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Geste Offers Convenience for Commuters, Quality Wine and Food for Locals

22 Mar

When Crossfire closed down at the corner of Edgemoor Lane and Old Georgetown Road, we were curious as to what would replace the mediocre burger spot. About a little over a month ago, Geste Wine & Food opened its doors to downtown Bethesda.

Geste is another welcome addition the neighborhood. Not only do they offer sandwiches and salads, but also calzones, Panini, and even some Indian dishes such as a Chicken Tikka Roll.

Furthermore, the store offers a New York style pizzeria with 10″ and 16″ sizes to choose from.

Geste Pizza

Lest we forget the name of the store is Geste Wine AND Food, and the former part of the description sets it apart from other wine stores in the area. Geste offers a vast selection of wines to choose from – modern labels along with reasonable prices. You can even pay a $3 corkage fee should you want to drink your bottle inside the store. Cork and Fork this is not, and that’s a good thing.

In addition, Geste offers a variety of beers as well. Patrons can also buy wine or beer by the glass and sip on them at one of several tables in the dining area.

Rachel and I ordered a 16″ Gourmet Veggie Pizza to go as it is always hard to turn down a new pizza place. Being originally from New York myself, it didn’t quite match up to its city’s brethren. While the toppings were very fresh, the crust was rather flimsy and the slices overall didn’t just capture the flavor nor crispiness of our pizza benchmark – Pete’s New Haven.  That’s not to say it wasn’t bad by any stretch, but just okay. We’ll have to try their other menu items on our next visit.

Overall, it’s hard not to imagine Geste as a great lunch spot. Conveniently located next to the Metro as well as the Tripper bus stop to New York City, it’s an excellent location for commuters and office workers alike.

Geste Wine & Food is located on 4801 Edgemoor Lane in downtown Bethesda.

Geste on Urbanspoon

Pizzeria Da Marco to Bring Neapolitan Pizza to Bethesda

11 Feb

Pizzeria Da Marco

Image courtesy of Pizzeria Da Marco -

We here at DMV Dining have long been curious as to what would open at the retail site under construction at the intersection of Woodmont and St. Elmo Avenue in downtown Bethesda.

After several months, a sign was posted on the window announcing the forthcoming opening of Pizzeria Da Marco – a restaurant serving “authentic Neapolitan pizza”.

After digging a little deeper, the excellent blog pizzablogger shed some more light as to how Pizzeria Da Marco will differentiate itself from the rest of the pizzerias in the neighborhood: its oven.

The restaurant plans to utilize a Stefano Ferrara oven – a handmade, wood-burning brick pizza oven manufactured in Napoli. Here’s more from pizzablogger:

Now Maryland is set to showcase its first Ferrara oven at the soon to be opened Pizzeria Da Marco in Bethesda.  Now of course any pizza oven is exactly that…an oven. And an oven alone guarantees nothing. It takes people with drive, knowledge and passion to make great pizza. But the selection of a Stefano Ferrara oven certainly points towards an ownership that is passionate about pizza, so I have hope for this new joint. Good luck the rest of the way.

UPDATE – Tom Sietsema of The Washington Post uncovers more about Pizzeria Da Marco in the Going Out Gurus blog:

Decorated with mosaic tiles and iron chandeliers, Pizzeria da Marco will seat up to 130 customers in 5,000 square feet of restaurant, including two semi-private party spaces. In addition to the chef’s dozen or so 12-inch pizzas, the menu will feature salads, calzones, charcuterie, 12 wines by the glass and gelato churned on site, making it “a little trip to Naples,” hopes the chef.

Sounds like Pizzeria Da Marco is dead serious about its pizza if it plans to incorporate a Ferrara oven, and hey, we’re all for it. Looks like Mia’s Pizzas is in for some competition. And that’s not a bad thing. Not at all.

UPDATE II – Pizzeria Da Marco has uploaded a “trailer” on its website hyping the restaurant’s opening. According to the countdown timer, the pizzeria plans to open 41 days from today, which is Monday, March 28.

UPDATE IIIEater DC is reporting that the opening has been delayed until mid-April.

UPDATE IV – Bethesda Magazine is reporting that the opening has been officially announced for Monday, May 16!

Pizzeria Da Marco will be located at 8008 Woodmont Avenue.

Vace Pizza: Sauce on Top

8 Feb

While the two of us like to cook during the week, we were in the mood for takeout one night and, after some deliberation, reached a quick, easy decision: Vace.

The Italian store and pizzeria has proven time and time again that they serve up some of the best pies in the Washington area.

That’s not to say that their pizza is flat-out amazing, but coming from a couple originally from New Jersey and New York (albeit upstate, but I digress) and having been to other pizza parlors in Bethesda, Vace’s pizza is fantastic.

