Food, Wine & Co., the popular Bethesda bistro that opened in 2010, has tweaked its image, with a new logo, awning, staff uniforms, and a somewhat more whimsical, progressive menu, according to ChefMichael Harr.
“It will still be a casual restaurant,” said Harr. “But we wanted to make it lively.”
That means that the black and white awning has been replaced with a handsome burgundy canvas, with a band of red, yellow and gold stripes—reflecting the interior color scheme. “We wanted to make it pop,” Harr says of the awning.
And punctuating the front of the restaurant are banners announcing “Oyster Bar,” “Fine Wine & Craft Beers” and “American Bistro.”
Also gone are the identical black pinstripe aprons worn by the servers; now there’s a mix of light chestnut-colored aprons and gray pinstripes, with a variety of different-colored shirts worn underneath.
About 85 percent of the menu will be brand new, says Harr. And with many of those dishes, he’s aiming for less conservative and more adventurous. Diners in the area now “trust us,” he says. “That’s why I’m able to get a little more diverse with the menu.”
So for example, for appetizers, he’s added grilled octopus that’s been marinated in chili and anise oil, then served with a coconut-curry emulsion, lemon curd and charred broccolini. Dramatic heads-on crispy prawns wrapped in French pastry and basil are another new starter.
Harr’s deviled eggs, which were on the old menu, are now pickled in red wine vinegar, turning the whites a deep, dark purple, a gorgeous contrast to the bright yellow yolks, topped with bacon bits, pickle relish and a micro green sprig.
Also on the list of beauty contest winners: The tuna nicoise salad, with its coriander-crusted and grilled rare tuna, purple Peruvian potatoes, quartered soft poached egg, French beans and green and black olives.