Bethesda Magazine: January-February 2020

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BEST OF Bethesda





“Best Reason to Keep Watching Local News,” NBC4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer


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North Building Opens February 2020. Visit

This February, Suburban Hospital unveils its 300,000 square foot,

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Learn more at or call 301-477-8890 SA LE S C E NTE R N OW O PE N : 7825 Tuckerman Lane, Suite 215, Potomac, MD 20854

Imagery is for illustrative purposes only. Features, finishes, and prices are subject to change without notice. | MHBR #8335 EYA LLC, through its various development affiliates, builds homes in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC metropolitan area. References to “EYA” refer to EYA LLC. EYA Marketing LLC markets, advertises, and sells each EYA affiliated property as agent for the seller. The Townhomes at Cabin John (Cabin John) is being developed by Cabin John Associates LLC. No representations regarding the development, construction or sale of any portion of the Cabin John community is made by EYA LLC or any EYA affiliate except Cabin John Associates LLC. Sales by EYA Marketing LLC, agent for Cabin John Associates LLC.

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Sold over $75 million in 2019 Top Agent Real Trends Premiere Agent Zillow Top 1% Realtors International Top Agent & Best Agent 2015–2019 Washingtonian Knowledge | Integrity | Experience Erich Cabe Realtor® DC/MD/VA 202.320.6469 Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland. 5471 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 300, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 | 301.298.1001


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January/February 2020 | Volume 17 Issue 1


ON THE COVER 79 Best of Bethesda

COVER: Photo of Doug Kammerer by Michael Ventura



P. 84

La Gelatteria


From tasty toasts and a cool spot for ice cream to aqua spin classes and weekend happy hours, here are some of our editors’ favorite things about the Bethesda area. Plus—readers’ picks for dining, shopping, schools and more.


P. 208

Pete Piringer, spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service

142 ‘I Feel At Home Here’ Bethesda Magazine columnist Steve Roberts remembers his wife, Cokie, and their life together in Bethesda BY STEVE ROBERTS

150 Edison 2.0 At the recently rebuilt Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, students are learning the latest skills in carpentry, law enforcement, culinary arts and more BY CARALEE ADAMS


162 A New Beginning

174 The First Year

187 Weddings of the Year

208 Bethesda Interview

When a Congolese family of 10 arrived here last year as refugees, a team of volunteers from St. John’s Episcopal Church made it their mission to help them

A political gadfly for most of his career, County Executive Marc Elrich’s transition to being the person in charge has not been easy

A look inside four celebrations, from a ceremony at a zoo to a weekend of Cambodian and Filipino festivities

The spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service talks about the 24/7 news cycle, and how he always seems to be out of town when big things happen








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Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland. 5471 Wisconsin Ave, Suite 300, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 | 301.298.1001


P. 280






good life

art. festivals. culture. day trips. hidden gems.

34 | BEST BETS Can’t-miss arts events

A roundup of home items in a pale pink hue

Our critic checks out Sisters Thai, a new restaurant in Potomac’s Cabin John Village


280 | TABLE TALK What’s happening on the local food scene

How Chevy Chase Village homeowners renovated an 1890s house to accommodate their busy family life




38 | ARTS CALENDAR Where to go, what to see





52 | FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING MCPS demographics by the numbers

56 | QUICK TAKES News you may have missed

60 | BOOK REPORT New books by local authors, literary events and more


318 | SHOP TALK A PR guru on getting party-ready. Plus, a new store in Chevy Chase, D.C., shines a spotlight on local designers.

248 | BE WELL

people. politics. current events. books.


276 | REVIEW




Caroline Yi of Sunday Morning Bakehouse

How a former college football player discovered the power of hot yoga and opened a studio in Bethesda

322 | GET AWAY Your cheat sheet for a weekend away



Bethesda’s Al DeCesaris has biked across the country and run from Maine to Florida in his quest to raise research money for his niece’s rare disease

How I learned to stop worrying and enjoy the thrill of the casino


334 | PETS When it comes to pet sitting, dealing with the unexpected is just part of the job











An innovative field house brought national attention to Bethesda’s Walt Whitman High School

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Annabel Burch-Murton Realtor® DC/MD/VA 202.285.7166 Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland. 5471 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 300, Chevy Chase, MD 20815 | 301.298.1001


Bethesda Beat is Bethesda Magazine’s local news site. Each weekday, Bethesda Beat publishes an average of eight news stories covering local politics and government, development, crime, schools and restaurants. Read Bethesda Beat at

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WHEN PARISHIONERS AT St. John’s Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase decided a few years ago to help refugee families that were being resettled in the area, they started small. Several times, volunteers from the church furnished apartments for refugees, usually Afghans who had worked with U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan. Church members were enthusiastic about the work. “The first time we put out the word, within 24 hours we had everything we needed—all the stuff and all the volunteers,” Anne Derse, deacon at the 145-year-old church, told me. “People started saying they wanted to engage” with the refugees. So engage they did—agreeing to provide the primary support for a refugee family. This would include finding and furnishing a residence, as well as helping the refugees sign up for benefits and support programs, and, most important, adjust to the American way of life. St. John’s was assigned a Congolese family of 10 that spent five years in a refugee camp. The challenges have been daunting for the family—and the volunteers. But after a year, there are definite signs of progress. “They’re paying three-quarters of their own rent, the kids are in school, and they’re in the process of getting their green cards,” Derse says. Over the last year, about 130 volunteers, most from St. John’s, have assisted the family. “[The volunteers] have bonded in ways you can only bond when you’re involved with other human beings in such fundamental ways.” When Derse told me about the church’s plans in the fall of 2018, I asked if Bethesda Magazine could chronicle the efforts and experiences of the volunteers. Fortunately, she agreed. Bethesda Magazine Deputy Editor Julie Rasicot’s story begins on page 162. WHEN COKIE ROBERTS died in September, the country lost one of its most respected journalists—and Bethesda lost one of its most celebrated and admired residents. Cokie



lived in the same house on Bradley Boulevard for many of the last 70 years. She moved there as a child from Louisiana and then moved back in 1977 with her husband and fellow journalist Steve Roberts. Unlike many well-known people who live here, Cokie and Steve immersed themselves in Bethesda. They were regulars at the Bethesda Row Cinema, Pines of Rome and the Farm Women’s Market. They also were active in local philanthropic causes and events. Steve, who teaches media and public affairs at George Washington University, has written the “Hometown” column for Bethesda Magazine for the last 12 years. For this issue, I asked him to forgo his column and to write a personal essay about his life with Cokie—and their life in Bethesda. Steve’s essay begins on page 142.

FOURTEEN YEARS AGO, when we did our first Best of Bethesda issue, our readers picked their favorites in 50 categories, using a paper ballot that was inserted in a previous issue of the magazine. About 1,500 readers responded. We painstakingly transcribed the results from the ballots to a spreadsheet. (It was as excruciating as it sounds.) Since then, the Readers’ Poll has been online. We now include many more categories (90 this year) than we used to and get many more respondents (about 10,000 this year). In 2012, we started including Editors’ Picks, as well. I hope you enjoy our annual feature on the best the Bethesda area has to offer.

STEVE HULL Editor & Publisher

We Are Hyperlocal Being the best real estate firm means having the same passion that our favorite neighborhood business owners have in everything they do. At McEnearney, we take an authentic approach to assisting our clients in every step of the home buying and selling process because we are more than just agents, we live here, we work here, and we invest in the communities where we do business. EVP, CIO & Principal Broker MD & DC, David Howell, EVP & Managing Broker, Andy Hill, and VP of Professional Development, Deniz Artemel at Spring Valley’s favorite restaurant, Millie’s Spring Valley 4315 50th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016 I 14th Street 1803 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009 Kensington 3804 Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895 I DC +1 202 552 5600 I Equal Housing Opportunity




LIVES IN: Silver Spring

LIVES IN: Cleveland Park in Washington, D.C.

WHAT SHE DOES: Works as a freelance writer for various publications, mostly in Maryland and Virginia, and is a U.S. Professional Tennis Associationcertified instructor. ONGOING PROJECT: A book chronicling her grandmother’s unique Holocaust survival story that she hopes to complete by the spring. “I think this story is more important now than ever.”

IN THIS ISSUE: Wrote about the renovation of a stately 1890s home in Chevy Chase Village. “The story allowed me to tour one of those grand old homes I’ve driven past many times, but never had the opportunity to explore inside.” WHAT SHE DOES: Writes about design, architecture and real estate for The Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, Home & Design and other publications. She’s written four books, including Architecture for Dummies and Classic Modern: Midcentury Modern at Home. FAVORITE PIECE OF FURNITURE: “The 1940s sofa that belonged to my parents. I used to make fun of its boxy shape until I realized its design was created by British architect T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb Furniture. ‘Gibby’ was a master at combining classical and modern styles.”

CORRECTION: Our story on musicians from the National Institutes of Health (“Doc Rock,” November/December 2019) incorrectly described the disease targeted by a drug that resulted from work by Dr. John O’Shea. The drug is for rheumatoid arthritis.




IN THIS ISSUE: Compiled the Arts & Entertainment, Wellness and Literary Events Calendars, and wrote about Olympic gymnastics hopeful Kayla DiCello and other teen athletes for the Best of Bethesda package. “I spent 11 years as a sportswriter for the now-defunct Gazette newspapers, and am often told how much that extensive local sports coverage is missed. I was glad to have the opportunity to shine a light on some of the county’s best athletes.”

Long & Foster Readers’ Pick Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes Lifelong residents of Bethesda, Lynda O’Dea & her daughter Christina help buyers & sellers navigate the often complex real estate sales process. With expertise in business, technology, marketing & online advertising, plus staging & interior design — clients receive added-value services to maximize value & minimize stress, helping make the process more enjoyable. Give us a call to arrange a confidential no-obligation conversation!

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Kathleen Seiler Neary DEPUTY EDITOR






Kate Masters, Caitlynn Peetz, Dan Schere WEB PRODUCER



Eugene L. Meyer, Louis Peck, Carole Sugarman COPY EDITORS

Elisabeth Herschbach, Steve Wilder EDITORIAL INTERN


Caralee Adams, Jennifer Barger, Stephanie Siegel Burke, Amanda Cherrin, Deborah K. Dietsch, Dina ElBoghdady, Margaret Engel, Michael S. Gerber, Steve Goldstein, Melanie D.G. Kaplan, Rachael Keeney, Christine Koubek, Laurie McClellan, Melanie Padgett Powers, Amy Reinink, Steve Roberts, Charlotte Safavi, Mike Unger, Mark Walston, Carolyn Weber, Adrienne Wichard-Edds PHOTOGRAPHERS & ILLUSTRATORS

Edgar Artiga, Skip Brown, Goodloe Byron, Laura Chase de Formigny, Stacy Zarin Goldberg, Abby Greenawalt, Dan Gross, Lisa Helfert, Darren Higgins, Alice Kresse, Deb Lindsey, Liz Lynch, Maxine Schnitzer, Amanda Smallwood, Mary Ann Smith, Joseph Tran, Michael Ventura Bethesda Magazine is published six times a year by Kohanza Media Ventures, LLC. © 2009-2020 Letters to the editor: Please send letters (with your name, the town you live in and your daytime phone number) to Story ideas: Please send ideas for stories to Bethesda Magazine 7768 Woodmont Ave., #204, Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: 301-718-7787/ Fax: 301-718-1875




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301.906.4996 | | 301.298.1001 | Compass is a licensed real estate brokerage that abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed. All measurements and square footages are approximate. This is not intended to solicit property already listed. Compass is licensed as Compass Real Estate in DC and as Compass in Virginia and Maryland.



30 Min.


on Hampden Ln

All Fired Up AT&T At The Beach Tanning Bethesda Violins Capital Cryo Club Pilates Dunkin Donuts Fancy Cakes by Leslie Framer McGee’s Gallery GNC Halal Guys Lotus Grill and Bar Montgomery County Liquor & Wine MyEyeDr. Pure Barre RnJ Sports SoulCycle Tako Grill The Mane Event Hair Salon Underwraps The UPS Store Wells Fargo 520 Ice Cream of Bethesda 26




Arlis Dellapa, Erika Litman, Penny Skarupa, LuAnne Spurrell AD PRODUCTION COORDINATOR






Jennifer Beekman, Ann Cochran, Jim Mahaffie ADVERTORIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS

Stephanie Bragg, Adam Freedman, Heather Fuentes, Lisa Helfert, Darren S. Higgins, Tony J. Lewis, Hilary Schwab, Joseph Tran, Stephanie Williams Subscription price: $19.95 To subscribe: Fill out the card between pages 112-113 or go to For customer service: Call 301-718-7787, ext. 205, or send an email to For advertising information: Call 301-718-7787, ext. 220; send an email to; or go to For information on events and reprints: Call 301-718-7787, ext. 207; or send an email to Bethesda Magazine 7768 Woodmont Ave., #204 Bethesda, MD 20814 Phone: 301-718-7787 Fax: 301-718-1875

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from our readers THE FUTURE OF MOBILITY

I read with great interest Louis Peck’s in-depth story on local traffic (“Going Nowhere Fast,” November/December 2019). The jam we find ourselves in today is a product both of our success (people want to live here) and of decades of poor planning (no Outer Beltway, no second river crossing, major arteries—I-270, I-95—stopping short of the city center). It doesn’t help that the DMV is made up of three different political jurisdictions, with a river that bifurcates the region. Planners today are left trying to play catch-up by building expensive road and transit projects that always seem to fall short of the increased mobility they promised. Luckily, the transportation industry is undergoing transformational change as four technology revolutions begin to converge. Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared (ACES) vehicles promise a world where cars don’t crash or pollute, and mobility is accessible to everyone! Some worry that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will become so popular that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) will increase, making our roads even more congested. But this is misguided because AVs will be “connected” and will communicate with other vehicles and with intersections and highway infrastructure. This will allow high-speed platooning and will eliminate phantom traffic jams. Most industry experts believe that ACES vehicles will double or triple our existing road capacity and increase the efficiency of our entire road network with better utilization through smarter traffic routing. It’s possible we will see local commute times cut in half. This exciting future of mobility will roll out over the next 10 to 20 years. But our current traffic woes can’t wait. There are many solutions that will help bridge the gap, such as the Purple Line, widening of the American Legion Bridge, and Bus Rapid Transit on Route 29 and other places not served by Metrorail. Monorail

along I-270 is a lower-cost idea worth looking at. We should also be piloting free, low-speed, autonomous shuttles in all of our urban centers and investing in vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies like 5G. Lastly, now is the time to transition away from fuel taxes to a fairer VMT tax. Three to four cents per mile will more than cover all of the local, state and federal transportation budgets to fund our future mobility needs. John F. Bowis President of Chevy Chase Automotive in Bethesda and member of the Maryland Connected and Automated Vehicles Working Group Bethesda Magazine welcomes letter to the editor. Please email letters to and include your name, the town you live in and your daytime phone number. Bethesda Magazine reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity.









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art. festivals. culture. day trips. hidden gems.

good life


TOOT THEIR HORNS THE SPECIMENS ON DISPLAY at the National Philharmonic’s Meet the Musicians events are covered with brass and strings rather than fur and feathers, but organizers of the sessions like to think of them as “instrument petting zoos.” During the sessions, which run for about 30 minutes before select Philharmonic concerts, about 15 musicians from the orchestra bring their instruments to the lobby of the Music Center at Strathmore. Concertgoers are invited to get an up-close experience with the orchestra members and their clarinets, trumpets, violins and other instruments. Kids can even touch the instruments and play them. The orchestra, which is in residence at the Music Center at Strathmore, typically holds Meet the Musicians events at

two of their roughly 11 concerts each season, which lasts from September through May. The next Meet the Musicians event is scheduled for 2-2:30 p.m. on Jan. 19; at the concert that follows, the orchestra will perform Mozart’s Jupiter symphony. Tickets for the concert cost $29-$79; free for kids younger than age 17. Tickets aren’t required for those only attending Meet the Musicians. National Philharmonic,, 301-6372608; The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. —Stephanie Siegel Burke BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


good life

FOODIE HAVEN A GOURMET FOOD COURT, a hipster hangout and

Union Market is open Sunday through Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; hours for some shops and restaurants vary. 1309 5th St. NE, Washington, D.C., n —Hallie Kay




a family destination all wrapped into one—that’s Union Market in the NoMa neighborhood of Northeast Washington, D.C. The market, which opened in 2012 in a building built in 1967, is home to 40-plus vendors, each with their own stall or countertop. Union Market’s vendors sell everything from Venezuelan to Japanese food, making it easy to please many palates, like when you’re in the mood for an acai bowl from South Block and your friend is craving a bowl of noodles from Ramen by Uzu. Browsing is a big part of the experience. You can pick up Indian lentil crepes at DC Dosa, modern Israeli street food at Shouk, and seasonally flavored doughnuts at District Doughnut. Some businesses are pop-ups, while others are there to stay, including St. Anselm, a popular Brooklyn, New York-based fullservice steak haven; Salt & Sundry, a local boutique specializing in home goods; and the full-service Rappahannock Oyster Co., where the winding bar occupies much of the center of the space. Snagging a table for the casual eats you buy can be a challenge during busy times, but if you don’t see an open seat right away, just keep perusing the food stalls until you find one. You might wind up discovering another yummy treat or something to bring home for another day.

DC Dosa serves Indian lentil crepes.



good life


Our picks for things to see and do in January and February BY STEPHANIE SIEGEL BURKE

Jan. 22 - Feb. 24


An exhibit of sculptures and installations by resident artists at VisArts will include this wood piece by Diane Szczepaniak.

Jan. 15 - March 8

STATE OF THE ART Enclosures designed to make people feel at ease or discomfort, boxy objects that have no use or need, and installations that incorporate rituals and native traditions— these are some of the ideas behind the artwork created by the 2019 Fleur and Charles Bresler Resident Artists. The artists—Jack Warner, Diane Szczepaniak and MJ Neuberger—were selected for four-

month residencies to work on sculptures and installations at VisArts in Rockville, and they will show their recently completed work at the 2019 Bresler Resident Artists exhibition. Neuberger’s work will be on display from Jan. 15 through March 1; Warner and Szczepaniak’s work will be shown from Jan. 22 through March 8. An opening reception and artist talks for all three artists will be from 7-9 p.m. on Jan. 24. Free, noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; noon to 8 p.m. Friday, VisArts, Rockville,

Based on a 19th century drama about teenagers facing adulthood, the Tony award-winning musical Spring Awakening deals with themes that are as relevant today as they were in 1891, when the original play was written. With a rock score composed by Duncan Sheik, the story centers around a group of young people who are figuring out their sexuality, dealing with suicide, and rebelling against their parents. And while it sounds heavy, the production will appeal to younger audiences, according to director Alan Paul, who says theatergoers can expect great music, wonderful dances by up-and-coming choreographer Paul McGill, and a striking and operatic set design. The show is appropriate for ages 13 and older. $42-$78, Round House Theatre, Bethesda,

Jan. 20

County residents of all ages can participate in more than 100 service projects during the Montgomery County Volunteer Center’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Among this year’s projects, they’ll be making blankets and scarves for hospice patients, writing cards to cheer seniors and veterans, and assembling food packages for the hungry. More than 4,000 people are expected to participate in the service day, which honors King’s legacy of working to make the country a better place for all. Registration is required for some projects. Free, Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, North Bethesda, and at satellite locations around the county,



Hometown Holidays features a full schedule of live music. Southern Avenue performed at last year’s event.



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BEST BETS Feb. 8 - March 22


A POETIC LIFE Using old-school overhead projectors, shadow puppets, silhouetted actors and live music, the Chicago theater company Manual Cinema tells the story of poet Gwendolyn Brooks. The first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize, Brooks grew up in Chicago in the 1920s and ’30s. She published her first poem at age 13 and won the Pulitzer in 1950 for her book Annie Allen. Her work captured the urban African American experience and confronted racism and the struggle for civil rights. The theatrical concert No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks features an original screenplay and a jazz score that incorporates Brooks’ verses. 8 p.m., $35 in advance, $40 at the door, The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda,

Feb. 29

SHAKE YOUR GROOVE THING AMP by Strathmore gets a Studio 54 makeover during That ’70s Party with Superflydisco. The group, which has been playing 1970s disco classics for more than 20 years, pushes the idea of a tribute band to the next level. Rather than emulating a particular band, Superflydisco takes on the whole era of disco and funk music—and does it with style. Expect performers who dress the part with crazy wigs and flashy costumes. Audiences are invited to do the same. Platform shoes and bell-bottoms are welcome.

$15-$35, Imagination Stage, Bethesda,

Feb. 29

PREPARE TO BE WOWED In 2017, NPR host Guy Raz teamed up with Mindy Thomas, host of the Absolutely Mindy show on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live channel, to create NPR’s first kids podcast, “Wow in the World.” The smash hit program, which focuses on science and technology themes in fun and often silly ways, appeals to parents and kids alike. It’s been downloaded more than 20 million times. Now Thomas will bring the same energy from the podcast to the stage with the Wow in the World Pop-Up Party, a live show that weaves together comedy sketches, game show contests, live music and onstage science experiments. Recommended for ages 5-12.

8 p.m., $17-$22, AMP by Strathmore, North Bethesda, 36


1 and 5 p.m., $28-$48, The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda, n


Jan. 24

A quest to gain power from the Sky God sends Zomo the Rabbit all over Washington, D.C., in Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth. The story puts a contemporary local twist on a traditional Nigerian folktale and follows Zomo around the city as he meets a breakdancing fish on the D.C. waterfront, a graffiti artist cow at the National Zoo and a DJ leopard at an Adams Morgan dance party. Along the way, he learns the value of creativity and cooperation. The musical, which had its world premiere at Imagination Stage in 2009, features an original hip-hop score. It is recommended for ages 4 and older.


From the moment a child comes to Children’s National Hospital, while they are with us, and well after they’ve returned home, we will always be by their side.

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good life arts & entertainment


MUSIC Jan. 10

IN GRATITUDE: A TRIBUTE TO EARTH, WIND & FIRE. A 13-piece ensemble pays homage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band with performances of the iconic group’s hits and fan favorites, including “Shining Star,” “Let’s Groove,” “That’s The Way of the World” and “Can’t Hide Love.” 8 p.m. $30 ($20 food/beverage minimum not included in ticket price). Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, Bethesda. 240330-4500,

Jan. 10-19

UNFORGETTABLE: A TRIBUTE TO NAT KING COLE. Don Dillingham regales the audience in his soft baritone voice, with performances of such Nat King Cole classics as “Unforgettable” and “When I Fall in Love.” See website for showtimes and prices. Arts Barn, Gaithersburg. 301258-6394,

Jan. 15 and 29

AYO. The pop vocalist and Strathmore Artist in Residence has collaborated with such stars as Chance the Rapper, Andra Day and Common. Born in Atlanta and raised in Nigeria, her lyrics speak to the challenges of being a black woman in America and her music ranges from pianodriven soulful ballads to hip-hop influenced upbeat jams. 7:30 p.m. $19. The Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

Pop artist Hayley Kiyoko will take the stage at Fillmore Silver Spring on Feb. 13. For details, turn to page 41.



BEN CRAWFORD: BROADWAY & BEYOND. The vocalist, currently starring in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, joins the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for performances of songs from Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, South Pacific, Company and more. 8 p.m. $35-$90. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 877-276-1444,

Jan. 17-18

DISCO BISCUITS. Active since 1995, this jam band plays a distinct blend of rock,


Jan. 16















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Music Above All

good life techno, jazz, soul, blues and classical music. In addition to headlining its own shows, Disco Biscuits has also toured in support of such acts as the Black Crowes and the Jerry Garcia Band. 8 p.m. $45.50; two-day ticket packages also available. Fillmore Silver Spring. 301-960-9999,

Jan. 18 CHRIS MANN. In “From Gershwin to Gaga: Celebrating the Tony Bennett Songbook,” the classically trained American singer who rose to fame following his duet with superstar Christina Aguilera on the second season of NBC’s The Voice pays tribute to the long and diverse career of living legend Tony Bennett. The performance will include classic and modern hits, such as “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” 8 p.m. $35$55. AMP by Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100,

Jan. 19


{Roots jazz + country swing}



{Songs of Tony Bennett}





{Rollicking blues and soul}



{Irish folk band}

Sat, Feb 22

Raul Midón & Lionel Loueke {Jazz guitar greats}

Sun, Feb 23

That ’70s Party with Superfly Disco Sat, Feb 29

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SYLEENA JOHNSON. The Grammynominated R&B recording artist is known for her sultry voice, classic style and piercing delivery. Her 11th studio album, Woman, featuring her latest single of the same name, was inspired by the pain, struggle, strength and resilience of women everywhere. 7 p.m. $49.50-$69.50 ($20 food/beverage minimum not included in ticket price). Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club, Bethesda. 240-330-4500,

Jan. 23 PAUL GALBRAITH & ANTONIO MENESES. An evening of Brazilian and classical music featuring Grammy award-nominated master classical guitarist Galbraith along with Meneses, cellist of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio. 7:30 p.m. $30. The Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

Jan. 24 MOVIE WITH ORCHESTRA: AMADEUS. Mozart’s most celebrated works are performed live by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Symphonic Chorale as the multiAcademy Award-winning 1984 motion picture Amadeus plays on a giant HD screen. 8 p.m. $35-$90. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 877-2761444,

Jan. 24 ROBERT BURNS CELEBRATION WITH SEÁN HEELY TRIO. This evening of music, poetry, whiskey and haggis in


celebration of the life of poet Robert Burns includes performances by Heely, a U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion and award-winning Irish fiddler. 7:30-10 p.m. $40; $30 ages 20 and younger. Arts Barn, Gaithersburg. 301-258-6394,

Jan. 25 WPA: MIDORI AND JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET. Violin superstar Midori and pianist Thibaudet unite for their first Washington Performing Arts appearances in more than a decade to commemorate Beethoven’s 250th birthday year. 8 p.m. $40-$80. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100,

Jan. 31 JUAN DE MARCOS & THE AFRO-CUBAN ALL STARS. Founded by De Marcos in the hopes of promoting the complete story of Cuban music, the Afro-Cuban All Stars draw on classic Cuban music and contemporary dance rhythms. 8 p.m. $24$64. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100,

Feb. 2 WHEN BACH MET BLOCH. The Mount Vernon Virtuosi, a new chamber orchestra established by Peabody Conservatory cello faculty artist Amit Peled, is dedicated to nurturing and training local graduate music students. This special concert of the Bach Cello Suites will include selections from Ernest Bloch’s From Jewish Life. 11 a.m. kid-friendly concert; 2 p.m. adult-oriented chamber music concert. Free; registration required. Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Rockville. 301-8810100,

Feb. 7 DRUM TAO. Internationally acclaimed percussion artists TAO showcase the ancient art of Japanese drumming with high-energy performances that feature contemporary costumes, precise choreography and innovative visuals. 8 p.m. $29-$69. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

Feb. 8 CHARLIE CHAPLIN’S LEGACY: CLASSICAL MUSIC IN FILM. A tribute to Chaplin on what would have been the late entertainer’s 130th birthday. The cinematic program will feature clips from classic Chaplin films with live musical performances by the Baltimore Symphony

Orchestra. 8 p.m. $35-$90. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 877-276-1444,

Feb. 12 and 26

NICCOLO SELIGMANN. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and a Strathmore Artist in Residence, Seligmann plays more than 20 acoustic instruments, including medieval fiddle. Seligmann’s work unites historical and experimental music, using both acoustic and electronic instruments. 7:30 p.m. $19. The Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

Feb. 13

HAYLEY KIYOKO. In 2018, the celebrated American pop artist who has amassed more than 350 million lifetime YouTube views was named to NPR’s “The 21st Century’s Most Influential Women Musicians” and received the Rising Star Award at Billboard’s annual Women In Music event. Rolling Stone placed her “at the forefront of an unapologetically queer pop movement.” 8 p.m. $35-$120. Fillmore Silver Spring. 301-960-9999,

Feb. 17 THE PRESIDENT’S OWN U.S. MARINE BAND GALA CONCERT. The President’s Own United States Marine Band will perform with Grammy-winning conductor JoAnn Falletta on the podium. 7:30 p.m. Free; tickets are required and will be available on Jan. 20. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

Feb. 21 FRONTIERS. Journey fans will be transported back to the ’80s as the popular Journey tribute band performs hits, including “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and “Any Way You Want It.” 8 p.m. $20-$35. AMP by Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301581-5100,

recognized as a symphonic composer; Lyric for Strings by George Walker, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize for music; and William Grant Still’s The Symphony No. 1, the first symphony written by an African American composer. 8 p.m.; 6:45 p.m. pre-concert lecture. $29-$79; $10 college students; free for ages 7-17. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

Feb. 21 WPA: BUDAPEST FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA. The evening’s program pairs Mahler and ˇ mainstays with underexposed Dvorák works by the two late-Romantic composers. 8 p.m. $34-$105. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100,

Feb. 27

Feb. 21 NATIONAL PHILHARMONIC: BLACK CLASSICAL MUSIC PIONEERS. Featuring Sphinx Competition-winning violinist Melissa White and performances of the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Florence Price, the first African American woman to be widely

ARETHA: A TRIBUTE. Vocalists Capathia Jenkins and Darryl Williams are accompanied by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in this tribute to the Queen of Soul. Performances will include such iconic hits as “Respect,” “A Natural Woman”

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good life and “Chain of Fools.” 8 p.m. $35-$90. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 877-276-1444,


Seoul-based Bereishit Dance Company, which approaches Korean culture from a contemporary view, will perform at The Music Center at Strathmore on Feb. 6. For details, turn to page 44.

Jan. 10-Feb. 1

Jan. 11-12 PETE THE CAT. When Pete the Cat gets caught rocking out after bedtime, the catcatcher sends him to live with the Biddle family to learn his manners. But life is always an adventure when you’re with Pete the Cat. Recommended for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. See website for showtimes and prices. Olney Theatre Center, Olney. 301-924-3400,

Jan. 24 SEATON SMITH. The Howard University alum, who has made television appearances in Girls, Inside Amy Schumer and Difficult People, got his start in D.C.’s stand-up comedy scene. His jokes take unexpected turns and offer a refreshing take on relatable topics. 8 p.m. $14-$22. AMP by Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301581-5100,

Jan. 24-Feb. 2 A RAISIN IN THE SUN. When the Tony Awardnominated play opens, the Youngers, an African American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s, are awaiting a life-altering insurance check for $10,000, and everyone in the family has their own idea for how the money should be used. Presented by the Rockville Little Theatre. See website for showtimes. $22; $20 students and ages 62 and older. F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, Rockville. 301214-8690,

Jan. 29-March 1 MISS YOU LIKE HELL. Embark on a crosscountry road trip adventure with troubled 16-year-old Olivia and her estranged mother Beatriz, who is an undocumented immigrant 42

from Mexico. See website for showtimes and prices. Olney Theatre Center, Olney. 301-924-3400,

Feb. 13 LINCOLN PARK: A CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY. Learn about one of the oldest African American communities in Montgomery County (dating back to the 1850s) during this Peerless Rockville Speaker Series event featuring Lincoln Park Community Center Supervisor Yvette Yeboah-Schools. 7-8:30 p.m. Free. Glenview Mansion, Rockville. 240-3148660,

Feb. 13 LOVE AND MARRIAGE AND MURDER. An interactive wedding-themed whodunit comedy presented by Die Laughing Productions. The show will feature 98 Rock’s Justin Schlegel, real-life newlyweds Joe and Katie Robinson, Die Laughing Productions comedians and the audience as wedding crashers. 8 p.m. $22-$37. AMP by Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301581-5100,

Feb. 17 STORIES OF DR. SEUSS. The Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble brings such Dr. Seuss favorites as “The Cat in the Hat,” “Green Eggs and Ham” and “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” to life through dance. 11 a.m.-noon. $10-$15. Arts Barn, Gaithersburg. 301-258-6394,

Feb. 21-March 1 THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE. The Victorian Lyric Opera Company presents this comic opera that tells the story of Frederic, whose hard-of-hearing nurse mistakenly apprenticed him to a band of pirates instead of a ship’s pilot, as she was instructed. See website for showtimes. $28; $25 students and ages 65 and older.


F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre, Rockville. 301214-8690,

Feb. 21-March 8 NO SEX PLEASE, WE’RE BRITISH. The Kensington Arts Theatre presents this British farce that follows bank manager Peter Hunter and his new bride, Frances. See website for showtimes and prices. Kensington Town Hall, Kensington. 240621-0529,

Feb. 21-March 14 PERFECT ARRANGEMENT. This play was inspired by the true story of the “Lavender Scare” and the early stages of the American gay rights movement. It’s 1950 in Washington, D.C., and U.S. State Department employees Bob and Norma have been tasked with identifying sexual deviants within their ranks. But Bob and Norma are both gay and have married each other’s partners as a carefully constructed cover. See website for showtimes and prices. Silver Spring Stage, Silver Spring. 301-593-6036,

Feb. 22 16TH ANNUAL PLAY IN A DAY. Six professional D.C.-area theater companies will have 24 hours to write, direct, rehearse and perform 10-minute original plays based on similar themes given to them on the evening of Feb. 21. Presented by the Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. 8 p.m. $15. Imagination Stage, Bethesda. 301-2156660,

Feb. 26-29 and March 1 AS YOU LIKE IT. Montgomery College’s College Performing Arts Series presents William Shakespeare’s comedy in which love blossoms during disputes between two pairs of brothers. 8 p.m. Feb 2629; 2 p.m. March 1. $10; $8 seniors; $5 students with ID. Robert E. Parilla


YELLOW FACE. The lines between fact and fiction are blurred in this semiautobiographical play by Tony Awardwinning playwright David Henry Hwang. Simultaneously hilarious and moving, this production confronts racism and assimilation and the changing role that “face” plays in American life today. See website for showtimes and prices. Silver Spring Stage, Silver Spring. 301-5936036,


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good life Performing Arts Center, Rockville. 240-5675301, reppac.

Feb. 28 ZINDAGI NA MILEGI DOBARA. You Won’t Get This Life Again is a 2011 Indian film in which three friends, inseparable since childhood, head to Spain on a bachelor trip. Jhalak Dance Academy will present a Bollywood dance demonstration before the film—audience participation is encouraged. 7-10 p.m. $10; $12 day of screening. Arts Barn, Gaithersburg. 301258-6394,

ART Jan. 11-Feb. 23 HOME. The 29th annual juried exhibition features artwork inspired by “home.” Home may be interpreted in a variety of ways, from a physical place to a sentimental object, the sentiment itself, family, community—or lack thereof— and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 10 a.m.9 p.m. Wednesdays; noon-4 p.m. Sundays. Opening reception 7 p.m. Jan. 16. Free. The Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100,

Jan. 15-March 1

Ongoing LAUGH RIOT AT POSITANO. Live stand-up comedy shows featuring local comedians from the Washington metropolitan area. 8-9:30 p.m. Saturdays. $15 cash-at-door admission (doors open at 7:15 p.m.). Positano Italian Restaurant, Bethesda. 301-654-1717, see-a-show/positano-saturdays.

NARA PARK. The Washington, D.C.based sculptor and installation artist is a recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Fellowship, the Young Artist Award from the Trawick Foundation and the Hamiltonian Artists Fellowship. Her work has been displayed at numerous venues, including Baltimore/ Washington International Airport and

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American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Noon-4 p.m. WednesdaysThursdays; noon-8 p.m. Fridays; noon4 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. Opening reception and artist talk on Jan. 24. 7-9 p.m. Free. Gibbs Street Gallery, VisArts Rockville. 301-315-8200,

DANCE Jan. 12 STEP AFRIKA! The world’s first professional dance company dedicated to the African American tradition of stepping headlines an evening of percussive dance, featuring lightning-fast footwork and synchronicity. Recommended for ages 8 and older. 5 p.m. $35-$75. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

Feb. 6 BEREISHIT DANCE COMPANY. The Seoulbased company approaches Korean culture from a contemporary view. The performance, which combines athletic

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Jack Everly, conductor Ben Crawford, star of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, performs show tunes from Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, South Pacific, Company and more.


SUN, JAN 26, 3 PM

John Storgårds, conductor • Gil Shaham, violin SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 9 MENDELSSOHN Violin Concerto HAYDN Symphony No. 103, “Drumroll”


THU, JAN 30, 8 PM

Marin Alsop, conductor • Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello PRICE The Oak SAINT-SAËNS Cello Concerto No. 1 DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 7


Carolyn Kuan, conductor • Philippe Quint, violin BARBER Adagio for Strings JOHN CORIGLIANO Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra from The Red Violin JOHN WILLIAMS Theme from Schindler’s List ENNIO MORRICONE Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso CARLOS GARDEL Tango from Scent of a Woman VARIOUS Charlie Chaplin’s Smile


Marin Alsop, conductor PROKOFIEV Suite from Romeo and Juliet Followed by Q & A with Marin Alsop


SUN, FEB 16, 3 PM

Marin Alsop, conductor • Yulianna Avdeeva, piano MOZART Marriage of Figaro Overture CHOPIN Piano Concerto No. 2 PROKOFIEV Suite from Romeo and Juliet


Lucas Waldin, conductor • Capathia Jenkins, vocalist Darryl Williams, vocalist A tribute to the Queen of Soul featuring iconic hits “Respect” and “A Natural Woman.”






ability with beautiful choreography, is complete with live traditional pansori music. 8 p.m. $35-$75. The Music Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-5815100,

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES Jan. 4 DISCOVERY DAY: ARCHAEOLOGY. The Montgomery Parks Archaeology Office visits the Gaithersburg Community Museum to offer an introduction to archaeology and what it teaches us about the past. Activities include archaeology site-in-a-can, tin-smithing, marble making, seed identification and ceramic mending. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Gaithersburg Community Museum, Gaithersburg. 301258-6160,

Jan. 11-Feb. 16 MOUSE ON THE MOVE. An interactive play that follows two adventurous mice ready to explore the world beyond their little mousehole. Best for ages 1-5; the audience becomes part of the story through multi-sensory activities. See website for showtimes and prices. Imagination Stage, Bethesda. 301-2801660,

Jan. 17-Feb. 16 RAPUNZEL. In this hand-puppet adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairytale, Witch Wartsmith goes to great lengths to keep Rapunzel away from the handsome prince. Recommended for ages 3½-9. 11 a.m. Fridays; 11:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $12. The Puppet Co., Glen Echo. 301-634-5380,

Jan. 26 THE GREAT ZUCCHINI! This adventurepacked show filled with surprises, magic, silliness and fun leaves kids on the edge of their seats. Recommended for ages 3-7. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. $10. Arts Barn, Gaithersburg. 301-258-6394,

Feb. 14-April 5 THE SNOW DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS. Based on Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved books, the show follows lovable Peter and his friend Archie as they take on relatable everyday challenges. See website for showtimes and prices. Adventure Theatre, Glen Echo. 301-6342270,


48TH ANNUAL MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY CELEBRATION. The City of Rockville’s Human Rights Commission will present two awards: the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Award, given to a student from a Rockville high school who has worked to fulfill King’s humanitarian dream, and the F. Michael Taff Award, given to a business, organization or adult that has helped improve the lives of people with disabilities. Reception to follow celebration. See website for times. Free. Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville. 240-314-8316, rockvillemd. gov/519/martin-luther-king-jr-day.

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Jan. 26

ANNUAL GLENVIEW MANSION WEDDING EXPO. Immerse yourself in the best of what the wedding industry has to offer—from fashion to photographers, DJs and more— as you plan your special day. 1-4 p.m. $5; $10 at the door. Glenview Mansion, Rockville. 240-314-8660,

Feb. 1

LUNAR NEW YEAR CELEBRATION. The annual event, presented by the City of Rockville in partnership with Rockville’s Asian Pacific American Task Force, will include performances by local groups, interactive activities and cultural displays. 1-3:30 p.m. Free. Rockville High School, Rockville. 240-314-8620, rockvillemd. gov/730/lunar-new-year.


ICE SKATING AT VETERANS PLAZA. Lace up your boots and glide around the outdoor rink. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays; noon10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; noon-midnight Fridays; 10 a.m.-midnight Saturdays. See website for prices. Veterans Plaza, Silver Spring. 301-5881221,

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ROCKVILLE OUTDOOR ICE SKATING. The 7,200-square-foot Rockville Town Square ice rink is the largest outdoor skating rink in Montgomery County. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays; noon-10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; noon-11 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m.11 p.m. Saturdays. See website for prices. Rockville Town Square, Rockville. 301-5451999, ■

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Jared Glickfield at his home studio in Bethesda interviewing his grandfather, Roy Nerenberg, as his dad, Neal, looks on


SPEAKING UP A local teen’s podcast showcases what it’s like to live with a stutter BY HALLIE KAY

JARED GLICKFIELD RECALLS the day last August when he sat, wearing a tank top and sweatpants, in front of a microphone placed on a basement desk at his family’s Bethesda home. “Hello,” he said into the microphone. “Welcome to Stuttering Since ’02. My name is Jared Glickfield, and this is my story.” That was the first recording of an

audio podcast Glickfield, 17, created to share his “real-life adventures” as someone with a stutter. Since then, the senior at Georgetown Day School in Northwest Washington, D.C., has recorded podcasts twice a month, interviewing friends, family members and mentors about their thoughts on his stutter, shedding light on what he considers “a quiet issue.” The podcasts




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are available on streaming platforms such as Spotify. Jared, who had never listened to a podcast before creating his own, begins each interview with a few prewritten questions. As guests respond, his questions quickly multiply, driving the conversation. “I have created my own style,” he says. “The joke is that if I don’t stutter it completely discredits me, because it’s a podcast about my stutter.” Tommie Robinson Jr., Jared’s speech therapist and the division chief of hearing and speech at Children’s National Hospital in the District, suggested the teen try creating a podcast after inviting him to speak about his stuttering experience before Robinson’s class of Howard University graduate students studying speech pathology. Afterward, the students told Robinson they were inspired by Jared’s story and how openly he discussed living with a stutter. It took Jared two months to warm to the idea. “What teenager is like, ‘Hey, I’m going to start a podcast talking about my speech-related disability?’ ” he says. “From an outsider’s perspective, it makes zero sense.” Jared has stuttered ever since he can remember. His parents, Sharyn and Neal, noticed the stutter, which is considered a speech disorder, shortly after he began talking at age 2. Jared was too young to begin formal speech therapy, so his parents spoke more slowly to him and focused on making eye contact. “The benefits of those early techniques were really twofold,” Sharyn Glickfield says. “One, to model for Jared how to slow down. And, two, to create a slower pace for him so he didn’t feel rushed or pressured to keep up. Eye contact…really did help him smooth out his speech.” Jared began attending speech therapy when he was in second grade. He decided in seventh grade that he wanted to stop, partly because he was feeling burned out and also because he didn’t think he needed the therapy as much as he had previously.


