Seasons 52, a fresh grill and wine bar, makes its Maryland debut when it opens Monday in North Bethesda Market (11414 Rockville Pike), right across from White Flint Mall. The restaurant has 16 locations in nine states and is owned by Darden, whose holdings include Capital Grille, Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants.
All the menu items at Seasons 52 have less than 475 calories—such as a grilled turkey tenderloin skewer with vegetable pearl pasta, haricots verts and tamarind glaze, or an oak-grilled filet mignon with Yukon Gold garlic mashed potatoes, fresh vegetables and roasted mushrooms. And along with the intriguing-sounding calorie-conscious fare, there will be nightly piano music at the oversized, circular bar.
Benjamin Erjavec, the former executive chef of Baltimore’s Oceanaire restaurant, will be at the helm, although the chain’s menus are basically the same no matter what the geographic location, a creativity cramp for any chef. He’ll have some discretion, however, to use local ingredients. So far, the North Bethesda spring dinner menu includes a Maryland Crab flatbread.
In other restaurant opening news:
- Pizzeria da Marco, the Neapolitan pizzeria that was supposed to open March 28 at 8008 Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda, is now looking at a late April opening. Construction delays and logistics surrounding the 4,500 pound wood-burning brick oven from Naples, Italy are contributing factors.
- Newton’s Table, the Bethesda restaurant at 4917 Elm St. owned by Dennis Friedman, the former chef and co-owner of Bezu in Potomac, was due to open on March 1, but ditto on the construction delays. Friedman says he’ll be up and running in 10 days or so; I’m not holding my breath. Between Montgomery County’s permitting process and normal and unforeseeable building issues, it’s extremely rare that a restaurant opens on the anticipated date.
- One new restaurant that has opened is Jake’s American Grille, at 5018 Connecticut Ave. in Northwest D.C.—right across the street from Comet Ping Pong and Politics and Prose bookstore. I’ve had one meal there so far; the food was pretty good, but the camaraderie and service were great. It has all the makings of a neighborhood gathering place.