As we enter the tail-end of summer and transition from July to August, foodies around the region are loosening their belts and girding their stomachs for an epic month of eats. That’s right, I’m talking about Restaurant Weeks in the DMV region. This particular week marks the beginning of Bethesda’s Restaurant Week and to take advantage of the endless number of fantastic deals on delectable places to dine, we’ve curated our own personal list of the top 11 restaurants to check out during Bethesda’s week-long celebration of local culinary haunts.

With that said, here are 11 places you have to try during Bethesda Restaurant Week:

1. Redwood

This place can get a bit pricey when it comes to dining here on a normal week, which is why we highly encourage you to try it out while Bethesda Restaurant Week is in full swing and get a proper bang for your buck. They have a Mac & Cheese that will blow your mind, as well as a pretty stacked entree menu and even better dessert menu. Highly recommend to check Redwood out if you plan on doing any Bethesda dining places for Restaurant Week.

2. Mon Ami Gabi

This is probably one of the best French places you’ll have the pleasure of eating in the region, and has some of the most ridiculous cheese-based dishes you’ll ever have the pleasure of nibbling on. The onion soup here is consistently highly acclaimed by restaurant goers, and this place makes a divine creme brulee that every Francophile in the D.C. region should taste at least once.

3. Grapeseed

Probably one of the more interesting takes on seafood dishes in the area, Grapeseed is one of those places you pretty much have to try and with Restaurant Week dropping prices down, now is about the perfect time to do so. The service is always on point, the wine menu is more than ample, and the appetizers are delicious enough that you can make a dinner out of ordering a few of them a la carte. Definitely worth checking out.

4. Red Tomato Cafe

One of the best places to get pizza in Bethesda, if not in the D.C. area as a whole. If you’re a ‘za fan, I recommend checking Red Tomato Cafe out. They have a slew of pie combinations that will send your taste buds to pizza heaven (i.e. the infamous chicken pesto pizza), and their ingredients are pretty high quality so it warrants coughing up a few bucks (made even better due to the lower prices of Bethesda Restaurant week).

5. Assaggi

If there’s anything you can say about Assaggi, it’s that its pasta is consistently delicious and its mozzarella is always fresh. I mean, what more can you ask from an italian restaurant with the word mozzarella in its name? If you enjoy cheese and healthy amounts of pasta, I highly recommend checking this place out.

6. Tavira

If you’ve ever tried or are a fan of Portugese food, this is the must-dine spot for Restaurant Week. Actually, scratch that: it doesn’t matter if you’ve ever tried Portuguese food before, you have to check Tavira out. This place is a bit obscure in terms of finding it (it’s name isn’t plastered on the walls and doorway like most places in Chevy Chase/Bethesda) but it’s probably one of the most authentic/delicious Portugese places you’ll find in the D.C. area.

7. Cesco Osteria 

 

Cesco Osteria is some damn fine Italian, and the restaurant’s critically acclaimed Chef Francesco Ricchi delivers some serious Tuscan yums for those who enjoy their delicious sauces and well-made pasta. Highly suggest checking this place out if you get a chance, they’re serving a two course lunch for $16 and a three course dinner for $33 (pretty good bang for your buck!)

8. Brasserie Monte Carlo

Great blend of mediterranean and french cuisine, but probably the must-try thing you have to get if you go is their warm apple tart which is apparently one of the best dishes you can probably try off their pretty stacked dessert menu. Not a bad place to check-off your list for Bethesda Restaurant Week.

9. Passage to India

Easily one of the best Indian food spots in the region, Passage to India is a fantastic pick for any Restaurant Week crowds. The interiors are beautiful, the dishes are all very unique and equally delicious, and the authenticity of each dish is admirable considering how quickly ‘American’ people can get when it comes to preparing Indian food. All around fantastic choice for Bethesda Restaurant Week.

10. La Ferme

If there’s a must-try dish for all of Bethesda Restaurant Week, it’s La Ferme’s soufflé which is probably one of the most acclaimed dishes in the local french cuisine scene. The aesthetics of La Ferme remain remarkably adherent to a French countryside feel, the location is relatively low-key which means you don’t get any of that terrible tourist traffic, and I must reiterate again: their soufflé will blow your freakin’ mind.

11. Mussel Bar

Probably the best combination of mussels and frites you’ll find in the area, this is a must try if you’re into feasting on a bucket of perfectly cooked mussels. Highly recommend the sweet potato fries if you’re looking for a tasty twist on an old recipe, and definitely wash down any meal you have here with one of their many Belgian ales.

 

UPDATE (3:25 pm, July 30th, 2013) – Originally we had Olazzo listed as one of the must-check out restaurants for Bethesda Restaurant week but it turns out they’re not participating this year, the edits should reflect that.