The restaurant might want to rethink some of the desserts as well. The two house-made selections—yuzu crème brûlée and chocolate bread pudding—hit the mark. Neither is too heavy or sweet, and I’d gladly order either again. But the Napoleon, opera cake and pear tart—procured from Patisserie Poupon in Baltimore—didn’t seem to weather the trip too well. The bakery is a good one, but the pastries didn’t taste terribly fresh or special. Benaim said the restaurant eventually plans to make more desserts in-house.
Décor-wise, the former Bezu got a complete makeover, with Plexiglas dining chairs, tall white banquettes, oak walls made from old whiskey barrels, five big-screen TVs, cobalt-blue light fixtures and a 20-seat bar. Two huge photos of horse heads hang in the front and back of the restaurant; some may find the gaze of those equine eyes a bit unsettling. The place is still quite chic, but it’s more comfortable and not overly noisy, even on a crowded night.
Benaim appears to have accomplished his goal of revamping a special-occasion restaurant into a more affordable and accessible eatery. It’s a great addition to the neighborhood. Still, I miss Bezu. n
Carole Sugarman is the magazine’s food editor. To comment on this review, email email@example.com.
Mix Bar and Grille
9812 Falls Road, Potomac, 301-299-3000, www.mixbarandgrille.com
Open 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday
Beer and wine selection, plus intriguing specialty cocktails,
such as a sake martini. Gourmet hot teas include organic Japanese green tea with yuzu peel.
Appetizers, $6 to $16; sandwiches and main-course salads, $11 to $16;
flatbreads, $10 to $16; entrées, $14 to $26
Tuna tartare, fresh burrata and roasted peppers, grilled calamari,
frisée and smoked salmon salad, Chinese braised beef short rib,
wild mushroom and mozzarella flatbread
Yuzu crème brûlée, chocolate bread pudding
Shopping center lot
The wine list
By Jay Youmans
Mix Bar and Grille offers a diverse list with wines from California, Washington, Oregon, France, Italy and Spain.
- 19 wines by the glass, priced $8-$25
- 81 wines by the bottle
- One-third of the wines cost more than $100 per bottle, with the average costing $97.
- Five of the nine Italian reds are Barolo, priced at $100-$260; the only Chianti is $175.
Recommendations by the glass: Try the Evolution #9 (white, $9) with the Chinese braised beef short rib, and the La Piuma Montepulciano (red, $10) with the wild mushroom and mozzarella flatbread.
Top bottle picks: 2011 Lake Chalice Sauvignon Blanc (white, $55); and the 2011 Evening Land Pinot Noir (red, $68)
Overall grade: C+
The wine list seems out of sync with the casual menu in terms of both price and selection.
An Advanced Sommelier and a Master of Wine, Jay Youmans owns the Capital Wine School in Washington, D.C.