In the summer of 2018, Jared’s grandfather, who also overcame a stutter, suggested a return to therapy. Jared began seeing Robinson once a week that fall, and has since progressed to monthly visits. The two set goals and practice techniques that can help alleviate the teen’s stutter. “Everyone’s stutter is different, so everyone’s therapy should be different,” Jared explains. Over the years, Jared’s stutter has evolved from being repetition-based to block-based, which is defined by the feeling that there is a blockage where his jaw meets his throat. He describes the stutter as having its own personality, and he finds that he stutters less when he gets a good night’s sleep and when others are patient with him. Jared says that seeing how others respond when they hear him stutter is “a great filter for people’s character.” Having a stutter can be isolating, he says, and he knows of only one other student who stutters at his school. Although their stutters are different, the two have become close friends, helping each other through bad days. When a classmate poked fun at Jared’s stutter a few years ago, his friend intervened, telling the student that it was wrong and unkind, Jared says. “I’ve always been surrounded by great people,” he says. “I don’t get mad if people make fun of me. I feel sad for them because it’s their issue, not mine.” Jared hopes his podcast helps other stutterers realize they aren’t alone. He also wants other people to understand the importance of being patient when speaking to someone who stutters. “He just took the idea and ran with it...he is changing lives,” Robinson says of the teen’s podcast. “Jared has a fantastic sense of humor.” After graduating this spring, Jared plans to study computer science in college and to continue to podcast. “The beauty is that it is completely mine,” he says. “I don’t think there’s a stopping point anytime soon.” n


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The demographic shift over the last 20 years in the student population of Montgomery County Public Schools from majority white to majority minority presents opportunities and challenges, school officials say. “We’ve become much more diverse, which is such an asset to our community,” MCPS spokesperson Derek Turner says. “It allows us to look beyond ourselves and challenge our ideas.” Faced with an explosion in enrollment in recent years, the school system is dealing with the challenge of expanding capacity with limited resources. Among other issues, about a third of all students now qualify for free or discounted meals at school, and student participation in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs has risen more than 11 percentage points since 1998-99 to 17.5%. The influx of bilingual students has also created a learning opportunity: MCPS has established two-way language immersion programs in some elementary schools, where students from different language backgrounds can learn from one another, according to Turner. Here’s a look at how MCPS and its student population have changed from the 1998-99 school year to the 2018-19 school year, by the numbers:



Number of schools (an increase of 23)



Percentage of students who are Hispanic/Latino (up from 13.9%)



Percentage of black or African American students (up from 21%)

14.3 Percentage of Asian students (up from 12.8%)




Number of languages spoken by students (total not available for 1998-99 school year)

Number of countries from which students hail (total not available for 1998-99 school year)



Number of elementary schools currently offering two-way language immersion programs. They are Brown Station and Washington Grove in Gaithersburg, Kemp Mill and Oakland Terrace in Silver Spring, and Rolling Terrace in Takoma Park.


Percentage of students participating in free and reduced-price meals (up from 22.5%)

27.7 Percentage of students who are white (down from 51.9%)

Total enro llment (a jump of 34,828 students)

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Bethesda native Steven Levenson recalled his own teenage anxiety to write the hit musical Dear Evan Hansen BY MARGARET ENGEL


STEVEN LEVENSON REMEMBERS the dramatic family fights during his teen years while growing up in Bethesda. Passions flared over politics, culture or the grudges of the moment. The arguments often ended as quickly as they began, but they left him with indelible memories and insights into the dynamics of his family relationships. “I definitely had a lot of anxiety as a teenager,” Levenson says of those years,


when he would often hang out in downtown Bethesda at the now-closed Barnes & Noble and United Artists movie theater. “I’ve always been drawn to that area of my life.” At home, his family life was defined by a focus on politics and Judaism, as well as fixations on worst-case scenarios. Family superstitions included putting red ribbons under beds to ward off danger and fears of the evil eye, a



curse bestowed by a malevolent glare if one became too successful. “No one remembers why we had the ribbons and the dark concerns,” he says. “They were just part of our life.” Two decades later, Levenson’s ability to recall and interpret his feelings about those years has fueled a supercharged writing career that produced the monster hit musical Dear Evan Hansen, which explores the themes of adolescence, sex and social isolation through the story of a young man with a social anxiety disorder. Now 35, the graduate of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac is besieged with top Broadway, film and TV projects, thanks to the success of his Tony Award-winning musical, which premiered at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., the theater he attended with his grandmother while growing up. Levenson, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., recently became a father for the second time. His wife, Whitney May, whom Levenson met while both were attending Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, gave birth to their second daughter, Zelda, in August. She joined her 4-year-old sister, Astrid. Levenson’s sunny circumstances are a far cry from the teenage angst he plumbed in Dear Evan Hansen; he won a Tony for Best Book of a Musical in 2017 for his innovative and emotional portrayal of adolescent crises. Theatrical producer Stacey Mindich had paired Levenson with the songwriting team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul of La La Land fame to see if Levenson could translate their concept for a show about a teen who fakes a connection to a dead classmate. Pasek and Paul had read some of Levenson’s plays and thought his voice fit their story. Theater audiences agreed, especially the teenagers and millennials worldwide who have flocked to the show, many seeing it multiple times. The production is now touring the country—including a one-month run last summer at The Kennedy Center in D.C.—and Universal

Pictures is filming a movie version. Among Levenson’s new projects, he and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda are adapting the late Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Rent into a screenplay. Levenson also is adapting Larson’s musical Tick, Tick… Boom! into a Netflix film to be produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, among others. Levenson was an executive producer of the lauded 2019 TV miniseries Fosse/Verdon and also wrote episodes for Masters of Sex. An avid reader, Levenson has been captivated by storytelling since he was a young child attending local plays. After entering St. Andrew’s in sixth grade, he was cast in leading roles in several productions. Levenson continued acting at Brown, where he studied English and theater. While apprenticing at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts, after his sophomore year, he realized he didn’t feel a kinship with professional actors. “I felt myself drawn to plays as literature, rather than through the roles,” he says. “I knew I didn’t have the constitution to be an actor for a lifetime career.” A senior year playwriting class taught by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel changed his life. “She taught me the need to just start writing,” as she challenged students to produce plays in 36 hours, Levenson says. “That first draft is just pushing it out. It’s the hardest thing, and then you’re into the endless rewriting. There’s no escaping the shaping and rewriting, but you’ve at least got the ideas in the open.” Edgar Dobie, Arena’s executive producer, recalls that Levenson was “calm and precise, with an open mind and heart” in the often tension-filled months of creating Dear Evan Hansen. “He is a master of knowing what works on the live stage,” Dobie says. Levenson says he expects he’ll delve again into his past for future projects. “Complicated family connections will always be a part of my work,” he says. n

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News you may have missed BY THE BETHESDA BEAT STAFF

A GRIDIRON FIRST This year’s Walter Johnson High School football team made history by qualifying for the state playoffs for the first time. The football program started in 1957, a year after the school opened, and the state football playoffs began in 1974. Walter Johnson made it to the playoffs with a 7-2 record during the regular season. “They’ve all bought into a family atmosphere,” coach Larry Hurd Jr. said. As the No. 4 seed in the 4A West Region, the Wildcats won their first playoff game, defeating No. 5 Urbana 42-10 at home. But the playoff run ended the following week with a 56-21 loss at No. 1 Quince Orchard.


Montgomery County was in the mix in October when Forbes magazine released its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans. The top Montgomery County spot belonged to Ted Lerner of Chevy Chase and his family, at 128th, with a net worth of $5.1 billion. The Lerners are the majority owners of the Washington Nationals. Other local residents included Mitchell Rales of Potomac (154th, $4.4 billion), Bernard Saul II of Chevy Chase (250th, $3.4 billion), David Rubenstein of Bethesda (275th, $3.1 billion), and Dan Snyder of Potomac (333rd, $2.6 billion). Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was first on the list, with $114 billion. Microsoft founder Bill Gates was next, with $106 billion.


A NEW SOURCE FOR NEWS A student-run magazine has formed to publish news and features about schools throughout Montgomery County. The print publication will be called The Amplifier. Dan Shapiro, a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School and an editor of the magazine, said the mission is “to amplify the voices of students who otherwise would not have a medium to publish their work.” Students from multiple schools will collaborate on the project. The goal is to lay out the first edition during the winter and publish about 3,000 copies in the spring to distribute at MCPS high schools. Printing will be funded through the MCPS Student Publishing Partnership.




The Real Housewives of Potomac visited Bethesda on Oct. 23, filming a scene at Henry’s Sweet Retreat on St. Elmo Avenue. But rapport among the cast wasn’t so sweet a few weeks later. Candiace Dillard Bassett, one of the stars, filed a second-degree assault complaint in Montgomery County District Court against co-star Monique Samuels on Nov. 7. Bassett alleged that Samuels punched her and pulled her hair during a scene filmed at Rocklands Farm Winery in Poolesville on Oct. 16. Then Samuels filed a second-degree assault complaint against Bassett. One of Samuels’ attorneys, Troy Poole, says Bassett hit Samuels in the face with a wine glass and his client reacted in self-defense.


DIRECTING DYNAMO A Kennedy High School alum is making it big on Broadway with two hit musicals

RACHEL CHAVKIN grew up in Silver Spring as a self-described mall rat who danced and played soccer, loved grunge and heavy-metal music, and was captivated by the theater. Those childhood passions are evident in the Tony Award-winning director’s approach to staging two recent Broadway hits, the musicals Hadestown and Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. “Oh, my early years of music, dance and sports definitely make a difference,” says Chavkin, 39, who was co-captain of her soccer team at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring. “Movement is so important to me.” Known for incorporating athleticism in her shows, Chavkin also focuses on diversity when hiring casts and crews. Her predominantly female teams garnered a stunning 26 Tony nominations for the two musicals. The only woman nominated for best director of either a musical or a play at June’s Tony Awards, Chavkin made headlines when she lambasted producers and theaters for not promoting women as she accepted the award for directing Hadestown, which won eight Tonys. “I wish I wasn’t the only woman directing a musical on Broadway this season,” she said at the time. “This is not a pipeline issue. It is a failure of imagination by a field whose job is to imagine the way the world could be.” 58

A fan of history who read compulsively as a child, Chavkin says she approaches her work by moving from complex details into what would be spectacular and thrilling to see on stage. “When you experiment on stage, a premium is placed on authenticity,” she says. “I’m trying to get as close to real life [as possible]. The chaos of life is so delicious and joyous theatrically.” Chavkin went to shows often while


growing up, attending productions at Olney Theatre Center and the now-closed Harlequin Dinner Theatre in Rockville, as well as making annual trips to Broadway. When she was 11, her father, David Chavkin, saw an ad for Stagedoor Manor, a rural New York theater camp that launched the careers of Robert Downey Jr., Jon Cryer and Mandy Moore, and thought his daughter would like it. “I immersed myself in Stagedoor



shows and my life changed,” says Chavkin, who spent five summers at the camp. She also became a fan of anything unusual on stage. “I saw Hair in a loft at Studio Theatre in D.C. at age 16,” she recalls. “I was immediately attracted to the raw realness of experimental theater.” Chavkin, who lives in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights with husband Jake Heinrichs, a theatrical lighting designer, acted throughout her college years at New York University. She bailed on acting as a career after her first audition, which she found unnerving. Later, with six friends she met while attending NYU as an undergrad and then a graduate student, she founded the TEAM, a Brooklyn collective that has created 120 theater works that are performed worldwide. Heinrichs is part of the TEAM troupe, as are her close friends Jake Margolin and Nick Vaughan, whose baby she carried as a surrogate last year. Chavkin wanted to experience pregnancy, knew the couple wanted to be parents and was unsure

when she and her husband wanted to have a child. The pregnancy was “a joy” and “a profound gift,” she says, adding that she plans to be a “mother-like aunt” to the child. Before her Broadway success, Chavkin had earned praise for years for her staging of off-Broadway and regional theater productions, winning OffBroadway Theater Awards (or Obies) and honors from Drama Desk critics. She also won a Smithsonian magazine American Ingenuity Award. New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley called her “a miracle worker.” Chavkin returned home to direct the premiere of Sarah Gancher’s I’ll Get You Back Again in 2017 at Round House Theatre in Bethesda. She came to the attention of Round House Artistic Director Ryan Rilette when he saw Great Comet in its early off-Broadway incarnation and attended a reading of a play that Chavkin directed in Chicago. “What I love about all of Rachel’s

work is that she solicits incredibly honest and deep emotional work from her actors while also embracing theatricality and spectacle,” Rilette says. “No one does that better than her.” In demand before she received her Tony, Chavkin has been flooded with new projects. Among them, she’s working on a Moby Dick musical, a project based on Gone with the Wind, and a musical about Tamara de Lempicka, a bisexual Polish emigre portraitist. And she wants to create a TV series based on her stepfather Dan Hawkins’ experiences with Volunteers in Service to America, focusing on the founding of community health centers and “renegades working against the system for change.” Chavkin isn’t worried about taking on such a bureaucratic topic; after all, she brought Tolstoy’s War and Peace to life in Great Comet. “You have to be all in as a director,” she explains. “The great literature moves me and I want to bring all of its wild chaos to the stage.” n

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Covering the U.S. State Department for the Los Angeles Times since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Paul Richter noticed that a small group of skilled career diplomats was often sent to the toughest places. “These people were told again and again that they had to improvise. These were unstable situations where Washington hadn’t figured out a policy to pursue, so they said the ambassadors had to figure it out,” says the Chevy Chase resident and author of The Ambassadors: America’s Diplomats on the Front Lines (Simon & Schuster, November 2019). Richter profiles J. Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed in a 2012 attack on the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, and others who served in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. 60

Martha Grimes says she’s always been fond of reading British detective stories and has visited the United Kingdom about 20 times. “From the first time I went to England, I really liked the customs, the speech patterns… the whole setting,” says the Bethesda author who sets most of her books in England, including The Old Success (Atlantic Monthly Press, November 2019). In this latest installment in the mystery series featuring Scotland Yard detective Richard Jury, three detectives team up to solve a murder that occurred off the Cornish coast, another at a country estate and a third at Exeter Cathedral. “I never have an outline,” Grimes says. “If I did, I’d know everything before I started, and I think that would be boring.”


Bethesda’s Eric Lichtblau was fascinated when he heard of Freddy Mayer, a German-born Jew who fled Nazi Germany as a teenager in 1938 and returned as an American soldier who provided intelligence to the Allies. He interviewed the 94-year-old Mayer and pieced together details of his life with letters and military records in Return to the Reich: A Holocaust Refugee’s Secret Mission to Defeat the Nazis (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, October 2019). “At every turn, the story was so improbable,” Lichtblau says. “Most of us would never be able to jump out of that plane down a mountain in the middle of winter, much less go into an officer’s club posing as a Nazi, or a factory posing as a French electrician. It shows such remarkable calm under fire. It was really an inspiration.”

Constance Sayers’ debut novel, A Witch in Time (Redhook, February 2020), is a romantic, historical fantasy about a woman who travels through time to relive a love affair in 19th century Paris, 1930s Hollywood, 1970s Los Angeles and present-day Washington, D.C. “It’s a story about a curse gone wrong and all the implications for a woman who is basically catapulted through four lifetimes with two men—one is a supernatural being and one is not. It’s almost like a love triangle through four different lifetimes,” the Kensington author says. Sayers, who is a media executive, worked in the evenings for two years to complete the book and credits fellow writers and editors she met at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda for supporting her through the process.



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The top-selling books in our area. Data is based on books sold at Politics and Prose’s Connecticut Avenue location in Upper Northwest D.C., from Oct. 30 to Nov. 13, 2019. Note: Author event sales may influence the presence of some titles on these lists.

Jan. 5 LAURA DENARDIS. The Washington, D.C.-based author sits down with Washington Post reporter Shane Harris to discuss her latest book, The Internet in Everything: Freedom and Security in a World with No Off Switch (scheduled for publication on Jan. 7). DeNardis, who is American University’s faculty director of the Internet Governance Lab, argues that there is no longer a meaningful distinction between the physical and virtual worlds. In exploring governance concerns around privacy, discrimination, human safety, democracy and national security, DeNardis offers new cyber-policy solutions. 3-4 p.m. Free. Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C. (Connecticut Avenue location). 202-364-1919,

Jan. 23 and Feb. 20 CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS. Writers of all levels—no experience is required—can work on putting their personal stories on paper in a supportive environment. Presented by Community Building Art Works in partnership with Strathmore. 7 p.m. $25. The Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100,

Jan. 27 and Feb. 5 THE LESSANS FAMILY LITERARY SERIES: MICHAEL DOBBS AND MARRA GAD. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27), Dobbs discusses his book The Unwanted: America, Auschwitz, and a Village Caught In Between, which focuses on the deportation of German Jews to France in October 1940. On Feb. 5, Gad speaks about her memoir, The Color of Love: A Story of a Mixed-Race Jewish Girl. 6:30 p.m. reception; 7 p.m. conversation. See website for ticket information. Bender Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Rockville. 301-8810100, 62


The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern


Olive, Again, Elizabeth Strout


The Dutch House, Ann Patchett


Agent Running in the Field, John le Carré


The Testaments, Margaret Atwood


The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates


Find Me, André Aciman


The Topeka School, Ben Lerner


The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead

10. Grand Union, Zadie Smith


Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights, Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Katie McCabe


The Overstory, Richard Powers


Unsheltered, Barbara Kingsolver


The Library Book, Susan Orlean


The Only Woman in the Room, Marie Benedict


The Western Wind, Samantha Harvey


The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern


Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, Trevor Noah


There There, Tommy Orange

10. Hard Mouth, Amanda Goldblatt




Desk 88: Eight Progressive Senators Who Changed America, Sherrod Brown


The Best at It, Maulik Pancholy


Sofia Valdez, Future Prez, Andrea Beaty


The Capital of Basketball: A History of DC Area High School Hoops, John McNamara


Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, No. 14), Jeff Kinney


The American Story: Conversations with Master Historians, David M. Rubenstein


The Fowl Twins, Eoin Colfer


Erosion: Essays of Undoing, Terry Tempest Williams


Legacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities Series, No. 8), Shannon Messenger


The Seine: The River That Made Paris, Elaine Sciolino



Holding the Line: Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis, Guy M. Snodgrass

Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany, Andrew Maraniss



Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War, S. C. Gwynne

The Secret Commonwealth (Book of Dust Series, No. 2), Philip Pullman


Free Lunch, Rex Ogle


Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators, Ronan Farrow


AstroNuts Mission One: The Plant Planet, Jon Scieszka


No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History, Gail Collins

10. Drawn Together, Minh Lê

10. Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac, Alex Dimitrov, Dorothea Lasky





Brian and Amy sitting in a tree...

First came love, second came marriage, then came open houses, inspections, appraisals, walk-throughs, settlements…. Over the past 25+ years Brian and Amy have helped hundreds of clients in the Bethesda area buy and sell their homes. They strive to creatively and effectively meet the goals of their clients while applying the highest standards of care and attention to every transaction. They also seek to make each home purchase and sale experience an enjoyable one. They are truly married to your success. Visit to learn more.

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Realtor® m: 301.832.0864


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Heller Coley Reed 240.800.5155 LFC at Bethesda Office Zelda: 202.257.1226 Jamie: 202.669.1331 Leigh: 301.674.2829

Heller Coley Reed is a leader in the real estate market in the Washington DC metro area with over 30 years of award-winning service, and year after year ranks among the top real estate teams for the highest sales volume and highest average home sales price. Zelda Heller, Jamie Coley and Leigh Reed attribute their continued success to their high customer service standards and unparalleled expertise when handling real estate transactions.

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Laura and Anne have been working together as the Emmett Homes team since 2009. Anne is a wellknown and respected Bethesda-based agent with over 30 years of experience. Laura previously worked as a political appointee and employment attorney before joining Anne selling real estate. This mother/ daughter team enjoys the camaraderie of working together and, in turn, treats every client like a part of the family. Their first priority is helping clients reach their real estate goals, and they do it all with the utmost level of professionalism and integrity. They have a tremendously strong tie to this community they love and offer their clients insights and perspectives rooted in Bethesda. Anne believes involvement in the areas we live and work in is the truest way to understand what makes a community unique. Laura has an incredible depth of knowledge of the Capital Region; she sells homes all over the DMV area but has a special love of her hometown base of Bethesda.

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Thank you to our Buyers and Sellers for Another Successful Year! Wishing you Health, Happiness and Prosperity in the New Year!

Sondra Mulheron & Pam Schiattareggia 301.785.9536 | 301.802.7796 | Bethesda Gateway Office 301.907.7600

Helping Buyers & Sellers since 2003 • Top Producers in Bethesda Gateway Office

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate

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6604 Pyle Road, Bethesda | $1,699,900 Gorgeous, elegant, new construction, 4 level Colonial home built by renowned Rui Ponte Architect in 2006. Unique floor plan with exceptional attention to detail. Great price, great location! Easy and quick to Virginia, DC, and downtown Bethesda. Bannockburn neighborhood offers a fun and active list-serve, plays and musicals in the Bannockburn Club House, co-op preschool near Bannockburn Elementary School, and 2 neighborhood swimming pools. Just too good to be true.

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Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes

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Lynda & Christina O’Dea 240.988.4400 | | LFC at Bethesda Office | 240.800.5155 As a mother-daughter team who grew up in Bethesda, we offer deep local perspective in addition to broad market knowledge that is valuable for any purchaser or seller, from first-time homebuyers to the highest price brackets. We also have unique technical expertise that allows us to access potential buyers quickly and effectively through our high-profile online presence on and This digital marketing strategy ensures that our listings are in front of potential buyers exactly when they’re searching. Plus our interior design and staging skills guarantee that our listings show their best in person and online! For the luxury market, our belief that “Legendary Homes deserve Legendary Service” is intrinsic in everything we do. Our goal to exceed every client’s expectations, from start to finish, has resulted in working with many top executives, politicians, professional athletes and entertainment personalities. We invite you to reach out to us for a free consultation!

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes

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Michael Seay Jr.’s Great Grandfather founded the W.C. & A.N. Miller Companies which developed some of the area’s most beautiful neighborhoods. Michael Sr. led the W.C. & A.N. Miller residential realtor group for 30 years before it was acquired by Long & Foster in 2008 where he’s currently a Vice President. In 2018 they partnered to form Michael Seay Homes, channelling their love of real estate and passion for helping their clients realize their real estate dreams.

Country Club Drive | Bethesda | $2,749,000

A real estate transaction is often one of the biggest investments in a person’s life. Their mission is to treat all of their clients like family by providing insightful, honest, and clear communication throughout the process to deliver an exceptional real estate experience.

Michael Seay Homes 202.415.4992 Bethesda All Points Office 301.229.4000

Maple Avenue | Chevy Chase | $2,495,000

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate


Lydia Benson 202.365.3222 Bethesda All Points Office 301.229.4000 Lydia Benson creates an unparalleled real estate experience in this highly sought-after market by leveraging her genuine commitment to her clients and utilizing her decades of intimate local knowledge. She has called the Capital region her home for over 30 years, following undergraduate and graduate studies at Stanford University, and loves the vibrant city in which she lives and works. Lydia’s personal, hands-on approach has resulted in award-winning growth rates among the leading agents in the DMV. Known for her honesty, confidentiality, and tireless work ethic when representing both buyers and sellers, Lydia approaches each client experience with the utmost respect and always stays true to her moniker —

Stunningly-lit 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath full of architecturally thoughtful renovations. Tree lined privacy and across from Glover Archibold Park, yet minutes to downtown and Georgetown. Huge entertaining living room with gas fireplace, floor to ceiling windows and lovely views of the nature outside, opens onto a stunning patio with full outdoor kitchen. Offered at $1,835,000.

“Treat your clients as you would like to be treated.”

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Congratulations to our Top Luxury Agents!

Left to right – Marie McCormack, Chris Georgatsos, Kat Conley, Kelly Bohi, Pam Potolicchio, Susan Jaquet, Leigh Slaughter, Natasha Kapetanovic, Hamid Samiy, Sherri LaRowe, Toya Giacomini, Tammy Durbin, Peter Sarro, Robyn Porter, Susan Sanford, Patricia Ammerman, Laura Emmett, Samu Qureshi, Anne Emmett, Andy Alderdice, Jessica Alderdice, Rowena DeLeon, Lydia Benson, Meg Crowlie, Michael Seay, Sharron Cochran, Vicki Porter, Bob Moorman, Debi Edwards, Jennie McDonnell. Not shown in photo – Nancy Mannino, Steve Hicks, Ken Bennett, Josh Pratt, Page Eisinger, Lupe Rohrer, Mike Seay, Jr., Becky Harris, Harris and Anne Anne Cavanagh Cavanagh, and Gary Floyd.

Bethesda All Points Office 301.229.4000 An Executive Approach to Real Estate. Trust • Innovation • High Performance • Supportive Culture • Winning Strategies

We are proud to be among the top ten producing Long & Foster offices, out of 200+ throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. Bethesda magazine’s 2020 Best Luxury Brokerage award recognizes our exceptional agents in the Bethesda market and beyond, to “All Points” of DC, Maryland and Virginia. We look forward to continuing to provide award-winning service to our luxury real estate clients in 2020.

Susan Sanford, VP & Managing Broker

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes

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As a family run real estate team, Graciela Haim & Heinen Group collectively have over 35 years of real estate expertise in the DC Metropolitan area, as well as industry experience in countries around the world. Each member of the group has their own specialty, offering clients a full range of real estate service, which not only includes experience, but also consultations in finance and design. This diversity, paired with multi-lingual fluency in English, German and Spanish, has helped our group become a big part of the DC international market, as well as given us the knowledge to provide for the needs of our local community. Working alongside the Long & Foster family helps the Graciela Haim & Heinen Group have the means to be the perfect fit for your real estate needs.

Graciela Haim & Heinen Group | Licensed in DC, MD & VA Graciela: 301.807.8845 Michael: 301.646.8207 Caroline: 301.646.1701 Potomac Village Office 301.299.6000

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate

Deborah has lived and worked in Bethesda for over 25 years. An awardwinning Realtor® and leader of The DC Team of Long & Foster Real Estate, she has an intimate knowledge of Bethesda as well as DC and all its surrounding suburbs. The DC Team offers sellers exceptional staging, marketing and negotiating skills allowing their clients to sell for top dollar and to buy at the best possible price. With specialized experience in relocation, Deborah also assists clients moving into and out of the DC area. The DC Team holds licenses in DC, Maryland and Virginia. They are affiliated with the top-producing Bethesda Gateway Office in downtown Bethesda.

Deborah Cheshire, Realtor® The DC Team of Long & Foster Real Estate 202.288.9939 | Bethesda Gateway Office 301.907.7600

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Connecting the dots of preparing a home for sale is Sarah’s specialty. Her trusted partners and team members include an exceptional group of contractors, painters, landscapers, interior specialists and marketers. Sarah’s bespoke and proven approach to home preparation has been cultivated over three decades of industry leading sales in the Capital Region. Targeting specific needs and tasks in each home she represents, from kitchen renovations to exterior landscaping and everything in between, increases sales potential and results in more interest, offers and ultimately higher sales prices. What Sarah’s clients have to say:

Sarah Funt brought just the right mix of coach and cheerleader to the challenge of selling our home. Her very experienced eye saw just what was needed to bring an offer the first day on the market. ~ The Walkers

Sarah Funt, CBR 301.509.1283 | Bethesda Gateway Office 301.907600

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate

Martha Slagle 301.844.8553 Bethesda Gateway Office 301.907.7600

A 4th-generation Washingtonian, Martha grew up in Bethesda and boasts an insider’s knowledge of the D.C. area and its surrounding suburbs. Prior to becoming licensed she held several distinguished positions in retail management including 25 years as vice president and general manager of Neiman Marcus in Chevy Chase. With past clients including first ladies and heads of state, Martha applies her well-honed customer service skills to her growing real estate business. Licensed in Maryland and Washington, D.C., Martha is affiliated with Long & Foster’s top-producing Bethesda Gateway office.

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Sharon became intrigued with the real estate industry early on, prompted by her mother’s distinguished career as a real estate agent in Montgomery County. Sharon built on this real-world education by earning a bachelor’s degree in Real Estate and Urban Development from American University. She then left for New York City, where she honed her negotiating skills and attention to detail as a Buyer, managing a $40 million business for Lord & Taylor. For the past 16 years, she has applied those talents to her career as a Realtor® in Montgomery County, achieving membership in Long & Foster’s prestigious Chairman’s Club and Gold Team. Sharon’s real estate practice continues to benefit greatly from the valuable expertise of her mother, Harriette Adler. Referrals from clients comprise the vast majority of Sharon’s business, a true recognition of the trust and confidence she has earned.

2 BR plus Den | 2.5 BA | 2,374 Sq Ft This upscale condominium, with an unparalleled location, is only steps away from everything that Bethesda has to offer. Enjoy the views from this luxuriously appointed home’s floor-to-ceiling windows and private, southwestfacing balcony. The Darcy’s amenities include a stunning lobby with 24-hour concierge desk, fitness center, club room, and guest suites. Offered at $1,750,000.

Sharon Gross REALTOR® 240.994.8959 Potomac Village Office 301.983.0060

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate


Deb Harshman REALTOR®, ASPM®, RESA®

4 BR | 3 FBA, 2 HBA 3,900 Sq Ft Offered at $1,440,000

4 BR | 4.5 BA 2,600 Sq Ft Offered at $910,000

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240.506.3799 Park Potomac Office 301.469.4700

Deb is a dedicated partner to every client and goes over the top in every aspect of a purchase or a sale. She sincerely feels that a client is like family. She exceeds all expectations for every home she sells. For 15 years, Deb has been providing Premier Property services with an extensive background in sales and design. She is an expert at making your property show at it’s best uniquely as an agent that is an ASPM® Accredited Staging Professional.

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9 9:31 AM

With sincerest appreciation for your friendship and loyalty, we join together to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season, and a happy and successful year ahead. 301.365.9090 • Bethesda Gateway Office 301.907.7600

Front L to R: Brooke Bassin, Emily Moritt, Wendy Banner, Gail Gordon, Ilene West Gordon, Julia Fortin, Sharyn Goldman Back L to R: Michelle Teichberg, Jody Aucamp, Pat Karta

Bethesda | Avenel


Bethesda | Lionsgate Condo


Darnestown|Rive Gauche Estates $1,998,000

5 BR | 3 FBA, 1 HBA | 4,540 Sq Ft | .34 Ac New on Market! Winter golf course views. All lawn care and maintenance included in HOA fee. Walking paths, riding trails, the Avenel Park, tennis courts, community pool and more!

2 BR | 2 FBA, 1 HBA | 2,042 Sq Ft | 2 garage spaces Luxury and location! Elegant corner unit. Full-service building with 24-hr concierge, valet parking, fitness center, roof top terrace, club room and more!

5 BR | 7 FBA, 1 HBA | 12,857 Sq Ft | 5.2 Ac Easily accessible to all major transportation. Whole house generator. Additional land available. Near Bretton Woods Golf and Tennis. Steps to the C & O Canal.

Potomac | Kentsdale Estates

Potomac | Potomac Falls

Potomac | Potomac Village


6 BR | 5 FBA, 2 HBA | 13,000+ Sq Ft | 2.03 Ac Tennis court, pool. Private movie theater! Separate area for a home office or in law suite. Access to large home gym with his/her locker rooms and sauna.


5 BR | 7 FBA, 1 HBA | 10,000+ Sq Ft | 2 Ac Renovated and expanded with heated pool. Main level owner’s suite with new bath. Separate in-law suite, walk out lower level, 2 screened porches, stone patio, deck, elevator!


5 BR | 7 FBA, 3 HBA | 14,217 Sq Ft | 2.09 Ac Minutes to Potomac Village! Three ensuite bonus rooms, wine tasting room, theater, wet bar, rough-in for elevator, and more.

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes

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Page Eisinger Associate Broker, GRI 301.461.3934 Bethesda All Points Office 301.229.4000 Licensed in MD, VA and DC Recognized top agent by Washingtonian Magazine Native Washingtonian Offering caring, committed, personal and professional service to buyers and sellers for over 30 years

Potomac. Unique opportunity to give this distinctive Potomac/ Travilah landmark a new life and purpose. Sited on 2 acres at the intersection of Glen and Travilah Road, it is gutted and ready for a new beginning after being salvaged by the owner from over 20 years of neglect and deterioration. Zoned RE-2, it may be used as not only a residence, but also many other commercial uses allowable by county code. Offered at $1,500,000.

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate

From the beginning of his real estate career 17 years ago, Juan has had one goal in his mind: to be the best person he can be in all areas of his life. Juan eats, breaths and lives real estate. He is dedicated to his clients, approaching every transaction as though it were his own. His passion has led him to build an outstanding team, Umanzor & Associates, seven Realtors® serving Maryland, DC and Virginia, and one of the Long & Foster’s top-producing teams. Ranking among the top 1% of the real estate agents nationwide, Juan has been recognized in The Wall Street Journal, Top Agent Magazine, Washingtonian, and recently, the Marquis Who’s Who. In 2019 Umanzor & Associates sold 130 homes with over $43 million in sales volume. Juan is committed to his work, family, friends and clients. His philosophy has always been the same: “treat everyone like familia.”

Juan A. Umanzor, Jr. Umanzor & Associates 301.215.4701 (d) | 240.606.8394 (c) Bethesda Gateway Office 301.907.7600

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Charlie Buckley’s

Mr. Waterfront Team 410.266.6880 Annapolis Eastport Office 410.260.2800

South River Landing is a gated waterfront community that offers a deep-water marina, pool, and tennis court. The stunning home, located at 770 South River Landing, has beautiful water views and luxe finishes. You’ll love the security when you travel and all the waterfront amenities when you’re home! See the Live Video tour at Offered at $1,595,000.

Charlie Buckley’s “Mr. Waterfront”® Team has helped more people buy and sell waterfront homes in Anne Arundel County than any other real estate agent since 1992. Since they work only with waterfront properties, their knowledge has saved buyers thousands of dollars and a lot of their valuable time. Sellers also benefit from the team’s knowledge, experience, integrity and their award-winning website,

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate

Summer 2020 Book Direct and Save, Book Early for the Best Selection

800.226.8095 DELAWARE Bethany Beach/ Fenwick Island 302.543.2601 Rehoboth/ Dewey/Lewes 302.227.3821

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MARYLAND Ocean City 410.524.9411 VIRGINIA Smith Mountain Lake 540.296.0512

NEW JERSEY Avalon/Stone Harbor Ocean City 609.697.3001 609.398.6762 Cape May Sea Isle City 609.884.1007 609.263.2267 Longport Wildwoods 609.822.3339 609.729.8840

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THANK YOU FOR ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL YEAR! A Bethesda resident since 1977 and Realtor® since 2002, Sharron’s mission is simple: to provide you with exceptional service driven by the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. In the words of her clients, ”Long & Foster is extremely fortunate to be represented by Sharron Cochran. Her knowledge of the real estate market, her effective marketing and communication skills, and her extraordinary common sense helped make our recent buy/sell transactions painless. She adeptly facilitated the purchase of our current home (for less than the asking price) in a highly competitive, fast-paced market, and then brought about the quick sale of our previous home — above the asking price. She’s honest, tireless, and attentive to every detail. Most importantly, she truly cares about her clients.”

Sharron Cochran

301.351.4517 | Bethesda All Points Office 301.229.4000

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes, Long & Foster® Real Estate

F. Hill Slowinski, JD, REALTOR® (DC, MD, and VA) 301.452.1409 | | Bethesda All Points Office 301.229.4000 Hill has helped a range of clients exceed their expectations, working with firsttime buyers, growing families, estates, trustees, investors, builders, architects, developers, empty-nesters, and other individuals in transition with homes in all price ranges, from condos to single family homes to luxury estates. As an award winning Realtor® and Top Producer, his focus is on helping clients achieve better results. As a sharp, capable, seasoned expert, he works directly with you in achieving your objectives. He is thorough and focused and does not waste time. That’s how business gets done. Successfully.

The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors Consultant, Sloans & Kenyon Luxury Real Estate

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Hill is a 12th generation Marylander and lifelong DC area resident. You benefit from his 40+ years of successful executive, legal, and business experience facilitating many residential, commercial, and private real estate transactions in DC, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington state and internationally. Hill and his wife Maureen (a fifth generation Washingtonian) have successfully raised four children in the Washington area.

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410.531.0321 |



7 BR | 6.5 BA | 9,988 Sq Ft | 20 Ac 4309 Sundown Rd




Potomac 5 BR | 4 BA | 3,582 Sq Ft | .48 Ac 21 Orchard Way N



5 BR | 5 BA | 4,722 Sq Ft | 1.34 Ac 8405 Old Seven Locks Rd


5 BR | 6.5 BA | 8,814 Sq Ft | 3.8 Ac 14938 Finegan Farm Dr


4 BR | 5.5 BA | 6,006 Sq Ft | 2.09 Ac 21221 Golf Estates Dr


6 BR | 6.5 BA | 5,984 Sq Ft | 2.37 Ac 12604 Bridgeton Dr

4 BR | 3.5 BA | 2,934 Sq Ft | 0.36 Ac 10520 Stable Ln





5 BR | 5 BA | 5,986 Sq Ft | 2.22 Ac 18823 New Hampshire Ave


Silver Spring


3 BR | 2 BA | 2,476 Sq Ft | 0.56 Ac 15007 Peachstone Dr

As a proud partner of Long & Foster, we congratulate you on your continued success.

Readers’ Pick: Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes

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Honored to be the Readers’ Pick for Best in Luxury Homes

Best Brokerage for Luxury Homes Our agents bring together more luxury buyers and sellers than anyone else in the Capital Region Discover your next home at

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BEST OF Bethesda



The following writers contributed to this section: Caralee Adams, Jennifer Beekman, Stephanie Siegel Burke, David Hagedorn, Hallie Kay, Leigh McDonald, Kathleen Seiler Neary, Adam Pagnucco, Louis Peck, Caitlynn Peetz and Carole Sugarman.




BEST REASON TO KEEP WATCHING LOCAL NEWS son asking Alexa for a weather forecast more than once. “Are you kidding me?” Kammerer will say. “That’s who you’re going to ask?” “Makes me so mad,” he says with a laugh. “At that age, your parents don’t know anything.” The NBC4 chief meteorologist admits that his wife, Holly, and two kids—Kenton and 10-year-old daughter Cally—don’t tune in regularly for his forecasts. But plenty of other people do. Kammerer is so beloved by locals that his son makes him wear a hat to Nationals and Capitals games so he isn’t easily recognized. During the holiday season, residents send in photos of their light displays with hopes that Kammerer will broadcast live from their homes. He does “Backyard Weather” forecasts from local pool parties and barbecues in the summer. His team set up a green screen at a family cookout in North Potomac last year, and he finished off his forecast with a plate of ribs. Kammerer, 44, has been obsessed with weather since he was in third grade and a lightning bolt struck dangerously close to his house in Herndon, Virginia. In 10th grade, he interviewed longtime NBC4 meteorologist Bob Ryan, his role model, for a school project. As a young meteorologist in Florida, Kammerer enjoyed the thrill of chasing hurricanes. He later landed a job in Philadelphia, but always hoped to return home. When Ryan left the station in 2010, Kammerer was hired as his replacement. He bought a house in Chevy Chase, 4 miles from work, so he can run home to see his family between the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts—and so he can always get to work in a snowstorm. We caught up with Kammerer at home on a rainy afternoon in November. What’s it like to work at the news station you watched as a child? It’s pretty amazing. I think the biggest thing for me was the first time I ever sat down with Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler on the set for the 6 o’clock news. It was just a really surreal moment. All of a sudden, you’re looking from a different angle—you’re there with them, instead of looking at them on the television.


What can you tell people about the weather that they can’t get from an app? I think the biggest thing is that we’re able to explain it and show the impact that it’s going to have directly on you. Let’s say it’s Thursday afternoon and you’ve got a party set up for 30 people outdoors at your house and there’s a chance for rain. Well, the app is going to tell you you’ve got a 40% chance of rain. But only a meteorologist, only somebody that’s in front of you on television, can actually tell you what the chances are for that party. Should I have it outside? Do I need to get a tent? I would not make that decision based on an app. You need somebody to help you with that. Not only am I on TV doing that, people can ask me directly; they can ask me on my Facebook page, they can ask me on Twitter. What do you think of Montgomery County Public Schools’ decisions about closing schools? Most of the time, even when I’m forecasting a good storm where I think they should close the night before, they will wait to make that call until 5 o’clock in the morning. And that puts a lot of parents in a jam as far as what to do with the kids. It makes it very hard to plan. I would love to see them make that call a little bit earlier. If I’m making the forecast at 4 or 5 o’clock at night, I can tell you what it’s going to be like at 4 or 5 in the morning. I can say if we need to cancel or not. We’ve seen you on TV eating wings. Can you tell us about your superstition? I started eating Buffalo wings for the Capitals games, and they started winning. Our sports producer at the station started getting wings for every game, and they kept winning, and all of a sudden I’m doing live shots and having wings brought to me from Penn Quarter Sports Tavern [in Northwest, D.C.]. They would bring me a whole thing of wings, and I’d eat them on the air. We won every game [when] I ate them on the set. I did it for the Mystics and they won, and I did it for the Nationals and they won. I kept that going all the way through the World Series. I love wings, and it has to be Buffalo. It has to be about 10 wings, eight to 10 wings, has to be ranch dressing—and I cannot share at all.


—Leigh McDonald






BEST NEW TOASTS OF THE TOWN Avocado toast is so 2019. After all, there are other things you can put on a piece of toasted bread. Here are some of our favorite new options.

The burrata toast at Anthropologie’s Terrain Cafe is as stylish as the boho chic clothing in the adjoining store. An ebony puree of balsamic vinegar, black garlic, salt and pepper paves the sourdough toast, cutting the richness of the pillow-y burrata cheese, and flecks of black lava salt and sprigs of microgreens complete the ensemble. When it comes to delicious, some things are just black and white. Terrain Cafe, 7228 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 240-3459492, There’s a lot going on atop Flower Child’s “Tomato Toast.” First, seeded toasted bread serves as the launching pad for a generous schmear of goat cheese and slices of red tomatoes. Next up: pistachio pesto— in this case, a deconstructed version, with a shower of chopped basil, chopped pistachio nuts and grated Parmesan. Then the whole shebang is finished off with a sprinkling of black pepper and a drizzle of saba (the syrupy Italian condiment similar to balsamic vinegar). It’s a colorful combo of creamy, crunchy and fresh. Flower Child, 10205 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, 301-664-4971; 10072 Darnestown Road, Rockville, 301545-6750, Sunday Morning Bakehouse, the sleek new bakery opened in October by Potomac native Caroline Yi, is the epicenter of takes on toast. The offerings star stellar homemade bread—a choice of sliced brioche or sourdough that can be ordered with five different (but equally comforting) toppings. The “Cinn-Sug”—warm butter, brown sugar and cinnamon on toasted brioche—is like a cozy blanket, making you want to curl up in bed with it. On the other hand, butter, creamy peanut butter and sliced bananas on sturdy sourdough with a strong cup of joe may be better for a morning jump start. Yes, mashed avocado makes the list, but so do tomatoes (thinly sliced with olive oil, salt and pepper) and strawberry jam (the “Classic,” with warm butter and a pinch of salt). Sunday Morning Bakehouse, 11869 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 240-669-8202,



Flower Child’s “Tomato Toast”



“Irashai!” calls out the hostess, the bartender and passing waitstaff. That’s the standard drill at JINYA Ramen Bar, which greets each customer with the Japanese word for “welcome.” And we love it. The patrons feel gladly received, and it sets the tone for a good time. The Los Angeles-based chain extends the boisterous reception to guests at all of its restaurants—an idea instituted by founder and CEO Tomonori Takahashi, who wanted to carry on a tradition common in Japan’s eateries and retail establishments. As for the customer response here in Montgomery County, Jonathan Mao, one of the managers at the North Bethesda location, says, “Some people are a little weird about it; they feel like we’re yelling at them. Others will scream it as well.” JINYA Ramen Bar, 910 Prose St. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 301-816-3029,





The menu at La Gelatteria in Kensington features gelato and sorbet.



