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“pleasant meal, some disappointments” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tavira

8401 Connecticut Ave, Ste LL, Chevy Chase, MD 20815-5835
+1 301-652-8684
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Ranked #14 of 32 Restaurants in Chevy Chase
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mediterranean, European, Portuguese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Description: Duarte Rebolo was born in Madeira Island, Portugal, a popular European tourist spot. His career in restaurant service began there and so far has spanned about 25 years. He left Madeira to work for Celebrity Cruise Lines. It was here that he worked with world renowned Grand Chef Michel Roux. It was here that he met his wife Linda, and decided to move to the Washington area. While here in Washington, he worked at The Water Gate Hotel with Jean Louis Pallidin until Jean Louis Left. At this point the Pallidin became Aquarelle and the Chef was Robert Weidemaier. Duarte continued to work at The Watergate until his dream of opening his own restaurant came true. Tavira opened in November of 1999. The cuisine is primarily traditional Portuguese, as well as Mediterranean dishes. It has been given favorable reviews from the Washington Post, Washington Diplomat, The Gazette, Bethesda Magazine and Washingtonian Magazine 100 Very Best Restaurants. Duarte's professionalism, attention to detail and hard work will make you Dining experience a deligtful virtual escape to Portugal
annapolis, md
Level Contributor
93 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“pleasant meal, some disappointments”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2012

We came here with friends to celebrate our joint anniversaries. There were four of us. Our friends had been here before and liked it but, as we entered, I wasn't expecting much....the basement of an bank building with offices, what!!? Actually the restaurant was pleasant -looking, white table cloth, maybe a tad stodgy. That was fine with me since I like to have a conversation at dinner, not sit in chaos, with noise, loud world music, squeezed into a tiny table overhearing everyone else's conversations.

This was an authentic old-style European restaurant. Extensive Portuguese/Mediterranean menu.

We had reservations at 6 and the dining room was nearly empty. The maitre'd seated us near the serving station,and the door to the kitchen. Our friend asked if we could have another table that was in a quieter area. Maitre'd said no, they were full with reservations for the evening. Our friend looked around and said, But we're here now, shouldn't we have a choice of tables? The maitre'd relented and put us at a tiny table in the middle of the room. Well, again, that was OK with me since it was cozy but it was hard to get all the plates on the table and my husband had to put the bread basket on the floor.

I hadn't read any reviews before we came here but I did just now before writing this review. We had the old-school waiter one reviewer complained about. I have to chuckle and can imagine that scene. For us, the waiter recited the long list of specials rapidly with an impressive perfect memory and precise diction but his accent was a bit hard to understand. I didn't mind that since I don't order specials usually. This time, I caught the word gazpacho and decided to order it. My husband had another special, the beef barley soup which I thought was an odd thing to have on the menu since the temp outside was over 100 degrees. Husband said the soup was fine. My gazpacho was the typical pureed orangy gazpacho you get in Spain served at room temperature. Garlicky with croutons. I love garlic.

Drinks: we didn't have wine. Friends had beer. I asked for sparkling water (Perrier) which never came. When I asked about it after everyone else else was served drinks, waiter said it only came in a big bottle. Well, why didn't he tell me that before? I would have taken the big bottle. But...no big deal.

Entrees: I ordered the Monkfish from the menu. Very good, could have used more seasoning. I couldn't get the silver salt and pepper shakers to work. Oh well. I tried to unscrew the tops but couldn't. Ate my monkfish the way it was. In all fairness, I like more salt/pepper/spices than most people. Husband ordered the Hake but they were out of it. So then husband and one friend ordered the cassoulet special. It was spectacular but included a good sized lobster tail with a hard shell. The struggle to get the lobster meat out of the shell was compounded by the sauces in the cassoulet. My friend tied her napkin around her neck and said she wished they had bibs, she didn't know the lobster in the cassoulet would be served like that. After giving it a try, she flagged down a food runner and asked him to bring back her lobster tail to the kitchen and have them take it out of the shell. He blanched, hesitated, and then bowed and did what she asked. I wondered if they gave him hell back in the kitchen. She asked you to do what? These fussy Americans! Other friend had the strip steak that he ordered medium and it was well done. No big deal.

Desserts. The waiter was really pushing the poached pear. I don't like poached pear. None of us wanted poached pear. He looked disappointed/irritated when we ordered just one flan to share (on the menu as "Caramel cream".). I can see where this attitude could be intimidating and could escalate. But perhaps management had a little talk with the waiter after the last incident.

When we left, the dining room wasn't full...just fuller than it had been when we came.

Yes, I'd come back. This place is the real thing. .

  • Visited July 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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80 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
85 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Average experience.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2012

Nothing special here....nothing worth returning for anyway. If it wasn't for the free ample parking I probably would give it one star. Having eaten at Portuguese restaurants before I had some idea what to expect, and this was not it. We each had mussels to start, then I had the seafood skewer and my wife the fish stew (hint, it is the same as the mussels with a few extra items thrown in so that it doubles as a new menu item). Nothing very good nor memorable. We really had no issues with the price if the quality had been there.

Sometimes they accept coupons, it really depends on how much you feel like fighting with them about it though.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Level Contributor
54 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Good Food and Free Parking”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

This is one of my family's standby restaurants--reliably well prepared Portuguese food on the ground floor of an office building that offers free parking. The piri piri chicken is fabulous--very spicy for those of you who like that. Fresh fish dishes daily, often including bronzino and dorado. Nice variety for both vegetarians and meat eaters--there's usually a very decadent steak dish on the menu. One of my friends always gets the trout. Free port after dinner! Pretty setting with delightful Portuguese china. Nice bar and good drinks. Portuguese music some Friday nights. About a mile from the Connecticut Avenue beltway exit in Chevy Chase.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Kensington, Maryland
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazingly delightful and delicious”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

From beginning to end our special dinner at Tavira exceeded all expectations. The wonderful service, live music, absolutely perfectly prepared shrimp soup, artichoke appetizer, rockfish, steak, and finally dessert all made for a perfect evening. Thank you Tavira!

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A Taste of Portugal's Food & Charm”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

We regularly go to Tavira because it is so good: food, service and atmosphere which is similar to other fine restaurants we visited on several trips to Portugal. Fish is one of their specialties, like Monk fish with shrimp and clams in a subtle tomato sauce, Calamari that is pan fried in olive oil and a Creme Brule that can't be duplicated in flavor and texture. And, the service by all the staff is friendly, competent and better than many restaurants at twice the price. I would rate Tavira as A+ in food, service and charm.

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.

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