Not Quite Show Stoppers
Met Bethesda, City Perch Kitchen + Bar earn mixed reviews
City Perch feels like an exclusive lodge, with its rustic wood, autumnal colors and an inviting lounge with cork wall coverings that resemble tree bark. Photo by Michael Ventura
City Perch Kitchen + Bar
11830 Grand Park Ave. (in Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 301-231-2310, www.cityperch.com
FAVORITE DISHES: bread board, roast chicken, short ribs, bison rib eye, orange cream puff brulée, baked Alaska pie
BEER, WINE, AND COCKTAILS: 19 beers by the bottle and on tap, $4 to $8, plus three Belgian-style shareable dinner beers, served in wineglasses ($24); 92 wines from $36 to $250, 17 of which are by the glass, priced $7 to $17. Specialty cocktails, from $9 to $13, are listed under Fruit, Fizz, Whiskey, Brunch and Sweet; in addition, three shareable punches, which serve four, cost $20 each.
PRICES: Appetizers and small plates, $5 to $18; entrees, $16 to $38
SERVICE: Very friendly, which could be construed as either refreshing or overbearing. Our waitress one night offered some bum steer recommendations, and TMI about what she liked to eat.
IPic Entertainment tapped some top food folks for its City Perch restaurant in North Bethesda: Sherry Yard, a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef who most recently worked with Wolfgang Puck, spearheaded the seasonal American menu. Matt Baker, whose impressive résumé includes positions at Occidental Grill, Minibar and Brasserie Beck, serves as the on-site executive chef. And Chicago-based mixologist and sommelier Adam Seger, alumnus of several renowned restaurants, including Napa Valley’s The French Laundry, devised the bar menu.
I have no doubt the trio is talented, but unfortunately, the restaurant’s execution doesn’t keep up with the hype. It’s like a disappointing movie with a great cast.
Left: Bread board stars: the sage biscuit and cayenne and Parmesan popover. Right: A wall of wine bottles adds a sophisticated touch to the dining room. Photo by Michael Ventura
Starting with cocktails, our waitress one night recommended the Montgomery Blues, and indeed, it was one sad-tasting drink. Made with West Virginia’s Greenbrier small batch gin and Jack Rudy tonic, and served with a skewer of fresh blueberries (so much for the restaurant’s emphasis on locally sourced ingredients; this was the dead of winter), it tasted neither of gin nor blueberry.
On another evening, the Norma Jean (strawberry, vodka and lemonade) and the apple-flavored Forbidden Fruit Margarita came off more like watery fruit drinks, producing nary a buzz.