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“Delicious and creative menu!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Grapeseed

Grapeseed
4865 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 986-9592
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Ranked #37 of 297 restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $31 - $50
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Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: between Norfolk and Woodmont
Transit: Grapeseed is located 1/2 mile from the Bethesda Metro stop on the Red Line.
Description: Grapeseed American Bistro is a casual bistro that matches great food and wine together. With anywhere from 80 to 100 wines by the glass and approximately 325 bottle listed, we cater to the novice wine lover and to the experienced. We start with a bottle of wine and pick out the characteristics and nuances of the wine and then award winning Chef Jeffrey Heineman creates a menu item to highlight the flavors of the wine. So come in and relax, have a taste or a glass of wine and try something on our ever-changing menu.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Top Contributor
267 reviews 267 reviews
166 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 94 cities Reviews in 94 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Delicious and creative menu!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

Date night and an on-line deal had my wife and I at Grapeseed once again.
This place is just shy of the main bars, but far enough that it doesn't get much of the spillover crowd.
The crowd here is older and a bit more gentile. Perfect place for a date, or to grab a glass of wine during a business meeting.

Our appetizers were: Butternut Squash Soup with Goat Chees Crostini which she said was absolute delicious. I was offered some, but declined as she was enjoying it too much. I had the mussles - Blue Bay Mussels in a Thai Green Curry with cilantro sauce. Sounds weird, but the spiciness of the curry sauce countered the blandness of the mussels very well. And the portion was excellent - could have even been an entree with 6 more mussels added to it.

Our entrees: My wife had the shrimp scampi, and although she's not usually a fan of this dish (we had 3 choices from the price fix menu), she thoroughly enjoyed it. My Steak Frites (hanger steak) with fries and house-made steak sauce was good. The fries were a bit of an oddity as they were of the generic shoe-string variety. I'd recommend that they made home-made steak fries, as the steak was tasty and the sauce had the perfect consistency and tanginess.

For dessert: We shared the apple crisp with oatmeal raisin ice cream. If they had added two scoops of the ice cream instead of one, I'd give this dessert 5 stars - but alas it only gets - 4.5

Wines -- I enjoyed a smooth Tempranillo, and a French dessert wine with the apple crisp. My wife wasn't drinking that night.

Service: Perfect and personable
Ambiance: Think smooth jazz
Food: (see above)
Wines: Too many to pick from
Prices: A bit pricey, but it is Bethesda
Parking: Nearby lots, street, or valet on Fri & Sat nights
Bathrooms: Clean

Would recommend: Definitely
Would patronize again: Without hesitation

Recommendation:
- Have some lower end wines for those who want to experience Grapeseed, but don't want to pay $50 for a decent bottle. $7.50 for a glass is ok... but a few drinks at $10+ add up quick.
- Feature some Virginia wines.... (they did have a few MD wines)

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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88 reviews from our community

82% Recommend
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Herndon, Virginia
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Pricey and worth it”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

We had a reservation for an early dinner (at 5:00 pm on a Saturday) before a concert. We arrived a few moments before 5 and a handful of restaurant staff were about and they were all friendly and had us sit near the bar it took until about 5:15 pm (in an empty restaurant) before we were seated. Although off to a bit of an unsettling start, the food would make up for it. We had mussels - the size and smooth texture of which I have rarely encountered. They were in a white wine sauce with what appeared to be cilantro and slices of jalapeno and while it was too spicy for my wife, it went just to the edge of what I can normally tolerate and I easily finished the sizable bowl. We also tried the butternut squash soup - excellent. I had a chicken breast with mushroom bread pudding which was very good. We had the crabcake as well which while not the best we've had, was also very good. Their wide selection of wines and the option of ordering either a glass or half glass made this even more of an adventuresome evening. I tasted three half glasses of whites - a Ganeta (which was excellent and by far my favorite), a Beblenheim reisling and a Bouchaine, the latter two both good. Too full for dessert, I had a latte to wrap things up and even that was very good -steaming but not piping hot and delicious. All in all, a delicious dinner, albeit somewhat dear.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
112 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Grape not Great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

We have been here twice. The food is good but not exceptional. The wine list is great but not a value. The servers were stretched. Did we like it tonight? Yes. The dishes were all at least good and played to a foodie palette.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Lost its luster--service can be mediocre, the food hit and miss”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

Our dining experience at Grapeseed in early October 2013 was disappointing. While some of the dishes are very good, others are not (avoid, for instance, the pasta with pork and crab; to the restaurant's credit, they discounted that dish from the final bill after I complained.) Even more disappointing was the service and the attitude of the staff. There were 7 of us and, according to the (very) fine print on the menu, that meant an automatic tip of 20%--though the minimal and perfunctory level of service really did not warrant it. Upon leaving, when I asked the manager about the mandatory 20% tip and told him I didn't think the service was that good, he said that legally we were not bound to pay that pre-set tip (even though the waiter, of course, had implied we had no choice). Very disingenuous. When someone in my party called him out on that, the manager got defensive and eventually made some pretty rude remarks: an unpleasant end to a so-so evening. No wonder the place wasn't even half full on this Friday night: people must be discovering there are better places in Bethesda. Grapeseed used to be a really good restaurant, with its original approach to food and wine pairings, and created a lot of buzz after it opened back in the day. No more. It seems as if they have gotten very complacent. To be fair, I did go a few weeks earlier and the meal (and service) were fine (we had a wonderful waitress), so the experience can be hit and miss.

  • Visited October 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Gaithersburg
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Inventive and delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013 via mobile

All of the food was inventive and delicious. The Chocolate Cremeaux was possibly the best dessert I have EVER had!

Visited October 2013
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