiting and marketing independent film. In honor of Earth Day 2010, Landmark Theatres launched new EcoSelect popcorn bags in all of its theatres across the country (this made the Greenie in Amy very happy!). The theater is underground so it’s super quiet and a dead-zone for cells phones (whoo hoo). The concession stand is top-notch and features items you won’t see at the big chain theaters (lots of chocolate!). We especially like the Peet’s Coffee & Teas flavored with all the options available from Torani Syrups that are inspired by Italian recipes.
Amy and I recently really enjoyed The King’s Speech now playing at Bethesda Row Cinema. We had to wait a bit as the show time we wanted was sold out! Nominated for 7 Golden Globe awards, including Best Picture of the Year, Best Director, Best Actor Male (Colin Firth), Best Supporting Actor Male (Geoffrey Rush) , Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Best Screenplay, & Best Speech (just kidding) —the movie is superb. We agree with the critics, The King’s Speech is “The Best Film of 2010” (The New York Observer) and the best place to watch it is Bethesda Row Cinema located at the corner of Woodmont Avenue and Bethesda Avenue in downtown Bethesda. ~Brian