Newton’s Table, the long-awaited Bethesda restaurant owned by Chef Dennis Friedman, formerly co-owner and chef of Bezu in Potomac, is opening tomorrow, April 20, for dinner, albeit on a limited basis. The restaurant occupies the former Rock Creek space at 4917 Elm St.

“We will open the doors, and 90 percent of menu is ready to go,” said Friedman. “But we’ll stagger the seating and amount of people who will come in until we work through all the bugs.”

Friedman said he hopes to serve about 40 people for dinner tomorrow, then 50 the next night, and so on. The restaurant seats 74 in the dining room and 20 in the bar. It will be a few weeks until Newton’s Table is open for lunch.

The menu, which will change frequently, includes cold and warm plates to start, entrees in the mid to high $20s (with a few over $30), and some intriguing desserts. A five- or seven-course tasting menu is also available.

Among the cold plates: smoked trout and blueberry salad and Friedman’s signature nori tuna. Warm plates include molten cheese, wild mushroom napoleon, Wagyu wontons, braised short rib, salt and pepper shrimp with parmesan polenta, and scallops with sweet corn puree, grilled asparagus and a poached quail egg.

And that’s all before you get to the entrees—mushroom ravioli, fuzu noodles, sea bass, soft shell crabs, salmon, filet mignon, lamb chops, veal rib chops and two upscale burgers. One, the Newton Burger, will be seasoned with Friedman’s “secret” spices and served on a potato brioche roll; the other will be served open-faced with filet mignon tips and tempura lobster.


If there’s room for dessert, you’ll get to choose among Newton’s Apple Pie, vanilla bean cheesecake, chocolate crunch, ice cream floats, artisan cheese plate, cookie plate or bread pudding with a sliver of prosciutto brittle sprinkled with candied pecans. It’s called bread pudding with pig brittle, and Friedman figures every diner will take one look at the menu and ask their waiter what it is.

Of his ambitious undertaking, Friedman says, “I’m shooting for the moon. This works, or I quit.”