McIlroy Checks Out Bethesda's Dining Scene
Golfers bring the buzz to Bethesda restaurants.
You’ve got to figure something special is inspiring Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy to pull off his stunning headlong rush into the elite ranks of the golfing world this week at the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s those Cajun fish tacos at Rock Bottom he first tweeted about two weeks ago. Something has to explain his 16-under performance which is making golfdom forget about some chap named Tiger.
According to staffers at the Norfolk Avenue restaurant, Rory’s been in the place at least twice—the first time in early June when he was here to get in some early practice work at Congressional shortly after arriving from Europe and the second time just a couple of nights ago.
McIlroy had asked for advice on where to eat via Twitter. “Anyone know any good places to eat in Bethesda??” he tweeted when he first came to town more than two weeks ago to practice at Congressional and get comfortable with the famed Blue course.
Later he praised the fare at the brewery.
"Thanks for all the suggestions!" he tweeted. "Just grabbed something at rock bottom, fish tacos were great!! Bed early for another long day in the heat!!
Trouble is, nobody would speak for the record when this reporter arrived at Rock Bottom just as the NBC-TV coverage of the Open was starting about 2 p.m. Saturday.
“Everybody’s heard about it,” said the day manager who asked not to be quoted by name. “From what we know, he was very quiet and attracted little attention.”
Asked if there had been any surge in orders for fish tacos, he said: “Not yet.”
Staffers on both the in-person visit and over the phone referred inquiries to Don Battista, the managing partner. Attempts to reach him have proved unsuccessful so far.
“‘He’ll be in first thing Monday morning,” the day manager said.
Patch will check back, so stay tuned. Question now is: Will Rory be back there tonight to celebrate?
Rock Bottom might have some competition for McIlroy’s business, however. The Washington Post reported yesterday that the Northern Irish golfer also dined at Redwood after the second round, along with fellow U.S. Open competitor Lee Westwood.
Colin Brennan, a front-of-the-house manager at Redwood, confirmed the visit. McIlroy had the rotisserie chicken, while Westwood sampled the mahi mahi, with macaroni and cheese for an appetizer, Brennan said.
“There were a lot of tables that sat and stayed around and waited for them to leave,” Brennan said. “They chatted it up with a couple of the employees and talked to some of the tables we had as well.”
Other notable golfers to Redwood include Luke Donald and Camilo Villegas, Brennan said.
The golfers have certainly generated a lot of buzz for the restaurant, Brennan said.
“We’re definitely all about it,” Brennan said. “They can go anywhere, and they choose to come here with us, so we’re proud of that.”
This story has been updated.