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

Day 92: Relax and Enjoy a Brick Oven Pizza

Red Tomato Cafe located at 4910 St. Elmo Ave in Bethesda is the place that comes to mind when I’m looking for a casual, relaxed and inviting atmosphere for lunch or dinner.  Although the food is good and the drink options are nice, the main reason I choose Red Tomato Cafe is for the perfectly cozy setting.  

I visit often with my daughter when we want to share a stress-free meal and catch up with each other.  I also spent an evening there with my book club friends.  We were looking for the perfect place to enjoy a quiet, relaxed dining experience while discussing our latest read.  Someone suggested Red Tomato Cafe.  Of course, we all agreed it was the perfect setting! 

Red Tomato Cafe, 4910 St. Elmo Ave

The cuisine is often referred to as Italian, but I believe it’s actually “Mediterranean.”  But no matter the origin, the restaurant offers delicious meals with a warm environment stoked by the brick oven.  Their pizzas have a thin, flaky crust baked to perfection.  My absolute favorite is the Margherita pizza topped with mozzarella cheese, a delicate and flavorful tomato sauce and basil leaves.  Frankly, I would like more basil leaves on the pizza but I’m usually so relaxed by the time I order, I forget to ask for them.  If you’re a basil lover like me, I recommend asking for some extra leaves if you think of it. 

As a cheese-aholic, I have also thoroughly enjoyed the Brie pizza that includes not only the brie (one of the best cheeses on the planet in my opinion) but grilled chicken, garlic (yum!), fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  My mouth is watering right now just thinking about it.

The Heart of the Place - The Brick Oven!

My favorite meal combination includes a nice glass of wine – presently I am on a Sauvignon Blanc kick – with a side salad and a brick oven pizza.  My favorite salad is simply the Insalata Classica with mixed greens, shaved carrots and tomatoes tossed in a light & tasty lemon dressing.  Delicious!  There are plenty of pastas, paninis, appetizers and desserts (their most popular being the tirimisu) to tantalize your tastebuds, but frankly, I think the best reason to visit the Red Tomato Cafe is just to enjoy their warm, inviting atmosphere.  The place is adorned with tile-topped tables, red and orange muraled walls, terra-cotta floors and at the heart of it all, the big brick oven.  Check their website for daily specials which are posted at 10 AM.  Enjoy!   ~Amy

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