It may be winter, but that shouldn’t stop you from digging into the distinctive and vibrantly flavored gelato at La Gelatteria, a cafe that opened last May at Knowles Station in Kensington. You can even reminisce about warmer days while you sway on a swing aside a wall of artificial greenery in the shop that’s embedded with a neon sign that reads: “It was all a dream.” For owner and Kensington resident Elias Montilla, who was born in the Dominican Republic, that dream was to open a business in the United States; the signage serves as a reminder of the realization of his goal (while also playing on a line from rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s song “Juicy”). The gelato, sorbet and dairy-free options are made by Dolci Gelati, an artisan company based in D.C., and Montilla carries about two dozen flavors in all (we love the pistachio and the honey marscapone fig gelato.) La Gelatteria also serves coffee drinks (made with the Counter Culture brand), breakfast and lunch items, and for cold weather reality, an intriguing selection of hot chocolate, such as lavender, Nutella and s’mores. La Gelatteria, 10414 Detrick Ave., Suite 500, Kensington, 301-2722255,

Wagshal’s mock meat Impossible Burger is close to the real thing.

BEST PLANT-BASED BURGERS Targeted to a mainstream audience, Beyond Meat and the Impossible Burger are cropping up on restaurant menus like mushrooms after a storm. Made from plant proteins, they’re billed as helping to save the planet, but aren’t substantially different from ground beef when it comes to calories. So if you want to potentially reduce the carbon footprint (not your waistline), here are some of the best choices:


BEST TRADITIONAL: Wagshal’s, the venerable Spring Valley enterprise with multiple locations, certainly knows meat. Its deli counters and two restaurants are known for overstuffed sandwiches (including the legendary smoked brisket); its market features prime, dry-aged kosher meats; and its Pitmasters Back Alley BBQ is a protein palace. Wagshal’s knows how to prepare mock meat, too. The restaurants’ medium-thick Impossible Burger comes with standard but good-quality accompaniments—a seeded roll with melted American cheese, red onion, pickles, lettuce, tomato and “special burger sauce.” In terms of appearance and texture, it’s close to the real thing. But as for aping the rich, beefy flavor of Wagshal’s regular burger—made with prime beef, sirloin, short rib and chuck—well, that’s impossible. Wagshal’s, 4855 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 202-363-5698,

BEST VEGAN: Many restaurants top their mock meat burgers with cheese, dairy-based sauces or even bacon. At PLNT Burger, the new kiosk co-founded by chef Spike Mendelsohn at the Whole Foods in Silver Spring, the Mushroom “Bacon” BBQ Burger is 100% vegan. A gooey mess to eat, the Beyond Meat patty—pressed thin on a flattop griddle—comes loaded with melted orange vegan cheddar, barbecue sauce, fried onions and shiitake mushrooms sauteed with a smoked spice mixture (creating a bacon flavor). While it may be a tad redundant onion-wise, make sure to order a side of “bloomies,” Spanish onions coated in rice flour and spices, and fried to crunchy nirvana.


PLNT Burger, 833 Wayne Ave. (inside Whole Foods Market), Silver Spring, 240-685-6286,

BGR The Burger Joint, 4827 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, 240-743-4546; 229 Boardwalk Place (Rio), Gaithersburg, 301-569-7086,

Joint and Quarry House Tavern, you can dress your Beyond Meat burger in a variety of outfits. That’s because the plant-based selection in both places can be ordered with any of the condiments and topping combinations that are available on their long lists of traditional burgers. At BGR, the mock meat blends nicely with “The Wagyu Wellington’s” assertive toppings—caramelized onions, garlic, roasted mushrooms, black truffles, blue cheese and mojo sauce (a blend of horseradish and mayo). Ditto for Quarry House’s “Zeus” (garlic sauce, white cheddar, Greek relish and feta pepperoncini). At either place, there’s an Amazon of options.

Quarry House Tavern, 8401 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, 301-844-5380, facebook. com/quarryhouse




COOLEST DESSERT The chocolate terrarium at Anthropologie’s Terrain Cafe on Bethesda Row is both delicious and a clever marketing cross-reference—the dessert mimics the terrariums for sale in their store. The edible variety features a glass globe terrarium layered with milk chocolate ganache and dark chocolate mousse (to resemble sand and soil), plus shards of white chocolate and cookie crunch flavored with green matcha tea (to resemble moss), shreds of chocolate cake (to mimic dirt) and a “rock” filled with chocolate mousse. A garnish of micro sorrel tops off the trompe l’oeil delight.


Terrain Cafe, 7228 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 240-345-9492,




BEST NEWS FOR BAGEL LOVERS Bethesda Bagels owner Stephen Fleishman wasn’t looking to open another Bethesda store back in 2018. The company, which Fleishman and his wife, Fran, started in 1982, had just opened a branch in Rosslyn and rebuilt its flagship store in Bethesda. Fleishman’s son Danny (now the president of the company) and his wife, Katie, were about to have twins. But a landlord “offered us a deal we couldn’t pass up,” Stephen Fleishman says of Bethesda Bagels’ fifth location and second in Montgomery County, an outpost in Bethesda’s Wildwood Shopping Center that opened in October. Why is there a buzz around the new store? For one thing, it’s more convenient than the original Bethesda location for many customers. But mostly it’s the food, especially the handmade New York-style bagels that are boiled, then baked on stone shelves. Most things are made in-house, including the roasted turkey breast (handcarved in front of you) and various protein salads (chicken, egg, tuna and whitefish). “We are doing things the same way we did in 1982,” Stephen Fleishman says, “and the customers really appreciate that.”


Bethesda Bagels, 10241 Old Georgetown Road (Wildwood Shopping Center), Bethesda, 240-858-4741,





At Casa Oaxaca in Bethesda, bar manager Irene Barrientos serves up a spicy margarita. She shakes up fresh pineapple puree, sliced serrano peppers, fresh lime juice, agave and house tequila, and serves it straight up or on the rocks in a glass rimmed with chili flakes and salt. A pineapple wedge and pineapple leaf are the finishing touches. Casa Oaxaca, 4905 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda, 240-858-6181, At El Sapo Cuban Social Club in Silver Spring, chef and owner Raynold Mendizábal channels the spice, heat and passion of his native Cuba in a cocktail creation he calls “Hot Pasión.” “We cook jalapenos and ginger in guarapo— cane sugar juice—until it almost caramelizes,” he says. “It has to be guarapo, not granulated sugar. It makes all the difference in terms of richer flavor.” After it’s strained, the syrup is combined with fresh passion-fruit puree and Carta Blanca rum, and served over ice with fresh mint and some of the cooked jalapenos.

Restaurateur Zena Polin explains the provenance of a peppery cocktail at The Dish & Dram in Kensington: “One of our favorite regulars is named Amanda. She wanted a spicy cocktail, and I found one in my research called ‘the Amanda,’ made with grapefruit juice, vodka and StGermain liqueur.” Polin swapped out the St-Germain for jalapenos, which are sliced and mashed in the bottom of the glass, without seeds. The drink is served over ice and topped with club soda and lime juice. “If people want it crazy spicy, we leave in the seeds,” Polin says. The Dish & Dram, 10301 Kensington Parkway, Kensington, 301-9624046,




El Sapo Cuban Social Club, 8455 Fenton St., Silver Spring, 301-3261063,



here aren’t many foods that fit the bill any time of day, no matter what the need or mood. Enter the long-running “Tortilla Espanola” at Pescadeli, which can be eaten as an appetizer or a snack; for breakfast, lunch or dinner; cold, room temperature or hot; with garlic aioli, ketchup or plain; aside a salad, soup and fruit, or alone. The Bethesda market’s traditional egg and potato omelet is also sold with chorizo, and can be purchased by the pieshaped round or by the half or quarter. Chock-full of sliced potatoes, it’s comforting, satisfying and easy to eat, any way you slice it. Pescadeli, 4960 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, 301-841-8151,

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GO-TO HAPPY HOURS FOR THE WEEKEND Don’t bother rushing to happy hour after a stressful day at work. We’ve rounded up five great happy hours to enjoy on a Saturday or Sunday.

The duck nachos at Addie’s

Addie’s, 12435 Park Potomac Ave., Potomac, 301-340-0081, addiesrestaurant. com


Go to All Set Restaurant & Bar for the $1 local oysters, stay for the $6 cocktails. The Hot Toddy—cinnamon-infused whiskey, ginger syrup and lemon—should warm you right up this winter. If you really want a steal, opt for a $2 can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Management says they go through 450 cans a month. All Set’s $3.50 fish tacos, served with spicy coleslaw and avocado lime ranch dressing, are also popular. Nestled among office buildings on a downtown Silver Spring side street, the restaurant’s blue and white nautical interior may make you long for summer. Catch happy hour over the weekend from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. to close on Sunday. All Set Restaurant & Bar, 8630 Fenton St., Plaza 5, Silver Spring, 301-495-8800,


Brickside Food & Drink in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle covers all the sports bar bases: Sunday happy hour with $6 wings, eight high-definition TVs, plus a 13foot projection screen. The all-day Sunday happy hour also includes $16 buckets of Miller Lite and $6 cheeseburgers. If you’re feeling nostalgic, take advantage of the bar’s old-school Nintendo Entertainment System. Their collection of 8-bit games includes Top Gun, Metroid and John Madden Football. With food and drink specials until 2 a.m., you might have a little too much fun to make it into work the next morning. Brickside Food & Drink, 4866 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 301-312-6160, brickside


Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you have to stay inside on the weekend. Addie’s at Park Potomac has an enclosed patio with heaters that keep the space plenty warm for cornhole and giant Jenga. After a couple rounds of games, and $7 Manhattans, order the $9 duck nachos—lime creme fraiche, tomatillo salsa and cilantro complete the riff on a bar-food classic. If you’d rather cozy up, there are booths, high-tops and a 20-seat bar inside. The ambience is fun and inviting—quirky vintage home goods line a bookshelf, door knockers adorn a woodpaneled wall. Happy hour runs from 3 to 7 p.m. on Sunday (also Tuesday through Friday). Their $9 green curry mussels should help you fight off the Sunday Scaries.

A game of giant Jenga at Addie’s

Miss out on Taco Tuesday? No worries. You can find $6 chicken or steak tacos, two to an order, every day of the week at La Malinche in Silver Spring. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. (Saturdays and Sundays, too) and includes $5 and $6 classic tapas such as patatas bravas, Spanish meatballs and calamari. If it’s a high-ticket item you’re after, order Mejillones al Vapor—steamed mussels with garlic broth. It’s a generous serving for $6. Wash down your meal with homemade sangria at $4.75 a glass and $21 a pitcher. The Blanca Sangria, a mix of white wine, brandy and peaches, and spiced with cinnamon, is fit for the winter season.

Don’t be fooled by the New England theme—Rockville seafood restaurant Nantucket’s Reef is a neighborhood haunt. The daily happy hour is from 3 p.m. to close and includes $6 Dark & Stormies—muddled lime, dark rum and ginger beer—and $2 off appetizers. Sure, they serve $9 Wicked Mussels, prepared with chorizo sausage, pico de gallo and lemon butter, but the $5 Old Bay-seasoned cream of crab soup also stakes a claim on the menu. Don’t expect to run into many Patriots fans on Sundays; management says they stick to playing Redskins and Ravens games on the bar TVs.

La Malinche, 8622 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, 301-562-8622,

Nantucket’s Reef, 9755 Traville Gateway Drive, Rockville, 301-279-7333,






BEST INTERNATIONAL MARKETS You can find markets catering to just about every nationality in Montgomery County, but we do have our favorites

Sisters Sougol Mollaan and Sahel Dadras run Yekta, a Persian market and restaurant that their father, Yadi Dadras, opened in Rockville in 1979. The market is a wonderland of fresh produce (pomegranates, quince, persimmons, lemon and limes with their leaves, and cucumbers); dried fruits (barberries and apricots); nuts and nut brittles; baked goods (all kinds of baklava, cookies and flatbreads); dairy products (labneh, a kind of strained yogurt, and mast-o-moseer, a Persian yogurt dip); olive oils; pomegranate molasses; spices—and so much more.

There are interesting finds in every nook and cranny of tiny Hinata Sushi Carryout (and Market) in Bethesda, owned by sushi chef Waka Sakita and his wife, Nobuko. You’ll find boxes of fresh daikon radishes and Japanese turnips on the floor below racks of Hello Kitty candies. Shelves are jam-packed with soy sauces, sesame oils, dashi powder (to make kelp and bonito stock, which is used often in Japanese cooking), dried soba and udon noodles, bags of rice, and other Japanese staples. Aficionados know to go here for the superlative sushi. Place your order with chef Sakita, then stock up on your Japanese essentials for the 20 minutes it will take for him to prepare it (take the sushi to go, or eat at one of the three tables in the front of the store). Hinata Sushi Carryout (and Market), 4947 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda, 301-656-1009



Yekta, 1488 Rockville Pike, Rockville, 301-984-0005,

Sushi chef Waka Sakita at Hinata Sushi Carryout (and Market) in Bethesda


Sisters Sougol Mollaan (left) and Sahel Dadras run Yekta, which opened in 1979.

Guru Groceries and Chaat House, a market and cafe, opened in Bethesda last July. Husband-and-wife owners Deepak and Madhu Khemka relocated to the new location when their lease expired after a nine-year run in Rockville. “A lot of our customers would come from Bethesda, so we knew there was a need here,” Deepak says. The store stocks everything necessary for an Indian pantry, including fresh curry leaves, paneer (a fresh cheese), Kashmiri chili peppers, mustard oil, and fermented rice batter ready to be turned into dosas (thin pancakes). Not to be missed, though, are

Madhu’s chaats—savory snacks that explode with flavor—such as the papri chaat, a melange of spiced chickpeas, crispy crackers, tamarind chutney, mint cilantro chutney and yogurt. (The chaat house part of the market seats 20.) They also sell flavorful dishes prepared by a local Indian cook and frozen. Maybe chicken curry, dal makhani (black lentil stew) and aloo gobi (cauliflower and potatoes) for dinner tonight?

Madhu Khemka (left) and her husband, Deepak

Guru Groceries and Chaat House, 7817 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, 301-2514400, gurugroceries

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Owner Ahed Salous (left) and his cousin Eyad Salous, who works with him


South Street Steaks, 8804 Old Georgetown Road (by the old Bethesda Community Store), 301-433-3133





hed Salous got tired of sitting on his sofa and did something about it. His fast-casual cheesesteak restaurant on Cordell Avenue, South Street Steaks, had been closed since July 2018, when a truck smashed into the side of the building, causing a wall to tumble. “I was hoping to reopen in five or six months, but it was going to take much longer,” says Salous, who immigrated to the United States from Jordan in 2003. “I was at home losing money, so I bought a food truck.” He’s been serving up the cheesesteaks beloved by many Bethesdans in a lot next to the old Bethesda Community Store since September. He will operate there year-round and won’t reopen the brick-and-mortar store. The only remaining question: Do you want American, provolone or Cheez Whiz on that sandwich?

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BEST NEIGHBOR Forget fences—good beer makes good neighbors. Astro Lab Brewing opened in downtown Silver Spring in the fall of 2018 and is one of three breweries within a mile radius. Instead of competing with nearby Denizens Brewing Co. and Silver Branch Brewing Company, Astro Lab has collaborated with them. After the three worked together on a pale ale called Xtra Xtra Xtra in 2018, Astro Lab has continued to join forces with neighbors, releasing an English IPA with Silver Branch last January, and an espresso milk stout with Silver Spring coffee shop Bump ’n Grind in August. Co-founder and Liverpool, England, native Emma Whelan says collaboration within the community is “something that we’ve written into our mission statement. It’s a big part of who we are.” The menu at the 5,500-square-foot brewery isn’t what you might expect: Astro Lab serves savory pies, including a “Steak and Ale Pie” made with one of their stouts. With a side of mashed potatoes, peas and gravy, it makes for a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Astro Lab, 8216 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, 301-273-9684, astrolabbrew

Gemelli’s Italian Market is known for its tasty subs and homemade pasta—and it’s a great place to pick up frozen spinach ravioli or Bolognese sauce for later. In August, the traditional Italian market in Gaithersburg started turning out fresh-baked pizzas with a mix of aged whole-milk mozzarella and fresh mozzarella under the sauce. The pies are cooked in an Italian version of a deck oven (the classic pizza oven with several shelves), and many of the ingredients are imported from Italy, including flour and tomatoes. With a thin and crispy crust, the pizzas—which come in 12- and 16-inch sizes—are a cross



between Italian-style and New York-style pies, says Gemelli’s owner Maurizio Calcagno. Toppings include anchovies, dolce picante cherry peppers, sausage that’s been ground and seasoned in-house, and pepperoni “cups” that curl up and get crispy on the edges when they’re baked. Try the Diavola with imported hot Calabrian chili peppers, soppressata (salami) and basil. If you can’t make it out of the store with your pizza, there’s an eatin area with about 30 seats. Gemelli’s Italian Market, 12169 Darnestown Road, Gaithersburg, 240-246-7674,







In Silver Spring, a woman floats through an abstract sky. In Bethesda, a giant hummingbird hovers near a sunflower. And in Gaithersburg, quince flowers bloom against a yellow background. These are just a few examples of wall murals that have shown up recently on buildings and structures old and new around the county. Cities such as New York, L.A. and San Francisco are known for their vibrant street art and Instagram-worthy murals. Montgomery County is following the trend with murals in a variety of styles. Some of the artwork is commissioned by developers who get zoning benefits in return for providing public art. Other pieces are ordered by the county or private property owners to draw attention to their buildings and the communities that surround them. Look for more soon, including new murals at Clarksburg Premium Outlets and a parking garage on Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda.





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BEST COMEBACK The National Philharmonic’s concert season is underway, but it almost didn’t happen. After announcing in July that it would cease operations due to financial trouble, the philharmonic came up with a plan to go on, not only with the season, but for years to come. The orchestra raised more than $500,000 from numerous

donors, allowing it to both avert bankruptcy and look ahead. It’s also under new leadership. Jim Kelly, who plays violin with the orchestra and co-owns Potter Violins in Takoma Park, is serving as interim president, and former board member Harris Miller stepped in as board chair. They’re expected to remain in those positions for at least one year while they look for ways to secure additional funding. The orchestra—which was founded in 2003 and has 32 core members, but typically plays with about 70 musicians for most concerts—will remain in residence at the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda. Upcoming concerts include works by Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven, as well as a program devoted to African American composers.

BEST THEATER REFRESH Round House Theatre’s $9 million renovation last year resulted in a better experience for audiences and artists at the Bethesda playhouse. Patrons can appreciate additional seating, improved visibility and acoustics, and an expanded bar, which now offers cocktails and small plates in the redesigned lobby. On the production side, a new stage gives designers more flexibility, and a newly added artistic wing offers work space for meetings. Improved facilities for performers include a refreshed green room and dressing rooms, and a new “artist relaxation room” for downtime between shows. Round House Theatre, 4545 East West Highway, Bethesda, 240-644-1100,




National Philharmonic,

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BEST HOPE FOR A HOMETOWN OLYMPIC GYMNAST Between a full load of classes and 32 hours of gymnastics training per week, 15-year-old Kayla DiCello doesn’t have much time to spare. To keep up with her schoolwork, she’ll often study during car rides to and from the gym. But whenever the grind starts to take its toll, she says, “I think about my goal, which is to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.” It’s been 16 years since Montgomery County has had an artistic gymnast at the Olympics. But Kayla, a sophomore at Northwest High School in Germantown who is already being asked to sign autographs for classmates, took a step in that direction during a breakout 2019 season. In August, USA Today named her one of “five gymnasts to watch” leading up to the Summer Games. In Kayla’s first major international competition—the 2019 Junior World Artistic Gymnastics Championships held in Hungary last June—she won gold on vault and bronze on the balance beam. She followed those impressive performances with an all-around title at the U.S. junior national championships in August. Her total score for the competition, 112.700, which included goldmedal efforts on vault and floor, and bronze on the uneven bars, would have been good enough for third place in the senior competition behind decorated Olympian Simone Biles (118.500) and fellow U.S. National Team member Sunisa Lee (113.550). Kayla, who lives in Boyds, turns 16 in January, making her eligible to compete at the senior level and qualify for a spot on the Olympic roster. Kayla’s weekly training regimen includes four “two-a-days”—three hours before school, four hours after—at Hill’s Gymnastics in Gaithersburg, where she first attended a mommy-and-me class with her mother, Kecia, at age 2. Her coach, Kelli Hill, has worked with several Olympic gymnasts, including Silver Spring native Dominique Dawes, a three-time Olympian whom Kayla looks up to. As a member of the Junior U.S. National Team, Kayla attended the U.S. Women’s National Team training camp in November. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials are set for June 25-28. We’ll be watching.





CLARENCE FOOTE-TALLEY Northwest High School, 2019 graduate, indoor/outdoor track and field Last May, jumper/sprinter Clarence Foote-Talley won three events—long jump, triple jump and the 400-meter relay—to lead Northwest to its fourth consecutive state title. His 51-foot, 10½-inch triple jump broke his own 2018 state meet record, which had previously been set in 1998, and was the nation’s top high school jump of the season, according to MileSplit. The Ohio State University freshman says he’s working to eclipse the 57foot mark in hopes of qualifying for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and Tokyo Games.

MEAGAN OLSEN Walt Whitman High School, senior, skiing On skis by age 3 and racing by the time she was 7, Whitman High School senior Meagan Olsen is an internationally ranked alpine skier. During her 2018-19 International Ski Federation season, she was victorious in two races—the women’s giant slalom at El Colorado in Chile and the women’s downhill at Aspen/Highlands in Colorado— and finished in the top three of six more. She kicked off this season in Argentina in August with three top five finishes in the women’s giant slalom.



JAMES FLANNERY Georgetown Prep, 2019 graduate, ice hockey James Flannery helped turn a five-win ice hockey team in 2017-18 into an Interstate Athletic Conference (IAC) champion in 2019. He paced the Washington, D.C., area with 30 goals, and added nine assists in leading the Little Hoyas to their fifth IAC title and second in three years. The Washington Post named him the “Player of the Year” on its Winter 2019 All-Met ice hockey team. Flannery also tallied 20 goals for Georgetown Prep’s boys lacrosse team, including one in the Little Hoyas’ 11-10 win against eventual IAC champion Bullis School. He will play for the U.S. Naval Academy’s lacrosse team this spring.


AYANA AKLI Wheaton High School, 2019 graduate, tennis Ayana Akli, who won Wheaton’s first girls singles state title in 2017, swept championship season last May, winning the county, regional and state titles for the third consecutive year. In doing so, she became only the fifth player to win three straight Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association singles titles. Akli wrapped up the fall portion of her freshman season at the University of Maryland by reaching the quarterfinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Atlantic Regionals and won her singles bracket at the Roberta Alison Fall Classic hosted by the University of Alabama.

JENAISYA MOORE Northwest High School, 2019 graduate, volleyball Three-time Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year Jenaisya Moore tallied 285 kills in leading Northwest to its fourth straight state title in November 2018. Moore’s 1,153 career kills accounted for 43% of the team’s total during her four-year tenure, in which Northwest compiled a 77-2 record. Moore finished her freshman season at Ohio State University this fall second on the team in kills (269) and points (301).

Quince Orchard running back Marquez Cooper (left)


PHOEBE BACON Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, senior, swimming The University of Wisconsin-Madison recruit led off Team USA’s winning 400-meter medley relay at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, this past August. She won an individual gold medal in the 100-meter backstroke, one of four events in which she’s already qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials. Bacon won three events at the 2019 Washington Metropolitan Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships (Metros), setting a meet record in the 200-yard individual medley. She also holds Metros records in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

STEPHANIE HONG Holton-Arms School, 2019 graduate, lacrosse A four-year varsity starter, Stephanie Hong was the D.C. area’s third-leading goal scorer in 2019 with 93. One of the region’s strongest midfielders, she also ranked in the region’s top nine in assists (29), top 16 in ground balls (45), and tallied 62 draw controls. A US Lacrosse All-American selection in 2018-19, Hong scored in all 21 of Holton’s games, netting five goals or more in 10 of them. She finished her high school career with 290 goals and 101 assists, and in February will kick off her freshman season with the Harvard women’s lacrosse team.

MARQUEZ COOPER Quince Orchard High School, senior, football This past fall, Quince Orchard senior Marquez Cooper set a new Montgomery County Public Schools record with 94 career rushing touchdowns. The elusive running back rushed for 2,031 yards and scored 37 touchdowns this season, leading the state for the second consecutive year. With a program record 5,251 career rushing yards, the Kent State University recruit—who in 2018 led Quince Orchard to its first state title since 2007—finished in the top five of Montgomery County’s all-time leading rushers.

NATAN ROSEN Walt Whitman High School, 2019 graduate, soccer As a senior, Natan Rosen’s 17 goals included the game-tying score in Whitman’s 2-1 win over Urbana in the 2018 state final, as the Vikings notched their first state championship since 2014, and 10th in program history. But Rosen, who managed to stand out on a team ripe with talent—he was The Washington Post’s 2018 All-Met “Player of the Year”—is much more than a scorer. His technical savvy, high soccer IQ, and creativity with the ball at his feet also resulted in 11 assists. On Sept. 21, the left-footed attacker recorded his first collegiate goal, the game-winner in Lehigh University’s Patriot League victory over American University.

ELDAD MULUGETA Northwood High School, 2019 graduate, cross country/track and field A two-time state champion (in the 3,200-meter run and 3,200 relay) during the 2019 indoor track and field season, Eldad Mulugeta posted the state’s best times of the season in the 1,600 (4:15.89) and 3,200 (9:11.14)—ranking in Montgomery County’s all-time top five with both performances, according to MoCoRunning. In April, Mulugeta won the 3,000 at the Penn Relays with the county’s third-fastest mark of all time (8:29.05) and then capped off his high school tenure with county and state titles in the 3,200. His countywinning time of 9:02.19 was the state’s fastest of 2019.






Topgolf, 20101 Century Blvd., Germantown, 240-644-6014,




opgolf is coming out swinging in Germantown, with entertainment and activities for everyone—whether you’re a golfer or not. The multilevel driving range, scheduled to open this winter, features more than 100 climate-controlled bays (each can accommodate up to eight people), and players score points by hitting microchipped golf balls at giant dartboardlike targets in a field. The 65,000-square-foot complex, set on nearly 13 acres just off of Interstate 270, also features a full-service restaurant, two sports bars, over 200 HDTVs and a rooftop terrace with a firepit. In addition to golf, guests can play pool, shuffleboard and foosball. Topgolf is open to all ages, but visitors under 16 must be supervised by an adult. It’s the first location in Montgomery County and the fourth in the D.C. region.

BEST WAYS TO BREAK OUT OF YOUR YOGA RUT If your regular yoga practice has you feeling more boredom than bliss, try getting out of the studio and into one of these unconventional classes. ANIMAL ATTRACTION Goats and miniature horses wander among yoga practitioners during Clarksburg Yoga and Wellness’ Mini Horse and Goat Yoga events. The slow and gentle flow yoga practice is appropriate for any level of experience. It’s held in the spring and summer in partnership with Madison Fields, a nonprofit that offers therapeutic riding and other services for people with autism and disabilities. Classes cost $30. Participants bring their own mats and get buckets of grain and sweet treats to entice the animals to visit. Madison Fields, 21355 Big Woods Road, Dickerson, 301-802-4993,

POSE AND SIP At The Urban Winery’s monthly Vino Vinyasa, the concept is simple: yoga, then wine. The event features an hourlong movement-based yoga class that focuses on breath and postures, followed by a

wine tasting. Participants at all levels are welcome, but must be 21 or older to drink wine. Classes are built around different themes, such as a wine region or holiday, and wine facts and history are sprinkled in during the practice. After class, sample a flight of three wines with a sommelier. The

$36 admission includes yoga, wine tasting, charcuterie and discounts on bottles of wine. Bring your own mat; yoga blocks and straps are provided. The Urban Winery, 949 Bonifant St., Silver Spring, 301-585-4100,


WARRIOR ON THE WATER Move your practice from the mat to the board at Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga, where participants move through yoga poses while balancing in the water atop a floating board. Local paddle-boarding school Paddlestroke SUP, in partnership with North Potomac’s Warrior One Yoga, offers a class for $49, which includes all equipment, a basic safety and paddling lesson, and an hour of yoga on the water, followed by free time for practicing yoga, paddling or both. Classes meet at the parking lot near Old Angler’s Inn in Potomac or at Riley’s Lock in Poolesville and are offered from late spring through midautumn. Warrior One Yoga Studio, 240-994-2409,; Paddlestroke SUP, 301442-6864,





Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Center, 1201 Jackson Road, Silver Spring, 240-777-8060; Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center, 5900 Executive Blvd., North Bethesda, 240-777-8070; grams/aquatics/waterfitness.html




Imagine a spin class where people jump over bikes as if they were pommel horses, or hang off the back of the seat while pedaling their feet. At aqua spin classes, stationary bikes are submerged in a pool where the water is 3½ to 6 feet deep, enabling participants to perform gravity-defying moves that would never fly on dry land. The 50-minute classes offered by Montgomery County Recreation combine movements from stationary cycling and water aerobics for a full-body, high-intensity, yet low-impact workout. Water provides resistance, but also cushions and protects joints. Like traditional spin classes, an instructor leads participants through various exercises set to fun, upbeat music. Classes are held once a week during sessions that last approximately three months and cost $111 for county residents, $126 for nonresidents at Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Center; $119 for residents and $134 for nonresidents at Kennedy Shriver Aquatic Center.


BEST TRIBUTE TO SPORTS STARS We’ve always known that Montgomery County is full of ridiculously good athletes. Now the county’s most accomplished sports stars are being honored through a newly formed hall of fame. Six hometown legends got the nod as the inaugural class of inductees: two Olympic gold medalists—Katie Ledecky, a swimmer from Bethesda, and Dominique Dawes, a gymnast from Silver Spring; Shawn Springs, a former Redskins cornerback and Springbrook High School alum; professional soccer player and Olympian Bruce Murray, who graduated from Winston Churchill High School; Bob Milloy, who won 405 games in 47 years as the head football coach at Walt Whitman, Springbrook, Sherwood and Good Counsel high schools; and National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson (known as “The Big Train”) of the Washington Senators.

The Montgomery County Sports Hall of Fame (MCSHF) honored the inductees during a September ceremony at the Silver Spring Civic Center. MCSHF doesn’t have a permanent home yet, but its board of directors hopes to have a mobile location that can move around the county. Future nominations will be accepted in several categories—athletes, teams, coaches, officials, mentors, volunteers and contributors—and anyone can submit one. As MCSHF expands, organizers hope to include athletes with physical and developmental disabilities.

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League and open ax-throwing from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, Sister Axe at Bella Vita Farm, 4901 Brookeville Road, Brookeville, 614-554-4943, bellavitafarm. com/sister-axe-throwing




“Collective joy” is the mantra and ax-throwing is the game on Thursday nights at Bella Vita Farm in Brookeville. People of all ages find their way to the farm, home to Sister Axe Throwing, an enterprise that’s associated with the World Axe Throwing League. The sport involves aiming at a target and earning points depending on where the ax lands. Competitive throwers can join a league in which their scores are tracked and ranked against others over an eight-week session, but many come just to hang out and toss some sharp-edged objects. Unlike indoor ax-throwing venues in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, Sister Axe offers the sport in a bucolic outdoor setting (during the winter, the action takes place in a heated greenhouse). It’s owned by sisters Angie McNally and Amy Falcone, both of whom are also throwing coaches. Patrons can bring their own food and beverages. Drop-in throwing costs $20 for two hours; joining the league is $128 for an eightweek season.




BEST FRESHFACED GIFT SHOPS These three great stores that are new (or newish) on the scene stock something for everyone. They just might earn you a best gift giver title.

When you step into Olive & Loom, which opened last March at Pike & Rose, you might not think the small shop can cover all your gift-giving bases. But poke around a bit and you’ll find that owner Ferzan Jaeger stocks items—from a cute “garden in a bag” and jewelry to baby blankets, aspirational books and scarves—that can check off a wide range of recipients. Jaeger, an astrophysicist who worked in project management at NASA for eight


Amy Johnson opened her gift shop tumbleweed in June 2018.

years before going into the retail arena with her first store in 2015, sells many products under the Olive & Loom brand, from textiles to bath and body goods. Find dish towels, bathrobes, baby ponchos and burp cloths made from a soft cotton woven in a double gauze style. A throw blanket made of Turkish cotton goes for $64. You can mix and match olive oil soap bars (in scents such as honeycomb, jasmine and olive leaf) to create a gift set of three for $22. If you buy a candle that comes in a tin or a glass jar under the Kin & Care label, you’ll be supporting the women—refugees who’ve been resettled in the U.S.—that Jaeger hires to make them. Olive & Loom, 11815 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 240-558-3190, Two Potomac moms, Teri Troxell and Rene Redfield Shaw, own Potomac French Market, a roadside shop in an old barn turned retail space. Opened in November 2018, the business started as an antiques store but now mixes vintage finds with new items. The outside of the store gives off a


rustic French country vibe, and the inside is packed with gifts at a wide range of price points, including a colorful box of men’s socks for $30 and an aluminum bowl for $190 that is oven- and freezer-safe but looks just like silver. Montgomery County vendors are well represented. Wooden bowls created by Potomac teen Matthew Hagger would work well as fruit or salad vessels. Glass vases by Philip Valencia, who lives in North Potomac, come in fun shapes and colors. Local artwork, including abstract paintings in pastel colors ($95 to $1,000) by Christine Zmuda of Potomac, is peppered throughout the two-level store. You’ll also find skin care products from Skincando, a company based in Silver Spring, and hand-crocheted baby blankets and hats (including owl and pumpkin designs) made by Leanne Tijero. Vintage items include china and crystal. There’s furniture for sale, too (in case it’s a self-gifting day). Note: The store is open Thursday through Sunday, and by appointment on other days. Potomac French Market, 12211 River Road, Potomac, 301-807-9945, potomacfrench


The items at tumbleweed in Kensington are neatly arranged in themed sections with an uncluttered feel that makes it easy to browse for gifts. Owner Amy Johnson, who opened the store in June 2018, says she sources roughly 90% of the products she sells from U.S. vendors, and most are things she has purchased and enjoyed before seeking out the vendors for her store’s inventory. Pick up a bottle of The Three Queens Honey (made in Silver Spring) or olives or jam as a hostess gift. You can also scoop up dish towels, bibs and burp cloths from Two Coconuts, a Kensington-based business, and wooden pens and coasters from Kensington artisan David Codner. Along with candles, soaps, lip balm and seasonal home decor, you’ll find items that feel more personal. Inspirational quotes printed on thin cardboard about the size of a business card are $3 (metal frames to hold them are $12). Small hand-painted pottery plates feature whimsical birds and squirrels and sell for $18. tumbleweed, 10506 Connecticut Ave., Kensington, 240-558-3433,


BEST REVAMP OF A SHOPPING AREA The Collection in Chevy Chase, which debuted as a high-end shopping area in 2005, is now a finely tailored pedestrian- and family-friendly destination. As part of the transformation by developer Chevy Chase Land Company, more reasonably priced stores and restaurants have come into the space. Replacing higher-end retailers like Bulgari, Cartier and Jimmy Choo are pop-ups such as The Palm & The Ivy and Nic+Zoe, both clothing stores. Little Beet Table, which serves an all-gluten-free menu, opened in November. Coming soon is Junction Bistro, Bar & Bakery. Community events fill the calendar, including Fall Flicks, an open-air movie series in the new tiered plaza; Nosh & Notes, a summer lunch series; and A Collection of Frights, an annual Halloween bash that partners with Children’s National Hospital. With Metro access and a fresh and friendly face, The Collection has rebranded itself as a one-stop shop.

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t’s not quite a family vacation, but spending a day at Rio in Gaithersburg can almost feel like a holiday (minus the hassle of travel). The shopping and entertainment center, which is undergoing a $30 million redevelopment, is packed with kid-friendly attractions. A classic carousel ($6 for a day pass, March to December) sits atop a hill overlooking the central lake, which is home to ducks, geese and fish. Feeding stations (25 cents for a handful of food) are located along the wooden boardwalk that’s part of the nearly mile-long path that circles the lake. Colorful paddle boats ($20-$25 for a half hour) are available from April through October. There’s also a playground. The water, the boardwalk and the many alfresco dining options make for a beachy vibe, especially in spring and summer, when free concerts are presented every Friday and Saturday night from June through September. An AMC movie theater and Dave & Buster’s arcade offer indoor diversions. And when it’s time for a break, there are plenty of kid-friendly restaurants, including Uncle Julio’s, Silver Diner and California Pizza Kitchen. Consider it a daycation. Rio, 9841 Washingtonian Blvd., Gaithersburg, 301-203-4184,





Club Friday at the Potomac Community Center

BEST KIDS NIGHT OUT When you drop your kids off at Club Friday at 7 on Friday nights, they aren’t really on their own. (County recreation staff and volunteers are looking out for them.) But for two hours, they get to feel like they are. Held at five locations around the county—including the Potomac Community Center, the Clara Barton Neighborhood Recreation Center in Cabin John and the Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center in Chevy Chase—the Montgomery County Recreation program, which started in the early ’90s, gives kids in grades three through six the chance to meet students from other schools while playing sports, watching movies, dancing to music from a DJ and checking out a bunch of other activities. One night there might be a disco party; on another, there’s roller skating. Kids can even bring money for food such as pizza, hotdogs, chips and candy—so they can buy as many Airheads as they want without telling mom and dad. The fee, which varies by site, is $62 to $100 for the session (they all start in October and end in March, April or May). Club Friday, (search “Club Friday”)


BEST PLACE TO WATCH A BUILDING RISE Sometimes books and videos just don’t cut it. If your child loves construction (or you do), the place to go is the fourth floor of Garage 11 along Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda, where you can look out over the sprawling 2.1-acre construction site for the Marriott International headquarters and adjacent Marriott hotel. It took eight months and 15,000 dump truck loads of soil and building materials to create the gaping 60-foot hole in the ground. About 250 workers are on-site every day, and two 300-foot-tall cranes tower over it. (It takes 300 steps to get to the cabs at the top.) At about 425-feet wide, the site is larger than a football field. In December, construction reached ground level on the headquarters, according to general contractor Hensel Phelps. If you can’t get there, time-lapse videos are available at




he grassy area in Park Potomac used to be a nice spot for local residents to walk their dogs. Now the 1.42-acre green space has been transformed into an outdoor destination, complete with a putting green, pingpong tables, bocce ball courts, cornhole, cabana-like picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, and, on occasion, an oversize checkers set. There’s also a small raised deck that doubles as a lounging area and stage for events—in October, Park Potomac hosted “Ladies Night in the Park,” which featured a DJ, two bars, a pop-up podcast and free appetizers. The entire green space, which includes a metal shipping container that’s been turned into a bar, can be rented for private parties. Nearby, people can hang out at a seating area with a firepit while waiting for a table at Addie’s, Gringos & Mariachis and other Park Potomac restaurants. A fenced-in dog run is in the works.







MOST ANTICIPATED REVIVAL After watching businesses come and go in recent years, Gaithersburg residents are welcoming an influx of new establishments and a fresh look at Kentlands Market Square. Synthetic stucco facades have been replaced by a mix of stone, wood, steel and brick to reflect an eclectic, modern version of small-town America. In the 250,000-square-foot walkable development, there are strings of overhead lights and updated dining areas with outdoor seating. Cinépolis, the new luxury cinema, features reclining leather seats, waiter service, and a gourmet menu with craft beer and specialty cocktails. Among the eateries popping up: Cinco de Mayo Mexican Restaurant and Bar, Dog Haus, MOD Pizza, Burtons Grill & Bar, and Berries & Bowls, a superfood cafe. Other additions include Foundry Fitness and Goldfish Swim School. The $23.1 million

renovation will continue through most of 2020, with completion targeted for the fall. Kentlands Market Square, 200 Market St., Gaithersburg,

There’s no need to cross the District line to purchase cannabidiol (CBD) products—they’re


perfectly legal in Montgomery County. Though CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, it con-

tains little to no THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Research is scant, and the FDA says CBD could be harmful, but it is thought to help relieve pain and anxiety, and it’s popping up in all sorts of things. You can shop for locally made balms and bath products with CBD at Joyful Bath Co. in North Bethesda. Or spring for a facial at Green Revolution Skin Studio in Bethesda and add the “CBD boost.” The treatment incorporates a CBD cleansing oil from the Silver


Spring-based skin care line Skincando. If you’d rather try the cleansing oil at home, you can pick it up at Brookville Pharmacy in Chevy Chase or at Village Green Apothecary in Bethesda. Village Green

also sells gummies, tinctures and capsules from national brands. You can even find CBD products for pets—Pet Parents in Bethesda sells pet tinctures and beef-flavored dog chews made with cannabidiol.




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FOR MOCO FROM THE STATE LEGISLATURE Montgomery County has few needs more pressing than additional school facilities. So it was a relief to local leaders when the county dodged a financial bullet in Annapolis on this front in 2019. Amid skirmishing between Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and the Democratic-controlled General Assembly over state spending, many Maryland counties saw their allocations for school construction take a hit when the governor declined to spend some money approved by the legislature. Montgomery’s allocation, however, is determined in significant part by its rapid student population growth under a formula mandated by the General Assembly—over which the governor has less control. It allowed the county’s share of state assistance for new school construction to remain at $59 million, the same level as the previous year. “I hate to call treading water a victory, but in this case, where other counties are seeing pretty big hits on school construction, we’re basically even,” noted one MoCo legislator. County lawmakers are hoping for some really good news in 2020— the passage of a $2.2 billion statewide bill being pushed by legislative leaders. It could pump around $400 million into Montgomery County and put a big dent in the local $1.8 billion school construction backlog.

