Flor de Luna

I don’t love trying out new restaurants right after they open all that often. But when it’s a family-owned restaurant that serves Latin-American cuisine, I’m there. It’s also great when it’s very close to where I live.

So, my friend and I checked out Flor de Luna in North Bethesda/Rockville, MD recently. If you know that area, it’s 1/2 block from Whole Foods. So, we called to make a reservation and we could only get in at 6:30pm (I think vs 6:00). Basically I say that because they made it sound like they were packed and it was empty in there (and it wasn’t getting busier). I think there were 2 other tables filled.

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The menu said that Happy Hour went until 7 so we ordered some margaritas and mentioned that it was great that HH was on Sundays. He said, well, oh no, it’s not on weekends. We mentioned that nowhere did it mention that, either on the menu, signs, or website. He just sort of shook his head. Not good advertising and way to mention things. The waiter also said with all this they don’t serve margaritas on Sundays because as of right now the bartender isn’t there (just opened) so they can’t make the drink. He said he could try, we mentioned we would really appreciate that, happy hour price didn’t matter.

Note, when it did eventually come, service was slow, it was an awesome margarita! Nice work non-bartender!

We started looking over the menu, this was while enjoying a very unique opaque dip (no picture). It looked like a cheese dip but I was guaranteed there was no cheese/dairy in it. It was just so emulsified, but it was all good.

While skimming the menu we noticed several mistakes for the new venue…lots of typos, such as a staple for this type of restaurant, you could get ‘guacamole deep.’

Moving on, it was a cold night and I decided to get the Seafood Soup — Fish, mussels, squid, shrimp, and scallops in fish broth. I was about $16 or so, and was sure hoping it was going to have a good amount of seafood in it. That was an understatement when I got the bowl. This picture does it no justice at all. So much good stuff in here. Absolutely amazing.

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My friend opted for the Carne Asada — New York stake (*another typo, I copied and pasted) served with rice, beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. My friend quite enjoyed it, all tasted very good.

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During the meal, the owner of the restaurant came out to meet us, very nice. I unfortunately can’t remember where she is originally from but it was great to see who cooked our delicious food. We eventually finished everything and asked for our check. Our waiter delivered it and did make the margaritas the happy hour price as he mentioned they should be based on what was advertised/mentioned. Thanks and nice work for ‘saving’ yourself.

Very nice dinner and will definitely go back and try several other choices from the menu. I also hope their business starts to pick up. I think I went in the first week or two from when they opened so it’s very likely this will be the case.

7 Locks Brewing

Microbreweries are growing and growing.  One of the latest is in Rockville, MD (just outside of DC), 7 Locks Brewing.

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They have a nice spread of beer on tap, which can of course always change.

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When I checked it out, my friend and I split of flight of 6 (4 oz each), which is only $8.  We also did this because they were sponsoring a 5K that we had to run not to long after we were going to enjoy the brew.  All were nice to try, not all were my (personal) favorites.

The brewery is great because they have lots of events, from runs to concerts to yoga, and more, all including beer.  Can’t go wrong with that.

 

Green Bamboo

Had a recommendation from a friend for a great Asian restaurant in Rockville, MD right next to the Twinbrook Metro station to check out.  It’s Green Bamboo.  They have various food and drink happy hours as well as evening food specials.

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I started with a simple house Asian salad with ginger dressing — a whopping $2 for the special of the evening.  It was made with spinach, which was unique.  This thing was huge, with a great taste.

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I ordered the Sashimi dinner that had 6 different fish on it.  It also comes with soup. The pieces were all so good.  I very much remember the salmon and how it just melted in my mouth.  The platter also had these great spirals of carrots.  Very nice presentation.

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My friend ordered some rolls and sashimi pieces that were very nicely done and apparently tasted very good.

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My one comment, don’t ask about wine here.  The waitress had little awareness of dry wine, or even what sauv blanc vs riesling are.  So go basic or know what you want.

Overall, great dinner, check this place out.  Good prices, good service and good to have on your list.

Mykonos Grill

Another restaurant tested…received a recommendation to check out Mykonos Grill in Rockville, MD from a good friend.  I had driven by it countless times (when going to Bed, Bath & Beyond) and was glad to hear it was worth checking out.

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Got there sort of early and the hostess asked if I had a reservation.  No, but was able to get a table for my friend and me.  Within 30 minutes that place was packed!  Wow, this place i obviously popular.

My friend and I split a bottle of Greek Red.  Can’t remember the name of it (no correlation to the amount we drank).

They come out with their warm bread and the super seasoned lemony olive oil — so good!

We ordered some Melitzanosalata right off the bat;  a smoked mousse (no dairy) eggplant froth, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.  Similar to baba ghannoush.

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Based on their specials that night, we opted to split their roasted Branzino, a whole Mediterranean bass, white moist tender flakes, delicate flavor.  It was so nice.

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The servers were so nice, all the service was great, the place was packed and the dinner just melted in your mouth.  I can’t believe I had driven by this place so many times.  Glad I finally went.

 

Cava Mezze

It’s definitely the time of year to try new places. A recent restaurant visit took me to Cava Mezze in Rockville, MD.  This is the real restaurant vs the fast-food version, which is Cava Grill.

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The restaurant offers a wide selection of shared plates (like tapas) and good drink menu.

They start you off with super warm pita bread and nice olive oil and harissa.


After looking over the wine list, we opted for a house wine, Black of Kalavryta. Wow! It’s labeled as a dry Greek red.  Got a slight hint of leather and some great dark cherries and strawberries.

Jumping ahead, we asked if we could buy bottles to take home, and it was not possible. Going to do some research as to who makes this stuff.

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The waitress suggested 2-3 tapas per person, so we ordered 2 each to start and sort of share.

Taramosalata — salmon roe, lemon, breadcrumbs.  First I had to look up what this really is.  Per Wikipedia: Taramasalata is a Greek and Turkish meze made from tarama, the salted and cured roe of the cod, carp, or grey mullet mixed. Let me tell you: tasty!

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Roasted Cauliflower — cumin, olive oil, fried capers, lemon yogurt. Such a nice taste from the roasting and apparently the yogurt was amazing!!

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Octopus — grilled octopus, black beluga lentils, green harissa.  OMG, enough said.

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Lamb Chops — two baby chops, crisped potatoes, extra virgin olive oil. Perfectly done.

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This was a phenomenal dinner. The only thing bad is that it had taken me so long to get there. It is a small place so when you check it out, make a reservation.

 

City Perch

There are some new restaurants/bars opening in the area and I was lucky enough to check one out courtesy of a client.  We visited City Perch in North Bethesda/Rockville, MD at Pike & Rose (outside of DC).

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Quite the diverse menu, from drinks to food.  With several of us there, we covered the menu quite well.  I started with the Montgomery Blues — Greenbrier Small Batch Gin, Blueberries, Rosemary, Jack Rudy Tonic.  Delicious and the fresh rosemary was a nice addition.

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Some of the others at the table were Dark + Stoutly — Stonewall American Rum, Ginger, Flying Dog ‘Pearl Necklace’ Stout.  It was very similar to a black & tan. One of them enjoying it stirred it to see if it would combine but it separated again.

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Another at the bar was the Forbidden Garden Margarita — 100% Garden Margarita — 100% de Agave Reposado Applejack, Apple Cider, Applejack.  I tried some of that — very nice.  Was there really alcohol in that? That is what can cause some problems.

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We also had some of the appetizers — olives, nuts, fries.  Addictive.  If you’re in the DC-area, totally check this place out.