Discover Bethesda, Maryland...365 Days a Year!

Day 45: Smell the love!

Suburban Florist

This Valentine’s Day head over to Suburban Florist located at 7936 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda for all your floral needs.  They are a family owned and operated local business located in a quaint converted residential brick home built back in 1940.  This flower shop has a wonderful selection of flowers that will surely bring a smile to your loved one’s face.  Suburban Florist’s motto is “There’s never a bad time to send flowers.”  Suburban Florist can deliver locally within the same day and nationally through their Telefloral network.  While many florists deliver flowers wrapped in a box and in need of trimming, Suburban Florist hand trims and arranges your flowers in a vase so they are delivered looking their freshest.  Moms and Dads this is also the place to go for nice corsages and boutineers for your children’s school dances as well.  So stop in today and smell the love!  Then take some beautiful roses home to the one you love!     ~Brian

Day 44: Last Minute Valentines Anyone?

Paper Source

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and if you’re looking for last-minute supplies for a special Valentine, Paper Source is your place!  Their store, located at 4805 Bethesda Ave., is chock full of supplies and creative ideas and their staff is ready to help.

More than just paper, they have unique gifts, stationary, labels, gift wrap and even craft classes.  If you’re getting married anytime soon, they have the best ideas for unique and interesting wedding invitations and table accents – everything from classy to cute.  On February 19th, they will be having a wedding workshop.

I even discovered that Paper Source has a blog with some inspirational ideas for all kinds of events.  Check it out anytime you need some ideas for a fun, festive invitation.

Paper Source is open until 7 PM tonight.  If you have not yet selected a Valentine for your sweetie, don’t pick out some tacky card from the leftovers on the drug store shelves.  There is no better Valentine than one made by hand!  Stop on by and let the staff help you come up with something truly special.  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!   XOXOXO   ~Amy

Day 39: Let Us Eat Cake

Fancy Cakes Entry

The best celebrations in life involve cake – birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and of course, weddings!  Any bride knows that next to the dress, the cake is the symbol of the event – an expression of the personality of the bride and groom.  You would not rely on just anyone for your wedding cake but you can definitely rely on Fancy Cakes by Leslie.  Even Jennifer Lopez went to Leslie to create her five-tier chocolate cake with gold art-deco accents for her husband’s 41st birthday in 2009. 

Fancy Cakes by Leslie, located at 4939 Elm St. is a small unassuming shop that is a hub of creative genius.  You must check out their website to see some of the amazing creations they have brought to life for brides, babies, birthdays and bar mitzvahs.  Truly impressive!

Fancy Cake

We were told by one of the employees on our recent visit that Leslie is a self-taught cake expert.  Fifteen years ago she was making cakes as a hobby and her passion became a wildly successful business.  Leslie was there when we visited the other day but true to her passion, she was hard at work on a big cake project in the back so we did not get a chance to meet her.

Some cakes...

If you too have an interest in cake decorating, you can take lessons at Fancy Cakes.  In fact, they are offering a Valentine’s Day Mini Cake Workshop on Sunday, February 13th at 1:30 PM.  The fee is $75.00 and registration is required.  You get to slice, ice, design and create a Valentine cake for your sweetie…or just eat it.   So for your next big event, check out Fancy Cakes by Leslie.  By the way, can you believe that “bucket of crabs” cake?  Too cool!!!      ~Amy

Day 27: From GE to "Gee that's good food!"

Redwood Restaurant and Wine Bar

I have a love affair with the American Dream.  When I see kids at a lemonade stand I have to stop and buy anything they have for sale.  I love to read stories about people who abandon what they’ve always done to pursue a dream and re-invent themselves.  Today’s blog is about Redwood Restaurant and Bar but it’s also a story about the owner, a Maryland native, Jared Rager.  Jared spent years in the corporate world behind a desk at General Electric but something else was building inside of Jared, a desire to open a chain of restaurants. 

Just six years ago Jared and a partner opened their first restaurant from scratch, calling their first community-based restaurant Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, located on Pennsylvania Ave.  Two years later Sonoma won “Best Restaurant of the Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and the dream began to burn bright.  Now along comes Redwood Restaurant and Bar located on Bethesda Lane (the pedestrian walkway that connects Bethesda Avenue and Elm Streets).  The restaurant features a large fully stocked bar at one end and an elegant dining area on the other end of the establishment.  In the late spring and summer the outer wall of the restaurant (really large folding doors) cleverly opens to Bethesda Lane with additional outdoor seating.  The menu features expertly prepared salads, seafood, steaks, burgers, pasta and a nice selection of artisanal cheeses.  The food is really good and Bethesda Magazine readers voted Redwood “Best New Restaurant” in 2009.  All the restaurants in the growing group strive to be more than just culinary trend-setters, but are also committed to integrating sustainable practices into their operations.  They source local organic foods and use renewable energy sources to fuel their operations.

The bar lounge has live music on Tuesday and Wednesdays and Live Jazz on Sunday.  Rising artist now available on iTunes, Taylor Carson, has been spotted at Redwood on Tuesday nights entertaining the Bethesda crowd with his folksy-pop music.   On Valentine’s Day they will be offering a 3-course special meal with champagne toast, chocolate treats and roses!  After the meal you can enjoy music and dancing in the bar until 11:00 p.m.  After 11:00 p.m.?  Well it will be Valentines Day! 🙂 So the next time you see a lemonade stand support your local budding entrepreneur, they just might be preparing you a beautiful meal one day in their own restaurant!        ~Brian