NIPPING AT HER HEELS In late summer, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell found himself in President Donald Trump’s doghouse over interest rate policy, Powell’s wife, Chevy Chase Village Board of Managers Chair Elissa Leonard, was being barked at—by humans and canines alike—in another controversy that garnered national attention. Almost a year earlier, the tony municipality had spent $134,000 to turn a piece of land long utilized by dog owners into a fenced-in area where canines could run off-leash. Soon, amid complaints from some neighbors, signs mandating “No Excessive Barking” appeared—never mind the limited reading abilities of park denizens. Last summer, the board sought to assuage complainants with a series of moves—going so far as to pay $1,300 for a study of dog behavior in the park—but to no avail. When supporters crowded into a Chevy Chase board meeting in September with hats bearing the command of “Sit. Stay. Save the Chevy Chase Dog Park,” Leonard and a majority of colleagues on the board refused to be hounded. “It’s not meeting the standards that I would want in an off-leash park in the village,” she declared, joining the majority in a 5-2 vote to shut down what had briefly been the “Brookville Road Park Dog Exercise Area.”




It’s been 116 years since a Montgomery County politician (ex-Rockville Mayor Spencer Jones in 1904) presided over the Maryland Senate, and 90 years since a county resident (E. Brooke Lee of Silver Spring in 1930) occupied the speaker’s chair in the House of Delegates. Notwithstanding Montgomery’s transformation from agricultural area to population powerhouse in the intervening decades, the county’s political dry streak in Annapolis shows little sign of abating. When longtime Speaker Michael Busch died last April, no contender to replace him emerged from Montgomery County before Baltimore County Del. Adrienne Jones got the job. And when Thomas V. Mike Miller—the longest serving Senate president in state history—stepped down in October, he was succeeded by Baltimore City Sen. Bill Ferguson, who, at 36, could surpass Miller’s record for longevity. Nancy King, the senior member of the Montgomery County delegation in the state Senate, mulled a bid to succeed Miller, but ultimately took a pass—while backing an unsuccessful contender from Prince George’s County. As debate on key issues such as future aid formulas for education loomed in 2020, King said she was “really worried” about the county’s clout, telling Maryland Matters, “We’re kind of left out in the cold, where we shouldn’t be.”

POLITICAL POTHOLE Amid apparent enthusiasm for his plan to combat “soul-crushing traffic” by widening the Beltway and Interstate 270, Gov. Larry Hogan momentarily neglected to ease off the political gas pedal. At Kensington’s Labor Day parade in 2018, Hogan was confronted by protesters who were concerned that their homes would fall victim to the project. “That’s not true—we have no plan whatsoever to take your houses,” he asserted, repeating his comments at an Annapolis press conference several days later. Critics remained skeptical—and, in fact, when a state study was released last April, it revealed that as many as 34 homes along the Beltway would have to be razed. Facing protests over the impact on public park acreage as well as private property, Hogan slowed down a bit—asking the state’s Board of Public Works in June to delay work on the Beltway in favor of moving ahead on widening I-270. But the governor hit the accelerator again at year’s end, seeking to restore Beltway widening as a top priority in a deal with Virginia to expand the American Legion Bridge. This time, critics responded by questioning another earlier Hogan pledge—that the project would be built by private firms with toll revenues “at no cost to the taxpayers.”



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If there is anything on which most of the bickering clans of Montgomery County Democrats would agree, it’s that they despise Donald Trump. So it generally draws cheers from Burtonsville to Barnesville that second-term Congressman Jamie Raskin has been front and center in the effort to impeach the president. Raskin has been all over the media in listing Trump’s sins and, for good measure, blasting the “moral degeneration” of his GOP supporters. Even before Trump was elected, Raskin called him “a barbarian, a bigot, a lout, a narcissistic bully, and a serial violator of the rights of women” on Facebook. Go ahead and Google “Jamie Raskin and Donald Trump,” but have a fire extinguisher ready when smoke begins to billow from your tablet. Raskin was already a great fit for MoCo as a likeable and brainy constitutional scholar, but his central role in targeting Trump has turned him into something of a rock star among Democrats both locally and nationally.


MCPS BOUNDARY STUDY Montgomery County Public Schools has two big problems: crowded buildings and the achievement gap. What to do? Well, what if the school boundary lines were adjusted to send some kids in crowded schools to others with empty seats? And how about mixing high academic performers with kids who aren’t doing as well in an attempt to boost the latter’s performance? Those are two of the elements in MCPS’s boundary study, which began in August, but some parents aren’t having any of it. An article in Bethesda Beat about an explosive meeting in April with parents drew more than 10,000 page views and 330 comments. The warring sides are completely entrenched. Those favoring the boundary study accuse opponents of racism, elitism and selfishness. Opponents accuse supporters of wanting to sabotage their kids and local property values. There’s a long history of boundary wars in MoCo and elsewhere, and this one is just getting started.



BOTCHED NOMINATION OF THE YEAR: TONYA CHAPMAN Imagine a police chief of a midsize city who blasted “toxic employees” in a mass email, awarded a medal to an officer who was later charged with shooting a fleeing suspect, alleged racism in her department even though the supervisor who forced her out was also an African American woman (as was Tonya Chapman’s successor) and then announced on TV that she was turning over evidence of “systemic racism, discriminatory practices and abuse of authority” within the department to the FBI. Now imagine that this individual applied to lead a much larger police department. You might take a pass on that, right? Not County Executive Marc Elrich, who in July nominated Chapman to be the county’s next police chief. After the county council made it clear that it wouldn’t confirm Chapman, Elrich eventually turned to an applicant he initially rejected: acting Chief Marcus Jones. Jones was confirmed by the county council in November.



“Offended.” “Disgusted.” “Outrageous.” “A waste of time.” “A total abdication of responsibility.” “It’s understandable that he’s lashing out.” When two people use such terms in a back-andforth exchange, it’s a good sign that they aren’t going to spend Thanksgiving together (unless they are related). In this case, the words were used by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Elrich and Hogan are two very different people with different agendas, so they were never going to be buddies. But here’s something to remember about politics: There will always be times when you have to cultivate civil relationships with people you don’t particularly like, because they might have something you need. If you can’t do that, you probably shouldn’t become a politician. Given their mutual history of fang-dripping venom, don’t expect such civility between Elrich and Hogan anytime soon.



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Clove & Cedar Coffeebar: Best Independent Coffee Shop

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I Feel At Home Bethesda Magazine columnist Steve Roberts remembers his wife, Cokie, and their life together in Bethesda







e Here

IN THE SUMMER OF 1962, I met a girl named Cokie Boggs at a student political meeting in Ohio. She was beautiful and smart and funny, and I was delighted to realize that our dorms in the Boston area—she was at Wellesley, I was at Harvard—were only a few miles apart. Back at school that fall we had several dates, but then I stopped calling. I was a typical guy, petrified of commitment, but there was a deeper problem as well. She was a devout Catholic, I am a loyal Jew, and in that era, interfaith marriage was not exactly encouraged—by parents or pastors or anybody else. Then, in the spring of 1963, I was coming to Washington, D.C., to cover another political gathering for the Harvard newspaper. I arranged to ride with a group of students who were also attending the meeting, and one of them was Cokie. As I approached their car, parked on a street in Cambridge, I saw her sitting in the back seat and immediately said to myself, You jerk! This is the girl for you. And she was. Several guys were supposed to stay at Cokie’s home on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda during the meeting, but the others had decided not to come, leaving me as the only houseguest. On Saturday, we stayed up all night talking, and at some point early on Sunday morning, Cokie cooked us breakfast before we drove back north. That was my first time in Bethesda. Today, more than 56 years later, I am writing these words in the same house I visited that spring. In fact, I’m sitting

in a sunlit room directly above the den where Cokie and I talked and dreamed and ate scrambled eggs. That conversation helped us realize that the values and hopes we shared were far greater than the differences others were trying to impose on us. And after that weekend we were headed for a future together. (I’m sure she had Tabasco sauce with her eggs. I had not yet adapted that habit, but it’s one of many lessons I learned from her over the next half-century.) Since Cokie’s death in September, I’ve been recalling the ways our lives have intertwined with this home and this community. We were married in her garden in 1966, and I can look out my window and see the exact spot where the ceremony took place. Fifty years later, to the day, we celebrated our anniversary in the same garden.

Steve and Cokie married in September 1966 at Cokie’s family home on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda.



Cokie’s parents, Lindy and Hale Boggs, at the family home in Bethesda

After the wedding, we left for 11 years, as my career with The New York Times took us to New York, California and Greece. We returned here in the summer of 1977, when I joined the Times’ Washington bureau, and we moved into the old house on Bradley Boulevard with Cokie’s mom, Lindy, thinking we’d stay a month while we looked for another place. We never left. COKIE’S CONNECTION TO BETHESDA started

long before we met. Her father, Hale Boggs, was first elected to Congress from Louisiana in 1940; in 1951, reform forces back home urged him to run for governor, and he reluctantly agreed. Until then, the family had been splitting time between New Orleans and a house on Stephenson Place near Chevy Chase Circle. Hale lost the governor’s race, but remained in Congress, and the Boggses decided to put their three children in school here year-round. Cokie and her older sister, Barbara, were attending Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart on Rockville Pike, and her brother, Tommy, 144


was at nearby Georgetown Prep, so their parents went house-hunting in Bethesda. In her memoir, Washington Through a Purple Veil, Cokie’s mom tells this story: “We found a pretty white brick house with Southern-looking columns across the front, set in a large well-landscaped yard. Guarding its entrance were two enormous weeping willow trees; if you squinted, their branches resembled Spanish moss hanging from Southern live oak trees.” Inside, however, the house was all wrong. As I wrote in a “Hometown” column six years ago, “The bathrooms, closets and dining room were too small. But Lindy hadn’t reckoned with her youngest child.” Lindy described the scene: “When I returned to the living room, there was Cokie, who was eight, still in her snowsuit, sprawled in the middle of the floor. She announced, ‘I like it here. I feel at home here. I want to live in this house, Mamma.’ ” So they did. After Cokie and I graduated in 1964, we both took jobs in Washington, and she moved back home, into her girlhood bedroom. I was around a lot that year and particularly remember a party on the patio in July 1965. Congress was debating the Voting Rights Act, and Hale had agreed to support it. But when Cokie and her sister urged their father to speak for the bill on the House floor, he resisted. Too risky, he said. He could lose his seat. But the next day, his daughters’ pleas won out. Hale took the floor, spoke for the bill, and received a standing ovation from his colleagues, the high point of his 30 years in Congress. The bill’s manager, Rep. Emanuel Celler, said Hale’s words “will go ringing through the ages.” All true, but it wouldn’t have happened if Cokie hadn’t badgered her dad the night before. Cokie badgered me as well. To get married. I knew she was the right girl, but I wasn’t sure it was the right time—I was still only 23—and there’s some truth to the family joke that I proposed by saying, “Oh, all right, Cokie.” I’ve been deeply grateful ever since that I managed to get those words out. Many former students have quoted back to me one of my favorite adages: “Who you marry is the most important decision you ever make in your life. Nothing else is even close.” We were very young, but somehow we managed to get that one right. Three and a half years after my first visit to Bethesda, we got married. Cokie and her mother


Cokie and Steve with family in Jamaica last New Year’s

had always dreamed of a church wedding, but when I told them my two grandfathers—refugees from religious pogroms in Eastern Europe—would be uncomfortable in that setting, they quickly agreed to hold the ceremony at home and went out of their way to accommodate my family: building a chuppah, a Jewish wedding canopy, in the garden and inviting former Justice Arthur Goldberg, an old friend of the Boggs family, to join the ceremony and talk about Jewish marriage traditions. The problem was the guest list. My father-in-law was then the Democratic whip of the House, and he decided to satisfy all of his political and social obligations. About 1,500 people showed up, including President Lyndon Johnson and his wife, Lady Bird, but my in-laws really couldn’t afford a caterer. As I wrote in my Hometown column: “Lindy cooked for the entire crowd, relying heavily on the goodwill and freezer space of her neighbors. Food for that many people can’t be prepared overnight, and for weeks before the wedding you’d walk into the Boggs kitchen and see a sign on the oven: ‘I’m a turkey, take me out at 5.’ ” HALE DIED IN A plane crash in 1972, Lindy suc-

ceeded him in Congress, and when we returned to Bethesda five years later, she was living on Bradley

Boulevard by herself and commuting to the Capitol. Our son, Lee, was 9, our daughter, Rebecca, was 7, the house was in one of the country’s best school districts, and we all quickly realized the right solution: We’d buy the family homestead, and Lindy would move to an apartment downtown. Bethesda was the first place our children really put down roots. They both went to Radnor Elementary School, and while Cokie’s career was taking off—first at NPR, then at ABC—she always felt that being a parent was her first priority. As a child, she had circulated petitions to keep Bradley Boulevard a two-lane road, so she was well-versed in local politics and helped lead a successful fight to keep Radnor open when the school system threatened to close it. One of her allies in that battle was a well-placed Republican staffer on Capitol Hill who became one of her best (and secret) sources when she started covering Congress. Outsiders often don’t understand that some of the most powerful alliances in Washington are forged by parents who meet through PTAs and car pools, playing fields and piano classes of suburbs like Bethesda. Many of Cokie’s local connections went back to childhood. In those days, congressional families often moved to Washington and put their kids in school here. That created countless relationships BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


Top right: Cokie in Philadelphia in 2017


across party lines that barely exist today, when most members of Congress fly into town for a few days a week and keep their families back home. One of Cokie’s closest friends at Stone Ridge was Libby Miller, whose father, Rep. Bill Miller, ran for vice president with Barry Goldwater in 1964. Next door on Barrett Lane lived Ab and Sylvia Hermann, both very active Republicans, and on many summer evenings Hale and Ab would enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood together and perhaps an adult beverage or two. Cokie would babysit the Hermann’s daughter Jo Ann, and the two enjoyed many laughs about that in later years, when Jo Ann became a member of Congress and Cokie had to cover her. Buying an old family house comes with obligations and expectations. Hale grew up in rural Mississippi and always had a large vegetable garden in the front yard. I’m a city boy from New Jersey, but I inherited the plot and Cokie would crack that at harvest time she became a “farm wife,” making vats of tomato sauce and zucchini soup and preserving the results in a large extra freezer we installed under the house (it’s possible some of the zucchini soup is still there). Over the years, we altered the house a bit— Cokie always got annoyed when I referred to her new “drive-in closets”—but the footprint remains the same. We’ve also kept a lot of the family traditions—50 relatives for Christmas dinner—and added new ones. I’ve often said that Cokie was the “best Jew in the family,” and she was the one who insisted we hold an annual seder, the ritual


meal that celebrates the spring holiday of Passover. I was raised as a tribal Jew but not a religious one, and never had a seder growing up. In fact, my mother always said that the first seder she ever attended was hosted by her Catholic daughter-inlaw. There have been six weddings at the house, and countless parties—celebrating books and birthdays, awards and anniversaries. Years ago, the fellow who covers the patio with a tent for outdoor events decided to leave all the rings and bolts that hold the lines in place. He knew we’d use them again. One of Cokie’s favorite rituals was strolling through the Farm Women’s Market on Wisconsin Avenue on Saturday mornings, and she always sought out Ray Renn, whose parents had managed the same stand when we first moved back to Bethesda. If she came home and announced she’d procured “Ray’s tomatoes,” I knew we were in for a treat. For many years we’ve been devoted regulars at our favorite Italian restaurant in Bethesda, Pines of Rome, run by our next-door neighbor and dear friend Marco Troiano. When my younger brother, Glenn, married his wife, Kitty, their rehearsal dinner was there. So was my 70th birthday party and a family gathering the night before my mother’s funeral. As I was writing this, I had dinner at Pines with both of my children and five of my six grandchildren. That cheesy old theme song from the TV sitcom Cheers got it exactly right: Sometimes you want to go/Where everybody knows your name/And they’re always glad you came.


Above: Steve and Cokie at their 50th anniversary party

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THE LOCAL INSTITUTION THAT commanded Cokie’s deepest loyalty was Stone Ridge, which she attended all through elementary and high school. One of her bestselling books, Founding Mothers, was dedicated to the Sacred Heart nuns who run the school and “take girls seriously—a radical notion in the 1950s.” The male-dominated hierarchy of the Catholic Church could severely test Cokie’s loyalty, but Stone Ridge, an institution run by and for women, would restore her faith. I always joined her there for Christmas Eve Mass, where she loved to sing in the choir, and for many years the nuns have let the Jewish guy do the Old Testament reading. We are planning to name a theater being built on the campus after Cokie. But the warmest memories I have of Cokie in Bethesda are private not public, ordinary not special. Sunday dinner with four generations—our mothers, children and grandchildren. Saturday lunch around the kitchen table, just the two of us, sharing a glass of wine or two, a story or two, a laugh or two. Usually with a dog at our feet. Dogs have played a big role in our lives here, especially after the kids were inconsiderate enough to grow up and leave home. For years we had a basset hound named Abner who was very eager to be on the radio. Cokie would broadcast from home for NPR on Monday mornings, and one day Abner started barking right in the middle of her segment. She wasn’t sure if the audience could hear the pooch so she didn’t say anything. But indeed they could, so the next morning she went on again and confessed that in fact she was speaking from Bradley Boulevard in her “very discreet nightie.” Abner became a folk hero to NPR listeners. A few years later, a book was published about the history of the network—it contained two pictures of Cokie and three of Abner. After our book on interfaith marriage, From This 148


Cokie with the couple’s dog, Ella, near their home in Pawleys Island, South Carolina

Day Forward, came out in 2000, we appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live. Wolf Blitzer was hosting that night, and he laid it on really thick, describing us as “Washington’s premier power couple.” When we got home, Abner had pooped all over the kitchen floor, and we found ourselves on our hands and knees cleaning up after him. We looked at each other and asked, “How does it feel to be Washington’s power couple now?” Dogs and kids certainly keep you grounded, but Cokie never needed that help. She always knew who she was and what was important. Fame never changed her, never caused her to lose touch with her family and her friends and her community, and people sensed that in her. Just the other day, a pharmacist who used to work at Bradley Drugs on Arlington Road approached me and said, “She was the kind of person you’d want as a neighbor.” Yes, she was. Cokie was a good neighbor in Bethesda for 67 years, ever since she plopped down in the front hall of the house on Bradley Boulevard and said, “I like it here. I feel at home here. I want to live in this house, Mamma.” n Steve Roberts has written the Hometown column for Bethesda Magazine since 2007. He spent 25 years with The New York Times and teaches journalism and politics at George Washington University.


She always knew who she was and what was important. Fame never changed her, never caused her to lose touch with her family and her friends and her community, and people sensed that in her.


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Students in an automotive class at Edison



EDISON 2.0 At the recently rebuilt Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, students are learning the latest skills in carpentry, law enforcement, culinary arts and more BY CARALEE ADAMS PHOTOS BY LAURA CHASE DE FORMIGNY

TWICE A DAY, a line of buses streams into the parking lot at Thomas Edison High School of Technology in Silver Spring, loaded with students from each of Montgomery County’s 25 other public high schools. The 10th through 12th graders spend half the day at their home schools and the rest of it at Edison, where they focus on one of several career pathways, ranging from carpentry to cosmetology. Edison’s new 171,000-square-foot facility on Dalewood Drive, next to Wheaton High School, opened in the fall of 2018; the original Edison had been located on the same site since 1982. Each career readiness program in the building uses the latest technology and equipment, including interactive flatpanel TVs in every classroom, an auto body lab with a commercial spray-paint booth, an enclosed construction area that allows students to build structures year-round, and a commercial kitchen for students in restaurant management. “Going from the old building to the new building is like Edison 2.0,” says Shawn Krasa, principal at the school, where about 62% of the students are Hispanic—roughly twice the percentage of Latinos overall in the county’s public schools. About 18% of Edison’s students

are black, 11% are white and 6% are Asian. Students can apply to study in one of 18 programs offered within the automotive, construction, and human and consumer services clusters at Edison. The programs take a year or two years to complete. Two new programs, cybersecurity and law enforcement and leadership, both within the human and consumer services cluster, were added last school year. Among the most popular programs are those in the health professions pathway, where students can become certified medical or nursing assistants. The school taps into the expertise of local employers, who offer curriculum suggestions through program advisory committees to make sure students are getting relevant, real-world experience. The focus is on earning industry certifications and licensures by completing the training and passing exams. These credentials enable students to land full-time jobs right after graduation or secure often well-paying part-time positions to help cover the costs of college. Krasa says that more than 70% of Edison students pursue a postsecondary education. Bethesda Magazine spent a day at Edison to get a glimpse of the school’s hands-on classes.



JUST INSIDE THE MAIN entrance at Edison, natural light floods the lobby—known as the showcase area—where students gather before heading to classes. This school year, 828 students are enrolled at Edison, about a 5% increase from the 2018-2019 school year. Most are juniors and seniors; about 15% are sophomores. (The school has the capacity for 1,000 students.) Principal Shawn Krasa says the recent boost in enrollment is thanks to a slight change in a bell schedule that’s made it easier for students to attend four core classes at their neighborhood high schools and spend three class periods (2¼ hours) at Edison. There’s also been a big push to market Edison to high schools and host open houses to introduce students to the programs.



ARCHITECTURE STUDENTS LISTEN to teacher Feyishara Adelekan explain how the wall of a residential home is like a sandwich—with two sides and drywall, and filled with different types of insulation, wiring and plumbing. “It gives students a real understanding of what they are drawing. It’s more than a line. It’s a frame and an exterior and an interior wall,” says Adelekan, who worked as an architect for 10 years before coming to Edison to teach principles of architecture and CAD (computer-aided design) technology within the construction cluster. At the end of their first year, Edison students can earn Autodesk AutoCAD certification. After year two, they can become certified in Revit, a building information modeling technology. Most graduates of the program go on to study architecture, interior design or civil engineering, according to Adelekan.

CHEF SEAN KERCHNER shows restaurant management/culinary arts students (left to right) Paola Perez, 17, Magda Mendez, 18, Laura Lida, 18, and Cindy Dominguez, 17, how to prepare raw turkey for stock. The students make food that’s served in the student-run restaurant, Café Edison. The school aims to operate as a zero-waste facility, using scraps of vegetables for stock and turning that stock into sauce. Kerchner, who manages a Panera Bread in the summer and has worked as a sous chef at McCormick & Schmick’s in D.C. and as a chef at Dominic’s Italian Grille in Silver Spring, says he finds that people are often drawn to the profession because they’re creative, want to progress in something that’s theirs, and feel a sense of belonging. “We are hungry to make people happy—without being in the spotlight. I like to be behind the scenes,” says Kerchner, who plays rock and blues music on vinyl in the school kitchen during class. Lida, a senior at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, wears a black coat because she’s a sous chef in her second year of the program. “I get to serve people, which is important. You learn life skills,” she says of training to be a chef, a career she is considering, although she’s leaning toward joining the military.



CLAUDIA AKHI-GBADE, a sophomore at Silver Spring’s James Hubert Blake High School, perfects her braiding technique during cosmetology class. “I really like nails, hair and makeup,” says Akhi-Gbade, who would like to own a nail salon. “I like having my [academic] classes in the morning. I feel like I can focus more. Then, in the afternoon, this is more of a chill, relaxed class. You can work at your own pace.”



AS PART OF his training in the auto body repair technology program, Springbrook High School senior Jeffrey Hernandez grinds the paint off a car to fix a dent. The new facility has state-of-the-art equipment, and more room and better lighting than the previous building, says John Petro, an instructor at Edison for 20 years. “Our old shop was so dark and dingy,” he says. “It’s a brighter atmosphere. It’s so much easier to see your work.” Edison accepts donations of used cars from the public. After being repaired, some of the vehicles are sold at an annual event run by students in the automotive technology and dealership training program, and the proceeds are funneled back into the school.




NURSE PRACTITIONER KERI SYKORA guides Brigitta Agung (left) and Sierra Villemez (right), seniors at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, during a lesson in the Academy of Health Professions, part of the human and consumer services cluster. “They go to long-term care facilities in the winter to do real patient care, and this is part of the morning routine,” Sykora says. “It gives you a good understanding of what the patients are going through. They actually have to brush each other’s teeth so they know what it feels like to be a patient.” During their junior year, students in this program can become certified medical assistants, which qualifies them to work in a doctor’s or dentist’s office, helping with patient care or filing medical records. As seniors, they can earn a nursing assistant certification and work at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, dealing directly with patients. The students complete their clinical requirements at Bethesda Health and Rehabilitation Center, Hebrew Home of Greater Washington and Walter Reed.



shows law enforcement and leadership students the fundamentals of self-defense and how to respond in an altercation. Students at Edison choose to be at the school, so they’re engaged and enthusiastic, says Murphy, a former New York firefighter who responded to 9/11 and also worked in the Secret Service during the Obama administration. Some students are interested in becoming police officers or federal agents; others want to pursue law degrees or careers in forensic science. In the curriculum, Murphy covers local, state and federal law enforcement, as well as leadership skills and character-building.

WORKING COLLABORATIVELY IN the cybersecurity classroom, Laylah Vital (right) uses a Cisco Packet Tracer program to make sure all devices (laptops, personal computers, cellphones and tablets) are able to connect to the internet in a secure manner. “It’s unlike anything I’ve done at school before,” says the Wheaton High School senior who plans to major in computer science in college. “Taking advantage of this course has been really exciting and new.” Teacher Nick Manning says the number of students enrolled in the program has nearly doubled since it was launched in the fall of 2018. The demand for qualified workers is growing, and last summer, one of Manning’s students got an internship at the U.S. Department of Defense. “In this field, there are more jobs than candidates,” Manning says.



OVER THE LUNCH HOUR, students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with special food and music. ESOL teacher Lindsay Walberg dances with Gerson Rodas, 19, a student who is part of Edison’s full-day Career Readiness Education Academy (CREA), a program geared toward English language learners pursuing a GED diploma. Rodas spends half the day studying English and math, and half enrolled in construction courses.

CHRIS HADDAD TEACHES A one-semester construction cluster program, foundations of building construction technology, which exposes students to carpentry, electricity, plumbing, masonry, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. “My program is a sampling of the construction industry. At the end of the semester, students can then make an educated decision about which specialized trade they want to go to for the next year and a half,” says Haddad, a carpenter who owned a business and worked as a project manager at a remodeling company before coming to Edison to teach.



PARAEDUCATOR PAUL ROSS guides students as they load windows into a truck for a trip to a nearby jobsite in Colesville, where they’re building a house. Different teams of students in the construction cluster—carpentry, electricity, plumbing, masonry, architecture, and heating, ventilation and air conditioning— work on the house almost daily. The two-story single-family home they’re constructing—scheduled for completion in May—will be the 42nd house built by Edison students. “The kids get a true experience of what it would be like to work in construction. They learn about safety, working together as a team, and communicating,” says Maureen Haynos, another paraeducator in the construction cluster. Once the completed home is sold at fair market value, the profits go to Edison to support its programs.



STUDENT TIMOTHY DILLON, 16, a junior at Walter Johnson in Bethesda, works on his coloring book assignment in the print and digital graphic program. In the Level I class, students learn digital tools for the visual arts. The Level II class teaches graphic design fundamentals. Students who get an A or B in the classes and pass a certification exam can receive credit for their work if they attend Montgomery College. Some graduates attend community college; others go on to fine arts schools.

THROUGHOUT THE DAY, the bus lane is busy with students coming to and leaving Edison, which has two half-day sessions— one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Most days, middle school students on field trips are visiting the Junior Achievement Finance Park, which is located on the school’s top floor. MCPS has a partnership with Junior Achievement and sends every seventh grader to Edison for a four-hour financial literacy program. While on campus, the students get a preview of the school’s career programs and a tour of the building.



PRINCIPAL SHAWN KRASA, who came to Edison in 2017, helps coordinate bus departures in the afternoon as students return to their home schools. Krasa has been with MCPS for 19 years, including stints as a technical education teacher at Rockville’s Earle B. Wood Middle School and magnet coordinator at Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology, also in Rockville. Growing up near Erie, Pennsylvania, Krasa learned about construction from his father and grandfathers, and later worked as a carpenter. n



When a Congolese family of 10 arrived here last year as refugees, a team of volunteers from St. John’s Episcopal Church made it their mission to help them BY JULIE RASICOT 162





needs strawberry, somebody needs chocolate, they drive me crazy,” Imani says, shaking her head. As she follows the girls down another aisle, Teimourian marvels at their ability to speak English and how easily they navigate the store, comparing prices with her help. Except for the older kids who had picked up a little English before coming to the U.S., most members of the family only spoke Swahili when they arrived. For their first trip to the store, Teimourian printed out a list of items—eggs, onions, potatoes—and they used the Google Translate tool on their cellphones to figure out what she meant. Grocery shopping was just one of a seemingly endless number of challenges that church members faced as they helped the family adjust to living in the United States. “I don’t think any of us knew what this was going to take when we started,” Teimourian says.

ON A COLD DAY in late November 2018, the Rev. Anne Derse and volunteer team co-leaders Christie King and Nancy Adams armed themselves with bags of winter clothing and headed to Dulles International Airport to pick up the Congolese family, which was arriving after the long trip from Uganda. Years earlier, the family had fled their village in the province of North Kivu after it was attacked and their hut burned to the ground. They survived in the bush for a few years before making their way to Uganda, where they lived in a tent for five years before they became eligible for resettlement in the U.S. According to the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, an estimated 4.5 million people have been displaced by years of civil unrest and violence in the DRC. Other African countries are hosting nearly 887,000 refugees from the DRC as of last August. Refugees who go to Uganda live in sprawling settlements that can resemble agricultural villages, according to World Relief, a global Christian humanitarian organization. Life in the camps is difficult, and “prolonged camp stays with little or no opportunities for work or recreation have led to a breakdown in social order and to high rates of sexual and gender-based violence, prostitution, early pregnancy,


NINETEEN-YEAR-OLD IMANI picks up a bag of mandarin oranges at Giant Food in Rockville and uses an electronic scanner to find out how much it costs. “Very expensive,” she says, placing the $4.99 bag back on the display. Though the fruit is on sale, there are less than a dozen mandarins in the bag, hardly enough for her family of 10. She steers the shopping cart to another aisle in the produce section, where her 14-year-old sister, Esther, is weighing two heads of cabbage. As 8-yearold Dorika, a younger sister, dances around, Esther puts the cabbages into a plastic bag and waits for the electronic scale to print out a price sticker. Soon, Esther is back at the scale. “Bananas?” she asks. Sheila Teimourian of Bethesda, who has accompanied the sisters on the shopping trip, confirms that she’s right about the name of the fruit, and Esther types the word onto the screen. It’s a Sunday afternoon in late September, and the sisters have come to buy groceries for their family, which includes their parents, mom Nzuba Kabira and dad Vital Kambere, and eight children ranging in age from 2 to 19. Originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where large families are common, the family lived in a refugee camp in Uganda before coming to the U.S. in November 2018 through the U.S. refugee resettlement program. Since arriving, they have been living in a rented five-bedroom home in Bethesda under the sponsorship of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Norwood Parish, in Chevy Chase. Teimourian, a lawyer and the mother of two grown kids, is among the dozens of parishioners who have volunteered over the past year to help settle the family through the church’s refugee ministry. Imani and the girls fill the cart with staples, including four dozen eggs, two loaves of bread, a big jar of peanut butter, and cornmeal for making foufou, a popular dish in Africa and the favorite of Imani, who does most of the cooking. As they finish their shopping, Imani stops in front of a freezer case to get a treat. Her younger sisters immediately plead for their favorite flavors of ice cream. “Somebody



and school dropouts,” according to the World Relief website. Though Vital and Nzuba were grateful to leave the camp, they faced a new set of daunting challenges in the U.S. Nzuba couldn’t read or write, even in Swahili, and Vital had only rudimentary literacy skills. They had no income, no credit and no jobs. Before leaving Uganda, the family spent a couple of weeks in a hotel, learning basic skills about living in modern housing, such as the use of toilets that flush, according to church members. The St. John’s volunteers hadn’t expected to take on such a huge commitment when they decided they wanted to do more to help resettle refugees locally. Over three years, the church had worked with Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSS) to fully equip several apartments in Prince George’s County for arriving refugee families, often with only a few days’ notice. LSS is a partner with the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of nine agencies in the U.S. authorized by the federal government to provide refugee resettlement services. The nonprofit often works with local congregations, and its Good Neighbor program offers four support options, ranging from setting up an apartment to a commitment to provide for a family

for one year, “where you are in charge of everything—finding them housing, raising the money, equipping, tutoring,” says Derse, a deacon and the community life coordinator at St. John’s, and a resident of Bethesda. “The goal is to get the families fully self-sufficient, independent, ready to launch on their own in 12 months. It sounds very ambitious, and it is.” In early 2018, St. John’s organized a team of more than 100 parishioner volunteers, including retirees and families living in Bethesda and the surrounding communities. The church quickly

Eight-year-old Dorika at a pumpkin carving party at the home of volunteer Nancy Balph Opposite page: Nancy Adams (left) and Christie King meet with the volunteer team leaders at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Norwood Parish, in Chevy Chase. The church organized a team of more than 100 volunteers to help the family.

“The goal is to get the families fully self-sufficient, independent, ready to launch on their own in 12 months. It sounds very ambitious, and it is,” says Anne Derse, a deacon at St. John’s. 164



raised $30,000 in parishioner donations to pay for rent and help support what the volunteer team expected would be a family of four to six people. The team also sought advice from members of other local congregations that had supported refugee families, including Temple Micah in Washington, D.C., and Bethesda Presbyterian Church. LSS told St. John’s in early 2018 that it could expect to be assigned an Englishspeaking family from Afghanistan that would arrive on a special visa for those who had assisted U.S. troops. After undergoing background checks and training for the church’s role in the resettlement process, the team leaders waited to be assigned an arriving family. But as they waited, the Trump administration cut off arrivals for special visa holders, “which was heartbreaking, especially for someone like me who was a diplomat,” says Derse, a retired State Department employee who served as ambassador to Azerbaijan and Lithuania. Over the past two years, the Trump administration has dramatically decreased the number of refugees

allowed into the country, forcing LSS and other resettlement agencies, which receive government funding for the refugees they serve, to cut back on staffing. In 2017, LSS resettled about 1,600 individuals in the Washington, D.C., area; that number dropped to about 600 in 2018, says Mira Mendick, who left her job as the agency’s community relations director in mid-October. In Maryland, most refugees hail from Afghanistan, Iraq, El Salvador, Iran and Burma; nearly a quarter of those arriving speak English well and have at least a high school education, according to LSS. After the Trump administration’s policy change, another nine months passed before the church was connected with a family. Then LSS called early in the fall. “They said there’s just one problem. It isn’t a family of four or five from Afghanistan; it’s a family of 10 from the DRC,” Derse recalls. King and Adams gathered the volunteers to discuss whether the group had the money and the bandwidth to take on such a large family, one that would be arriving in just a few weeks. With

some trepidation, especially regarding the number of young children, the team decided to move ahead. “If a wealthy community like Bethesda can’t help,” King recalls them saying, “where are they going to get the help that they need?”

VITAL, 51, IS SITTING with his elbows propped on one of the two plastic rectangular folding tables that are shoved together in the dining room of his family’s home off Wisconsin Avenue. It’s a Sunday in September, his day off, and he’s tired from working the night shift six days a week at Taylor Farms, a saladpacking business two bus rides away in Annapolis Junction, which straddles the border between Howard and Anne Arundel counties. Seated next to him is his wife, Nzuba, who works the day shift packing lettuce at Taylor Farms. They share the brick rambler on a quiet street with Imani, Esther and Dorika, as well as 16-year-old Eric, 12-year-old Sera, 11-year-old Ishara, and 28-month-old twins Benjamin and Benedie, who were born in the Ugandan



a new beginning

Adams and King review paperwork with (from left) Eric, Esther, mom Nzuba, who is holding the twins, and Imani. Eric, 16, and Imani, 19, help translate conversations with the volunteers from St. John’s.

pile of books to represent tutoring, and a yellow car for transportation. As some of the younger children flit about, Imani and Eric join their parents at the table while they speak, mostly through an interpreter, about the difficult years before they arrived in the U.S. and how grateful they were for the church’s support as they adjusted to their new home. The interpreter, Jean-Paul Asereka, is a family friend and fellow refugee from the Uganda camp who arrived in 2016 and lives in Hyattsville.

The volunteers often rely on Asereka, whose English is limited, and other interpreters during their meetings with the family. Because there are so many dialects of Swahili, “we don’t really know if we’re getting exactly what the family is saying, so it is a little bit of a challenge,” King says. Nzuba says that when war came to their Congolese village, properties were looted and many people were killed, including her father. The family believed at the time that her mother also was killed,

At the airport, Derse, King and Adams greeted the family in the baggage claim area with a colorful paper banner made by a fourth grade Sunday school class that read, “Welcome to the USA.” 166



refugee camp. The tables, covered with a plastic tablecloth, take up most of the dining room and are surrounded by a collection of mismatched chairs, as well as two high chairs in brightly colored patterns. Some of the kids sprawl on a couple of couches watching a flat-screen TV in the living room. In the small kitchen, two sheets of paper on the side of the refrigerator list the volunteer team leaders and their contact information, along with their photos and colorful graphics explaining their jobs, such as a

but recently learned through the American Red Cross that she is alive. After the attack, the family fled into the bush near the border with Uganda. During the day, they would search for food in the DRC; at night they’d cross the border into Uganda to sleep. Two of their children, born between Dorika and the twins, died while they were living in the bush. After a few years, they moved to the refugee camp in Uganda, where they lived in a shelter they constructed out of plastic sheeting. In Congolese families, older children are responsible for caring for their siblings, so Imani would wake at 6 every morning to help the younger kids, washing their clothes and preparing food. “Sometime I go to school, my parents see if they can find something to eat, and look for food,” she says. “It’s hard, difficult in the camp. It’s so hard.” The family applied to leave the country, joining a long list of refugees who

wanted to get out. When they were finally notified that they would be going to the U.S., they saw it as “the will of God,” Vital says, “because many people applied and they don’t get the chance.” As the family waited to fly to the U.S., the St. John’s volunteers scrambled to find a home for them. As part of its commitment, the church agrees to financially support a refugee family for a year, gradually decreasing the assistance as the months go by. The team chose the house in Bethesda so the volunteers could have easier access to the family— even though the $2,800 monthly rent was higher than in other communities where refugees live, such as locations in Prince George’s County. On the day the family arrived, dozens of volunteers moved in donated furniture—including a couch, armchairs and a bookshelf for the living room, and dressers and bedside tables for the bedrooms. KindWorks, a

Bethesda nonprofit, helped equip the home, and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club provided money for new beds, which members delivered and assembled, according to Derse. At the airport, Derse, King and Adams greeted the family in the baggage claim area with a colorful paper banner made by a fourth grade Sunday school class that read, “Welcome to the USA.” They helped the children put on socks, boots, warm jackets and gloves for the ride to Bethesda.

SOON AFTER THE FAMILY arrived, King was in the international admissions office of Montgomery County Public Schools, helping to calm a distraught Esther as a nurse prepared to give her six vaccinations. King had brought the six older kids to the Rockville office to get the vaccinations required for enrollment. While LSS handled the

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a new beginning administrative tasks of scheduling medical appointments and enrolling the children—mostly in schools that offer a special program for English language learners who have had limited or no previous schooling—it was up to the volunteers to transport the family members and help them through the process. King and Adams, along with other volunteers, spent hours on the phone and filling out paperwork to help connect the family with county services and federal programs, such as food stamps. Because of the hut fire, the family didn’t have any of the documents required for enrollment in school and social service programs. Without documentation to consult, the United Nations assigned a Jan. 1 birth date, a common practice, for four of the kids, leading to some confusion as county officials and others dealt with their forms. The U.N.’s

documentation says Nzuba is 37, but, according to King, she says she is actually 42. King, an oil painter who lives with her husband in Bethesda and is the mother of three adult children, and Adams, a retired international trade negotiator from Northwest Washington, D.C., had agreed to lead the volunteer team because both were interested in helping refugees. While King was living in Hong Kong with her family—her husband is an economist with the International Monetary Fund—she worked on refugee issues and learned that having a congregation sponsor a family provided the most effective support. So when she and her husband returned to live in Bethesda, she got involved with St. John’s efforts, led by parishioner and Chevy Chase resident Melanie Folstad, to furnish apartments for refugees. When

by Leafly

the church decided to sponsor a family, “it just seemed like something, in the aftermath of the Trump election, that you could do that would be a positive contribution,” King says. Adams was willing to take on a leadership role, mindful that her parents—her father was a college professor whose job took the family overseas—were “very giving and very engaged people” no matter where they lived, and her family had supported a refugee family from Austria when she was young. “When I came home and I retired and I was so appalled by the new policies of the government that I cared so deeply about, and we had this chance to help a family, particularly because I’d lived in the Middle East and worked in the Middle East, I was interested,” says Adams, who was in charge of finding housing. A few weeks after setting up the house,

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the volunteers helped the family decorate a Christmas tree, stringing colored lights and ornaments. They also held a dinner party at the church, which the family attended. Parishioners showered the parents and kids with gifts. At one point, King recalls, Nzuba banged on her glass to quiet the group so that she could say thank you. During a recent meeting of team leaders, Folstad, who heads the finance team, explained that some volunteers meet monthly with the family to talk about finances and budgeting. Still, misunderstandings persist because the family had never dealt with such issues before, she says. Other volunteers talk about teaching the family “lessons in daily living,” as Derse describes it, such as regularly sweeping or vacuuming, and eating at the dining room table to help keep the

house clean. The family didn’t realize that leaving windows open while the air conditioning was on would result in higher utility costs, which weren’t included in the rent. One woman says she invites the four oldest kids to spend Friday nights with her family and “watch what we do” to help them learn about home life, such as how to mow a lawn. Volunteers often do the driving, including last-minute trips to school when one of the children has missed the bus. King recalls Sera’s reaction one day when she realized she wouldn’t be punished for her late arrival. “She said how nice it was that when you get to school late here, they don’t beat you” like they did in Africa, King says. The volunteers try to be mindful of cultural differences—such as accepting that Vital doesn’t want his daughters leaving the house unaccompanied, and

helping the family find places to buy goat meat, a staple in their native country—and to remember that nearly all aspects of everyday living, including electricity and plumbing, were foreign to the family. Volunteers have made mistakes, including buying canned food—which the family doesn’t like to eat—and assuming they knew how to use kitchen appliances. “They’d never used a refrigerator,” King says. “The first week they were there, I came over and I saw opened cans sitting on the shelf. A whole watermelon in the freezer. Ice cream in the refrigerator.” The volunteers’ growing fatigue over ongoing challenges is tempered by the family’s gratitude and the joy they experience as they are introduced to American traditions and holidays. “Everybody is very huggy,” Adams says. Team members have taken family

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a new beginning members to festivals and local landmarks, including Great Falls, invited them to gatherings at their homes, and taken the kids trick-or-treating. Earlier in October, they piled the kids into cars and took them to Homestead Farm in Poolesville, where the children went on a hayride, picked apples and petted farm animals. “The kids were having a wonderful time,” King says. “It was great to see them doing something I did with my kids when they were young.”

