Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lia's - Chevy Chase, MD

I look forward to Bethesda and DC Restaurant Week every summer. Sure they have it in winter too, but that's just not as festive! For Bethesda Restaurant Week (7/23-8/1), I went with 2 of my girls to Lia's in Chevy Chase. This contemporary New Italian restaurant has a huge outdoor patio. There is garage parking underneath Bloomingdale's (across the street) and valet (couple bucks). The closest metro stop is Friendship Heights on the red line.

The interior is very simple, modern and clean. We sat in the back room where the walls were made of plywood, and the wall diving us from the main dining room was a stainless steel and glass wall of wine. The white linens, soft lighting and candles made it classy.

Each of us participated in their Restaurant Week deal (3-courses for $30). Usually the restaurant will make a special limited menu for the week, however Lia's was amazing! They let you choose off the entire menu minus 3 of out 4 steaks. That's like 38 nice.
I'm listing the prices for the items as if they were a la carte. FYI, the soft lighting was affecting some of my shots. Sorry for some blurriness! Bah...

After enjoying some red wines at The Tasting Room, I decided to enjoy a glass during my meal. Our awesome server Adam suggested the 'Monastrell-Tempranillo, Carchelo, Jumilla, Spain 08' for $10.95. I told him I was looking for something more fruity. He said this wasn't quite fruity, but a good wine he thought I'd enjoy. It was very light, and I liked it.

My cousin ordered the 'crispy calamari with trio of sauces' for $12.95 as her appetizer. We had to guess on the sauces, and they seemed to be a marinara, lemon and avocado. The calamari was fried well but we all thought it was too salty.

My friend ordered the 'spicy calamari salad with arugula and treviso'. It usually comes as part of a 3 for $15 deal, so I'm not sure how much one was. She thought it was a bit bland and not spicy enough.

I ordered the 'fattoush salad, feta, olive, flatbread' for $7.95. It tasted like a Greek salad with spicy flat bread on the side. Sadly, the flatbread was chewy and tasted old.

My cousin ordered the 'lobster and corn risotto with roasted tomato' for $26.95. She liked it a lot and you can't tell by the picture but it was a huge portion.

My friend ordered the 'seared scallops wild mushroom-asparagus risotto' $23.95. The scallops were large and she seemed pleased.

I enjoyed my 'pan roasted duck breast potato hash, spinach, apricot gastrique' for $24.95. Our server suggested I order it medium-rare and I thought that was a good tip. Tasted a bit peppery, but very tender. The sides were flavorful and I liked the fried green onions on top.

The desserts were actually on a special Restaurant Week menu. My friend ordered the 'chocolate chip cannolis (artisan cannoli shells, ricotta-chocolate chip filling', which no one at the table was crazy about. The filling tasted like cookie dough and it wasn't very delicate.

My cousin and I each chose 3 different gelato/sorbet flavors.
Top: Chocolate, Melon, Raspberry
Bottom: EVOO, Coconut Basil, Raspberry
The melon was the best flavor because it was so bright! The next memorable one was the Coconut Basil, which had great balance. The EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) was very earthy and I kind of liked it despite it sounding odd.
Overall, I thought the food was good, but nothing spectacular. The entrees seemed better than the appetizers, and the service and ambiance was quite nice. Without the restaurant week deal, the dinner would've been much more expensive if you look at the regular prices. I'm not sure if I would pay that much on a normal day. They have a cool daily deal: 4pm-6:30pm 3-course twilight delight ($19.95) for any soup or small salad, chicken, salmon, pasta or mussels, and any dessert.

4435 Willard Avenue
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Lia's on Urbanspoon

Lunch: Daily: 11:30am - 4:00pm
Dinner: Nightly: 4:00pm - 10:00pm
Sunday Brunch 11:30am - 3:00pm

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