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“It's Hard to Pick a Bad Dish” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Newton's Table

Newton's Table
4917 Elm Street, Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 718-0550
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Ranked #36 of 299 Restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Between Woodmont and Arlington
Transit: We are two blocks from the Bethesda Metro Station, on the Red Line.
Description: Newton's Table, a new restaurant by Chef Dennis Friedman, is the latest addition to downtown Bethesda featuring contemporary American cuisine. Renovations are almost finished and opening is slated for early April.
williamjacobs
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“It's Hard to Pick a Bad Dish”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I had the marvelous luck of having an older sister who invited us to her birthday dinner at Newton's Table.

This evening was notable enough to justify a review here at TripAdvisor.

We're a very adventurous family and share tastes of most everything we get when we dine out so I had the pleasure of sample large portions of their menu and was impressed with the plethora of superior culinary genius I experienced.

Opening with Wintergreen soup (named after the winter greens in it (arugula, spinach, and swiss chard), I was thrilled to get a bold opening to my meal. The green soup was poured around small islands of minced tomato, goat cheese and couscous producing am attractive spectacle for the eye. The presentation was terribly clever because diners were encouraged to mix the four ingredients before eating and when it was all mixed together it looked a little messy. If it had arrived looking like that, I might have been apprehensive before tucking in. The careful first impression allowed me to look forward to what this strange dish had in store for me. The sour of the cheese teamed with the powerful strong flavor of the greens to make an unapologetically challenging flavor tempered by the mild couscous. I lost the flavor of the tomato, but didn't like the soup any less because of it.

My daughter's salad was accepted with gusto despite her failure to embrace the dish as initially offered. She asked for the walnuts and bacon to be withheld which tells me the salad would have been even better for a more complacent participant.

My sister's Kobe beef wonton's were simply put, the best I have ever tasted.. The savory spices mixed with the beef made for a beautifully executed sausage filling in the fried wonton complemented with a rich, fresh oil infusion. Newton's Table serves an archetype of the dish.

The bread served with the appetizers had a yielding softness that surrendered to both fingers and teeth. Melt in your mouth consistency delivered the generous herb-garlic flavor as a matching set. A good restaurant can impress with the simple staff of life. Newton's passes this test.

My daughter's mushroom ravioli was a notable improvement over the entirely enjoyable variety served up at Olive Garden. Their cream sauce is less salty, simple, cheesy and brash version Olive Garden offers, which is especially good because the seasoning of the filling combined with stronger, fresher mushrooms deserves the attention it's given.

My wife enjoyed her Bison (the priciest entree of the night at $44) on salad greens and the two favored each other artfully, but I found the bison chewy and riddled with more gristle and fat than I find preferable. That said, if I'd had this dish anywhere else, I could have dined without complaint. It reflects well on Newton's Table that this is the worst I shall say for teh rest of teh review.

My own entree, the Fuzu was explosive with flavor combinations. Shrimp scallops, chicken, egg combined with the rice noodles and a a savory, slightly a sweet sauce did, as the waiter observed, remind one of a pad Thai; a good one, at that. Combining the noodles with the different morsels nestled in the tempting mound provided several dishes in one, all of which were without exception delightful. I lost my fuzu to my daughter who traded her grilled salmon for it. This is a testimony to the fuzu as grilled salmon is my daughter's favorite dish when dining out. We could not have expected the fuzu to part the two of them.

Part they did though, so I enjoyed some perfectly grilled salmon, seared slightly crisp and soft and moist underneath. I fancy myself a pretty accomplished cook over a grill, but I rarely do as well as Newton's table did for us. The salmon was flanked by servings of spaetzle. an egg-flour, pasta-like dish from my childhood. Theirs was softer than the chewy delicacy my mother had made, but it was a very close second place which is very high praise. The spaetzle came with a savory, slight.y sweet brown sauce more subtle than that served by my mother and may have nosed ahead of hers (don't tell her I said that.) Mixed in with the sauce were baby spinach leaves to add yet another dimension to a simple starch accompaniment. Nothing too simple escapes the creative mind of the chef at Newton's it seems. We are not allowed to leave with the impression that any dish, whether you like it or not, suffered from a lack of effort. These people LOVE food.