EVEN WITH TWO WORKING parents, county and federal assistance, and financial help from the church and other congregations, the family has struggled to make ends meet because of the high cost of living in the Bethesda area. The situation seemed poised to improve when LSS secured a higher-paying job at a big-box store for Vital. “So he quit his job at Taylor Farms. But [the store] never

called him. He went for three hours of orientation, he went for drug testing, and then no one ever called,” King says. Vital went back to work at Taylor Farms. Vital and Nzuba say they have found it difficult to learn English because they are older and because they need to spend their time working, rather than being tutored, so they can pay their rent and support their family, according to Asereka. “Due to their age, learning the language is not easy,” he says. “For the children, it’s easy.” Nzuba stopped her English lessons when she got a job, but she is learning to write numbers from 1 to 10, and succeeded in writing her name over the summer. “For us, it was such a thrill,” says Anka Zaremba, a volunteer from Bethesda who tutored her. “She went from nothing to recognizing part of it, then writing her own name.” The parents’ limited language skills

and lack of literacy mean they can’t read bills or other mail. The family missed an August deadline to sign up for free school lunches because the notification letter was placed, unread, into a drawer, says King, who dealt with the problem after she found the correspondence. Zaremba, an artist and art educator, and other volunteers have taken Nzuba on day trips to provide a break from caring for her kids. “One day, I said [to Nzuba], ‘Do you want to get out of here?’ ” Zaremba recalls. “We jetted down to the Potomac River, to the wildest part, and I’m telling her, ‘This is also Bethesda.’ As we walked along, I was given the tutorial that ‘in Africa, this would be firewood. We would be cooking dinner here.’ It was an absolute blast. I found out more through pantomime and play about her family, about how she used to spend her days.” Imani, who was attending Richard

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Montgomery High School in Rockville, had to withdraw from school in September so she could take care of the twins when her mother got the job at Taylor Farms. The volunteers, who were trying to find affordable day care for the toddlers, say they attempted to convince the parents that Imani should stay in school, but Nzuba wanted to work. “Every decision that’s made about the family is made with the family,” Derse says. “There’s nothing without them, so we have to do a lot of talking and consultation.” In addition to helping out at home, Imani has been working in the produce department at Giant in downtown Bethesda for the last several months. Though she hopes to return to school, she understands it is her responsibility to care for her younger siblings. “Sometime we need to keep money…we need to see how we can live here, we need many things, and my parents want to work because if they cannot work, it is hard to pay the rent, the groceries, many things,” she says. “I leave my school because of them—to see how life can go.”

IN EARLY DECEMBER, KING stood in the dining room of the family’s home, holding Benjamin while he napped on her shoulder. Asereka was helping interpret as volunteer Kate Tapley, who lives in Chevy Chase, gathered documents so the family could get Maryland REAL ID cards, a required step before applying for green cards. Meanwhile, Adams was walking through the house, writing the word “move” in black marker on clear packing tape that she was attaching to various items. A week after the one-year anniversary of their arrival, the family was preparing to uproot their lives again. With the lease for the house set to expire at the end of the month, Adams and King had spent the past few weeks searching for an affordable housing option in Montgomery or Prince George’s County, where Asereka and other refugee families live. Though they came up with a couple of local options, Asereka had helped the family find a three-bedroom townhouse

12/13/19 4:34 PM

in western Baltimore County. The pastor of a Swahili Pentecostal church that the family began attending last fall lives in the same complex. At $1,500 a month, the rent is more affordable long-term, which is important to Vital and Nzuba—even though the kids will have to change schools. The move to Baltimore County means the church’s involvement will be winding down, though a couple of volunteers hope to continue tutoring the family, King says. LSS doesn’t cover Baltimore County, so the family will have to seek assistance from the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian nonprofit. Asereka says Vital and Nzuba are unhappy about leaving the volunteers who “have been part of their lives, but they are forced to do it” because they can’t afford the rent on their incomes. They hope the volunteers won’t forget about them once they move, he says. Over the past few days, King made a final appeal for volunteers to help with the move and clean the house after it’s vacant, and to provide some needed furniture, like bunk beds, for the townhouse. As before, parishioners quickly signed up. As she stood snuggling Benjamin, King had mixed feelings about the move. She, Adams and the other volunteers had bonded with the family through the highs and lows. The year had been “both incredibly exhilarating and rewarding, and exhausting,” Adams says. King was hopeful that the family’s connections would help them settle into their new community, though she worried that the kids’ schools wouldn’t provide the same level of support. “They’re a lovely family,” she says. “People will get attached to them wherever they go.” As Imani walks by, she offers to put Benjamin in his crib, so King reluctantly hands over the toddler. “I don’t want to give him up,” she says. n Julie Rasicot lives in Silver Spring and is the deputy editor of the magazine.

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The First Year

A political gadfly for most of his career, County Executive Marc Elrich’s transition to being the person in



AT A NOVEMBER EVENT celebrating the opening of a new science and engineering building at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, Gov. Larry Hogan and County Executive Marc Elrich found themselves standing just feet apart. They ignored each other. Just days earlier, Elrich and Hogan had engaged in a long-distance war of words after Elrich declined a gift to a local police station—a wood carving of an American flag bisected by a thin blue line. Elrich contended the thin blue line flag had become a “divisive” symbol to many in the community and elsewhere; it has been used by some groups seeking to counter the Black Lives Matter movement that demands accountability for police officerinvolved shootings. Hogan responded with a series of tweets, terming Elrich’s action “disgraceful” and calling on the county executive to “reverse this terrible decision and to apologize to the police and the citizens of Montgomery County.” In turn, Elrich accused the governor of indulging in “dog-whistle politics.” For Elrich, it was another in a series of acrimonious disputes he’s engaged in since being sworn in a little more than a year ago to run Maryland’s most populous county. At times he has sparred with the state’s Republican governor, but more often he has been at crosspurposes with his fellow Democrats on the county council. For critics of Elrich, including many in his own party, the disputes have been unnecessary and counterproductive, and a symptom of a larger problem early in his administration: a failure to set clear priorities and get things done. “I struggle to identify anything where I can say, ‘Wow, there is a clear direction that we’re headed,’ even if I don’t agree with it,” says former Montgomery County Councilmember



Burness is a member of his company’s team at the annual Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy’s spelling bee fundraiser. County Executive Marc Elrich hosted a budget forum in October at the BethesdaChevy Chase Regional Services Center.

Mike Knapp, who differed with Elrich on several key issues when they served together on the council. Elrich spent 12 years on the county council (and, previously, 19 on the Takoma Park City Council) but had no executive experience inside or outside of government. As he now oversees a county government with an annual budget approaching $6 billion, even some Elrich supporters voice concerns—albeit more quietly than the critics—about his difficulties making the transition across Rockville’s East Jefferson Street from the Council Office Building to the county’s Executive Office Building. Such doubts have been fueled in part by the slow pace in filling leadership positions at the county’s 21 principal departments. Most visible was the messy process of installing a new county police chief, which took more than nine months to resolve. “It’s a question of the priorities versus the urgencies,” says a longtime Elrich supporter, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “He’s looking at the urgency of handling individual issues at the county level, and he’s not 176

looking at the priority, which is putting a structure in place to handle the urgency. And that’s a classic problem for any organization.” No stranger to criticism throughout a turbulent public career, Elrich disputes or dismisses most of the complaints aimed at his tenure to date—often shaking his head vigorously in disagreement with the premise of a question. He ticks off a list of areas where he feels his administration has made significant progress, starting with a stepped-up regimen of inspections at rental housing units, a rare point on which he has earned praise from both friends and foes during his first year. “I feel like in general I got a lot of stuff done that I wanted to get done—or at least got it into motion,” Elrich says. But in a nod to critics he adds, “I think people who wanted more in a couple of areas don’t understand how I wanted to go about doing things.” The comment is consistent with a frustration that Elrich has voiced frequently in his new role: Amid an earlier career in which he was often best known as a


blunt-spoken naysayer, he clearly feels another side of his persona—a diligence and deliberation in seeking alternative solutions—often has been overlooked. “I don’t tell my staff, ‘Hey, I got this great idea. Go tell me why I’m right,’ ” he explains. “I kind of say, ‘Let’s do some research on it and see what’s the best way to do it.’ I feel you’re a better decision-maker when you focus on ‘Do I know everything I need to know?’ not ‘Can I get something out there and get a press headline?’ ”

AFTER WINNING THE JUNE 2018 Democratic primary by a mere 77 votes in a field that included two of his longtime county council colleagues, Elrich—viewed as an outlier throughout his three terms on the council—employed a tactic for which he was not usually known throughout a 30-year career in public office. He offered an olive branch. In a meeting, Elrich told councilmembers that he didn’t want to “pick fights” with them. “I told them point blank that…I don’t want to be the county

executive who…tries to drive a wedge between the things I’d like to do and what the council wants to do,” he said in September 2018. “I think I take a pretty cooperative view of things.” A year later, the relationship between Elrich and the council on which he served for more than a decade is contentious. Publicly, the new county executive has been reversed or thwarted on controversial issues ranging from pay raises for county workers—on which Elrich blasted the council’s criticism of his plan at the time as “hyperbolic and fundamentally untrue”—to the design of a new county emergency communications network, on which he was forced to yield under pressure from both the council and Hogan. Councilmembers have complained about difficulties in obtaining information from the county executive’s office or county departments. Those complaints spilled into public view in June, when then-council President Nancy Navarro sent a memo to Elrich and Chief Administrative Officer Andrew Kleine asking about “how we can strengthen communications between the executive and legislative branches of government.” Elrich’s most outspoken critics on the council are not surprised at how things have worked out. “Tigers don’t change their stripes,” says Councilmember Hans Riemer. “He’s never been a collaborative person. He was a rogue—he was one against eight,” a reference to Elrich often being on the losing end of 8-1 votes during his years on the council. Councilmember Craig Rice points to Elrich’s failure to be chosen as president or vice president during his council tenure. “Marc, while he was here, never really communicated with us about a lot of what he did; he would just spring stuff on the council,” Rice says. “Quite honestly, that’s the reason Marc was never elected council president.” Adds Rice: “It isn’t because Marc wasn’t capable. The challenge is that to be a team leader, you have to believe in team—and if you don’t believe in team, there’s no way you can then be a county executive who has to work with the

county council.” Riemer and Rice, both barred by law from seeking another term on the council, are widely believed to be eyeing runs for county executive in 2022. For his part, Elrich contends that his job has been complicated by a “politicization” of the council in the wake of the 2016 referendum that imposed term limits on councilmembers. “I didn’t think I’d start out the first year with this incredibly politicized environment, so that’s frustrating,” Elrich says. “When I was a councilmember, I voted for people’s legislation whether or not I agreed with them or whether or not I

“I feel like in general I got a lot of stuff done that I wanted to get done—or at least got it into motion,” Elrich says.

liked them. I never tried to carry it over to ‘I knew I was running against somebody, so let me see if I can sabotage them.’ I think if people weren’t eyeing the [county executive] job, there’d be more patience.” The current situation, he adds, “makes it very hard to talk about things” with councilmembers and has meant that there’s “not a lot of interest in knowing as much as sometimes people should know.” In the view of several councilmembers, the Elrich administration suffered in the early going from a poorly defined liaison structure to deal with the council—a contrast to the highly regarded

liaison operation that existed under Ike Leggett, Elrich’s predecessor. Kleine says the Elrich administration is moving to beef up its staffing on this front. Some of the criticism aimed at Elrich throughout his first year, from both inside and outside the council, has specifically been targeted at Kleine. Many Elrich supporters and critics wonder whether the new county executive, lacking in executive experience, would have been better off hiring a CAO with a broad management record. Kleine was Baltimore’s budget director for 10 years before being hired by Elrich. “I’ll be honest with you: I did not agree with Marc’s choice of Andrew as the CAO,” says Gino Renne, president of UFCW Local 1994 MCGEO, a leading backer of Elrich in 2018. Renne, whose union represents a majority of county government employees, adds: “We did a little due diligence, and he had strained relationships in Baltimore. The other concern that I had was that he had no demonstrated experience—even remotely—in running an institution of this magnitude. But Marc believed strongly that he has the skill sets needed to change the business model.” In August, Renne—a driving force behind Elrich’s plans to restructure the county government workforce—joined two other union leaders in a letter to the county executive, accusing Kleine of “undermining” the county’s chief labor relations officer, a post created by Elrich. “I think it may have served the purpose, because it got people’s attention,” Renne says of the letter. “I believe the relationship between the unions and the CAO will change for the better.” The union letter surfaced just days after it was revealed that the county ethics commission was investigating Kleine’s relationship as a consultant for a Denver-based public policy strategy firm before that company did business with the county. While he has repeatedly declined to discuss the investigation, Kleine—to whom all department directors in the county report—says, “I haven’t done any consulting work since I took



the rst year


The October forum with constituents was the second in a series leading up to the introduction of the county’s operating budget early in 2020.

Elrich (second from left) and Gov. Larry Hogan (right) both attended the grand opening of the new Biomedical Sciences and Engineering building at the Universities at Shady Grove in November.

and tackle sustainability—by figuring out how to do more with less,” Riemer says. “To me, it feels like the administration has laughed that off—and that’s disappointing, but not surprising, because I never believed it.” Elrich responds to such complaints with another headshake. “I think people really misunderstand what we’re trying to do,” he says. “I’m not hiring a company to come in here and look at the structure of government and tell me how to redo it like they did in [Office Space]—because


it would work about as well as it did in the movie.” (His reference is to a 1999 cult classic movie in which two consultants brought in to downsize a business trigger a staff revolt and a torching of the building.) Meetings involving managers and members of the county’s rank-and-file workforce are underway, with Kleine and Renne expressing optimism that some initial restructuring proposals can be included in the county budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.


this job.” Elrich vigorously shakes his head when asked if he might have been better served by a CAO with a background in managing a large government. “It was the unions that came to us [saying], ‘We need to get a handle on the size of county government, and you need to get this thing right-sized so that we’re in better shape to weather hard times that may come upon us,’ ” Elrich says. “I thought Andrew would be the right person to do that.” In City on the Line, a book written by Kleine and published in 2018, the CAO describes himself as a “good government guy” and advocates for data-driven techniques to improve government management. Elrich and Kleine reside near one another in the Silver SpringTakoma Park area and have known each other since Elrich’s time on the Takoma Park City Council before being elected to the county council in 2006. “He had an understanding of what it would take to train managers,” Elrich says. “When I talked to him about how he envisioned the workforce, he said what was important to me, which was, ‘We’re going to involve the workforce in the process of restructuring.’ So for me, the most important thing for the county was not somebody who could run the ship the way it was being run—because in my mind that meant running it over a cliff.” Among the most prominent planks of Elrich’s 2018 campaign platform was his pledge to work to find savings in government—and to free those funds for investment in future initiatives—through a restructuring of the public workforce. Critics point to a lack of visible progress on that front to date, noting that the county workforce has continued to increase—by more than 100 positions in the current fiscal year. “His entire rationale in a lot of ways about his candidacy was that we were in difficult times, and that he was a leader who would work where other candidates couldn’t to bring the unions to the table

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the rst year Elrich describes it as “kind of a twopronged approach” involving “working with managers to train them to understand what we want to work toward, and…engaging with the workforce to do that.” According to Kleine, the goal “over the next few years” is to keep the county government workforce from expanding or possibly to reduce its overall size. “That’s not going to be easy,” Kleine says, “because there are some places where we need more bodies.”

IN MAY, THE ELRICH administration received an unwanted surprise when its choice to head the county’s Department of Technology Services appeared for an interview before the council. When the nominee, Vennard Wright, allowed that he was seeking to leave his current post at the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission due to “burnout,” several councilmembers voiced strong concern. Barely an hour later, Wright withdrew his candidacy. “All I can tell you is he said some things in that interview that he had not said to us, which was unfortunate,” says Kleine, adding that the county executive’s office had exercised “due diligence” before submitting Wright’s name. A month after Wright’s withdrawal, nine county departments and agencies were still without permanent directors—prompting Navarro, in her June memo to Elrich and Kleine, to question the pace of hiring. Navarro remained concerned in an interview early this past fall. “By now, I would have liked to see a bit more of a stable administration in terms of the leadership in the different departments,” she said. Elrich and his top lieutenants contend that the previous two incoming county executives—Doug Duncan in 1994 and Leggett in 2006—had a two-month head start in putting together an administration: Both men had all but clinched the job in Democratic primaries that were held in September. In 2018, “you had an active [November] election campaign 180

Councilmember Craig Rice points to Elrich’s failure to be chosen as president or vice president during his council tenure. “Marc, while he was here, never really communicated with us about a lot of what he did; he would just spring stuff on the council ice says. uite honestly, that’s the reason Marc was ne er elected council resident. where I don’t think people were certain what the outcome was going to be right up to the end,” says Budget Director Rich Madaleno, among Elrich’s first appointees. Once the hiring effort got underway, Elrich was at times unhappy with the lack of racial and gender diversity of the applicant pool. “We took longer than we wanted to fill positions,” he tells an October budget forum in Bethesda, recounting that the search for candidates was reopened and those conducting it were instructed “to get us another set of applicants.” Kleine offers another explanation for the slowness of the process: “Unlike a lot of administrations, here and elsewhere, the county executive didn’t come in with a bunch of cronies. He doesn’t have cronies.” Elrich agrees. “I could have filled this administration right away if everybody who asked for a job had been given a job,” he says. “I had to tell a lot of people who I really like that I wanted to do searches— that they’re welcome to apply in searches, but that I was going to do searches.” One of those searches—for a new police chief—resulted in the highestprofile controversy of Elrich’s first year. After longtime chief Tom Manger left


his position in April, Elrich narrowed the search to two finalists in early July. One, Takoma Park Police Chief Antonio DeVaul, quickly withdrew, leaving Tonya Chapman, forced out four months earlier as the police chief of Portsmouth, Virginia, as the sole candidate for the job. Councilmembers criticized Elrich for pushing Chapman after city officials in Portsmouth refused to provide Montgomery County’s executive office with information about her departure. The nomination “just never got traction because [the county executive’s office] didn’t answer the basic question of, ‘Was her tenure there successful?’ ” Riemer says. In the face of such questions, Chapman opted to withdraw her candidacy in August. The absence of the full story on Chapman “points to bad leadership” on Elrich’s part, says Knapp, also widely seen as being in the candidate mix for county executive in 2022. “[Elrich] identified a person who I don’t think was a great candidate, but rather than actually nominate that person, he left her alone to fend for herself. She had to go make the rounds to see if she could round up five votes for herself,” Knapp says. “He didn’t take the lead on that.” If he had it to do over again, Elrich says

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the rst year he might opt for a less expansive selection process. “The price, apparently, of involving 40 or 50 people in a process is that nobody will be quiet. Things leaked out at various stages that shouldn’t have,” he says. “And it created issues before issues should have been created.” But he stands by his support of Chapman while discussing the episode in combative terms. “I feel pretty strongly about Tonya being the right candidate,” Elrich says, adding of the council: “I do think they were unfair. I could have been more forceful and walked over there and said, ‘She’s the person,’ but I was really trying to avoid putting them on the spot. Maybe I should have put them on the spot, and they could have voted no—and everybody gone their separate ways. I was trying to be accommodating; they didn’t take it that way.” A pension-related issue sank Elrich’s next choice to head the

department, Darryl McSwain, chief of the Montgomery Parks division of the Maryland-National Capital Park Police. It left Elrich little choice but to nominate—reluctantly, according to council sources—Marcus Jones, who had been acting police chief since June. Jones was confirmed in early November. Elrich says he has no regrets over repeated statements during the past year that someone from outside the department was needed as chief to ensure change. “The council has criticized the police department pretty heavily, to the point where they want to take over making police policy,” Elrich says. “And there’s a lot of frustration, and sometimes it seems generational to me, about how people view the police department. I thought because a lot of these problems are sort of systemic—we have community policing, but most officers say they were never trained in community

policing—that I wanted to bring somebody in who could start over and say, ‘We’re going to go at this differently.’ ” Elrich says he has confidence that Jones will pursue the changes he seeks, notably community policing. “At the end of the day, Marcus is a professional, and he understands what’s what,” Elrich says. “I’ve been pretty clear about what I’d like to see.”

IN EARLY JUNE, HOGAN convened a meeting of the Maryland Board of Public Works to advance his plan to widen both the Beltway and I-270 through a public-private partnership. After hearing from state transportation officials, the governor called upon opponents of the plan—with Elrich the first to speak. Their exchange quickly became nasty. “First of all, Montgomery County was never consulted,” Elrich began. “That’s not true,” Hogan interjected. “It is true,” Elrich replied. “We were not

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part of this process. You did a press conference…before you talked to anybody.” Hogan cited a 2017 news conference announcing the plan, attended by Leggett, Elrich’s predecessor. “Ike Leggett was there and a part of the discussion. I didn’t know who you were at the time,” Hogan pointedly told Elrich. Elrich persisted. “It’s not true that you worked with us,” he told Hogan. “There’s a difference between talking with people and working with people.” In between the Board of Public Works confrontation and the verbal warfare over the “thin blue line” flag five months later was the controversy over the county’s emergency communications system. Hogan took to social media to complain about “inexplicable” delays in installing a new system before Elrich abandoned his effort to relocate two towers that were the subject of protests by citizen groups. Installation of a new 22-tower

network—designed to replace an aging, trouble-plagued system—will be completed by the end of this year. In contrast to the Montgomery County charter, which established an executive office with relatively weak powers in relation to the county council, the Maryland Constitution vests power in the governor that’s virtually unrivaled in any of the other 49 states. It has prompted some insiders to question the political wisdom of Elrich taking on Hogan publicly on numerous occasions. Elrich points the finger at Hogan for escalating the hostilities—“Look, I didn’t set the relationship off. I didn’t go after the governor”—while contending that he has a good relationship with many in the Hogan administration. “There are departments where we get pretty good cooperation,” Elrich says. He adds that he hasn’t “seen any evidence in general that [Hogan] has been

more difficult with us” than he was with Leggett—whose amicable relationship with the governor led to an appointment to the University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents after Leggett’s retirement as county executive. If others may take issue with Elrich’s comparative claim, it does underscore the sharp shift in governing styles—and the resulting adjustment for the body politic—between Elrich and the more cautious, lower-key Leggett. “Ike was very rarely out front until he felt he knew what the winning position was going to be—and then had an unbelievable ability to get out front. Marc will charge out front,” observes one insider who knows both men well. “Marc is the ‘I’m going to go out and tell you how I feel. If it’s the popular opinion, great; if it’s the unpopular opinion, you’re going to get my honest assessment.’ “It’s a dramatically different style.”



the rst year IT’S LATE OCTOBER AS Elrich hosts a public budget forum in downtown Bethesda, the second in a series leading up to the introduction of the county’s operating budget early in 2020. While it’s a friendly audience, Elrich at times appears to be addressing his critics. “We think we have a strategy of trying to grow the economy at all levels,” he tells the gathering. With more than a hint of irritation, he adds, “I told people I was going to do this when I ran, and I think a lot of people misunderstood my intentions—or chose to misunderstand my intentions.” As he begins his second year in office, Elrich is under pressure to demonstrate significant movement on issues that he highlighted in the course of the 2018 campaign. During the forum, he proceeds to list efforts to reform the county’s procurement system, to give local businesses

a boost in bidding for county government contracts, and to improve and expand the county’s three existing business “incubators.” A lengthy series of “listening sessions” throughout the county—co-sponsored by Councilmember Sidney Katz, a longtime small business owner with whom Elrich forged something of an “odd couple” relationship while on the council—is expected to yield legislation in early 2020 to streamline business regulations in the county. Elrich’s economic development strategy involves an attempt to emulate the successes of neighboring Northern Virginia in attracting Amazon’s second headquarters. Using North Bethesda’s White Flint area as a focal point, he hopes to leverage the county’s information technology and biotechnology sectors to attract additional private investment. He adds: “The strategy of the previous council and the planning board was

to zone the hell out of the [county] and we’ll have economic development. You can see how well that worked.” Navarro and her council colleagues are clearly impatient with what they see as the slow pace of change. “Right now, it seems like everybody wants to move on certain things, but there isn’t a strategic direction,” she says of economic development. “I think it’s time for the council to take a little bit more ownership of that. The good news is that I think that the entire council is very eager and interested.” Ultimately, Elrich’s efforts to find additional funding for new initiatives by holding down the growth of the government workforce may determine his ability to get through his term without seeking a tax increase. During the campaign, Elrich declared: “My view fundamentally is that we’re not doing any tax increases, there’s no



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appetite for that.” But he raised eyebrows in his inaugural address by hedging his rhetoric to say he wasn’t planning on raising taxes in the coming year—later telling The Washington Post: “I’m not planning on next year, either. For four whole years, that would be hard—but I’m not assuming you have to.” Elrich points to the demands of the county’s capital budget—ranging from technologies to meet the county’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2035 to the bus rapid transit system he has advocated since early in his council tenure. “If you don’t do an improvement to the transit system, then you’re dead in the water,” he says. “Everybody’s going to say, ‘This is not a place ever to come.’ ” He continues: “On the capital side… we are placed between a rock and really, really hard place. What we’re going to try to lay out to folks is: ‘This is the world you’re in, these are the needs we have.

Are we going to walk away from these needs, or are we going to figure out how we deal with them?’ ” As he confronts such future demands and the accompanying political pressures, Elrich brushes aside suggestions from others that the transition from legislator to executive has been a bridge too far. “I knew what I was getting into,” he says. Privately, however, he is said to have frequently griped to acquaintances about some of the job’s less appealing demands. Publicly, he chuckles when asked about his day-to-day routine and the pressures bearing down on him. “My meeting schedule is absolutely brutal,” he says. “It’s way different [than being on the county council], and the intensity level is unmatched. I see fewer concerts.” Elrich, a member of a rock band in high school, still plays the guitar to relax. “If I get home early enough, I feel comfortable that I can sit down and

play a little bit,” he says. Regarded by friends and critics alike as a policy wonk, Elrich acknowledges his schedule is in part self-inflicted. “I’ve always taken a lot of meetings because I wanted to make sure people had access to me,” he says. “I pretty much want to understand [issues] in enough detail to be comfortable with what we’re doing— and want to bring some perspective to it that may not always be there….That was always one of my favorite parts of work.” He will turn 73 in 2022 when his term ends, but Elrich exhibits little interest in giving up the job. “My inclination is to run again,” he says. “Nobody is going to get everything done that they want to get done in four years.” n Louis Peck has covered politics extensively at the local, state and national level for five decades. He can be reached at

McMillan Metro Lawyers Named Bethesda Magazine’s 2019 Top Attorneys Nearly 2,000 attorneys in Montgomery County were asked who they would hire for legal representation and four of our very own were among those selected. McMillan Metro is proud of our entire team, from attorneys to legal staff, and we congratulate Peter, Natasha, Elyse and Howard for being designated as a “Top Attorney”.

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Weddings of the year

In our annual feature, we take a peek inside the celebrations of four couples



{ WEDDINGS of the year

Party Animals A Silver Spring couple got married at a zoo and included quirky references to their favorite sci-fi TV show





THE COUPLE: James Runco and Madeline Tomchick grew up in towns that are about 15 miles apart in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. James, 36, moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 2011 to help found the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He is still with the bureau today, as a quality assurance manager. Madeline, 32, came to the D.C. area in 2007 to attend American University. She manages partner relationships at information technology company AIS in Reston, Virginia. The couple lives in Silver Spring. HOW THEY MET: James noticed Madeline one morning on his way to work. “I was standing there on the Silver Spring Metro platform and I saw this beautiful woman,” James says. He approached her and tried to make conversation, but says Madeline “was almost oblivious to my presence.” When he complimented her necklace, Madeline replied that it was from home-shopping network QVC, where she used to work. “That clicked for me because QVC is in West Chester, Pennsylvania, not far from where I grew up,” James says. The pair continued to talk during the commute, sharing stories about their hometowns. “I fell in love with her in 10 minutes,” James says. He asked Madeline for her number, and texted her that day to ask her out. THE FIRST DATE: James and Madeline spent a morning at the Silver Spring farmers market, perusing stalls and BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


THE PROPOSAL: After two years of dating, James planned to ask Madeline to marry him on a trip to Pennsylvania. He decided to propose during a QVC studio tour and made special arrangements with the staff. “I had done this tour a billion times,” Madeline says. When the tour veered off its 190

usual path, and into an empty studio, Madeline knew something was up. “She was like, ‘This is weird. We normally don’t come here,’ ” James says. He got down on one knee and popped the question. Madeline said yes, and they continued their tour to a studio where a live show was being broadcast. Host Jennifer Coffey, a former colleague, saw Madeline across the studio holding up her hand with the engagement ring. She pulled Madeline up on set to congratulate her. “The QVC audience knew we were engaged before our friends and family did,” Madeline says.

THE WEDDING: The couple wed on May 3, 2019, exactly five years after their first date. They had 40 guests.


THE CEREMONY: James got Madeline into cult classic Doctor Who while they were dating. “She didn’t like sci-fi before,” he says. During the ceremony, their rings were presented in a miniature TARDIS, a blue time machine from the television series. Madeline also wore a TARDIS charm on her garter. “That was my something blue,” she says. The couple wrote their own vows, and when Madeline said, “If there’s anything we can’t solve, at least we have the sonic,” she whipped out Doctor Who’s magical screwdriver. “It’s an allpurpose tool,” Madeline says. “It’s basically his magic wand.” The ceremony was held in front of the eagle den. “One of them squawked during our vows,” James says.

THE RECEPTION: After saying their “I Do’s,” the couple had pictures taken with some of the animals. “Our first act as husband and wife was getting to feed giraffes together,” James says. One drooled on Madeline’s dress. “I was just like, ‘eh,’ ” she says. The couple walked into their reception to Doctor Who’s “I Am the Doctor.” After dinner and dancing, the couple and their guests rode on the zoo’s carousel. THE HONEYMOON: Madeline surprised James with a mini-moon weekend to New Orleans in the fall. They did a paddleboat tour on the Mississippi River and enjoyed cafe au laits and beignets at Café Du Monde. In November, they went on a honeymoon to Cancun, Mexico, where they spent six days snorkeling, zip lining and visiting Mayan ruins. VENDORS: Bride’s makeup, Linda Charles; cake, Buttercream Bakery; catering, funnel cake and s’mores, Savory Safari; dessert table, Just Desserts by Judy; DJ, Tommy Tunes; gown, Morilee by Madeline Gardner; photographer, Christopher Santoro; tuxes, Bill Troutman.


getting to know each other. James was already smitten, and Madeline quickly warmed up to the idea of dating. “The more conversation we had, I thought, ‘This guy’s kinda cool,’ ” she says. Then James walked Madeline back to her downtown Silver Spring apartment, where they shared a kiss. That’s when Madeline really started to fall. “I went up to my apartment and sat with my cats and was like, ‘whoa,’ ” she says.

THE VENUE: The couple knew they wanted to marry in their home state to be close to friends and family. They chose the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pennsylvania. The venue was a sentimental choice for James, who went to the zoo as a child. He says Madeline was sold the moment she saw the zoo while they were looking at venues. “I’m a big animal person,” Madeline says. “I could see a squirrel and get excited.”

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{ WEDDINGS of the year

Green With Love

Twenty years after meeting in kindergarten, a Rockville couple got married at an arts center with plant-filled decor and breakfast for dinner




THE COUPLE: Stephanie Arrington (maiden name Rivero), 31, grew up in Bethesda and Rockville and graduated from Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville. She is the customer success manager at Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters in Arlington, Virginia. Matthew Arrington, 31, graduated from Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda. He is the CEO of Rockvillebased Arrington Training and Development, a company that coaches and trains soccer players. They live in Rockville. HOW THEY MET: Stephanie and Matthew met in their kindergarten class in the mid ’90s. After fifth grade, Stephanie moved to another school, but the two kept in touch and Stephanie would go to see Matthew play in his school soccer games. They maintained their friendship during high school and college, popping in and out of each other’s lives. “Everything was very much in passing... but Matt always initiated it,” Stephanie says.


THE FIRST DATE: While Stephanie was in graduate school at the University of Maryland, Matthew was playing on a soccer team in Rome, Italy, and they began communicating through Facebook Messenger. Though they hadn’t seen each other in seven years, Stephanie made the spontaneous decision to reconnect with him in Italy in the spring of 2011 for a sevenBETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


THE PROPOSAL: After eight years of dating, Matthew decided to pop the question in their living room. “She always said she didn’t want it to be a big event,” Matthew says. She immediately said yes. Later that day, they went to a Thanksgiving dinner with family. “We went to the event without saying anything. We wanted to see who noticed [the ring],” Stephanie says. They felt it would be a great way to announce their engagement. “You’d randomly hear a scream from the other room,” Matthew says. “Everyone was really excited.”

THE WEDDING: Stephanie and Matthew were married 194

on May 4, 2019, at VisArts, an arts center and gallery in Rockville. “The venue was beautiful, and it felt right,” Stephanie says. “We grew up here.” The couple wanted the wedding to have an outdoor feel despite its being inside. The space was transformed, featuring azalea bushes and hanging wisteria. Guests were able to bring home the flowers as favors. “I liked that concept of being able to reuse and not be was great to have plants there that people can take home and keep alive,” Stephanie says. They had 150 guests.

A MOTHER’S TOUCH: Matthew’s mother, Debra, who had been an enormous help with planning the wedding, passed away suddenly about two weeks before the special day. During the ceremony, there was a moment of silence to honor his mother.


THE CEREMONY: Stephanie’s uncle was the officiant. During the ceremony, Matthew’s brother realized that he had forgotten the rings. After finally finding them upstairs, he triumphantly ran back in, cheered on by the guests. “He felt really bad, but it was funny,” Matthew says.

Chicken and waffles, hash browns and bacon were served, and dessert included treats from Astro Doughnuts in D.C.

FURRY FRIENDS: With three dogs of their own, Stephanie and Matt have fostered dozens of dogs from a local animal rescue. Before the ceremony, the groomsmen brought the couple’s dogs to the venue for pictures on the rooftop. “It was definitely worth it—those pictures are so great,” Stephanie says. THE HONEYMOON: The couple hopes to take a trip to the Caribbean or Hawaii.

THE RECEPTION: A photo booth with funny hats, boas and sunglasses was available for guests. “The most important thing for us was the DJ,” Stephanie says. “We listened to [every song] that we wanted. People were on the dance floor the whole night.” Guests went on to an afterparty at La Tasca, a Rockville Town Square tapas restaurant.

THE FOOD: The diner-loving couple chose a “breakfast for dinner” theme for the meal.

VENDORS: Cake, Molly Gorney; catering, Maria Rojas (The Chef’s Table); DJ, Kyle Moore (Mixing Maryland); flowers/tablescape, Tim Albrecht (Consider It Done); gown, The Bridal Boutique in Columbia, Maryland; hair, Mary Ann Ahrens (Bella Bethesda Salon); makeup, Addi Oliel (Makeup by Addi); photographer, Erinn Schaal; venue coordinator, Mary Liniger; wedding coordinator, Nate Wambold.


day trip. She pushed through her jet lag as the two enjoyed an “amazing” dinner and wandered around the streets on her first night there. “It was very natural,” Stephanie says.

“The wedding wouldn’t have been even as remotely as spectacular without her,” Stephanie says. “The beauty of it was all thanks to her.” Their wedding planner, Nate Wambold, stepped in to help in all areas.

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{ WEDDINGS of the year

I Do, I Do, I Do High school sweethearts got married at a courthouse before celebrating with their families at back-to-back weddings with Cambodian and Filipino traditions




THE COUPLE: Pauline Koy (maiden name Sipin), 27, was born in San Juan in the Philippines and moved to Montgomery County with her family when she was 12. Steven Koy, 27, was born and raised in Silver Spring. They graduated from John F. Kennedy High School and live in Silver Spring. Pauline is an architectural designer at NIKA Solutions in Rockville. Steven is a special education paraeducator for Montgomery County Public Schools. HOW THEY MET: In true early-2000s fashion, Steven first laid eyes on Pauline on Myspace. She was included on a mutual friend’s “Top 8”—a ranking of close friends on a social media profile. They were 15-year-old sophomores in high school. “I thought, huh, she’s cute,” he says. A mutual friend introduced them, and they hung out with friends at a neighborhood community center near their high school. Then they saw a horror movie, One Missed Call, at a movie theater in Silver Spring.


MAKING IT OFFICIAL: Steven asked Pauline to be his girlfriend just before winter break, but Pauline turned him down. “I was a little bit bummed,” Steven says. Pauline says it was just bad timing: “We weren’t going to see each other at all over the break.” Even after the rejection, Steven continued to court Pauline over AOL Instant Messenger. “We were always talking,” Steven says. After the break, Steven asked her out again. This time she said yes. BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



and become a king by the end of it.”

throughout high school. They wrote each other love letters. “We weren’t really big giftgivers,” Pauline says. “We just wrote each other letters. That was basically our gift for Christmas, Valentine’s or our anniversary.” They went to senior prom together in 2010—Pauline wore a satin sage dress and Steven wore a matching bowtie. The shade of green would become their wedding color eight years later. After graduation, they attended Montgomery College for two years before transferring to separate schools in Baltimore. Pauline studied architecture at Morgan State University, and Steven studied health administration at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

THE CATHOLIC WEDDING: On Sunday, Steven and Pauline were wed by a Catholic priest at Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown, Maryland. They had 184 guests. Pauline arrived at the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage. Steven said it was his idea, and he cried at the sight of it. “I bawled out,” he says. “I did not expect to full-on cry.” The couple incorporated Filipino customs, including a “money dance” at the reception. During the dance, guests pinned money onto the bride and groom. “It’s like an extra gift from the guests,” Pauline says. “They would just pin small dollar bills, $5 bills on us.”

Steven and Pauline didn’t have a traditional proposal. “We just kind of talked about it,” Pauline says. They had been dating for 10 years. On Oct. 16, 2018, a Tuesday afternoon, they married at the Rockville courthouse with close friends and immediate family in attendance. “We just thought we’d do something quick and easy,” Pauline says.

A CHANGE OF PLANS: After the civil ceremony, Steven and Pauline’s families pressed them to have a grander celebration. “They kinda teased us about having a big [wedding],” Steven says. “I have a big family and they wanted to be a part of it.” By December the couple was planning for not one wedding, but two. Steven’s family is Buddhist and Cambo198

dian American, and Pauline’s Filipino family is Catholic. They decided to have back-to-back ceremonies over one weekend.

THE CAMBODIAN WEDDING: Steven’s parents hosted an abbreviated traditional Cambodian wedding at their house in Silver Spring on Saturday, July 20, 2019. There were 80 guests. The four-hour celebration kicked off in the morning with a parade through the neighborhood and into the


house. Inside, Steven and his guests presented Pauline with various offerings, including fruit. A series of small ceremonies followed, including a haircutting ceremony, symbolizing the couple’s new life. (The two just pretended to get their hair cut.) Pauline and Steven each wore three different outfits over the course of the day. “At each outfit change, the outfits become more elaborate,” Pauline says. “The idea is that you first start out as a prince

THE HONEYMOON: The couple spent 12 days in Utah’s five national parks. They stayed in a rented Jeep with a rooftop tent. They spent their days hiking and, at night, cooked ramen, hot dogs and freeze-dried camping food. They stargazed at Canyonlands National Park. During a hike in a slot canyon at Grand Staircase-Escalante, they had to step over a rattlesnake to continue on the narrow path. VENDORS: Bridal gown, Renaissance Bridals & Prom; cake, Merry Poppins Cakes; Cambodian outfits, ChanKanha Khiev; carriage, Carriages of the Capital; catering, Carriage House Inn; DJ, Deej Alfaro; flowers, Petals by Emmanuel; hair and makeup, True Colors Beauty Co.; photographer, Jerome Rubio Photography.



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{ WEDDINGS of the year

Dancing the Night Away At the country club wedding of a Friendship Heights couple, the band brought a light-up drum show and the groom gave his own dance performance




THE COUPLE: Meagan Saxon (maiden name Murray), 32, grew up in Silver Spring. She is a graduate of Paint Branch High School in Burtonsville and is the media and partner relations director at Dominion Dealer Solutions, an automotive-focused technology company based in Norfolk, Virginia. Brendan, 32, who grew up in Bethesda, is a graduate of Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda and is an associate attorney in Washington, D.C. They live in Friendship Heights in D.C. HOW THEY MET: Meagan and Brendan met in 2013 at Caddies on Cordell in Bethesda. Meagan was out with friends who knew Brendan from Georgetown Prep, and the two were introduced. Over the next year, they kept running into each other at local bars such as Tommy Joe’s.

THE FIRST DATE: Meagan and Brendan went on their first date at Brickside Food & Drink in Bethesda. On another memorable date, the two listed their top Disney movies. They dated for the next four years.


THE PROPOSAL: Brendan purchased a ring from Boone & Sons Jewelers and planned to propose on the beach. While they were in Bethany Beach, Delaware, in September 2018, Brendan struggled to get Meagan out of her seat or to walk to the water with him—she just wanted to relax. Finally, “he pulled me up out of my chair ... and then he was down on one knee,” Meagan says. BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


of songs. They had practiced the routine for three months. “It was his idea,” Meagan says. Brendan and Meagan had a second dance to “Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes from the film Dirty Dancing. “It was a spur of the moment thing,” Brendan says.

THE ULTIMATE D.I.Y.: After deciding against hiring a videographer, Meagan and Brendan selected 10 of their most video-savvy friends to change the settings on their phones to production-quality 4K video. Each took their own videos from different parts of the night. There are around 80 videos that Meagan plans to piece together herself. “This felt more personal,” she says.

THE CEREMONY: The couple had a traditional Catholic ceremony that was officiated by Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, a friend of Brendan’s family. Blessed Sacrament is Brendan’s family church and where his grandmother was married and his father went to school.

THE FOOD: Cocktail hour fare included oysters and lamb lollipops. The couple 202

also made sure to serve a Maryland classic—crabcakes. At the reception, filet mignon and Maryland rockfish were served, and chocolate-covered strawberries were offered along with the cake.

THE RECEPTION: Meagan hired her favorite band, Go Go Gadjet. She has been following them for 11 years, after seeing them in college. The band brought along a light-up drum show and kept the party going with covers of the couple’s favorite songs. “It was just


awesome,” Brendan says of the ballroom reception.

DANCING UP A STORM: During the couple’s first dance to “Sit Next to Me” by Foster the People, Brendan, who loves to dance, gave his own performance and stole the show. He did a kick-up, which is an acrobatic move he taught himself after doing karate as a kid. Brendan and his mother danced to “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens, then Meagan and her father performed a synchronized dance to a mashup

VENDORS: Band, Go Go Gadjet; cake, JennyCakes; catering and wedding planning, Columbia Country Club; flowers, Wildflower Weddings at Bend in the River Farm; gown, designed by Anne Barge and purchased at Love Couture Bridal in Potomac; hair and makeup, Claudine Fay; photography, Christie Heimbach Photography; transportation, Senate Transportation Services/Carey Limousine. n


THE WEDDING: Meagan and Brendan were married on Aug. 17, 2019, at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Upper Northwest D.C. The reception was at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, followed by an after-party at The Avenue in Upper Northwest D.C. They had 250 guests.

