Bethesda’s Hot Spots
Baby it’s cold outside…so here are some places to settle in by the fire and warm up.
You don't need me to tell you how chilly it's been in Bethesda since December arrived. Yet, we still have to go out, do our shopping, and celebrate with co-workers and friends. So, where can you warm up by a fireplace or sip a hot drink?
One of my favorite places to casually catch up with friends or spend the day huddled comfortably with my laptop is Cosi. Cosi was voted #1 for Families in Washington Parent's 2009 poll. You'll see why after you find one of Cosi's comfy couches and order the S'mores. This is where the fire is brought to your table—literally. The server lights up a small flame in a little round S'more station, hands you a long fork, and voila, you're roasting marshmallows right at your table. Next unwrap a full size Hershey Bar, put the marshmallow between that and a graham cracker…Well, it's not quite camping...because it's a lot more comfortable!
Cosi has some tasty hot drinks like caramel apple cider, raspberry chocolate mocha and Chai tea latte too. Order one of their filling "sandwich melts" like pesto chicken, or their aromatic tomato basil soup, and you're set. Mohamed Bitawi, the affable general manager at Cosi, keeps things running smoothly--it really is a welcoming place.
If you're looking for something more grownup, go across the Woodmont to American Tap Room, a wildly popular newish restaurant at the corner of Elm. Just the genuinely warm greetings by the staff here melts your heart. The two-sided fireplace crackles while patrons feast or relax by the bar. The Tap Room has a ten minute lunch guarantee on weekdays from 11 am – 4pm. Thus, you'll have no excuse to be late for work, but you'll wish you could linger longer to test some of their wide selection of brews on tap and in bottles.
Another relaxing place to eat and view a roaring fire is La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe on Old Georgetown Road. If you're in the mood for some French specialties like onion soup, Croque Monsieur, Quiche Florentine or crepes, La Madeleine is a great place to meet a friend or even read a book. They offer free bread, butter and jams which you can enjoy with your French Roast coffee.
Bien sur, the French know a thing or two about ambiance. There's also a French bakery on Bethesda Row with hot drinks and a fireplace--Le Pain Quotidien is an elegant place to sip café au lait and shake off the snow. Settle in to watch the shoppers while sampling boulangerie or freshly baked croissants.
Well, I hope I've tempted your taste buds just thinking about all this great food, hot drinks and the chance to share it with good company. Thanks for reading my column. For the next two weeks, Mary Koles will step in as Guest Editor of Best Bites for me. She's an expert on nightlife paired with good food and will provide skilled advice on where to meet up with friends visiting during the holidays.
Enjoy! Best wishes for a joyous New Year.