Vace Pizza

Located on Miller Avenue, tucked between Wisconsin and Woodmont Avenue, the store is not the easiest to find.  And after walking in, you certainly would not expect that they would be known for their pizza after glancing at the walls of Italian products and homemade frozen pasta.

Unlike most pizzerias, Vace employs a unique style where the sauce is placed on top of the cheese rather than below it. But don’t let that deter you from ordering – the result is still the same: delicious.

With large pies (measuring at 16 inches) starting at a very reasonable $9.50 (toppings are $1.10 each), Vace is a convenient, affordable option for carryout. Just make sure to call at least thirty minutes ahead, especially during the week, as they get bombarded with orders during dinner hours.

As for toppings, we decided to get half pepperoni and half spinach. Should you ever eat from Vace, make sure to order the pepperoni. There’s just something about it that sets it apart from the competition. That’s not to say the fresh spinach wasn’t a great addition as well. Matter of fact, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their toppings. But yeah, pepperoni: a must!

Vace is located at 4705 Miller Ave in downtown Bethesda. For carryout orders, call (301) 654-6367.

They also have another location at 3315 Connecticut Ave NW, in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, DC. For carryout orders, call (202) 363-1999.

Vace Italian Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Ledo Restaurant: Same Great Pizza in a New and Modern Home

3 Nov

While the dining scene in College Park is something left to be desired, Tommy Marco’s Ledo Restaurant is an institution not only amongst the college town, but across the entire DC metropolitan area. Why? The Original Ledo shares the honors with the likes of Pete’s Apizza, Two Amy’s, and Vace as some of the DMV’s best pizza.

Mind you, we’re only discussing the original Ledo restaurant and not the offshoot franchise that bears the same name as well as a similar pizza design. There is a substantial difference and it should be noted.

Anyway, forget what you know what “real” pizza is. If you’re from New York or New Jersey, you’re comparing apples to oranges when we’re talking about a traditional slice versus Ledo’s square pizza. Just because it doesn’t remind you of a cheese slice from that local pizzeria you grew up with doesn’t mean it’s not good. Trust me, as a native New Yorker (albeit upstate), I carried that very same mentality.

Ledo's signature pizzaI remember the first occasion I stepped inside their original location in Adelphi. You were transcended back in time with its red carpets, wood-paneled walls, and pool table lighting fixtures. The restaurant’s interior made you feel like you were in an old-fashioned Italian restaurant where time stood still. Oh, and the pizza was pretty good too.

When Ledo Restaurant announced that they would be leaving their Adelphi location for downtown College Park, it was bittersweet news. While they would be vacating the space they occupied since 1955, their location on Knox Road would make them more accessible to the College Park area, right off the main drag of Route One. More importantly, they would be using the same ovens.

The move also makes dinners before Maryland basketball games a lot easier, given how much closer the restaurant is to campus. And so we headed there before the Terrapins exhibition game on Monday night, on top of finally introducing Rachel to the Ledo phenomenon.

The new space, which occupies the retail level of the city’s new parking garage, is not only completely modern in regards to design but simply enormous. The mixture of wood and stone feels like you’re eating at a chic restaurant in Downtown DC, but low and behold, some of those old lighting fixtures were transplanted in the new space as they hung above some two-tops towards the back of the restaurant.

We still couldn’t believe a restaurant this nice, at least aesthetically, existed in College Park. For those familiar with the town, it’s not quite Charlottesville or Ann Arbor, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction in terms of offering a quality eatery in the downtown area.

Despite the place appearing very busy, we had no problems finding a booth and were promptly greeted by our waiter who had to be no older than 20. We started our dinner off by splitting a Caesar salad. It wasn’t the most amazing Caesar salad of my life, but I had no complaints. Besides, we ultimately knew the real reason we were here…

We decided to split a medium pizza, half mushroom and half pepperoni. It arrived served on its classic lunchroom-style plastic tray cut into square pieces. Each slice on the first half had a thick slice of pepperoni where you could faintly see oil bubbles collecting in the middle. Now we’re talking.

The other half was covered in mushrooms so much that you could barely see the cheese below. Rachel was certainly having a hard time avoiding the urge to pickup another square after already polishing off four or five. Then again, I’d say at least three squares are equivalent to a traditional slice of pizza in regards to size.

Overall, the combination of the thin, flaky crust, flavorful homemade sauce, and provolone cheese is why Ledo’s stands out not just for its unique combination of ingredients but because how good it all tastes together. I especially love the sauce as it is more on the sweeter side and has a thick consistency.

When we finished, our bill came out to $18 flat. Turns out the waiter had only charged us for one topping and completely omitted Rachel’s soda. He may have felt bad because the pizza took awhile to come, but that certainly wasn’t his fault. We gave him a generous tip for this oversight, intentional or not, and headed off to Comcast Center. We might have a new ritual on our hands, provided I work out twice as much during college basketball season.

Tommy Marcos's Ledo Restaurant on Urbanspoon