THE HONEYMOON: The couple went on an eight-day honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. They took a cocktail class and a cooking class and went for boat rides to remote islands. “We both love the Italian cuisine, so it was also about eating,” Meagan says. “It was the trip of a lifetime.”


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AMP is a bright, contemporary space with floor to ceiling windows and Juliet balconies. With a flexible floor plan, world-class catering by Ridgewells and a comfortable pre-function space, AMP is a unique and beautiful setting for an unforgettable event. Located at Pike & Rose. Maximum seated capacity is 220 without a dance floor.

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Prenups: Who Needs ‘Em? A prenuptial agreement is like an insurance policy; you hate dealing with it and you hope never to have to use it, but if you wind up needing it, you are very glad to have it. Nobody wants to contemplate the end of a marriage before it has even begun, but having a prenup not only protects against unforeseen problems but actually can provide comfort and certainty in a variety of contexts going into a marriage. A few examples follow. This Is Your Spouse’s Second Marriage. Someone who has said “I Do” before may have strings attached – like it or not. How will your partner finance ongoing alimony payments to his or her first spouse? Does your intended spouse own property with a former spouse or owe a duty of child support? A prenup can address how these expenses will be paid among other factors. You Have Children from a Previous Relationship. Couples with children from previous relationships often use prenups to earmark marital and non-marital assets for those children. In most states, including Maryland, property acquired during the course of a marriage is considered “marital property” and, in the absence of a prenup, is subject to broad-brush rules with regard to asset division at the time of divorce or death. Use of an effective and enforceable prenup can proactively address these issues, and thus can significantly mitigate conflict between the children and step-parent – now and in the future. You Bring Significant Assets, or Your Spouse Brings Significant Debt, to the Marriage. People who have established their careers and have – or will one day have – significant assets (business interests, savings, retirement or other investments, family inheritance, real property, etc.), may need to consider the degree to which it is important to designate those assets as separate from shared marital property. Similarly, your partner may bring to the marriage substantial debts (education loans, outstanding mortgage debts, etc.).

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In either case, a prenup is a crucial mechanism for preemptively addressing how these matters will be handled, and can establish clear rules for distinguishing what is marital and what is nonmarital, without comingling. You Have Relationship Baggage. Whether your parents divorced or you yourself have been unlucky in love in the past, designing a prenup can bring important comfort to the already anxiety-provoking process of preparing for marriage. As a legal contract, a prenup may give you added confidence and security as you prepare to walk down the aisle. To establish a prenuptial agreement, it can be recommended that each person retain their own lawyer to represent their individual interests. A family law attorneys is helpful in anticipating sources of conflict or disagreement given their detachment from the emotions of the impending marriage and their litigation experience. However, counsel from estate planning, tax and business attorneys also can add helpful perspective, as each of these professionals will encourage unique considerations based on their areas of practice. As a full service firm, our clients benefit from the talents of attorneys in each of these practice areas.

Monica Garcia Harms chairs the Family Law department at Stein Sperling Bennett De Jong Driscoll PC. Her thorough knowledge and understanding of her clients’ circumstances and needs distinguish her approach to the practice of family law. Monica represents clients in complex matters including divorce, contested custody, support and property allocation. She can be reached via email at

WEDDING RESOURCE guide LA FERME Start your life together in the French Country charm of this Chevy Chase landmark. An intimate affair for just a few friends or something more ambitious, we’ll handle all the details – from decorations to a personalized menu. 7101 Brookville Road Chevy Chase, MD 20815 301-986-5255


Whether you are getting married for the first time, remarried, have children or significant assets, a prenup may be an essential part of planning your wedding. As chair of Stein Sperling’s family law department, Monica Garcia Harms quarterbacks the prenup process with input from the firm’s experienced estate planning, business and tax attorneys. 301-838-3230 |

MICHAEL BENNETT KRESS Michael Bennett Kress Photography has made a commitment to deliver extraordinary photographic coverage and outstanding customer service. Michael is known for intuitively capturing life-cycle events by anticipating precious moments lost to others. Creating images that endure forever is the gift he gives his clients as a keepsake for generations to come. 7801 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814 301-980-3775 |

RIDGEWELLS In-the-know couples choose Ridgewells to make their wedding dreams come true. Whether you envision an intimate gathering or an epic gala, we’ll make sure your wedding is a beautiful reflection of your love. From custom-designed menus to coordinating additional services, Ridgewells makes sure your wedding will be an incredible day to remember. 5525 Dorsey Lane, Bethesda, MD 20816 301-652-1515 |

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STRATHMORE Two incredible spaces, each with a unique aesthetic to suit your personal style. Envision your event in the intimate, historic Georgian Mansion set high on a hill, or in the contemporary, lightfilled Music Center. Custom catering by Ridgewells will make your event unforgettable. 301-581-5255

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PETE PIRINGER The chief spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service talks about the 24/7 news cycle, the horse that fell into a hole, and how he always seems to be out of town when big things happen BY JULIE RASICOT | PHOTO BY JOSEPH TRAN

FLAMES WERE SHOOTING FROM the house on Drop Forge Lane in Gaithersburg when Pete Piringer, chief spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service (MCFRS), arrived at the scene that cold December day in 2014. A twin-engine executive jet, on approach to nearby Montgomery County Airpark, had crashed into the house, breaking up on impact and sending a wing and other parts into two other nearby homes. “The house is on fire, there’s cars in the driveway, we think people are in the house,” Piringer recalls. “The media is showing up, fire trucks are coming... and here comes this guy down the street.” Since the firefighters were busy, Piringer approached the man and asked him to stay safely away from the scene. “That’s my house,” the man said. “I’ve been calling my wife; she’s not answering.” Piringer spoke with the man, Ken Gemmell, whose wife and two young sons—a 3-year-old and a newborn—were inside. “He was in a bit of a shock, so I had to take him aside and deal with that situation. It wasn’t my job, it just happened.” The fire killed Gemmell’s wife, Marie, and the couple’s sons—their then 7-year-old daughter was at school at the time—and the three people on the plane died in the crash. That was one of the most challenging days in Piringer’s 44 years in public safety. In addition to his time in Montgomery County, his career has included jobs with the Maryland State Police, the city of Laurel, and the fire departments of Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C. This is his second stint as the public information officer (PIO) for MCFRS. Piringer, who lives in Rockville, has been a local 208

tour de force on Twitter since creating his MCFRS account in 2014, tweeting or retweeting sometimes dozens of times a day about everything from house fires and car crashes to reminders about checking smoke alarm batteries. In nearly six years, he’s posted more than 85,000 tweets, many with videos he’s taken, and amassed more than 18,000 followers. Now 66, Piringer says he was an early adopter of Twitter, recognizing its potential for spreading information quickly and accurately. Occasionally, he indulges his sense of humor, like when he tweeted last year that there was “not a latte’ of smoke” coming from a small fire in an Olney Starbucks. Though he uses a smartphone to tweet, he prefers to use his old flip phone when calling reporters because he can hear better on it outdoors. Nicknamed “PIO Pete,” Piringer grew up in College Park and joined the local volunteer fire department as a junior firefighter when he was 16, following in the footsteps of his older brother. He’s been a member of the College Park Volunteer Fire Department ever since, and has served as the department’s president for the past 15 years. Piringer and his wife, Pat, a nurse at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, have been married for 44 years and have three grown daughters. We spoke in Piringer’s office at the county’s Public Safety Headquarters in Gaithersburg, where he is surrounded by memorabilia from his long career. The walls are covered with signs outlining communication strategies, including one that’s handwritten on a sheet of paper and succinctly states his guiding mantra: “What Do You Know? Who Needs To Know? Have You Told Them Yet?”




interview You left your first stint with MCFRS for the same job in D.C. How was it different working for the city? There was a lot of work, but it was kind of fun. There’s all kinds of things going on. There’s elected officials, politics, 87 or 90 different law enforcement agencies, and the fire department. I was there for some big snowstorms, Snowmageddon, when D.C. was shut down, [and] for the earthquake [in 2011].

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Tell me about the earthquake. We were at the MLK memorial. It hadn’t opened yet. They were having a VIP reception walk-through. I was staffing Mayor [Vincent] Gray, which I would do from time to time for the media. So he leaves and we’re standing there talking to some firefighters [when the earthquake hit]. I call communications: ‘Got something going on?’ ‘We don’t know, but there’s all kinds of alarms going off downtown and people are evacuating.’ I’m like, ‘Well, call the national geological folks and see if there’s something going on.’ I get in my car. It’s the middle of the day, I’m coming up on the Washington Monument and there’s, like, people running, cars are jumping the curb. So I turn on Constitution Avenue. This is the biggest road in D.C. and there’s not one car on Constitution Avenue. Communications [called] me back and said, ‘Yes, they had an earthquake somewhere in Virginia.’ This was in the very early years of Twitter. So I started tweeting out ‘possibly earthquake.’ Nobody knew what was going on. By the time I got to our command post [by the former Verizon Center, now Capital One Arena] and put some information out, the media is calling me and I looked out and the streets are just jammed because the government let everybody out at the same time. I started getting information that there was damage at the Washington Monument, the National Cathedral, a couple embassies. At the Ecuadorian Embassy, the chimney fell down in the street. Nobody had gotten that information yet, like the mayor didn’t know,

but I was getting it. It was kind of weird because initially they were saying there’s no damage, there’s no problem, nothing going on, and I’m like, uh, yes there is. Where were you when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks occurred? So we’re at the Executive Office Building [in Rockville] on the 12th floor. …There was all kinds of information, sketchy information about planes doing this or doing that. Everybody leaves because they are fire department people and they have places to go and I’m like sitting there. Then they started talking [on TV] about D.C. stuff, and I look over [through the window] and I see smoke [rising from the area of the Pentagon], and I’m like, damn. …The radio was totally quiet, it was, like, weird. Then they activated the Urban Search and Rescue [Task Force, based at MCFRS] to go to the Pentagon. We ended up going, and we got there very quickly…and it was still burning, and then we started sending fire trucks. In those days, [departments] didn’t really talk to each other. I left. Then I ended up going back. I was there when [President George W.] Bush showed up, so I think it was the next day. What was interesting about it was, I’m there, I know most of the media people. They have set up on a hill that overlooks the Pentagon. And there was nobody talking to them. You could see what was happening, but no information. So I am talking to our search and rescue guy who’s in there and Dave Statter, a Channel 9 reporter at the time. He said, ‘Can you talk?’ I was not comfortable [taking the lead in providing information]. So for the 11 o’clock news, [Montgomery County Assistant Fire Chief ] Scott Graham comes up out of the rubble, so Statter interviews him. That was the first kind of ‘from the scene’ of what we had there. Were you the PIO when the Amtrak train derailed in Kensington in 2002? Yes and no. It’s kind of a longstanding joke, like stuff always happens when

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William Foote

Dawn Harris ’13

Robert Hydorn ’71

Foote is a partner, Financial Advisory Services, at Aronson, LLC.

Harris is an assistant nurse manager at Holy Cross Hospital.

Hydorn is a trustee emeritus at Montgomery College and a retired vice president of Fitzgerald Auto Malls.

Connie McGuire

Kathryn Pong

Abigail Seldin

McGuire is a retired adjunct professor of business at Montgomery College.

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I go out of town. People fill in for me. My daughter who was at the Naval Academy, she was up in Rhode Island— Newport—for something. We were up there. It was a beautiful day in Narragansett Bay and [fire] Capt. [Oscar] Garcia calls me up: ‘Hey, you aware of the train crash in Kensington?’ But I was back the next day. Same thing for the Arlis Street explosion [in 2016 at the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring]. I had just returned from a European trip— Greece—and I had bitten an olive pit and broken my front tooth, so I had half a tooth. Got back that evening right before there was an explosion. I’m listening to it on the radio and I’m like, ah, somebody’s covering for me. I’ve got a broken tooth, I’m going to the dentist the next day. I don’t want anybody to see it. But then it was bad, so at like 5 o’clock, 4 o’clock in the morning, I go out there and they have everything media-wise under control. But it was Capt. Garcia who was filling in for me again. It just seems like something always happens when I’m away. But you were in the county during the October 2002 sniper attacks. That particular time, I was coming back from the beach. It was a Monday morning, early. I get a call from communications: ‘Hey, giving you a heads up, we had a guy who was cutting grass over in Rockville somewhere and we think some shrapnel hit him and the medics are taking him to the hospital.’ And then there was a shooting at Leisure World [shopping center]. Lady sitting at a bench. Probably suicide. Right about that time, the medics on the ambulance with the landscaper said, ‘Hey, this is not shrapnel. It looks like a gunshot exit wound. We’re on the way to the hospital.’ A shooting. OK. So [other medics are] up there [at Leisure World]. And it’s kind of weird because there’s no weapon, but obviously a fatal injury. I’m like, it’s a police thing. Then another call is coming in for a shooting and I’m like, Is there, like, a gang…? Then the media is calling me.


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Later that day, somebody goes, ‘Hey, you know, there was a shooting last night [at the Shoppers grocery store in Aspen Hill],’ which at that time, shootings [were] unusual. And there was the gas station shooting, and then we started telling everybody: ‘All fire trucks return to your stations.’ We didn’t know if it was a terrorist thing or a gang or whatever. We went on lockdown. I remember we were in Aspen Hill and there was a big gaggle of media there, and they were like, ‘What’s going on?’ And so [Montgomery County Police] Chief [Charles] Moose comes up to me and says, ‘We don’t know what’s going on, but I’m going to headquarters.’ I said, ‘Chief, there’s news media showing up here. We should have a briefing or something.’ He says, ‘Well, I don’t have anything to say to them. I don’t know what to say.’ And so we just had a little inside-baseball discussion and I said, ‘Let your PIO update the people on what we know at this point.’ So it ended up Chief Moose did the interview and it went OK. But they were just asking him all kinds of questions, and we didn’t have answers. How has your relationship with the media changed over the years? The news cycle is 24/7. It’s a blessing and a curse. Social media is part of it, but it does make things a lot easier. It does give you an opportunity to get timely, accurate information out there. And in a disaster or an emergency…at the end of the day, everybody just wants to be safe. You want your family to be safe. You want your community to be safe. We’re in the safety business. Let’s talk about your use of Twitter. In the beginning, we were just trying to figure it out. Not just necessarily eliminating the press releases, but just kind of eliminating phone calls, because say you have a fire, everybody’s calling, so it’s like 10 phone calls for one incident. Twitter was just a platform where you

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interview could put out some information, address a house fire. Now it’s to the point where the advantage is that you can put some info out that in the old days you couldn’t possibly [have disseminated so widely]. But then you think about it from a disaster or safety perspective—road closures or flooded roads, trees down, stuff like that—you can integrate a safety message and then link to further information. The audience is still the media. They rely on it. In fact, every once in a while, I’ll do a tweet-free day. Why? This is a method of torture for journalists. Just to keep people honest, to let them know how good they have it. How do you decide what to tweet and which videos to post? It’s just my observations. It just seems to me that I’m having a conversation with my group of followers about whatever I’m observing—might be a fire, might be a training [for firefighters]. Sometimes people will say, ‘Why do you put out these wrecks?’ Well, a lot of us drive around, and if a lane is blocked, first of all you might like to know it. Or you could take another route maybe. Or I would frequently get calls, ‘Hey, why is there a fire truck in front of the building?’ or ‘What happened on 270 earlier today?’ So it just eliminates those calls. And it’s like, I know about it, I hear it, so why not? You have to be accurate because some people post misinformation. I don’t know what they’re teaching in journalism schools now, but [it] used to be that people would not take my word for it. They would go check, need another source. I’m OK with that. I’m pretty confident in what I’m telling you. [But] I have to consider my sources, too. I’ve learned that a firefighter might tell me something; sometimes it’s like, well, somebody told him and he thinks he knows what happened. 214

Last March, two bearded dragons were found on the same day in two separate incidents, and your tweet included lizard emoji. Is that one of the weirdest things you’ve had to deal with? I have to admit, I’ve never had two bearded dragons in the same day. I’m in my office, I’m listening to the radio, they’re responding up there [to a car crash on Route 28 in the Potomac area]. I’m like, you know, whatever, this is kind of interesting. And then I’m at the firehouse and I hear some guys talking about the bearded dragon and I’m like, ‘Wait. Are you talking about the call up on 28?’ ‘No, man. We just came from a house fire and they rescued a bearded dragon.’ I said, ‘No way.’ Was that the most unusual thing you’ve ever had? No. We had the guy stuck in mud at Lock 6. Eighty-seven-year-old guy lived there in Cabin John, walking the dogs, down by the C&O Canal. Well, our Swift Water Rescue Team, I’m hearing them go out for a rescue and it was kind of an unusual place. The dogs are chasing sticks, so they’re off the beaten path. He goes down by the river, he goes to retrieve a stick and he steps in the mud and then he puts his other leg [down]. He’s facing out towards the river, [yelling] ‘Help! Help!’ Well, he’s off the trail. He’s there for about an hour and finally a guy on a bike comes by, sees the two dogs up on the trail with a leash and all muddy. So the biker stops and he’s like, ‘I wonder what these dogs are doing here?’ He hears the guy, goes down, the guy’s sinking, can’t get out. So the [biker] calls 911, flags down another biker, they try to get him out, they can’t. They put a log under the guy so he can sit down. So we get there and we got him out. There was that horse that got stuck in Burtonsville. That was, like, two years ago. I can’t remember the horse’s name, but it was a famous horse. It was in movies. It was a huge horse. It was at this farm, enjoying


the good life. And it was walking in this field and it stepped on this old cistern and dropped in. The only thing showing was the head. It was on a hill, so they ended up excavating into the hill and they walked the horse out. It took a while. What’s it like to go home after a particularly bad day? I guess the toughest thing is we all have kids and you associate something in your personal life, but you train and you just can’t get emotionally involved. Probably the toughest you ever deal with is the death or serious injury of a co-worker, or firefighters. In Prince George’s County, two friends of mine died, were killed in a relatively short period of time. That was probably the toughest thing I ever… being the PIO for the event and then for the funeral and then just knowing them. There’s all kinds of other moments that are fantastic because you save someone’s life. I’ve gotten a gold medal of valor from Prince George’s County for pulling somebody out of a burning car when I was assigned to communications—that was 1987. Right around that same year, I was assigned to communications and I was just stopping by the [911 center], saying hi to old friends. I was just sitting down, having lunch. It’s getting busy, the phone’s ringing. The 911 line starts ringing: ‘My baby stopped breathing.’ I’m like, ‘Yes, ma’am, do you know CPR?’ She goes, ‘No.’ I told her I got the ambulance on the way. Then I’m telling her [how to administer] CPR. We had flip charts so you could talk somebody through it, and we could be pretty fast with it. So I was able to give her some advice and the child started breathing. Just recently, I get an email, it says, ‘You don’t remember me,’ but I do remember. She had pictures of her—I get all emotional—pictures of her son. He’s married, he’s a social worker. It’s pretty cool. n Julie Rasicot lives in Silver Spring and is the deputy editor of the magazine.


Financial Professionals PROFILES

David B. Hurwitz, CFP®, CRPC®,


CRPS®, RICP®, APMA®, BFA® Private Wealth Advisor Ameriprise Financial See Profile page 220 BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


Financial Professionals



L-R: Susan Freed, Craig Pernick, Larry Fisher, Blake Doyle

Chevy Chase Trust What separates Chevy Chase Trust from other firms in the industry? We are an independent and privately owned investment management firm with roots in the Washington, D.C. community that date back more than 100 years. We specialize in thematic investing—building long-term portfolios of companies positioned to exploit powerful, secular trends, disruptive ideas, innovation and economic forces. Our client portfolios are managed internally, using individual stocks and bonds. We avoid mutual funds, ETFs and outside managers so there are no layers of additional fees. And clients understand what they own. Personalized financial planning is done in-house and informs each client’s investment strategy and asset allocation. All plans are updated regularly as client circumstances, market conditions and tax laws change. With more than 90 employees—with an average of 20 years’ experience—we are big enough to offer world-class expertise and service, but small enough to offer a personal approach to comprehensive wealth management. Client retention rate exceeds 98 percent.



All investing involves risk of loss, including principal. The investment strategies of Chevy Chase Trust Company ("CCTC") are not guaranteed or insured by CCTC and/or any governmental body. Please see CCTC's ADV Part 2 for more information.

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What is your investment approach? Chevy Chase Trust’s investment process is organized around global themes rather than standard industry classifications such as market capitalization, geography, style or specific benchmarks. To develop a theme, our research analysts begin by taking a broad view of the global economic landscape and identifying secular trends that are most likely to influence corporate performance across multiple industries. Themes can be driven by disruptive technologies, demographics, cultural shifts, changing consumer behaviors or new business models. Once an investment theme is established, we conduct in-depth research on companies positioned to benefit from the theme, and just as importantly, companies that will be negatively disrupted by the theme. We assess each company’s strategic direction, competitive position, valuation, financial condition and management. Every portfolio company is the product of fundamental analysis. Ultimately, a client portfolio is comprised of 40-50 individual stocks.



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Deb Levy Team SENIOR HOME LENDING ADVISOR, CHASE What do you find most satisfyin a out your o ? Buying a home can seem overwhelming— whether it’s a first home, for a growing family, vacation home or empty-nester home. It's a special time. Playing a part in making those dreams come true motivates and fulfills me every day. I enjoy helping make the buying or refinancing process easier for you. What piece of advice do you most fre uent y et as ed and hat s your ans er? When is the best time to purchase or refinance a home? My answer: Markets change and life needs change. It doesn’t matter what rates do or what your best friends are doing right now—it has to be the right timing for you. What ma es your c ient e perience uni ue? As much information is on the Internet, there's lots of misinformation, too. Buyers today often have to make instant decisions and move quickly to secure a contract. Competition means multiple offers and buyers need to be prepared, as sellers often look for items that make buyers take more risk. We want our clients to go beyond pre ualification as a go-ahead to buy a home and be fully underwritten with a conditional approval letter so financing will be in place when they need it. This also allows faster settlements, fewer surprises and potential pitfalls. As America's largest bank, Chase offers full-service products as well as individualized service. We’re now expanding into the D.C. area and the addition of new banking centers has been exciting. I’m a lifelong Washingtonian and a mortgage banker for years. We offer the perfect combination of lending leader and neighborhood expert who truly knows D.C. and Montgomery County. HONORS AND ACHIEVEMENTS


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Seated (L-R): Hannah Schlabaugh, Client Advisor; Celandra Deane-Bess, CFP®, SVP, Bethesda/DC Wealth Director; KC Koch, Relationship Strategist Standing (L-R): Ray Lambert, Senior Client Advisor; Ann Nickel, Senior Fiduciary Advisor; Brian Ellis, Senior Investment Advisor; Hamid Islam, Senior Banking Advisor; Elizabeth Kim-Wei, JD, Senior Wealth Strategist; Scott Schluederberg, Senior Investment Advisor

What services do you or your firm provide? PNC Wealth Management® offers a wide range of private banking, wealth strategy and asset management services for high net worth individuals and families. o matter how simple or complicated, we have the products, knowledge and resources necessary for your family’s financial success. What is your investment approach? Our approach is completely dependent on your needs. We utilize a goals-based model, looking first at your personal and/or corporate goals and then building a customized portfolio with a wide range of non-proprietary funds and tools to meet them. We deliver comprehensive, holistic, unbiased wealth management advice that includes private banking, wealth strategies and fiduciary services. Our team is comprised of five Certified Financial Planners and a local group with over 100 years of experience. What type of c ient do you specia i e in? We work with business owners at all stages of their business lifecycle, including doctors, lawyers, executives and more. We also work with many individuals and families looking for an excellent personalized customer experience and financial results. Whether buying a home, saving for retirement, investing for the future or finding the right credit card, P C helps clients gain the confidence they need to make important financial decisions. What ma es your c ient e perience uni ue? Our wealth management team is local. We act strategically and collaboratively as a cohesive professional advisory team, working with each client individually, so you receive a higher level of synergy and active oversight. Every professional is working for you and consistently looking out for your best interests. We're moving toward total integration, leveraging commercial banking services with private wealth management services and looking out for your entire portfolio. 218


“Whether buying a home, saving for retirement, investing for the future or finding the right credit card, PNC helps clients gain the confidence they need to make important financial decisions.” SPECIALTIES

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The PNC Wealth Management Team



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E. Cohen Principals L-R: Bill Bancroft (Impact Capital), Robin Cameron, Eric Cohen, Don Keninitz, Kim Maxwell, Donna Mahan. Not pictured: Alex Brager, Douglas Trueheart, Toni French, Burton Speer

E. Cohen and Company, CPAs What services do you or your firm provide? We are a full-service Certified Public Accounting and Business Consulting firm focused on providing our clients with a full range of services to help manage their business. Our services include tax preparation, planning and consulting, audit and assurance, employee benefit plan administration, business advisory, outsourced accounting, wealth management, and business technology services.



What type of c ient do you specia i e in? We specialize in high net worth individuals and business owners, real estate developers and investors, professional services firms, nonprofit organizations, government contractors and more. What ma es your c ient e perience uni ue? Our award-winning professionals are dedicated to extraordinary uality and customer service. We recognize that relationships are built on trust, and we work hard to gain and retain the trust of our clients to foster those relationships as we work to exceed client expectations. We want our clients to be raving fans of E. Cohen who believe in the uality of our work and trust us to assist in solving some of their toughest problems. We believe our growth is reflective of our commitment to our clients as well as our employees. We are committed to making a difference in the lives of our clients and our community, and we choose to volunteer our time and other resources for the wellbeing of those we serve.

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David B. Hurwitz, CFP®, CRPC®, CRPS®, RICP®, APMA®, BFA® PRIVATE WEALTH ADVISOR, AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL What type of client do you specialize in? specialize in clients who are preparing themselves for retirement or currently in retirement with a typical account size between 500,000— 5,000,000. These are often Baby Boomers looking for a straightforward framework to create a sound retirement plan. My professional designations are specific to the planning needs surrounding retirement strategies for creating retirement income, wealth management and estate planning.

CA Insurance #OE47729 Certified Financial Planner Board of tandards nc. owns the certification marks CFP , CE T F ED F A CA P A E and CFP with flame design in the U. . nvestment advisory services and products are made available through Ameriprise Financial ervices, nc., a registered investment adviser. Ameriprise Financial ervices, nc., Member F A and PC. 2019 Ameriprise Financial, nc., All rights reserved.

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What makes your client experience unique? invite you to visit my website where you can view my videos on how differentiate myself and my practice and our turn-key concierge service, including my practice’s wholistic approach and other relevant topics like multi-generational planning. Please visit to learn more.

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MANAGING DIRECTOR AND INVESTMENT COMMITTEE MEMBER, REBALANCE What services do you or your firm provide? ebalance is a mission-driven, award-winning investment firm committed to offering premium, fiduciary wealth management services to everyday investors. The firm offers asset and wealth management, retirement investing advice and comprehensive financial planning by expert advisors at a significant cost savings. What is your investment approach? ebalance provides consumers with a fundamentally different and better set of investment options lower costs, endowment- uality globally-diversified investment portfolios and systematic rebalancing. Our highly credentialed professionals specialize in holistic planning and pragmatic financial advice that is prudent, unconflicted, unbiased and which focuses on the client’s long-term financial goals. AWARDS AND HONORS

4800 ampden ane, uite 200 Bethesda, MD 20814 202-999-4210 www.rebalance 220



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Financial Professionals

L-R: John Green, Lindsey Rheaume, Doreen Hommet, John Richardson, Scott Reading and Bob Crismond

Members of the EagleBank Team


What is your investment approach? At EagleBank, a new business relationship starts with listening to and learning about the new client, the business, its advantages and challenges, and the goals it hopes to attain. There is no menu of products and services to review and assign, because EagleBank knows that every business is different. Questions, note-taking and lots of open discussion—all lead to the beginning of a mutually-valuable, client-bank relationship. No matter how many directions a business wants to turn along the way to success and future growth, a good banking relationship makes the path easier to follow. When that relationship is built on flexible, personalized solutions created by service-oriented EagleBank lenders, bankers, SBA and Treasury Management specialists, anything is possible. From the start, EagleBank never stops listening and learning, because that’s what builds trust and enriches a financial relationship. That is what also makes us different from others. What makes your client experience unique? Established in 1998, by local bankers and business owners, EagleBank’s focus has always been on serving the needs of business organizations that impact our combined D.C.-area economy and serve our U.S. Government-shared community. Working with a successful local bank can make all the difference when time is of the essence to buy equipment or a piece of real estate, or complete an advantageous acquisition before a competitor does. Besides local decision-making and quick response, there’s easy access to local management and opportunities to work and network in the community together. EagleBank is also dedicated to and focused on the same place you, your family and your business call “Home” — whether that’s Bethesda or any neighborhood in our local D.C. metro area.

“From the start, EagleBank never stops listening and learning, because that’s what builds trust and enriches a financial relationship.” HONORS AND SPECIALTIES

“Best Community Bank,” Bethesda Magazine Best of Bethesda Readers’ Poll, 2019-2020; Corporate Philanthropy Award, Washington Business Journal, 2019; Top 100 Performing Community Banks, Independent Community Bankers of America, 2018

7815 Woodmont Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 240-497-2044



Financial Professionals



Seated (L-R): Ashley Iddings, Ted Leasure, Michele Walthert, Bill Schwartz Standing (L-R): Mark Schwartz, Max Meltzer, Chris Kiessling, Robin Dobbs, Jonathan Rosner

What services do you or your firm provide? We take traditional wealth management and seek to go beyond. Our broad team carries extensive experience in a variety of niche areas, but some of our greatest collective strengths include expertise in thoughtful, collaborative and personalized financial planning, customized lending solutions, charitable giving, assistance in tax and estate planning, and providing guidance and education to the next generation of our client families. Regardless of the task at hand, our aim is to simplify the financial lives of our clients as much as possible. What is your investment approach? Simply put—Independent. Tailored. Disciplined. Using a diverse mix of investment strategies that can include non-traditional investments, we craft disciplined portfolios that seek to meet desired goals without taking undue risk. Our advisors are supported by an internal investment committee and dedicated internal research staff who provide steady guidance on asset allocation, portfolio construction and manager selection with an unwavering commitment to independence. What ma es your c ient e perience uni ue? We pride ourselves on delivering a proactive team-based approach that coordinates seamlessly with outside advisors and goes beyond the norm to incorporate all aspects of our client’s financial lives. What made you ant to ecome a professiona adviser? Many of us come from backgrounds in consulting and accounting, and this is reflected in our style. We all saw a better way to deliver financial advice at some point, and we bring that consultative spirit to our work every day. 222


“We all saw a better way to deliver financial advice at some point, and we bring that consultative spirit to our work every day.” HONORS AND AWARDS

Included in Barron’s list of top 50 Independent Advisors, our team carries 1 different professional designations including strong representations of CFP®s, JDs, and CPAs.

12435 Park Potomac Ave. Suite 500 Potomac, MD 20854 301-339-6101


Wealthspire Advisors



Financial Professionals

L-R: Jim Joseph, CFP®, President; Kim Scott, CFP®, Director of Financial Planning; Ron Rough, CFA, Director of Portfolio Management; Dave Petersen, CFP®, Founder

Financial Services Advisory What is your investment approach? FSA has been helping clients manage uncertainties for nearly 40 years. Our approach is designed to make money while adapting to changing market conditions. To help preserve portfolios from market losses, we created an exit strategy called the FSA Safety Net®. Our clients come to us because they know that it’s not what you make that counts—but what you keep. What services do you or your firm provide? Besides portfolio management, we help clients with their financial and retirement planning needs. What does a successful retirement look like for you? How can you put your children through college Can you afford a boat or second home hould you pay off your house or refinance For these uestions and more, we have a team of seasoned professionals to help.


What icenses credentia s or other certifications do you ho d and hy do they matter to your clients? Registered with the SEC as an investment advisor, we're bound by law to put your interests before our own. We have clients in 40 states and a second o ce in outh Florida. All lead advisors are Certified Financial Planners. Our certifications and credentials re uire the highest education and ethical standards. What makes your client experience unique? We want and encourage every team member to display our uni ue culture. We strive to be authentic, transparent and proactive, and to take personal responsibility for our actions. f there are conflicts among the team members, we give everyone tools to express themselves in a way that is honest, direct and respectful. And of course, we bring these same attitudes and tools to our interactions with our clients.

“Our clients come to us because they know that it’s not what you make that counts—but what you keep.”


CityWire RIA Magazine recipient of “Future 50” award, 2019, Financial Planning Association, CFA Society of Washington

One Church Street, Suite 901 Rockville, MD 20850 301-949-7300



Financial Professionals



Brad Sherman

PRESIDENT & LEAD FINANCIAL ADVISOR, SHERMAN WEALTH MANAGEMENT What made you want to become a professional advisor? There are real barriers and hidden costs to conflict-free wealth management confronting all but the ultra-wealthy. wanted to make a difference for people intimidated by the complexity and seeming exclusivity of personal finance and wealth management. For that reason, we are a fiduciary, fee-only egistered nvestment Advisory firm, which means we put your interests ahead of our own and do not take commissions from investment vehicles, mutual funds or any other financial product. We do not work for anyone but you—our client. What makes your client experience unique? Our comprehensive approach incorporates both short- and long-term goals. Each financial plan and portfolio are tax- and cost-e ciently custom-designed with their own objectives and risk tolerance levels for specific client needs. With state-of-the-art technology, clients can access their financial information at their fingertips. AWARDS AND HONORS

9841 Washingtonian Blvd., Suite 200 | Gaithersburg, MD 20878 240-428-1622 |


nvestopedia, Top 100 Financial Advisors featured in C BC, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal co-host, aunch Financial, a weekly podcast.

Eric Jaffe, JD, AIF®, RICP® and Chris Williams MOSAIC WEALTH PARTNERS What services does your firm provide? We work with individuals and small businesses helping plan for major financial events, manage assets, set up retirement plans and manage risk. Many clients are pre-retirees and retirees with whom we develop investment management and distribution strategies to weather the volatility of markets and achieve their personal goals. We adopt a planning-first approach, act as fiduciaries in our investment management, and tailor efforts to fit each client’s uni ue situation and needs, all while providing exceptional, hands-on service.

Disclaimer Member F

ecurities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial etwork, A/ PC, a egistered nvestment Adviser.

7529 tandish Place, uite 45 ockville, MD 20855 877-840-0770 ejaffe cwilliams 224



What made you want to become a professional advisor? Eric: began as an attorney working in both the private and public sectors. My legal experience helped instill skills apply to my financial practice today. Chris: As a former trader on the floors of the ew ork Board of Trade and ew ork Me rcantile Exchange, especially enjoy helping clients develop strategies to manage market volatility.

interior design. architecture. home sales.



A couple renovated this house in Chevy Chase Village, one of the oldest residences in the neighborhood. For more, turn to page 228.






THINK PINK No longer just for nurseries, pale pink is moving into the mainstream as a chic neutral for the home




Trendsetting paint company Benjamin Moore is optimistic about the new decade, choosing First Light (#2102-70) as their Color of the Year for 2020. They think the rosy, refreshing shade of pink will be the perfect backdrop for a wide-ranging palette of warm browns, taupes, greens and blues. Pick up a gallon for $44.99 to $79.99 (based on the paint line) at Christophers Glen Echo Hardware in Bethesda (301-2293700;

Add a splash of the season’s hottest hue with a versatile throw that can be used year-round. The super soft, 100% cotton Cloud throw is woven in a gauze style for a light and airy look and feel. It’s made in Turkey, measures 50 inches by 70 inches and retails for $68 at Olive & Loom at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda (240-558-3190;

Smart and pretty is a winning combination. This stylish lamp, with a blush-colored glass body, metal base in an antique brass finish, and white linen shade, features a handy built-in USB port tucked into the base. A great addition to a bedside table or a desk, the Metalized Glass USB Table Lamp retails for $129 at West Elm at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda (301-230-7630;













Fine bed linens are a luxury, especially in this delicious color that works with a wide range of palettes. Linens in rose from the Adagio line, part of the Couture collection from Yves Delorme, include combed cotton sateen 500-thread-count sheets priced from $395 to $595 each. There’s also a matching duvet cover from $695 to $795, and a quilted coverlet from $950 to $1,225, all at Yves Delorme in Bethesda (301897-5009;

A richly colored rug grounds a room visually and creates a jumping-off point for the rest of the decor. The Dorinda rug, in peach, combines warm, rich tones in a globally inspired pattern. It’s constructed of hand-tufted rayon and is available in a wide range of sizes—2-by-3 feet to 10-by-14 feet—from $98 to $2,398 at Anthropologie in Bethesda (240345-9413;

Follow through on that resolution to get organized, and look good doing it. A set of sophisticated accessories in blush includes a hanging file box for $89.95, a desk caddy for $44.95, and a desk organizer (pictured) and pencil carousel, for $39.95 each. Find the Agency desk accessories at Crate&Barrel in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Upper Northwest, D.C. (202-3646100;

Dishes are an easy way to try a new color and give some life to a plain tabletop. The Blush Element Dinnerware Collection is simple yet modern. Each piece is sold separately, in sets of four— the dinner plates are $31.96, salad plates $27.96, salad bowls $39.96, cereal bowls $27.96, and mugs $19.96 at World Market in Rockville (301816-2480; n

Carolyn Weber lives in Silver Spring and frequently writes about architecture and home design. BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



A Modern Classic How Chevy Chase Village homeowners renovated an 1890s house to accommodate their busy family life BY DEBORAH K. DIETSCH

The pediment-topped front door opens to the foyer under the refurbished original staircase.




One of the oldest residences in Chevy Chase Village, the house centers on a neoclassical facade with a tall portico and second-story Palladian window.





Above: Glass doors in the kitchen provide access to the outdoor entertaining area that includes sofas and a coffee table from RH. Right: Debra and Dean Graham relax on their new back porch in chairs from B&B Italia.

children’s sports teams, get-togethers with friends, and fundraisers for their private schools. “The Chevy Chase house has many distinctive architectural features,” says Debra Graham, a former marketing executive. “We love that it has large rooms, fireplaces and enormous charm.” Outside, neoclassical design elements are combined into an impressive facade. The entrance is defined by a colossal portico with Ionic columns, a graceful pediment around the front door, and a Palladian window set into the second floor.


The historic pedigree of the 1890s home, one of the first to be built in Chevy Chase Village, attracted such previous owners as the late Flora Gill Jacobs, whose collection of antique miniatures became the Washington Dolls’ House and Toy Museum (now closed). “This home is my favorite in the village,” says Amy Zantzinger. “It has been clearly lived in and loved.” The


IN 2006, DEBRA AND DEAN Graham extensively updated their 1950s colonial in Bethesda and, unlike many homeowners who grow impatient waiting for remodelers to finish, they found the process to be smooth, even rewarding. “It was a great experience the first time around,” says Dean Graham, CEO and founder of Sector Financial in Chevy Chase. “We found the builder and architect to be skilled and trustworthy.” The renovation went so well that the Grahams purchased their next home in May 2016 from the project’s builder, Richard Zantzinger, and his wife, Amy, an interior designer who had also worked on the Bethesda project. The Grahams then hired the Zantzingers and their Washington, D.C., architect, Anthony “Ankie” Barnes, to refresh their new digs, a stately neoclassical 1890s house in Chevy Chase. The Grahams, both 54, bought the historic five-bedroom home (it now has seven) to have more space for family life and entertaining. The parents of two sons, Jack, 20, and Joey, 18, and a daughter, Katie, 16, they often host their



Zantzingers bought the house in October 2015 and worked with Barnes and his D.C. firm, BarnesVanze Architects, on a plan to expand and remodel the house before selling it to the Grahams. “They wanted to take a tired old house and make it suitable for today,” Barnes says. “We went so far as to secure project approvals from local and county preservation review boards and

a building permit.” Then the Zantzingers had second thoughts about the ambitious project. “We did not want to move our kids twice during our daughter’s high school years, first to a rental during the renovation and then to the Chevy Chase house,” Amy Zantzinger says. “My mother had a stroke in 2015, and I was spending a great deal of time in California. For those

two reasons, we had a change of heart about doing a major renovation project at that time in our lives and decided to sell the house.” After buying the house, the Grahams purchased the Zantzingers’ plans and hired the couple along with Barnes, whose firm they had used when updating their Bethesda colonial, to complete the renovation with some design changes.



home health

“We greatly expanded the plans for the basement and covered the new porch at the back,” Debra Graham says. “Ankie has an eye for classical architecture and did a nice job of creating rooms with character.” Barnes preserved the original spaces at the front, while replacing a more recent rear addition with a back porch and a new wing for the kitchen and the owners’ bedroom suite. “It was a compelling house to renovate, on one of the best streets in Chevy Chase,” the architect says. “The real assets of the house were the original living room, library and dining room, each with good proportions and a fireplace sharing the same chimney. But the flow between the different floors was terrible and needed to be improved.” Structural problems compounded the layout challenges. “The existing house was in much worse shape than we anticipated,” Richard Zantzinger says. “It 232

Above: The kitchen features a table designed by British furniture maker William Yeoward and Mopane armchairs that are illuminated by a hanging fixture from Urban Electric. Opposite: The library walls are paneled in oak, and new bookcases flank a window seat. The ceiling features decorative moldings and a starburst lighting fixture from Visual Comfort. Right: Adjacent to the library, the living room is furnished with a curved sofa and round ottoman from Thayer Coggin.






had been renovated multiple times, and most of the work was subpar. It started its life as a fairly simple foursquare and morphed from there.” Also, foundation settlement had caused severe movement within the wood-frame structure. “We had to reframe most of the walls and level the floors. Essentially, we rebuilt the structure from the inside out—not easy,” he says. The exterior’s existing stucco finish was changed to wood siding, which also covers the rear addition so it blends into the rest of the house. “While removing the stucco, we found original wood 234

siding under it, so we were glad to know our choice respected the original architecture,” BarnesVanze project manager Ellen Hatton says. Slate roofing atop the addition matches the existing roof. New doublehung windows are wooden with divided panes on the upper sashes to match the original fenestration. The interior renovation started with improving the circulation throughout the house. The original stairs near the grand street entrance—refreshed with simple wood railings and balusters—led past the Palladian window, but only to the front bedrooms on the second floor.


So another staircase was added to the area of the original kitchen to better connect the main level to the basement and the refreshed bedroom suites on the second floor and in the remodeled attic. Converting this part of the house left space for a powder room and generous storage closet on the main floor next to the new stairs. While adding a new staircase seemed like a simple solution, designing it presented difficulties in meeting building code requirements and providing enough headroom. “It was a bit of a jigsaw puzzle,” Hatton says. “We were challenged by the existing roof slope, so we had to create a

Top left: The dining room next to the kitchen features an RH table and dramatic, metalfringed chandeliers from Arteriors. Top right: A tiny brick-lined wine cellar incorporates shelving for bottles and leather chairs from Lee Industries.


Below: The dug-out basement is home to a new rec room with a 9-foot ceiling.

second landing at the second floor to fit the stairs under the roof.” From the second floor to the attic, the stair treads are angled to squeeze in the number of stairs required to get to the top and leave enough room to access a corner guest room on that level. “You are always going to find quirky

stuff with an old house renovation, and we always end up doing structural work to accommodate a new floor plan and fix existing problems,” Hatton says. Most structurally challenging was expanding the basement to accommodate an exercise area and a game room under the kitchen addition and porch.

