Bethesda, Maryland, is an affluent community on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. Home to more than 60,000, according to the latest Census Bureau statistics, Bethesda boasts an educated population (nearly 80 percent are college grads and about half hold higher degrees) with above average disposable income. As such, Bethesda can and does support “a thriving urban center home to numerous restaurants, retailers, arts venues and community events.” Its restaurant district is popular among locals and residents of nearby jurisdictions. Among these establishments are four popular wine bars:
Grapeseed American Bistro and Wine Bar, 4865 Cordell Ave., is known for its 17-page wine list, comprising some 350 wines. Its popularity is expressed in its recognition by Washingtonian as on of the Top 100 Restaurants from 2009 to 2012. One popular Monday to Friday feature at Grapeseed is its 5-5-5, when it offers $5 wines and rail cocktails and $5 appetizers from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Prior to taking the helm at Grapeseed, chef Jeff Heineman was a sous-chef at Cashion’s Eat Place, a much-applauded District of Columbia restaurant in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.
Food, Wine and Co., 7272 Wisconsin Ave., has a wine list considered outstanding by Wine Spectator. The wine strengths, according to Wine Spectator, are those from California, Italy, and France. While Food, Wine and Co. received the basic level award, it is among only 2,869 restaurants to achieve the honor. The honor is bestowed for having a well-chosen selection of wines and a thematic match to the menu encompassing both style and price.
Vino Volo, 7243-47 Woodmont Ave., is a wine bar and café paired with a wine shop. Its wine menu pairs wines by category- such as fireplace reds, or south of the equator- providing a choice between a full glass of one or, for about the same price, a sampling of each of the three wines within the category. This wine bar is popular in part due to its proximity to a movie theater from which it draws much of its clientele.
Oakville Grille and Wine Bar, 10257 Old Georgetown Rd., offers California-centric cuisine and wine. When it comes to wine, about 70 percent of Oakville’s 120 offerings hail from the Golden State. Of the 120 varieties served, however, only 15 are available by the glass. This doesn’t seem to deter customers. Oakville Grille and Wine Bar is especially popular with concertgoers headed to the nearby Strathmore.