2014 | Dine

Sietsema Excludes Bethesda Restaurants from Top Picks

Washington Post critic has never had much nice to say about local eateries

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Jaleo in D.C. did make Tom Sietsema's list, but no Bethesda or Montgomery county restaurant did. Jaleo Bethesda pictured.

Jaleo Bethesda

Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema has snubbed Bethesda—again.

In his annual Fall Dining Guide published online, Sietsema names 37 favorite restaurants in the Washington area, none of which are in Bethesda or elsewhere in Montgomery County.

Thirty-one of the eateries are in D.C. and three are in Arlington. The list also includes one restaurant in Baltimore and one each in Virginia’s Loudoun and Rappahannock counties.

Sietsema names Rasika in the District as the top restaurant, writing that the Indian restaurant is “home to the most fabulous Indian cooking in the country.”

Sietsema has never been a fan of Bethesda restaurants.  In a 2011 Bethesda Magazine story titled “Why Washington Food Critics Hate Bethesda,” Sietsema said: “There are lots of places to eat, but not many that raise the bar or even set themselves apart in some fresh way. It’s really frustrating. …I just don’t get it.”

Bethesda’s Mussel Bar & Grille was included in Sietsema’s 2014 Spring Dining Guide, but not in a way that made owner Robert Wiedmaier happy. Sietsema, who wrote a scathing review when Mussel Bar opened in 2010, didn’t have anything better to say the second time around.

He wrote: “Sadly, some of the same problems that plagued” the restaurant when it opened “have stayed on like lingering houseguests who were never welcome in the first place.”