The Grahams wanted higher ceilings, so the basement floor was dug out and dropped, requiring the existing footings to be underpinned with new concrete foundation walls. Those improvements allowed the ceiling height to be extended from 7 feet to 9 feet, making the underground space feel as spacious as the upper floors. The basement features a rec room where the kids can watch TV, and includes a corner guest suite and a laundry room. A tiny brick-lined wine cellar built around the chimney base is fitted with shelving for bottles. The space is just large enough to include a pair of chairs for sampling the vintages. Inside the home’s grand entranceway, the rooms on the first floor feel surprisingly casual and comfortable for family living. A curving sectional sofa for watching TV is the centerpiece of the living room on one side of the entrance hall. The flat-screen is hidden behind a framed photograph until the photo is automatically raised above the TV. Adjoining the living room is a side porch where the family gathers to read and relax. Across the hall, the cozy library appears to be original in design but is newly paneled in oak. Decorative moldings extend across the painted ceiling. Shelving that encircled the room was removed, and new bookcases were installed to flank a window seat. Another side porch next to the library



was enclosed and turned into Dean Graham’s home office. Behind the living area, the dining room opens through glass doors to the new rear porch, creating the type of expansive entertaining space sought by the homeowners. Pale blue wallpaper, patterned to resemble watercolor brushstrokes, and metal-fringed chandeliers suspended over the 13-foot table convey a more relaxed atmosphere than is typical in such a formal space. The adjacent kitchen with a marbletopped island provides ample room for cooking and dining. “We have family dinners here with a rotating cast of kids from my sons’ and daughter’s schools,” says Debra Graham, pointing to the large circular wooden table at one end of the kitchen. “When we entertain, we’ll use the table as buffet space and the island as a bar.” On the second floor, front bedrooms for son Joey and daughter Katie have 236

Son Jack’s attic bedroom extends under the roof gable, where there's a daybed for overnight guests.

access to a remodeled shared bathroom. Down the hall, the Grahams’ bedroom on the upper floor of the rear addition adjoins his-and-her bathrooms, each with a walk-in closet. Debra Graham converted one of the four bedrooms on the second floor into her office, where she works on her current volunteer duties. At the top of the house, the attic was completely gutted to provide a bedroom suite for eldest son Jack that is arranged around the top of the chimney. A space extending into the front gable is fitted with a casual daybed for visiting friends, and a separate guest room is tucked into one corner of the attic. Furnishings throughout the house are contemporary, and custom built-in


benches, desks and cabinets reinforce the streamlined look. Glossy painted walls in the front stairwell and second-floor home office supply a luxe, light-reflective finish reminiscent of layers of lacquer. “Our last house had traditional décor and we didn’t want that this time around,” Debra Graham says. Adds Amy Zantzinger: “We wanted the design to fit this modern family so they use every room—and they do.” Like their Bethesda renovation, the Grahams’ transformation of the Chevy Chase house took more than a year, but “we got what we wanted with careful attention to detail,” Dean Graham says. His advice for renovating homeowners? “Select a great team of people to work with. Then let them do their jobs.” n Deborah K. Dietsch is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C. She is the author of Architecture for Dummies.



Luxury Condo Renovation BY GILDAY RENOVATIONS

architects ■ designers ■ builders

With over 40 years of experience, Gilday Renovations provides its clients with a highly collaborative design- build process that seamlessly blends the expertise of its award-winning integrated team of architectural designers, interior designers and master builders, led by principals Kevin Gilday and Tom Gilday.

THE PROJECT This condo renovation in the Watergate proves that sometimes, hidden deep in the bones of a “vintage” building, the spirit of fresh modernity is just waiting to be revealed. This corner unit came with floor to ceiling glass sliders that walk out to private patios on two sides. The original interior layout failed to capitalize on this--the unit’s greatest asset: abundant natural light. The Gilday designers transformed the boxy floor plan by removing unnecessary partition walls inviting daylight to reach deeper into the interior and main hallway. To create space for low profile recessed lighting in the dining room, they lowered the ceilings slightly to allow just enough clearance to install the fixtures and hide wiring. To give definition to all this newly opened space, the Gilday team employed partial walls using custom cabinet units and bulkheads that create the effect of wide beams while serving as conduits for wiring and electrical components. Gilday Renovations | | 301.565.4600 Images by: Mary Pat Collins


Data provided by

OCTOBER’S MOST EXPENSIVE at A peek rea’s f the a some o pensive x most e sold n rece tly s house



$6.9 million LIST PRICE: $6.9 MILLION

Address: 8880 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda 20817 Days on Market: 1 Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Bedrooms: 7 Full/Half Baths: 7/2


$3.6 million LIST PRICE: $3.8 MILLION

Address: 5312 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda 20814 Days on Market: 19 Listing Agency: Washington Fine Properties Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 5/3

$3.5 million LIST PRICE: $3.5 MILLION

Address: 4 Quincy St., Chevy Chase 20815 Days on Market: 5 Listing Agency: Washington Fine Properties Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 5/3


$3 million LIST PRICE: $3.2 MILLION

Address: 8506 Country Club Drive, Bethesda 20817 Days on Market: 134 Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 5/3


$2.7 million LIST PRICE: $3 MILLION

Address: 6008 Kennedy Drive, Chevy Chase 20815 Days on Market: 1 Listing Agency: Compass Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 6/3


$2.7 million LIST PRICE: $2.8 MILLION

$3.6 million LIST PRICE: $3.8 MILLION

Address: 3911 Bradley Lane, Chevy Chase 20815 Days on Market: 547 Listing Agency: TTR Sotheby’s International Realty Bedrooms: 10 Full/Half Baths: 9/1




$2.6 million LIST PRICE: $2.6 MILLION

Address: 8022 Aberdeen Road, Bethesda 20814 Days on Market: 114 Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 5/2



Address: 8504 Burning Tree Road, Bethesda 20817 Days on Market: 22 Listing Agency: Compass Bedrooms: 7 Full/Half Baths: 5/1






Best Real Estate Team!





Call f or P ricing 5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths Walki ng distance to downtown Friendship Heights!










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5 B E ALL SP RING CT, P OTOMAC $ 1, 395, 000






4 5 5 0 N P ARK AVE , CHE VY CHASE # 3 0 4 $ 760, 000 L SO

4 5 5 0 N P ARK AVE , CHE VY CHASE # 3 0 8 $ 740, 000








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1 0 0 1 9 K INROSS AVE , SILVE R SP RING $ 475, 000 SO

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V isit Ca r o l y n Ho m e s . c o m f or R eviews, R ecent Sales and to Checko ut our Blog!

Ra n k e d To p 1 % 8 2 1 0 THORE AU DRIVE , B E THE SDA $ 1, 835, 000

4 3 1 8 ROSE DALE AVE , B E THE SDA $ 1, 625, 000

RE/MAX Realty Services • Bethesda Row • 301.652.0400 4825 Bethesda Avenue #200 • Bethesda, MD 20814


$2.5 million LIST PRICE: $2.5 MILLION

Address: 24 Hesketh St., Chevy Chase 20815 Days on Market: 0 Listing Agency: None provided Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 4/1


$2.5 million LIST PRICE: $2.6 MILLION

Address: 8605 Potomac School Terrace, Potomac 20854 Days on Market: 135 Listing Agency: Washington Fine Properties Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 6/1


$2.4 million LIST PRICE: $2.5 MILLION

Address: 8511 Rapley Preserve Circle, Potomac 20854 Days on Market: 74

Listing Agency: RE/MAX Plus Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 5/3


$2.3 million LIST PRICE: $2.4 MILLION

Address: 9719 Avenel Farm Drive, Potomac 20854 Days on Market: 203 Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 7/2


$2 million LIST PRICE: $2.1 MILLION

Address: 10010 Gary Road, Potomac 20854 Days on Market: 59 Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Bedrooms: 7 Full/Half Baths: 8/3


$2 million LIST PRICE: $2.2 MILLION

Address: 8410 Rapley Ridge Lane, Potomac 20854 Days on Market: 301 Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 6/3


$1.9 million LIST PRICE: $2 MILLION

Address: 2625 Dapple Grey Court, Olney 20832 Days on Market: 26 Listing Agency: Toll MD Realty Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 5/2


$1.9 million LIST PRICE: $1.9 MILLION

Address: 4916 44th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20016 Days on Market: 139 Listing Agency: Beacon Crest Real Estate Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 4/1


Corey Burr 301 346 3345 m. 301 967 3344 o.

Led by Corey Burr, Senior Vice President at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, the Burr Group is TTR Sotheby’s International Realty’s Top Team in Maryland, representing the region’s finest properties. Our combined 208 years of experience has taught us the character of nearly every block and the expertise to successfully handle any type of sale or purchase in any type of market condition. Contact us today for a confidential discussion of your real estate plans. Sotheby’s International Realty and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered (or unregistered) service marks used with permission. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We are happy to work with them and cooperate fully.




$1.8 million LIST PRICE: $1.9 MILLION

Address: 8210 Thoreau Drive, Bethesda 20817 Days on Market: 21 Listing Agency: RE/MAX Realty Services Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 4/1


$1.8 million LIST PRICE: $1.8 MILLION

Address: 6203 Walhonding Road, Bethesda 20816 Days on Market: 14 Listing Agency: Washington Fine Properties Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 4/2


$1.8 million LIST PRICE: $2 MILLION

Address: 18 Holly Leaf Court, Bethesda 20817 Days on Market: 91

Listing Agency: Washington Fine Properties Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 5/1


$1.8 million LIST PRICE: $1.9 MILLION


Address: 10706 Burbank Drive, Potomac 20854 Days on Market: 41 Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 4/3


$1.7 million LIST PRICE: $1.8 MILLION

$1.7 million LIST PRICE: $1.8 MILLION

$1.7 million LIST PRICE: $1.8 MILLION

Address: 11716 Wood Thrush Lane, Potomac 20854 Days on Market: 254 Listing Agency: Keller Williams Realty Falls Church Bedrooms: 7 Full/Half Baths: 6/1


Address: 6311 Bannockburn Drive, Bethesda 20817 Days on Market: 174 Listing Agency: RE/MAX Distinctive Real Estate Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 5/1


Address: 5205 Nahant St., Bethesda 20816 Days on Market: 6 Listing Agency: RE/MAX Realty Services Bedrooms: 6 Full/Half Baths: 5/1

$1.7 million LIST PRICE: $1.7 MILLION

Address: 7507 Newmarket Drive, Bethesda 20817 Days on Market: 18 Listing Agency: Long & Foster Real Estate Bedrooms: 5 Full/Half Baths: 4/1 Note: Some sale and list prices have been rounded.







20015 (Upper NW D.C.) Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

8 $891,800 4 3 1

26 $1.4 Mil. 10 11 17

20 $1.6 Mil. 7 10 18

20814 (Bethesda) Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

9 $1.2 Mil. 4 4 3

15 $1.1 Mil. 3 10 3

20815 (Chevy Chase) Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

18 $1.3 Mil. 5 9 14

21 $1.4 Mil. 5 11 11

20816 (Bethesda) Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

15 $1 Mil. 6 6 6

15 $1.1 Mil. 7 7 9

24 $1.1 Mil. 5 11 9

39 $1.4 Mil. 7 25 23

20817 (Bethesda) Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million


20832 (Olney) 13 $1.1 Mil. 6 4 9

20016 (Upper NW D.C.) Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million


Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million


20877 (Gaithersburg) 15 11 $729,263 $687,477 2 5 10 7 4 1

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

6 10 $449,233 $455,236 2 3 4 5 0 0

20850 (Rockville)

20878 (North Potomac/ Gaithersburg)

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

13 18 $719,500 $691,500 3 2 8 13 2 2

26 30 $740,897 $711,430 5 6 16 22 3 3

20851 (Rockville)

20879 (Gaithersburg)

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

6 15 $372,250 $407,113 2 7 3 4 0 0

13 15 $419,667 $497,126 2 3 9 9 0 0

20852 (North Bethesda/Rockville)

20882 (Gaithersburg)

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

6 14 $757,417 $703,376 0 3 5 9 1 3

7 11 $606,357 $625,654 2 2 5 5 0 0

20853 (Rockville)

20886 (Gaithersburg)

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

30 26 $494,703 $484,301 6 8 18 11 0 0

20854 (Potomac) Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

32 $984,122 5 24 11

10 7 $451,590 $441,928 3 3 6 3 0 0

20895 (Kensington) 40 $1.2 Mil. 2 32 23

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

19 16 $676,099 $749,931 4 5 11 8 0 3

20818 (Cabin John)

20855 (Rockville)

20901 (Silver Spring)

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million


1 2 $1 Mil. $712,500 0 1 1 1 1 0



8 8 $514,894 $562,500 3 1 3 6 0 0

27 23 $501,841 $485,119 6 11 17 6 0 0

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20902 (Silver Spring)

20904 (Silver Spring)

20910 (Silver Spring)

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

25 26 $460,424 $464,049 6 7 11 16 1 0

17 23 $510,096 $476,147 4 8 10 10 0 0


23 20 $668,159 $640,108 6 4 13 15 0 0

20903 (Silver Spring)

20906 (Silver Spring)

20912 (Silver Spring/Takoma Park)

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

Number of Homes Sold Average Sold Price Above Asking Price Below Asking Price Sold Over $1 Million

7 5 $421,843 $494,600 3 3 4 1 0 0

23 34 $417,122 $479,469 6 13 15 12 0 0

16 16 $531,563 $715,765 7 4 6 7 0 0

Information courtesy of Bright MLS, as of Nov. 13, 2019. The Bright MLS real estate service area spans 40,000 square miles throughout the mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. As a leading Multiple Listing Service (MLS), Bright serves approximately 85,000 real estate professionals who in turn serve more than 20 million consumers. For more information, visit Note: This information includes single-family homes sold from Oct. 1, 2019, to Oct. 31, 2019, as of Nov. 13, 2019, excluding sales where sellers have withheld permission to advertise or promote. Information should be independently verified. Reports reference data provided by ShowingTime, a showing management and market stats technology provider to the residential real estate industry. Some sale and list prices have been rounded.








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fitness. wellness. medicine.



Former college football player Marcus Lee opened PureFire Yoga in Bethesda after teaching hot yoga at local studios for nine years. For more, turn the page.



health | BE WELL

STAYING CENTERED How a former college football player discovered the power of hot yoga and opened a studio in Bethesda BY CARALEE ADAMS | PHOTO BY EDGAR ARTIGA

SLIDE OPEN THE DOOR to the practice room at PureFire Yoga in Bethesda and you’re hit with a wall of heat. The temperature hovers around 95 degrees in the softly lit gray space. A fan whirs in the back. Students set out their mats, water bottles and towels to get ready for the hour ahead. This is hot power yoga. The heat and humidity help warm the body and make for an intense workout, says Marcus Lee, a college football player turned yoga enthusiast who opened PureFire in September 2018. The 33-year-old played football as a kid in Bethesda’s Maplewood league and was a standout player and co-captain at St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. He was a record-setting wide receiver at Towson University, where he earned a degree in exercise science in 2009. Soon after graduation, Lee tried out for the NFL’s Washington Redskins and Carolina Panthers, and two teams in the Canadian Football League. He didn’t get any offers and was considering his next steps when a college teammate invited him to a hot yoga class. “In the first five minutes, I literally thought I was going to die. Understand, I was in the best shape of my life, but I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t hold a pose,” says Lee, who lives in Garrett Park. “The next day, my body—legit—felt like it was dipped in the fountain of youth. I thought, ‘Wait, I’m now discovering 248

this?’ I felt freed up.” Yoga has become an “anchor” in Lee’s life. “It keeps me centered both physically and mentally,” he says. Lee taught at local studios for nine years before opening PureFire with Bethesda resident Michael Brodsky, a yoga student of his who became his business partner. The studio offers about 30 classes a week, and they’re looking for additional space to accommodate the demand. The majority of classes are hot yoga; some are “warm” (85 degrees). “Some people just don’t like the heat,” Lee says. When he’s teaching, Lee weaves among the mats, providing individual feedback, adjusting and demonstrating as needed. “I see how my words are landing in people’s bodies and hearts,” he says. In class, he tries to create a sense of connection. “People say when they walk in the studio, the vibe feels good here,” says Lee, who organizes happy hours for students at nearby bars and restaurants. “Like Cheers—everybody knows your name.” Lee believes everyone should carve out time for yoga to cope with stress, despite how busy life gets. “We can be nicer people to one another and be kinder to ourselves,” he says. “We often operate in a reaction mode. How often do you see people lay on the horn in traffic, or belt out in Starbucks when the barista messes up the order? Yoga can give people the tools to give them that pause. The pause can make the difference.” n


IN HIS OWN WORDS... ALL OVER THE MAT “The things I see in class are unbelievable. I should have a GoPro [camera] strapped to my chest. Once there was a guy in a balancing pose— an eagle—and he’s going all over the place, grabbing the wall, having a dialogue with himself, shaking his head, laughing. I’m like, ‘I love you to death. There’s so much going on here. I don’t know what exactly it is.’ Then, the person to his right is stone-cold and hyperfocused. There is laughter. Yelling sometimes. There is some singing. There is getting up and leaving sometimes.”

THE GENDER DIVIDE “A lot of men think it’s just rolling around and stretching on a mat. I meet a lot of husbands and boyfriends who get their eyes opened to what hot power yoga is, and they say, ‘Whoa, this is not like anything I have ever experienced.’ The misconception is that they don’t get a good workout, [that] it’s for women, [that] it’s not intense.”




“There are so many different yoga practices out there. I relate to this style of power yoga because I like the physicality of it. Some people may value hatha, a restorative approach, where it is more stretching poses. There are different focuses and disciplines. Whatever you want from a yoga practice, you can get.”

“I work with a gentleman whose wife thought it would be a good idea for him to do yoga. He was super tight, and heavier. He has been practicing close to a year and a half. Now he can do things that he never thought his body could do. He absolutely loves it. He tells me, ‘Marcus, you are changing a whole bunch of lives.’ I have a hard time hearing that or believing it’s true. That’s a huge compliment. I just give people space, and help them see what they already know.”

“People come and go. There is room for all of it. There is that person like me…I know I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. There is that person who wants to do yoga to help them perform better in ‘X,’ or they are super stressed so they use yoga as a tool to help them de-stress. Then there is a person who is going to step onto a mat and hate it and never come back.”






Bethesda’s Al DeCesaris has biked across the country and run from Maine to Florida in his quest to raise money for research into his niece’s rare disease








ON A WARM SATURDAY morning in August, Al DeCesaris bounds along the Billy Goat Trail, the popular hiking spot on the Potomac River in the C&O Canal National Historical Park. He sips water from a hydration pack on his back, contemplating the two paths in front of him, unsure which is the official trail and which is the alternative path forged by hikers. He turns to his hiking partner with a wide grin, motioning to the one on the right. “Should we try this one?” he says. The trek is part of the training regimen for his next “adventure for charity.” DeCesaris, 46, plans to lead a running and hiking trip covering a strenuous 32-mile loop of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, known as the “Triple Crown” for its three spectacular viewpoints. It will be the second outing organized by Difference Makers Global Community, which DeCesaris founded as a way to bring together people with an appetite for thrill-seeking

and a desire to raise money and awareness for charitable causes. In June, he and his older brother, Joe, organized and completed the first Difference Makers trip—a one-day, 24-mile hike from the northern rim of the Grand Canyon down to the Colorado River and back up the other side—with nine others, each raising money for their own causes. For DeCesaris, Difference Makers is a way to share his penchant for taking on extreme physical challenges to benefit charity. He initially envisioned the Triple Crown trip as a two- or three-day hike, which is how it’s described by most online guides. But that approach didn’t have enough “sex appeal,” he says, so he changed the plan. Participants will run all 32 miles in a day. Those who’ve only known DeCesaris since he bicycled across the country in 2013, ran more than 1,900 miles from Lubec, Maine, to the Florida Keys in 2014, and hiked the 555-mile Camino

de Santiago in Spain in 2017 might not be surprised that the Bethesda resident was looking to pump more adrenaline into an already strenuous hike. But until six years ago, DeCesaris was hardly an extreme athlete. Growing up outside Annapolis, he was better known for his Atari skills than his athletic prowess. As an adult, he ran a few miles now and then, but was more focused on his career and having fun with friends—often over drinks at a bar or while tailgating before a football game. Then Jenna was born.

IN 2004, DECESARIS’ OLDER sister, Ida Heck, gave birth to Jenna, her fourth child. A large birthmark on the right side of Jenna’s face covered part of her forehead, the area around her eye and the upper half of her cheek. Before Jenna left the hospital, her pediatrician told her parents that she suspected the discoloration could have been caused by


DeCesaris with his niece Jenna, who was diagnosed with Sturge-Weber syndrome when she was an infant



DeCesaris’ cycling route took him from Santa Monica, California, to Ocean City, Maryland.



Karin Bertozzi caption

a malformation of the blood vessels in the skin, known as a “port-wine stain” because of its reddish tinge. Sometimes the mark can be purely superficial, but in some instances the vascular irregularities can also impact the brain and eyes, a disease known as Sturge-Weber syndrome. Jenna’s doctor recommended that she see a specialist. Named after two English physicians who helped define the syndrome, Sturge-Weber is considered a rare disease, impacting an estimated 1 in 20,000 to 50,000 births, according to medical experts. The blood vessel malformations can cause nerve damage, leading to complications such as glaucoma and seizures. The severity of symptoms can vary, with some children experiencing mild seizures and others suffering from frequent seizures starting in infancy, leading to intellectual and developmental disabilities. Treatment for Sturge-Weber syndrome has typically focused on the symptoms: laser therapy to lighten the birthmark, anticonvulsant medications for the seizures, and surgery to correct glaucoma. Because the severity of symptoms varies so widely, life expectancy for those with Sturge-Weber is difficult to define. Most people live well into adulthood, but often with worsening seizures and other problems, including

DeCesaris in Pittsburgh on his bike trip across the country in 2013

migraines, blindness and declining neurological health, experts say. Within two weeks of Jenna’s birth, Ida and her husband, Ed, took her from their home outside Annapolis to The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to see Dr. Anne Comi, a pediatric neurologist and Sturge-Weber expert who now serves as director of the Hunter Nelson Sturge-Weber Center and is an associate professor in the Division of Neurology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins Medicine. The birthmark and evidence of glaucoma were enough for Comi to agree with the pediatrician’s suspicions; an MRI later confirmed the diagnosis of Sturge-Weber. “It was a pretty devastating diagnosis at the time,” says Jenna’s grandmother, Rose Mary DeCesaris, who lives in Edgewater, Maryland, near the Heck family.

Comi said Jenna needed eye surgery for her glaucoma almost immediately to prevent further nerve damage, and her parents were given instructions on how to administer medication to stop a seizure. Shortly after she turned 2, Jenna had her first seizure while the family was on vacation in Ocean City. “We realized nobody knew anything about SturgeWeber syndrome,” Heck says of that visit to the emergency room. “Thank God our neurologist is [available] 24-7.” Jenna’s illness brought the tight-knit family even closer together. Ida says she and Ed felt for the first time that they needed to rely on Ida’s parents and three brothers to help care for their two older daughters, Kaitlyn and Julia, who were 8 and 6 when Jenna was born, and their son, Kyle, who was just a toddler. “Those first few years were really [full



DeCesaris (in sunglasses), his parents and a group of high school students at the finish of his East Coast run

Five years ago, DeCesaris—pictured in Fort Lauderdale—ran from Maine to the Florida Keys.



DeCesaris with his older sister, Ida, and niece Jenna



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A few weeks before his scheduled departure, DeCesaris finally bought a bike. ‘ I had no idea what I was getting into,’ he recalls. ‘Ignorance is bliss—I was definitely in over my head.’ 256

The Difference Makers Global Community, founded by DeCesaris, completed its first trip—a 24-mile Grand Canyon hike—in June.

force behind the efforts. “When Jenna was first born, Al was the first person to say we need to do a fundraiser,” she says. “He and I did that side by side together.”

IN 2013, DECESARIS WAS single, approaching 40 and not thrilled with his career. He had graduated from the University of Delaware in 1995 and managed a bar and restaurant owned by his family in Newark, Delaware, for several years before leaving to attend the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Law degree in hand, he returned to Maryland, clerking for a circuit court judge in Prince George’s County and then “bouncing around” in a few legal jobs and running his own real estate title company. “He owned a business and he was running it and it was successful, but he was miserable,” says Bob Stanger, an insurance agent in Anne Arundel County and one of DeCesaris’ best friends since junior high. Stanger serves on the board of the Celebrate Hope Foundation, which the DeCesaris and Heck families founded to coordinate their fundraising and awareness efforts. “Something was missing, and he needed to do something…he’s the kind of person that needs to do something that brings him joy and he’s passionate about.” That spring, DeCesaris moved from Maryland to Southern California, where he lived with a cousin in Redondo Beach, just outside Los Angeles. “I was trying, I guess, to find myself,” he says. He called Stanger, who at the time was competing in triathlons. “What do you


know about bikes? I need to learn about bikes,” DeCesaris said. Then he shared his plan to cycle from coast to coast to raise money for the family foundation. “I remember saying to him, ‘I’ve never even seen you on a bike—do you even know how to ride a bike?’ ” Stanger says. “I didn’t try to talk him out of it, but I remember thinking he’s nuts; he has no clue.” DeCesaris’ sister, supportive but skeptical, suggested he begin training before they approached potential donors or sponsors. He didn’t own a bicycle, so he rode a stationary bike at the gym for hours at a time. A few weeks before his scheduled departure, DeCesaris finally bought a bike. “I had no idea what I was getting into,” he recalls. “Ignorance is bliss—I was definitely in over my head.” On a sunny September morning on the Santa Monica Pier, he hopped onto his bike—loaded with two panniers carrying all his gear—and began pedaling east. Although he and his sister had planned a route, they spoke on the phone daily and frequently adjusted his itinerary based on how he was feeling or where she had arranged for him to stay. On five days of his 41-day trip he rode 100 miles or more—including 148 miles across southern Illinois and Indiana. Throughout his journey, he shared the story of Jenna’s illness with small-town media outlets and strangers he met while on the road. In central Missouri, he narrowly avoided serious injury when he was tossed off his bike after he hit a rumble strip. The crash was one of the worst moments of


of ] fear and uncertainty,” says DeCesaris, who was 31 when Jenna was born. The glaucoma left Jenna legally blind in one eye, and in addition to the seizures, she sometimes experiences strokelike episodes that cause temporary numbness on one side of her body, severe migraines that can last for days, and side effects from her medications, including weight gain and dehydration. Even during her many good days, her family worries about when the next episode will strike. The family learned soon after Jenna’s diagnosis that Comi was struggling to secure financial support for her research into Sturge-Weber, competing for grants with researchers studying thousands of other rare diseases. By the time Jenna became her patient, Comi wasn’t sure she’d have the funding to continue her work. The adult siblings had an idea: What if the family raised money to support Comi’s work? Heck and DeCesaris took the lead and organized “Bands on the Bay,” a one-day concert held near Annapolis in the fall of 2006. That initial event, featuring local musical acts, brought in nearly $140,000 for SturgeWeber research. Since then, the family has continued to host annual Bands on the Bay events, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars more to support Sturge-Weber syndrome research and increase awareness. Heck credits DeCesaris with being a driving

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health his trip, but just a few days later came one of the high points. DeCesaris was in Missouri because the parents of a child with Sturge-Weber had heard about his trip and told his sister they wanted to meet him. Since they lived in St. Louis, about 400 miles north of his planned route, he had changed his plans to meet the family. “This went from my adventure for Jenna to something bigger. It was profound,” he says. “I was pedaling for them. I wasn’t just pedaling for Jenna.” A little over six weeks and 3,088 miles after leaving Santa Monica, DeCesaris rolled into Ocean City, Maryland, having raised nearly $80,000.

DECESARIS’ SUCCESSFUL completion of the cross-country bike ride sparked a passion for fundraising through extreme adventure that guides his life today—often at a physical cost. In the Grand Canyon in June, he became severely dehydrated and relied on the

medical expertise of a physician in his group who helped him finish the hike. During his nearly 2,000-mile run along the East Coast, he had “a blister on his toe that was bigger than his toe,” according to Stanger, and shin splints that caused him excruciating pain. Just a couple of weeks into that trip, near the Maine-New Hampshire border, he called his parents. He was beginning to question if he’d be able to continue. His father handed the phone to Elizabeth Medlock, the mother of a young girl with Sturge-Weber who was staying with DeCesaris’ parents while in town from Florida for an appointment with Comi. “You better not quit!” DeCesaris recalls Medlock telling him. “He’s met a lot of families who had no connections with other people [with Sturge-Weber] and it inspired them personally,” Rose Mary DeCesaris says. “He’s inspired all of us to do a little more and try to do better.” Around the same time DeCesaris

began training for his cross-country cycling trip, Comi and her collaborators were preparing to publish groundbreaking research. They had discovered a genetic mutation that causes SturgeWeber syndrome. While a major development, the breakthrough didn’t immediately lead to a cure or any new treatments. Comi and her colleagues are now conducting trials of several medications that may help prevent symptoms or even reverse some of the damage caused by Sturge-Weber—research that may not have been possible without the funds raised by the DeCesaris and Heck families. “All of the things that we’ve accomplished, in terms of advancements in treatment, understanding the mutation, the center itself and all the patients it’s cared for, my career—all of those things that we’ve done may not have been possible if they had not stepped up to support the work,” Comi says.

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ON THE BILLY GOAT Trail, DeCesaris stops suddenly, looking concerned. It’s not that he’s gone the wrong way; a spider has spun a web across the path. “Ooh, look at this. I hate spiders,” he says. He gingerly pulls a strand of web off his arm. It’s clear that he is still adapting to his life as an adventure-seeking outdoorsman. “Sorry, buddy, but we have to go around you,” he says to the arachnid before continuing on. Six years after DeCesaris’ first fundraising adventure, Jenna is now 15. She takes about 15 pills daily, including three high-dose anti-seizure medications. A freshman at The Harbour School in Annapolis, she struggles with reading but can comprehend at her normal grade level. In other ways, her mother says, Jenna is a “typical teen.” She loves when her “crazy” Uncle Al, as Jenna sometimes calls him, takes her to lunch and the movies, preferring films featuring SpiderMan or other comic book heroes. While DeCesaris still may not fully understand the genetics and physiology of Jenna’s illness, the last 15 years have taught him about the rewards of activism and fundraising—and about himself. Last year, he moved from the Annapolis area to Bethesda and took a job as a resource development director for the Salvation Army National Capital & Virginia Division, where he says he’s learning more about traditional fundraising while also bringing a different perspective to an organization with 150 years of history and tradition. Knowing that his actions have inspired others helps DeCesaris cope with the fact that he owes the discovery of his passion to the challenges that Jenna and her parents have had to face every day. “My niece’s struggles, her suffering…it sucks that this is her burden she has to carry throughout her life,” he says. “There might be a cure one day, but it’s not going to reverse some of the damage that’s been done to her brain. But as awful as that is, she’s made me a better person. My whole family, we’re all better human beings as a result.” n



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Jan. 11 MINDFUL TEST TAKING: CENTERING PRACTICE TO REDUCE TEST ANXIETY FOR TEENS. This one-time class provides high school students with the tools to maintain a calm, focused mind under pressure. Participants will practice mindful breathing and other emotional regulation strategies that can be used during any form of test taking or other high performance event. 1-2:30 p.m. $100. Sequence Counseling and Consulting Services, Rockville. 240-2005401,

Jan. 13

RUNNING/WALKING Dec. 31 2019 RUNNING OUT OF TIME 5K/10K. The event benefits Dare2Tri, which has a mission of positively impacting the lives of athletes with physical disabilities by developing their skills in paratriathlon. The organization serves all ages and ability levels, and injured service members. This race will take runners along the Potomac River. 9:30 a.m. 10K; 10 a.m. 5K. $30 5K; $45 10K. Great Falls Park, Potomac.

Jan. 18 JFK 20K & MLK 5K. An out-and-back race on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Towpath. 9 a.m. 5K; 10 a.m. 20K. $10; free for D.C. Road Runners Club members. Carderock Recreation Area, Potomac. dcroadrunners. org/sign-up/jfk-mlk.

Feb. 8 CUPID’S CHASE 5K. Proceeds benefit Community Options’ residential and employment services provided to individuals with disabilities. 8 a.m. registration. 10 a.m. race. See website for fees. Wheaton Regional Park, Wheaton. 301-656-3997, cupidschase. 260

Ongoing KENSINGTON PARKRUN. It’s you against the clock on this weekly 5K run through Rock Creek Regional Park. Open to runners of all levels. 9 a.m. Saturdays. Free; one-time registration required. Beach Drive and Cedar Lane, Bethesda.

SCREENING/CLASSES/ WORKSHOPS Jan. 3 and Feb. 7 HAPPY HOUR FLOW YOGA. Join Thrive Yoga instructor Allie Newsom for a one-hour yoga class, then follow up your shavasana with one of True Respite Brewing Company’s brews. 6-7 p.m. $15 for class and one beer. True Respite Brewing Company, Rockville. 301284-8447,

Jan. 8 CURRENT DIET TRENDS. Suburban Hospital dietician Dennett Beaulieu will discuss the benefits and possible downsides of the latest diet trends and set the record straight on how to eat a well-balanced diet while maintaining a healthy weight. 1-2 p.m. Free; registration requested. Friendship Heights Village Center, Chevy Chase. 301-896-3939, events.


Jan. 14-Feb. 18 TAIJIFIT. Rooted in traditional Tai Chi, this workout of continuous flowing movement gently works many systems of the body. 1010:45 a.m. Tuesdays. $70. Jane E. Lawton Community Recreation Center, Chevy Chase. 301-896-3939,

Jan. 19 TOUCH OF MASSAGE. This introduction to Swedish massage is suitable for those considering a career in massage therapy, as well as those interested in learning some techniques to take home to friends and family. Participants should bring a set of twin sheets. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $85. Potomac Massage Training Institute, Silver Spring. 202-686-7046,

Jan. 29-April 1 HEALTHY CHOICES. Led by a Suburban Hospital registered and licensed dietitian, this 10-week program focuses on a nondiet lifestyle approach—including nutrition, exercise and behavioral skills—to weight management. 7-8 p.m. Wednesdays. $145. The Champlain Building, Bethesda. 301-8963939,


True Respite Brewing Company’s Happy Hour Flow Yoga on Jan. 3 and Feb. 7 includes an hourlong yoga class and a post-workout beer.

NARCAN TRAINING. Presented by the City of Rockville, the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services and the Montgomery County Collaboration Council, this session will teach participants how to identify an opioid overdose and how to use the rescue drug Narcan to reverse its effects. Participants must be 18 years or older. 7-8:30 p.m. Free; registration required. Twinbrook Recreation Center and Annex, Rockville. 240-777-1836,

Feb. 12 IMPROVE YOUR WELLBEING THROUGH SELFCARE. Learn how self-care activities can help you cope with stress and improve your mental, emotional and physical health in this workshop presented by Suburban Hospital and facilitated by EveryMind educators. 1-2 p.m. Free; registration requested. Friendship Heights Village Center, Chevy Chase. 301896-3939,

Feb. 20 18TH ANNUAL WOMEN’S HEALTH SYMPOSIUM. Cardiologist Catherine Bennet and Deborah Dang, director of nursing at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, discuss the benefits of making sustainable lifestyle changes for a healthier, more well-balanced life amid the common stressors experienced by women. Presented by Suburban Hospital and sponsored by the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Endowment for Women’s Health. 6-6:30 p.m. registration and refreshments; 6:308 p.m. program. Free; registration required. Suburban Hospital, Bethesda. 301-8963939,

Feb. 20 FIFTH ANNUAL I HEART HEALTH EXPO. Includes free health screenings, fitness

activities, nutrition education and a red fashion show to support the fight against heart disease in women. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free; registration requested. Silver Spring Civic Center, Silver Spring.

Feb. 27 UPDATE ON PROSTATE HEALTH. Join urologist Mark Rosenblum in this Suburban Hospital community health seminar for advice on maintaining a healthy prostate. 1-2 p.m. Free; registration requested. Rockville Senior Center, Rockville. 301-896-3939, events.


Ongoing BEREAVEMENT. Helping those grieving the loss of a loved one. 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesdays; 10:30 a.m.-noon Thursdays. Free; registration required. Beaumont House, Bethesda. 301634-7500, support-group.


Jan 9, 23 and Feb. 13, 27 YOUNG ADULTS WITH CANCER. Explore ways of coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. Licensed clinicians will help participants learn to take an active role in their own health. 6:30-8 p.m. Free; registration required. Beaumont House, Bethesda. 301-634-7500,

Ongoing ADVANCED CANCER. Connect with others


and share personal experiences about diagnoses, coping strategies and treatments. Facilitated by a licensed clinician. 2-3 p.m. Thursdays. Free; registration required. Beaumont House, Bethesda. 301-634-7500,

THRIVE 365: MONTHLY DIABETES MEETINGS. Facilitated by a certified diabetes educator and featuring guest speakers discussing various topics important for living well with diabetes. Participants can learn strategies, exchange information and get support. 6:30-8 p.m. Every second Wednesday of the month. Free; registration required. Suburban Hospital, Bethesda. 301-896-3939, n To submit calendar items, go to

Faith Idakwoji, MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC Faith Idakwoji, NP is a Dual Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner who is dedicated to continuous learning and keeping abreast of the latest advancement in medicine. Her areas of interest are health promotion and disease prevention. She relies on evidence-based practice to provide high-quality and personalized patient care. Faith encourages healthy lifestyle modifications and the use of proper fitness and nutrition in disease prevention and/or progression. She obtained her nurse practitioner degree from Coppin State University and has worked with different populations within the state of Maryland.

2001 Chapman Avenue,Rockville, Maryland 20852 |

Faith sees patients in Rockville Monday through Friday and offers Same-Day walk-in Sick Visits on a first come, firstserve basis from 7:30 am – 9:30 am.

Medical cannabis is for use by qualifying patients only.

6000 Executive Blvd., Ste. 300, Rockville, MD 20852 301.468.8999

Everyday we honor veterans with a 22% discount, 20% for first responders, 10% for patients over 55 and 10% for first time patients! And ask about our new loyalty program and our patient referral program!




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Keshav Magge, MD, FACS; A. Dean Jabs, MD, PhD, FACS; Franklin D. Richards, MD, FACS COSMETIC SURGERY ASSOCIATES What advanced ua ifications or e perience do you have? We are all Fellows of the American College of Surgeons, meaning we’ve met the highest standards in cosmetic surgery. We have decades of experience and we’ve performed thousands of successful procedures in our fully accredited surgery suite. We earned the Advanced ualification in Cosmetic urgery, a prestigious achievement that reflects our dedication to going above and beyond for our patients. Dr. Franklin Richards has been practicing medicine since 1989 and is former chief of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins/ Suburban Hospital. Dr. Dean Jabs trained at Columbia University Medical Center and has been named as a top surgeon by Bethesda Magazine, Northern Virginia Magazine and Washingtonian. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he served as chairman of the department of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins Suburban Hospital. Dr. Keshav Magge has written extensively about plastic surgery, and he has been a presenter at national meetings and conferences for cosmetic surgery.

6430 Rockledge Dr., Suite 100 Bethesda, MD 20817 301-493-4334




o ou d your patients descri e you? We’re known for our warm personalities and our commitment to excellence. We put our patients at ease and take time to listen to their goals. Our entire team treats each patient like family. Dr. Richards is renowned for his expertise in minimal incision facelifts and neck lifts, breast augmentation and body contouring. Many patients seek him out when they want to improve or correct previous cosmetic procedures. Dr. Jabs is known for his attention to detail, specializing in facelifts and breast augmentations. Dr. Magge is always up to date on the latest techniques for breast augmentation, facial rejuvenation, eyelid surgery and a range of body contouring procedures. Together, we’re at the forefront of the latest aesthetic surgery techni ues. We offer facelifts using sedation rather than general anesthesia, requiring less recovery time. Our patients know they can count on us to provide safe, effective procedures with outstanding results.



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Rachel Cohn How can people use glasses to their advantage? lasses should reflect the way you want to be viewed by the world, flattering your face but also matching your personality. The right eyewear is important. After all, when people converse, they look at each others' faces, not their designer bags or pricey shoes. And just as we change up our bags and shoes, we can do the same by having more than one pair of glasses at a time. My staff has both a sense of style and optical knowledge that will ensure that you find the perfect frame or frames for your face and your prescription. Experts suggest a variety of guidelines to consider when buying glasses, but we encourage people to have fun trying on lots of pairs, even things that don't have immediate appeal. Try tortoise or sophisticated black. Don’t be afraid of color as it can add life to your face. omething different might be a good surprise.

1095 Seven Locks Road Potomac, MD 20854 301-545-1111




240- 80-8022 Wyatt 264



Why did you start your in-home personal training business, and ho do you he p your c ients achieve their fitness oa s? wanted to help improve and transform lives with health. began my fitness journey in high school, uickly received my personal training certification, and launched our Personal Trainer in college. t soon became the passion of my life. Three years later, elson wift became a partner. We’ve expanded to include amazing trainers, nutrition coaching, group classes at apartments, virtual/online training, senior fitness and a network of health professionals. Our sessions start with understanding our clients We ask uestions about preferences, fitness abilities, limiting health conditions, and their goals so we know what to improve. Then we design their uni ue workout program to achieve weight loss, muscle gain, performance, fall prevention and general health. We bring all the e uipment and knowledge to our clients’ homes. Our programs improve strength, cardio, flexibility, balance, posture and more. Most importantly, our clients see exercise can be fun and addicting



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Erwin Gomez KARMA BY ERWIN GOMEZ SALON AND SPA How are you expanding to meet the needs of your clients? We just opened our second location, a high-end beauty oasis in upscale Park Potomac. In our new 4,100-s uare-foot space, our guests find the same warm, contemporary and immaculate atmosphere that we established at the original West End salon. A magnificent multi-branched chandelier cascades from the ceiling, welcoming guests as they await their services. With 21 private and semi-private beauty rooms, as well as a separate room reserved for one-on-one beauty sessions with celebrity makeup artist Erwin Gomez, we provide our guests with the very best. We offer the entire spectrum of hair, skin, makeup and nail treatments that our clients have come to expect from us, including Erwin’s signature eyebrow sculpting technique, lash lifts and extensions, on-trend cuts and color, age-defying facials and much more. Our team of talented and well-trained hair and beauty artists also includes experienced bridal experts who will put the finishing touches on your special day. What do your clients say about you? Our many 5-star reviews say it all! Our entire team—including Erwin and business partner Sab Shad—works hard to make sure our clients are thrilled with their experience, starting the moment they walk through our door. We focus on making our clients feel special and celebrated, and they appreciate that we take the time to listen to them, understand their beauty goals and then exceed their expectations with true talent and skill. Over the years, we’ve provided exceptional beauty services to a long list of celebrity and VIP clientele, including Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, America Ferrera, Jennifer Hudson, Rosario Dawson, Ashley Judd and Nancy Pelosi, to name just a few. Our team is always on top of the latest trends. We’re known as the go-to experts who provide a totally customized experience for each guest.


