Redwood: A Hip Gathering Spot With Delicious Decor
Stop by one of Bethesda’s most popular venues for delightful drinks and dishes.
Redwood, like the beloved tree of its name, has quite a presence — both literally and figuratively — among Bethesda's posh hot spots. Redwood has quickly become a favorite since its opening in August of 2008, and not just for the suaveness so appreciated by its patrons.
"The hardest part of my job is suggesting food to my guests. I'll always be honest if something isn't good, but that just doesn't happen here."
Redwood is known for hosting events, as well. Friday evening, Bethesda residents gathered to ring in the New Year at the hot spot with drinks, a special menu, dancing and a live jazz band.
Another shareable dish he raved about was the onion rings. "Onion rings are crucial. And since I'm a red meat and potatoes guy — the strip steak."
Bartender Soufiane El Kahatori agrees that the food is one of the best aspects of working at Redwood. He also appreciates the diverse ages of the crowd any given night.
"We have all kinds of people — from the young to the really old. A lot of big groups, especially on the happy hour. A lot of dates — a lot of first dates," he said, smiling.
As I sipped a memorable half glass of Trinitas Zinfandel in the lounge, as Redwood calls their bar, I noticed there were indeed many couples around me. Redwood welcomes the chic, the sophisticated, and apparently even the busy: a woman typed away furiously on her laptop across from a man buried in papers.
From past experiences at Redwood, I recommend their unforgettable fish n' chips for lunch and their rockfish for dinner. This time around, I ordered cornmeal-crusted oysters for $12 from the appetizer menu.
Once again, Redwood did not fail to impress: just the right amount of spice to the crust — not too crispy, and a perfect casing for the tender oyster that soon dissolved in my mouth. The oysters were complemented by a frisée & tomato salad and a housemade remoulade bursting with pitch-perfect tartness.
For all his raving about the food, Mahan also likes the music at Redwood. Sunday's jazz brunch is a local favorite, and you can even stop in with your friends during the week.
"Every Tuesday, one guy plays — Taylor Carson. He has a cool, raspy voice. He really jams, and he even freestyles. He'll call out to the audience and everything."
On Wednesdays, there's Trio Caliente, and, in Mahan's opinion, "they're a lot like Gypsy Kings. '80s rock. They're very creative. They'll "Latinify" Journey songs."
When I asked Manuel Lemus, a barback, why he enjoyed working at Redwood, he answered: "It's beautiful. The walls, the lights — it's really beautiful."
I couldn't agree more. The sheen of elegance, glinting across the spacious restaurant and its metallic angled detail , has a welcoming magnetism — at once earth-like and mod.
At Redwood, one can admire the gleam of the gorgeously grained walls while eating a dish or two from a chef whose touch is anything but wooden.