My mother's herb crusted skate enjoyed this careful touch and the assembled flavors were clearly chosen with care. A crumbly, smooth topping to a generous slice of skate (a manta ray-like fish) was a very fine accent to what I have to admit would not be my first choice of protein. Even so, the slightly soft skate flesh was good. I enjoyed it more than the bison and I liked the bison fairly well. It is possible I simply don't enjoy skate in which case gastronomic wizardry cannot entirely prevail regardless of skill.

My sister's lamb met with such approval I wasn't offered a taste. This testimony will have to speak for itself since I cannot offer a first-hand account.

The dessert menu doesn't explain the decadent touch Newton's Table offers the meal's finsih. A "chocolate crunch" leaves one expecting something out of a Little Debbie's box and instead we were brought a crisp toffee cookie that reminded me of a stiffer graham pie crust. This was the delivery vehicle for a dense, smooth, rich chocolate ganache (something like thick frosting, if you're unfamiliar). The four sticks were enough to share with everyone.

My daughters' vanilla ice cream and lemon sorbet were dense enough to strongly suggest they were made there in the restaurant, though I cannot report on their quality because I had partaken of too much of the main dishes to properly enjoy dessert without sacrificing enjoyment that goes with knowing when to restrain oneself. My mother's banana cheesecake wrapped in flaky pastry and flash-fried and drizzled with caramel was polished off despite my mother's typically light appetite. That strikes me as a strong endorsement as well. I'd recommend that people save room for dessert except I did not feel deprived by declining. If you enjoy a sweet finish, it may be worth planning for.

Service by our waiter Matthew was enthusiastic, informative, helpful and discreet. His patience with my indecisive daughter and unexpectedly dithering mother (it's not like her, really.) was a wonder to behold. The restaurant was busy and he waited for them to make minor decisions with patience rivaling that of Biblical heroes. This was especially noble given the traffic the restaurant appears to enjoy. Such brisk business is far from surprising given how much we'd enjoyed so many of the dishes at Newton's Table.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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69 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Freehold, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Upscale Inventive Eating”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

With out a doubt, Bethesda turned out to be a restaurant heaven for us. I must thank the person who recommended we stay in Bethesda while visiting D.C.! This is another great restaurant we went to on our last day in the D.C. area. Service was friendly and professional. The room was formal and not too large. It was pricey, probably one of the more expensive restaurants we have ever eaten at, but you DO get your money's worth. Each dish is presented with such care and panache. It is obvious that the owners and chef really care about food quality, preparation and presentation. We started with beef carpaccio and kobe wontons. I enjoyed the carpaccio, but loved the kobe wontons. They were so juicy and flavorable. Next we had the crab cakes (all meat, except for the seasoning), and a special -- skate. The skate was a treat, as I don't see it on menus too often. The skate came with a cream sauce, subtly flavored with ground peanuts, and spinach sauteed with sliced wild mushrooms. For dessert we had the tropical trio - banana cheese cake, mango ice cream, pineapple caramelized on top, and rum infused butter cake. We also had a plum tart with raspberry sauce and corn ice cream! That was different, but, again, the ice cream was subtly flavored and just right. So original without being obnoxious. Again, another perfect, and final, dinner in Bethesda. Though the portions were not large, we felt completely satiated. We needed no more. If you are looking for a special meal, and don't mind splurging, this is the restaurant for you.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Highland, Maryland
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
147 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
133 helpful votes 133 helpful votes
“Excelent Little Restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

Very good food with beautiful presentation. Cocktails are great. Kobe wonton, nori tuna and gougeres are great appetizers. Lobster, fried chicken, sea bass are very good. Fuzu is salty and veal little over cooked.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Top Contributor
155 reviews 155 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“superb experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

We came here with another couple for an anniversary celebration, and were well rewarded. Excellent food/service/atmosphere. I had what they called fuzu, which was an oriental rice noodle dish which I enjoyed immensely. I will say that in the tradition of gourmet restaurants serving sizes weren't that large (fortunately for me, fuzu was a happy exception) and the price tag was $75 per person without much alcohol included (I am including tip). So special occasions only.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Not worth even trying their food. Bethesda has much better options for resturants.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2012 via mobile

I had their signature dish "bison ribeye". I would never try it again or recommend it to any one else. The resturant was half empty when other places such as Mon Ami Gabbi was packed with 1 hour waiting list. No wonder the locals don't come to Newton's Table. It is a tourist trap. Completely over rated.

    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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