Restaurant Review: Mark Bucher's Community
The diner concept in Woodmont Triangle needs tweaking
Tomahawk veal chop Parmesan, offered at dinner, is so ample it almost fills the plate. The breading is crisp, the meat is tender, and the marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese conspire to make one bite leave you wanting another. It’s as pretty to look at as it is delicious. Plump crab cakes are nicely rife with jumbo lump crab and devoid of fillers, but the accompaniment of too finely chopped coleslaw, reminiscent of KFC’s, does it no favors.
Fried chicken is paired with cheddar-and-chive waffles at Community.
Pass up the sickeningly sweet blueberry cobbler made in house and go for one of the desserts from outside vendors. Red velvet cake with cheesecake-like frosting is a standout. Smith Island cake, which Bucher has specially made by a French baker, looks inviting with its eight layers of vanilla cake, but one forkful reveals that its caramel filling is gritty and its chocolate glaze treacly. And so it goes at Community, where good looks don’t necessarily translate into good taste.
Red velvet cake is a good choice for dessert.
7776 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda | 301-272-9050 | communitybethesda.com
Favorite Dishes: Fried chicken and waffles, tomahawk veal chop Parmesan, buttermilk pancakes, grasshopper adult milkshake
Prices: Appetizers: $8 to $17; Entrées: $14 to $32; Desserts: $9
Libations: A nicely curated craft cocktail list that includes generous pours of well-made classics; specialty cocktails available in single serving or a punch bowl that serves four to six, among them the I’ll Have What She’s Having (gin, lemon, maraschino liqueur, mint) and the Friends with Benefits (rum, lime, cucumber, strawberry); a daily slushy called a “slurpdee,” such as a Pina Colada or bourbon-laced Arnold Palmer; and delicious adult milkshakes with booze, such as a Grasshopper and a White Russian. A wine list (no vintage years offered) features about 25 selections that are pricey, starting at $32 per bottle for a German Riesling and reaching to $73 for Washington State Syrah and $75 for French Champagne.
Service: It can sometimes take a while to get your food at Community, which is generally due to a staffing problem rather than ineptitude.
Overall Rating: C+
David Hagedorn is the restaurant critic for Bethesda Magazine.