Persimmon, the popular Bethesda restaurant, has closed its doors—but just for a while. The restaurant closed on Sunday (July 29) for about three months of renovations. When it reopens this fall, Persimmon will have a new look, a new menu and maybe even a new name.

Damian Salvatore, who runs Persimmon with his wife Stephanie, said that when Persimmon re-opens it will be less formal and less expensive, and will serve smaller portions. “People aren’t eating the same way as they used to,” he said. “Not everyone one wants to do the fine dining thing. A lot of time people just want to go out to eat.”

Damian said the new menu, which he is currently developing, will be the same for lunch and dinner, and will feature more “bistro” type fare, including a hamburger. “We’re trying to make it so that the food is a little more friendly,” he said. Some favorite Persimmon dishes, such as the rack of lamb, will still be available, although the portions will be smaller, he said.

The interior will be brighter and will no longer feature white table clothes. “It will look more like Wild Tomato,” Stephanie said, referring to the popular family restaurant the Salvatore’s opened in 2011 in Cabin John.

“We’re trying to take some of the stuffiness out of the place,” Damian said.

The Salvatores are debating whether to change the name of the restaurant. Damian said if they change the name the word “Persimmon” will likely be part of it.


The Salvatore’s opened Persimmon in 1997 with what Stephanie described as “$43 in the bank.” It quickly became one of the Bethesda-area’s most popular and highly acclaimed restaurants. It has been voted “Best Overall Restaurant” three times by Bethesda Magazine’s readers in the “Best of Bethesda” readers’ poll.

Stephanie said they hope to re-open the restaurant in October.