After months of construction delays and other assorted disasters, Food, Wine & Co., the American bistro at 7272 Wisconsin Ave., finally opened yesterday (Sept. 9). Even opening day had a soggy saga—owner Francis Namin arrived in the morning to find a flood in the restroom area, caused by someone stuffing hand towels down the toilet. It was quickly repaired, but not without first removing the toilet from the wall.

Bathroom issues aside, the dining room is stunning—and its mellow atmosphere is a welcome respite from many of Bethesda’s noisy and claustrophobic eateries. Look for salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, mussels and entrees, a raw bar and charcuterie, plus cheeses from local Stonyman Gourmet Farmer. For appetizers, the fried calamari and sweet corn soup are early frontrunners, and the deconstructed peanut butter and jelly—made with brioche logs crusted with crushed peanuts and served with Concord grape ice cream and caramelized peanut butter dipping sauce—could well become a signature dessert. Executive chef Paolo Buffa plans on carrying out the deconstruction idea with future specials of lasagna and ravioli.

For more details about what it took to open Food, Wine & Co., look for my story in the November/December issue of Bethesda Magazine. It was a wild ride.