12430 Park Potomac Ave., Suite R-13 Potomac, MD 20854 301-720-0320 1104 24th Street NW Washington, DC 20037 202-293-3333 BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


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3925 Ferrara Dr. Silver Spring, MD 20906 443-351-3376


Based on your experience, what is a common misconception about dermatology and how do you change that in your daily practice? The most common misconception I come across is that dermatology is only about the skin. Dermatology is a uni ue field because the skin is the largest organ in the body. Most people do not realize that internal conditions can appear first on the skin and then elsewhere in the body—and vice versa. For example, psoriasis appears on the skin but it has internal manifestations as well; recent studies have linked it to heart disease. As dermatologists, we manage and treat a range of conditions medically, and we’ve also acquired the training to improve the appearance of the skin. When we treat acne patients with standard medical treatments, we can also provide aesthetic procedures to reduce discoloration and the appearance of scars. We combine these clinical treatments and aesthetic procedures so our patients will feel more confident with the overall results.

Tizeta Abebe and Fitsum Bogale ARIF HAIR

8025 13th Street, Suite 1 Silver Spring, MD 20910 301-328-0700 266



What do you want your clients to know about you? As a family-owned business, we’re incredibly grateful to our loyal clients who have been coming to us for years. We recently won “Best Salon in Silver Spring” in the Bethesda Magazine “Best of Bethesda” Readers’ Poll, and we want to thank our wonderful customers for this honor. This award is a reflection of our focus on teamwork, excellent customer service and our commitment to keeping up with the latest trends in haircuts, color and treatments. We’re looking to expand our team of skilled stylists so we can continue offering exceptional services to even more clients. We specialize in natural hair, and we work on all different hair textures and types. We’re known for keeping our clients’ hair as healthy as possible, without overusing products. The word “arif” means trendy, modern and cool in Amharic (Ethiopian). For us, that’s much more than just the name of our salon. It represents our promise to offer our clients the very best in hair care.



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Cory Aplin, DC OPTIMAL BODY What makes your weight loss programs so e ective? Number one is customization. Each person we see is a unique individual with unique needs. Every couple of years, a new fad diet pops up with a fancy name like “Paleo” or “Keto,” and it’s supposed to be the next big thing in weight loss. The truth is, there’s no such thing as a quality cookie-cutter approach, which is why we look at someone’s biochemistry as well as food choices. Acidity, inflammation and hormone balance are just as important as what someone is eating. We believe that discovering the big “why” behind someone’s weight loss goals is equally as important as the goal itself. Some people want to get healthy. Some want to fit into a dress or pair of jeans. Others want to be able to spend more quality time with family. Those are the reasons that drive us.


Who is the est candidate for care in your o ce? The best candidates are those who are looking for a permanent solution to losing weight, without medications or surgery. We know the weight loss landscape can be confusing at best and is often overwhelming. A quick Google search of “weight loss” produces almost 2 billion results! Most people we work with have already tried other programs or attempted to lose weight on their own, and in some cases they’ve already had weight loss surgery. They’re frustrated because they don’t know where to turn. But that’s our specialty. We identify the person’s unique needs and create a program that allows them to lose weight quickly and still eat amazing food, without having to go to the gym, starve themselves, or eat any prepackaged meals or diet shakes. Learning the right lifestyle habits is the only proven pathway to permanent weight loss, and that’s what we’re all about.

6931 Arlington Road, T200B Bethesda, MD 20814 301-347-6413 BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


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7945 MacArthur Blvd. Cabin John, MD 20818 301-320-5326


What sets you apart from other salons? As a community salon and day spa, we take pride in caring for each of our guests with personalized service and attention to detail. We get to know our clients because that personal connection matters. It allows us to provide our guests with better service and more specialized treatments. We can accommodate anyone’s needs because we offer a wide variety of services, including skin care, professional makeup, semi-permanent eyelashes, massages and microdermabrasion. Our extensive hair care services include tie-in hair extensions, which provide incredible volume and lift without the damage. We’re a L'Oréal Professionnel Concept salon, and we only carry the best products for our guests. Also, we love dogs! About 10 years ago, we started selling an annual rescue dog calendar. We raise thousands of dollars every year for the Montgomery County Humane Society and PetConnect Rescue of Potomac. It’s a fun way to get the community involved and really make a difference.

Alexa Gittleson HOME SWEET YOGA

301-906-8188 268



What ma es your c ient e perience di erent? When I found yoga eight years ago, it changed my life for the better in so many ways—helping me find peace of mind and a sense of calm—I immediately knew I wanted to share my knowledge and experience with others. Personalized coaching allows everyone, of all ages and body types, to reap the physical and mental health benefits yoga has to offer. I’ve noticed two common barriers that prevent more people from trying—and sticking with—yoga. First, attending a class full of people with varying skill levels can be intimidating, especially if you’re new to yoga. Lack of convenience is another obstacle. Through Home Sweet Yoga, I can provide clients with customized individual instruction, and a break from their hectic, fast-paced lifestyles in the comfort, and convenience, of their own homes. Individual needs vary, so I start by asking each student what they want out of yoga. Everyone is unique and yoga can help anyone be healthier, happier and stronger.



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Sherry L. H. Maragh, MD, FAAD, FACS, FACMS MARAGH DERMATOLOGY, SURGERY & VEIN INSTITUTE As respected physicians with decades of experience, what is most satisfying about dermatology today? One thing that has changed over the years and is particularly satisfying is that patients can avoid major procedures because we can offer so many non-invasive options. Two of the most effective are SculpSure and Ultherapy. SculpSure is lightbased body contouring that eliminates stubborn areas of fat. Ultherapy is the only non-invasive procedure cleared by the FDA to lift skin on the neck, jowls and brow area. We specialize in the most advanced techniques of medical, cosmetic, laser and surgical dermatology. We have expertise in Mohs Micrographic surgery with cosmetic facial reconstruction for the treatment of skin cancer. There are continual new developments in minimally-invasive face and body rejuvenation such as liposuction. We use lasers to repair scars and stretch marks, tighten facial skin, remove unwanted hair, and for body contouring and leg vein issues, among other conditions such as acne, rosacea and unwanted pigmentation caused by the sun. With expertise in both cosmetic and medical dermatology, it is fulfilling to care for patients with a variety of needs. All procedures are done under the direction of board-certified physicians who offer compassionate care with attention to detail.


What advice do you have to help me achieve overall skin health? Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies, and it has “memory.” The sun damage we sustain over the years has a cumulative effect. As we age, the sunburns and tans of our youth can start to show up as brown spots, wrinkles, sagging skin or even skin cancers. Annual screenings are key to catching and resolving problems early. We recommend wearing a daily SPF of at least 30, avoiding tanning beds, keeping your skin hydrated and maintaining a healthy body, which ultimately keeps your skin healthy.

14995 Shady Grove Road Suite 150 Rockville, MD 20850 301-358-5919 BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


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Dr. Ross Shoter MYEYEDR.

4917 Elm Street Bethesda, MD 20814 301-718-2424


You’ve helped people in our community see better for more than 25 years. What sets you apart from other eye doctors? My patients trust me to provide outstanding care and they appreciate my attention to detail. They know ’m going to spend as much time with them as necessary and that will do what it takes to make it perfect, whether that means adjusting the fit of their bifocal contact lenses or double-checking to make sure their prescription is accurate. ’m honored to have several patients from different generations in the same family and many patients who keep coming to see me after they’ve moved out of the area. At MyEyeDr., we strive to be the leader in patient care by offering excellent service and convenient locations—we have 11 optometry o ces in Montgomery County alone. ’ve always made it a priority to connect with my patients so can help them now and in the future as their vision needs change.

Roni W. Ford, M.D.; Anne E. Rothman, M.D. , M.P.H.; Jennifer Whitman, PA-C What distinguishes your dermatology practice from others? The Center for Cosmetic and Clinical Dermatology works with you to realize a shared vision of uncompromised excellence in dermatology. We are a full-service dermatology practice comprised of two board certified dermatologists and a certified dermatology physician assistant. We provide both medical and cosmetic dermatology services. Our medical services include annual skin exams and the treatment of dermatological conditions including acne, skin cancer and eczema. We also treat psoriasis and atopic dermatitis using state-of-the-art light therapy. Our cosmetic procedures, including Botox, fillers, laser treatments, microneedling and platelet rich plasma treatments, are designed to leave patients with a healthy, natural look. We also offer the noninvasive skin tightening procedure, Ultherapy, which provides a deep ultrasound treatment to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. n addition, our licensed medical aesthetician offers a variety of facials, chemical peels, waxing and tinting services. 6 Montgomery Village Ave., Suite 322 | Gaithersburg, MD 20879 301-977-2070 | 270






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How would you describe the environment at your salon? At ew Wave alon and pa, we offer our clients a joyful and collaborative atmosphere, which in turn makes each client feel comfortable and relaxed. We’ve been a premier Washington metropolitan area hair salon for over 0 years. We build relationships with our clients. We focus on taking excellent care of them so they’ll keep coming back year after year. We have more than 150 great reviews on elp, and our clients rave about how much they love their results, how beautiful our salon is and how attentive we are to their needs. After a recent visit, one elp reviewer said, What an amazing find t's so refreshing to see a big salon still have the old-school vibe. Another reviewer shared a wonderful experience she recently had with one of our stylists, saying, e listened to understand exactly what was looking for. e is highly skilled and e cient. e focuses on precision and techni ue and walked away with the most beautiful coloring Our team features 4 internationally trained stylists, including certified Deva stylists, meticulous nail technicians and skilled estheticians. We continue to educate ourselves and stay at the forefront of changing styles and techni ues. Our website is easy for our clients to navigate and learn more about our stylists, services and deals of the month. What do you enjoy most about what you do? We care deeply about each client and appreciate the opportunity to support them in any way. o matter what challenges they are facing, we want them to feel special and beautiful. They should leave here ready for the world, with renewed confidence and sense of purpose. We love being able to help them do that, and we want to thank our loyal clients for voting us Best alon in ockville in Bethesda Magazine’s Best of Bethesda eaders’ Poll.

177 East efferson treet, Unit 111 ockville, MD 20852 01-2 1-4844 newwavesalonandspa



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7201 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 515 Bethesda, MD 20814 301-652-8191


How long does it take to recover after surgery? It typically takes about a week to recover from rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery and a mini facelift. Dr. Porter often combines other treatments such as dermal fillers, laser resurfacing and chemical peels, so our patients can recover from several procedures at the same time. We run a high-end, boutique style practice, and we value quality over quantity. We’re the only facial plastic surgery practice in downtown Bethesda, conveniently located just a few blocks from the Bethesda Metro. Named a Top Doctor by Bethesda Magazine in 2019, Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon. he has been in practice for 21 years and has extensive experience with surgical and non-surgical procedures, such as Botox, fillers, Aerolase Neo and Thermage. There are also a variety of skin care treatments available. We are pleased to offer 10 off your treatment when you download and book your Botox/Dysport appointment through our Tox2GO app.




What is American Odyssey Relay (AOR), and why is it unique? Hundreds of teams participate in this 200-mile relay from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC over two days. We’ve been involved with American Odyssey Relay as runners, volunteers and owners for nearly a decade. We’re proud to offer a customizable adventure that’s open to runners of all abilities and experience levels. If you can run a 10K, you can run AOR! AOR is unique because we’re a small, local, female-owned business. We know every inch of our course because we’re out putting signs up the day before. We build partnerships with local businesses, and we personally greet every volunteer who comes out to help. We don’t just run through a town; we support local communities every step of the way. For people who can’t commit to a two-day race, we offer a one-day option—Potomac Odyssey Relay. It’s the same incredible experience but scaled down to 60 miles. (And it doesn’t require staying up all night!)



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How is Salon Central unique? Did you know that only the top 5 of salons nationwide offer the Associate Program, and alon Central is one of them We recruit top graduates from local cosmetology schools to join this uni ue mentoring program. Talented, up-and-coming stylists work alongside highly skilled, master stylists at our salon. This opportunity, which we compare to a master’s degree program, is a 40-week, comprehensive earn-andlearn experience. When they graduate from our program, they join our team with an established client base. The Associate Program is great for new stylists because it helps them thrive in their careers. t also benefits our clients in so many ways. By bringing talented stylists to our team and helping them improve their skills even more, we’re able to provide our guests with the best possible experience. How do you keep up with the latest trends in beauty? Continuing education is a major priority for us. Our stylists regularly take classes, both in and out of the salon. We bring national and international artists in to demonstrate and do hands-on sessions with our stylists. We also send our stylists to ew ork and as Vegas for a variety of classes and conferences. We specialize in hair color design. More than 70 of the services we provide include hair color. Most salons provide hair color services about 5 of the time. Our guests expect us to stay up to date with all of the hottest trends, including the newest balayage techni ues, and we deliver. That’s just one reason why we’ve been A Top Vote etter for Best alon in the Bethesda Magazine Best of Bethesda eaders’ Poll for a decade running. We provide outstanding service in a friendly, fun, relaxing environment. We take care of our guests so they can go out into the world feeling refreshed and confident.

10 17 Westlake Dr. Bethesda, MD 20817 01-7 7-1077





IT’S BACK! Dig in and try something new at some of the Bethesda-area’s best dining spots!

JANUARY 10-19 For a list of participating restaurants, menus, and more information visit:

restaurants. cooking. food. drinks.



The “mini” strawberry toast at the recently opened Sisters Thai in Potomac features toasted bread with strawberry and vanilla ice creams, pink sugar sprinkles, fresh strawberries, a chocolate macaron and two strawberry-dipped cookie sticks. For our review of the restaurant, turn the page.



dine | REVIEW

At Sisters Thai, the boat noodles soup features thin rice noodles, beef meatballs, sliced pork and Chinese broccoli in pork stock flavored with a touch of dark soy sauce.



Overall Rating:


Sisters Thai 7995 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), Potomac, 301-299-4157,

Chef Prasert Limsumang (“Uncle Moo”) in one of the dining areas of Sisters Thai

THAI SCORES IN POTOMAC Sisters Thai restaurant offers tasty food in a whimsical setting BY DAVID HAGEDORN | PHOTOS BY LAURA CHASE DE FORMIGNY

YOU KNOW FROM THE moment you sit down at Sisters Thai that presentation is of paramount importance to the owners, Tammie Disayawathana and her husband, Jaturon Srirote. The front dining room of the restaurant—which opened in July at Cabin John Village in Potomac—feels like the vaguely English country-themed den you might find at a large home down the road. The decor includes wood paneling painted mint green, parquet floors, banquettes that resemble window seats, and built-in shelves loaded with books and bric-a-brac (a model of an old schooner, vintage potato chip tins, a fire truck, Transformers, a painting of a horse in a dell, old clocks—you get the picture). A back dining room includes a mini version of another Disayawathana business,

Magnolia Dessert Bar and Coffee, which showcases enormous confections designed to make you take a photo and post. “We wanted the quality of the atmosphere to match the quality of the food,” Disayawathana says. “My mission is to have customers come in happy and leave happy.” Sucha Khamsuwan from Studio Ideya in Fairfax designed Sisters Thai, as well as its sister properties in Virginia, Sisters Living Room Café in Fairfax, Sisters Ordinary Café in the Mosaic District, Magnolia Dessert Bar and Coffee in Vienna and Chai-Yo Dessert in Centreville. Thought has gone into every aspect of the experience at Sisters Thai, which seats 60 outside and 35 inside. The menu

FAVORITE DISHES: Steamed dumplings; boat noodles soup; som tum set (papaya salad with grilled chicken); crispy duck ka prow (batter-fried sliced duck with Thai basil); sticky rice with mango; strawberry “mini” toast PRICES: Appetizers: $6 to $14; Entrees: $14 to $22 (crispy whole flounder: $55); Dessert: $5.95 to $12.95 LIBATIONS: Sisters Thai has a full bar and a well-rounded drink menu. The house’s craft cocktails are clever and eye-catching. “Pimm is a Thai’s Name” is a lovely interpretation of a Pimm’s cup, made with ginger, Thai tea and lemon. There are four red wines (including Firesteed Oregon pinot noir), four white wines (including The Ned New Zealand pinot gris) and one rose (French Domaine de Mourchon) available by the glass ($12) and bottle ($45). Nonalcoholic options include lemonades and punches and hot or iced specialty lattes, such as Thai tea latte and white chocolate latte. SERVICE: Attentive, efficient and friendly



dine | REVIEW

is a four-page mock newspaper called The Sisters Daily. The front page cleverly relays pertinent information (email address, hours of operation, other locations, a menu table of contents and some favorable clips); other pages clearly lay out menu offerings in large type. Craft cocktails get the same treatment here as they do in the trendiest lounges, down to the mini clothespin attaching a dried lemon wheel to the side of a coupe containing your B.V. Martini made with Tanqueray gin, Tito’s vodka, Lillet Blanc and butterfly tea, which colors the libation violet. Excellent shumai pork and shrimp dumplings are served in an elaborate brass vessel, one dumpling in each of six wells. They are wrapped in green wonton skins instead of the plain ones usually used for them, adding to their decorative appeal. Disayawathana immigrated to the United States from Bangkok in 1996. She met Srirote, who is also Thai, in 2000 when they were both working at a Thai restaurant in Arlington. They married in 2006, and she went to work for the 278

Top left: A dessert of purplehued sticky rice flavored with coconut milk and sugar and served with fresh mango Above: The back dining room, which includes Magnolia Dessert Bar and Coffee, overlooks a large patio.

Hyatt Regency in Reston in catering and in their front office, working toward her dream of opening her own restaurant, which she achieved in 2013. Sisters Thai’s name derives from the sisterlike relationship between Disayawathana’s niece and her own daughter. The chef, Prasert Limsumang (“Uncle Moo”), is Disayawathana’s uncle. In addition to the steamed dumplings,


a great start to a Sisters Thai meal can be found in the grilled Esaan sausage, a solid rendition of that slightly funky pork and garlic sausage from northeastern Thailand. Curry puffs—pastry pies filled with a potato filling—are flaky and satisfying. A curry of chicken, coconut milk and green curry paste tastes nicely of lemongrass and lime leaf, but doesn’t get any help from the thin, cold waffle that comes with it. You’re supposed to use wedges of the waffle to eat the curry, taco-like, but a better bet is to order one of the red, yellow or green curries as an entree. Larb gai, the well-known Thai salad of sauteed ground chicken, red onions, cilantro, lime juice and fish sauce, could use more of a heat wallop and more ground toasted rice

Clockwise from above: steamed dumplings with green wonton skins; som tum set, a shredded green papaya salad served with grilled chicken thighs; and crispy duck ka prow, slices of batterfried duck breast with Thai basil leaves and chili garlic sauce.

powder, the crucial ingredient that adds crunchy texture. A must-have entree is Limsumang’s crispy duck ka prow, slices of crispskinned duck breast batter-fried to crunchiness and tossed with Thai basil leaves and chili garlic sauce. That dish goes nicely with som tum set, a refreshing salad made with shredded green papaya, peanuts, crunchy green beans, lime juice, fish sauce and chili peppers served with chicken thighs that have been marinated in coconut milk, oyster sauce and curry powder and grilled. For noodle soup lovers, the boat noodles soup—thin rice noodles, beef meatballs, sliced pork and Chinese broccoli in pork stock flavored with a touch of dark soy sauce—hits the spot. As tempting as the scored and deepfried whole flounder standing bolt upright on a platter might be if you see it served at a neighboring table, pass it up. Mine is tragically overcooked and

yields little flesh worth eating, almost a crime at $55. Another disappointment is crab fried rice—although it is beautifully presented in a neat, molded dome and has plenty of crab meat on top, the rice is utterly flavorless. Desserts at Sisters Thai are elaborate affairs. One of them, billed as mini toast, is in reality enormous; it’s a 4-inch square brick of toasted bread hollowed out enough to fill it with strawberry and vanilla ice creams that get topped with pink sugar sprinkles, fresh strawberries, a chocolate macaron and two strawberry-dipped cookie sticks known as Pocky sticks. The Milo volcano is Sisters

Thai’s version of bingsoo, the Korean shaved ice dessert; this one is a mound of chocolate flavored shaved ice garnished with mini marshmallows, malted milk balls and whipped cream. The toast and volcano are each large enough for four people to share. My preferred dessert at Sisters Thai is purple-hued sticky rice flavored with coconut milk and sugar and served with a semi-circle of artfully sliced and fanned fresh mango. It proves the point that glitzy is not necessarily better. n David Hagedorn is the restaurant critic for Bethesda Magazine.




Caroline Yi sold her baked goods at farmers markets before opening Sunday Morning Bakehouse at Pike & Rose.




RISING STAR IF YOU ORDER A croissant at Sunday Morning Bakehouse, the shop that baker Caroline Yi opened in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development in October, you might find yourself gazing at it, marveling at its deeply golden-brown exterior and the sheer height created by skillful lamination (the process of encasing butter in yeasted dough, then rolling, folding and turning that dough several times to create multiple ultrathin, alternating layers of dough and butter). Yi, 27, was born in Montgomery County and attended Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville and the University of Maryland. She has a bachelor’s degree in American studies and took a job as a digital marketing coordinator for a patent technology company, but boredom led the Rockville resident to pursue the passion for baking that was part of her family’s DNA. Her grandfather owned a bakery before she was born and her mother and

aunt worked there. Her uncle was a baking assistant; now he occasionally helps Yi make doughnuts at Sunday Morning Bakehouse. Yi embarked on a course of gaining experience, with the goal of opening a bakery one day. “People want small, privately owned bakeries in their neighborhood because they are so few and far between,” she says. “They want to know the baker, know who makes the bread and the doughnuts. I envisioned having people see me and wave to me and ask me what else I have coming out today.” To that end, she took a job as a cashier at A Baked Joint in Washington, D.C., to get her foot in the door, eventually scoring a baking job there and learning how to make croissants, bread, biscuits and other bakery items. In 2017, Yi struck out on her own, selling baked goods at the Kentlands farmers market in Gaithersburg under the name

Sunday Morning Bakehouse. A year later, she was selling at the Central Farm Market at Pike & Rose and negotiating a lease for her brick-and-mortar store. Sunday Morning Bakehouse was a hit from the start, with people clambering for croissants, brioche doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches (the smoked salmon with lightly scrambled eggs on croissant is heavenly) and toasts made with her country sourdough bread. The zen-like space—gray marble, lightly stained wood, white brick, rustic chairs—makes you want to linger at one of the 50 seats and watch the action in Yi’s open kitchen. A saying on the wall states, “Lust is Saturday night; Love is Sunday morning.” Where those croissants are concerned, we lust every day. Sunday Morning Bakehouse, 11869 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 240669-8202,




Cocoa & Vino


cellophane that can be torn open to create a placemat under the bottle to keep things neat.) Sher has put her years of expertise into pairing the notes of the different chocolates to those of the wines. She uses high quality ingredients, such as Callebaut Belgian chocolate and Madagascar vanilla beans. Some of her offerings: Earthquake zinfandel covered with milk chocolate, raspberry powder and cinnamon cream cheese ($47.99); Veuve Clicquot Champagne encrusted with dark chocolate and hibiscus ($90.99); white chocolate, toffee, marshmallow and cinnamon drizzle with Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay ($45.99). Kosher, vegan and nonalcoholic products are also offered, and Sher takes custom orders. Bliss in a Bottle items can also be purchased online for delivery to some states; locally, they ship to D.C. but not to Maryland or Virginia. Bliss in a Bottle, 7101 Democracy Blvd., (Westfield Montgomery mall), Bethesda, 614-428-9463,


Sweet Pairings BELGIAN CHOCOLATIER NEUHAUS, which has stores all over the world and opened a boutique at Bethesda Row in August, introduced a gift box this year called The Wine Pairing Collection. Neuhaus’ master chocolatiers in Belgium created a series of oval-shaped praline cups (in Belgium, a praline is a hard chocolate shell with a filling, often nut-based) with flavored fillings meant to pair with red or white wine. A box of 24 treats ($35) includes four each of six flavors—three that pair with white wines (hazelnut and honey; almond, olive oil and sea salt; sunflower and pumpkin seeds) and three that pair with red wines (Earl Grey, mango and honey; white chocolate, blackberry and saffron; white chocolate, cherries and cassis). Neuhaus collaborated with New York City-based sommelier Sarah Thompson, who devised specific pairings, one classic and one adventurous, for each praline. A booklet included in the collection lists them. For example, Punt Road’s Shiraz 2014 (classic) and Colomé Malbec 2013 (adventurous) pair well with the blackberry and saffron pralines. Neuhaus, 7123 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda, 240-858-4667,


AT BLISS IN A BOTTLE, a kiosk that opened near the Apple store in Westfield Montgomery mall in the fall, wine and chocolate not only go together, they are together. For 15 years, owner Cheryl Sher had a shop in Columbus, Ohio, called Sher Bliss Chocolate and Wine, where she sold those two things separately. But then she had a light bulb moment—why not pair the chocolate and the wine and put one right on top of the other? She sold the shop in 2014 and Bliss in a Bottle was born, a scalable kiosk concept in Columbus’ Polaris Mall that offers bottles of wine coated with different kinds of chocolate (milk, dark, white) topped with various goodies (raspberry powder, vanilla powder, blueberry sprinkles, crushed toffee) and drizzles (peanut butter, salted caramel, milk chocolate). To consume the treats, you simply pull the ribbon attached to the bottle’s protective food-grade sleeve so that the chocolate falls off of it in large shards. Open the wine (it wriggles easily out of its sleeve) and enjoy it with the chocolate. (Each bottle comes wrapped in


COMINGS GOINGS Beloved North Bethesda bar Hank Dietle’s Tavern, which closed in February 2018 after a devastating fire, has been bought by new owners and will reopen in the spring. There were many October closings in Montgomery County. Woodside Deli in Silver Spring closed after a 72-year run. In Bethesda, Villain & Saint closed, as did Penang Malaysian & Thai Cuisine & Bar after an

18-year run. Chain steakhouse Del Frisco’s Grille, which opened in 2014 as the Pike & Rose development’s first restaurant, also closed. Recently opened: Check out our Dining Guide on page 284 for details on Bangkok Garden Thai Street Eats (Rockville), Gumba Ya Ya (Rockville), Leo & Liv (Bethesda), Little Beet Table (Chevy Chase) and Matchbox (Bethesda). ■






BETHESDA AJI-NIPPON 6937 Arlington Road, 301-654-0213. A calm oasis on a busy street, where chef Kazuo Honma serves patrons several kinds of sushi, sashimi, noodle soups, teriyaki and more. Try a dinner box, which includes an entrée, vegetables, California roll, tempura and rice. L D $$

ALATRI BROS. (EDITORS’ PICK) 4926 Cordell Ave., 301-718-6427, The folks behind Olazzo and Gringos & Mariachis bought Mia’s Pizzas and revamped it with a new name and décor. They kept the Naples-style pies that come from a wood-burning oven, but added small plates and healthy options. Sit in the cheery dining room with green, gray and white accents or under an umbrella on the patio. J L D $$

&PIZZA 7614 Old Georgetown Road, 240-800-4783, Create your own designer pizza from a choice of two crusts (both are vegan and one is also gluten-, soy- and dairy-free), three cheeses (including a vegan option) and five sauces or spreads. Toppings for the thin, crispy crusts range from the usual suspects to Beyond Meat sausage and tater tots. This location of the hip, fast-casual chain has limited seating. L D $

BACCHUS OF LEBANON (EDITORS’ PICK) 7945 Norfolk Ave., 301-657-1722, This friendly and elegant Lebanese staple has a large, sunny patio that beckons lunch and dinner patrons outside when the weather is good to try garlicky hummus, stuffed grape leaves, chicken kabobs, veal chops and dozens of small-plate dishes. L D $$

BANGKOK GARDEN 4906 St. Elmo Ave., 301-951-0670, bkkgarden. com. This real-deal, family-run Thai restaurant turns out authentic cuisine, including curries, soups and noodle dishes, in a dining room decorated with traditional statues of the gods. L D $

THE BARKING DOG 4723 Elm St., 301-654-0022, A fun place for young adults, with drink specials nearly every night and bar food such as quesadillas and burgers. Karaoke night is held weekly. L D $

BARREL + CROW 4867 Cordell Ave., 240-800-3253, barrelandcrow. com. Contemporary regional and southern cuisine served in a comfortable setting with charcoal gray banquettes and elements of wood and brick. Menu highlights include Maryland crab beignets, shrimp and grits and roasted trout. R L D $$

BEEFSTEAK 7101 Democracy Blvd. (Westfield Montgomery mall), 301-365-0608, The fastcasual spot from chef José Andrés is heavily focused


on seasonal vegetables for build-your-own bowls and salads (or pick one of their suggested combinations). Toppings such as poached egg, chicken sausage and salt-cured salmon are also in the lineup. L D $


BENIHANA 7935 Wisconsin Ave., 301-652-5391, benihana. com. Experience dinner-as-theater as the chef chops and cooks beef, chicken, vegetables and seafood tableside on the hibachi. This popular national chain serves sushi, too. The kids’ menu includes a California roll and hibachi chicken, steak and shrimp entrées. J L D $$

Price designations are for a threecourse dinner for two including tip and tax, but excluding alcohol. $ $$ $$$ $$$$

BETHESDA CRAB HOUSE 4958 Bethesda Ave., 301-652-3382, bethesdacrab In the same location since 1961, this casual, family-owned dining spot features jumbo lump crabcakes, oysters on the half shell and jumbo spiced shrimp. Extra large and jumbo-sized crabs available year-round; call ahead to reserve.


L D $$

BETHESDA CURRY KITCHEN 4860 Cordell Ave., 301-656-0062, bethesda The restaurant offers lunch buffet and Southern Indian vegan specialties, served in a spare and casual setting. There are plenty of choices from the tandoor oven, as well as vegetarian, seafood and meat curries. L D $$

BGR: THE BURGER JOINT 4827 Fairmont Ave., 301-358-6137, bgrtheburger The burgers are good and the vibe is great. Protein choices include beef, chicken and Beyond Meat. Pick your own toppings or choose from a handful of selected combos, such as the Wagyu Wellington, with caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, black truffles, blue cheese and BGR’s mayonnaise-horseradish “mojo” sauce.


THE BIG GREEK CAFE 4806 Rugby Ave., 301-907-4976, biggreekcafe. com. Owned by the Marmaras brothers, the café serves Greek specialties, including a top-notch chicken souvlaki pita. L D $

BISTRO PROVENCE (EDITORS’ PICK) 4933 Fairmont Ave., 301-656-7373, Chef Yannick Cam brings his formidable experience to a casual French bistro with a lovely courtyard. The Dinner Bistro Fare, served daily from 5 to 6:30 p.m., offers a choice of appetizer, main course and dessert for $35.

R L D $$$

BLACK’S BAR & KITCHEN (EDITORS’ PICK) 7750 Woodmont Ave., 301-652-5525, blacksbar Customers count on the impeccable use of fresh and local ingredients and enjoy dining on the expansive patio. The bar draws crowds for happy hour. R L D $$$

BRICKSIDE FOOD & DRINK 4866 Cordell Ave., 301-312-6160, brickside Prohibition-era drinks meet Italian


up to $50 $51-$100 $101-$150 $151+ Outdoor Dining Children’s Menu Breakfast Brunch Lunch Dinner

bar bites and entrées. Dishes range from fried pork and waffles to short ribs. Try one of the colorfully named punches, which include Pink Murder Punch and Snow Cone Punch. R L D $$

CADDIES ON CORDELL 4922 Cordell Ave., 301-215-7730, caddieson Twentysomethings gather at this golfthemed spot to enjoy beer and wings specials in a casual, rowdy atmosphere that frequently spills onto the large patio. Voted “Best Bar/Restaurant to Watch a Caps Game” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. J R L D $

CAFÉ DELUXE 4910 Elm St., 301-656-3131, This local chain serves bistro-style American comfort food in a fun and noisy setting with wood fans and colorful, oversized European liquor posters. Menu options include burgers, entrées, four varieties of flatbread and mussels served three different ways.

J R L D $$

CASA OAXACA 4905 Fairmont Ave., 240-858-6181. The focus is on tacos at this family-owned Mexican restaurant, but you’ll also find fajitas, salads, quesadillas and more on the menu. There’s an indoor bar and an outdoor beer garden. J L D $$

CAVA 7101 Democracy Blvd., Suite 2360 (Westfield Montgomery mall), 301-658-2233; 4832 Bethesda Ave., 301-656-1772; The guys from CAVA Mezze restaurant have created a Greek version of Chipotle. Choose the meat, dip or spread for a pita, bowl or salad. House-made juices and teas provide

dine a healthful beverage option. location) L D $

(Bethesda Avenue

CESCO OSTERIA 7401 Woodmont Ave., 301-654-8333, Longtime chef Francesco Ricchi turns out Tuscan specialties, including pizza, pasta and focaccia in a big, jazzy space. Stop by the restaurant’s Co2 Lounge for an artisan cocktail before dinner. L D $$

CHEESY PIZZI 8021 Wisconsin Ave., 240-497-0000, In addition to the standard offerings of a pizza joint, this spot (formerly Pizza Tempo under different owners) has sandwiches and boat-shaped Turkish pizza known as pide. L D $

CHEF TONY’S 4926 St. Elmo Ave., 301-654-3737, cheftonys Chef-owner Tony Marciante focuses on Mediterranean seafood tapas, offering dishes ranging from fish and seafood to chicken, steak and pasta. Desserts include Drunken Strawberries and Classic Creme Brulée. J R L D $$

CHERCHER ETHIOPIAN 4921 Bethesda Ave., 301-652-6500, The second branch of a D.C. Ethiopian spot, this restaurant and bar took over the space housing Suma. The décor is moderncontemporary and the menu features dishes—from beef to vegan—served on one large platter, meant for sharing, and Ethiopian wine. L D $

CITY LIGHTS OF CHINA 4953 Bethesda Ave., 301-913-9501, bethesda Longtime Chinese eatery serves familiar Sichuan and Beijing fare, including six types of dumplings and seven handmade noodle dishes. Red walls and chocolate-colored booths give the place a sharp look. L D $$

COOPER’S MILL 5151 Pooks Hill Road, 301-897-9400, The restaurant showcases a modern, stylish menu with stone-oven flatbreads, homemade tater tots and locally sourced produce. Local beers on draft and by the bottle, plus regional bourbon and gin. Happy hour and private dining are offered.

B R L D $$

THE CORNER SLICE 7901 Norfolk Ave., 301-907-7542, thecornerslice. net. New York-style pizza, available by the slice or as a 20-inch pie. Specialty pizzas include the spinachartichoke white pie with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan and the Buffalo Chicken Pie with blue cheese and hot sauce. L D $

CURRY PLACE 7345-A Wisconsin Ave., 301-656-4444, Northern Indian and Nepali specialties such as butter chicken and fresh flatbreads known as naan shine here. The extensive menu ranges from soups and salads to tandoori and kabobs.J L D $

DAILY GRILL One Bethesda Metro Center, 301-656-6100, Everyone from families to expenseaccount lunchers can find something to like about the big portions of fresh American fare, including chicken pot pie and jumbo lump crabcakes.

❂ J B R L D $$


DOG HAUS BIERGARTEN 7904 Woodmont Ave., 301-652-4287, bethesda. This fast-casual California-based chain serves hot dogs, sausages, burgers and chicken sandwiches. The hot dogs are all beef and hormone- and antibiotic-free. The industrial-chic space includes picnic tables, TVs, a bar and more than two dozen beer choices. J L D $

DON POLLO 10321 Westlake Drive, 301-347-6175; Juicy, spiced birds and reasonable prices make this Peruvian chicken eatery a go-to place any night of the week. Family meals that serve four or six people are available.


DUCK DUCK GOOSE (EDITORS’ PICK) 7929 Norfolk Ave., 301-312-8837, ddgbethesda. com. Thirty-five-seat French brasserie owned by chef Ashish Alfred. Small plates include steak tartare, and squid ink spaghetti with Manila clams and Fresno chilies. Among the entrées, look for updates of French classics, such as dry-aged duck with Bing cherries, and halibut with scallop mousse and puff pastry. L D $$

EJJI RAMEN 7101 Democracy Blvd. (Westfield Montgomery mall), 240-534-2842, At this outpost of a Baltimore ramen shop, you’ll find build-your-own ramen and various spins on the noodle soup (pork, vegetarian, seafood). There’s also the Ejji Mac & Cheese Ramen Dog, a hot dog wrapped in ramen and cheese, then fried. J L D $

FARYAB AFGHAN CUISINE 4917 Cordell Ave., 301-951-3484. After closing for more than a year, Faryab reopened in 2017 and serves well-prepared Afghani country food, including Afghanistan’s answer to Middle Eastern kabobs, vegetarian entrées and unique sautéed pumpkin dishes, in a whitewashed dining room with native art on the walls. D $$

FISH TACO 7251 Woodmont Ave., 301-652-0010; 10305 Old Georgetown Road (Wildwood Shopping Center), 301-564-6000, This counterservice taqueria features a full roster of seafood as well as non-aquatic tacos, plus margaritas and other Mexican specialties. J L D $

FLANAGAN'S HARP & FIDDLE 4844 Cordell Ave., 301-951-0115, flanagansharp This stylish pub features live music several days a week, Tuesday night poker and Monday quiz nights. In addition to traditional stews and fried fish, Flanagan's offers smoked ribs, salmon and traditional Irish breakfast on weekends. ❂ J B L D $$

FLOWER CHILD 10205 Old Georgetown Road, 301-664-4971, A fast-casual restaurant that’s part of a national chain, Flower Child has an emphasis on vegetarian eating (grain-based bowls, vegetable plates, salads) but also offers protein add-ons such as chicken, salmon and steak. LD$

GARDEN GRILLE & BAR 7301 Waverly St. (Hilton Garden Inn), 301-6548111. Aside from a breakfast buffet featuring cooked-to-order omelets, waffles, fruit and more, the restaurant offers an extensive menu, from burgers to pasta dishes. J B D $$


GEORGE’S CHOPHOUSE 4935 Cordell Ave., 240-534-2675, This modern bistro with pop-culture décor features a seasonally changing menu of house-made pastas, plus a raw bar and a variety of steaks. The braised beef cheek fettucine combines two specialties: house-made pastas and slow-cooked meat. L D $$$

GRINGOS & MARIACHIS (EDITORS’ PICK) 4928 Cordell Ave., 240-800-4266, gringosand The owners of the popular Olazzo Italian restaurants in Bethesda and Silver Spring trade in the red sauce for salsa at this hip taqueria with edgy murals and plenty of tequila. LD$

GUAPO’S RESTAURANT 8130 Wisconsin Ave., 301-656-0888, guapos This outpost of a local chain has everything you’d expect: margaritas and chips galore, as well as a handful of daily specials served in festive Mexican surroundings. Perfect for families and dates. J R L D $

GUARDADO’S 4918 Del Ray Ave., 301-986-4920, Chef-owner Nicolas Guardado, who trained at Jaleo, opened this hidden gem devoted to Latin-Spanish cooking in 2007 and has developed a following with tapas specialties like shrimp and sausage, stuffed red peppers and paella. J L D $

GUSTO FARM TO STREET 7101 Democracy Blvd. (Westfield Montgomery mall), 301-312-6509; 4733 Elm St., 240-3966398; The fast-casual eatery aims to serve healthy fare, with a focus on pizzas and salads. The menu includes suggested combos but you can also build your own. Pizza crust comes in cauliflower, whole grain or traditional. (Elm Street location only) L D $

HANARO RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 7820 Norfolk Ave., 301-654-7851, hanarobethesda. com. The restaurant’s modern dark woods combined with a light-filled dining room brighten its corner location, and the menu includes sushi and Asian fusion main courses such as pad Thai and galbi (Korean ribs). The bar offers a daily happy hour. ❂ L D $$

HIMALAYAN HERITAGE 4925 Bethesda Ave., 301-654-1858, himalayan The menu includes North Indian, Nepali, Indo-Chinese and Tibetan cuisines, featuring momos (Nepalese dumplings), Indian takes on Chinese chow mein and a large selection of curry dishes. L D $

HOUSE OF FOONG LIN 4613 Willow Lane, 301-656-3427, The Chinese restaurant features Cantonese, Hunan and Sichuan cuisine, including chef’s recommendations, low-fat choices and lots of traditional noodle dishes. L D $$

HOUSE OF MILAE 4932 St. Elmo Ave., 301-654-1997. The Kang family, who own Milae Cleaners in Bethesda, bring simple Korean dishes to their first food foray. Chef “M&M” Kang prepares home-style fare such as bulgogi, galbi and bibimbap. The kids’ menu has one item: spaghetti, made from the recipe of owner Thomas Kang’s former college roommate’s mother. JLD$

THE IRISH INN AT GLEN ECHO 6119 Tulane Ave., 301-229-6600, irishinnglenecho. com. This historic tavern has been a family home

and a biker bar, but its incarnation as the Irish Inn has been delivering smiles and hearty food since 2003. Traditional Irish music on Monday nights, The 19th Street Band or other live music on Wednesday nights and live jazz on Sunday nights. J R L D $$

JALEO (EDITORS’ PICK) 7271 Woodmont Ave., 301-913-0003, The restaurant that launched the American career of chef José Andrés and popularized Spanish tapas for a Washington, D.C., audience offers hot, cold, spicy and creative small plates served with outstanding Spanish wines. Voted “Best Small Plates” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. R L D $$

JETTIES 4829 Fairmont Ave., 301-769-6844, jettiesdc. com. The only suburban location of the popular Nantucket-inspired sandwich shop, which has five restaurants in Northwest Washington, D.C. Aside from the signature Nobadeer sandwich (roasted turkey and stuffing with cranberry sauce and mayonnaise on sourdough), look for large salads and an innovative children’s menu. J L D $

KADHAI (EDITORS’ PICK) 7905 Norfolk Ave., 301-718-0121, This popular Indian restaurant formerly known as Haandi serves a variety of traditional chicken, lamb and seafood dishes, plus rice and vegetarian dishes and a selection of breads. An extensive lunch buffet is offered daily. Voted “Best Indian Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. L D $$

LA PANETTERIA 4921 Cordell Ave., 301-951-6433, lapanetteria. com. La Panetteria transports diners into a quaint Italian villa with its impeccable service and Old World atmosphere, serving such Southern and Northern Italian classic dishes as homemade spaghetti and veal scaloppine. L D $$

LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN 7140 Bethesda Lane, 301-913-2902; 10217 Old Georgetown Road (Wildwood Shopping Center), 240-752-8737, New Yorkbased Belgian-born bakery/restaurant chain with farmhouse vibe, featuring organic breads, European breakfast and dessert pastries, savory egg dishes, soups, Belgian open-faced sandwiches, entrée salads, wine and Belgian beer by the bottle. JBRLD$

LE VIEUX LOGIS 7925 Old Georgetown Road, 301-652-6816, The colorful exterior will draw you into this family-run Bethesda institution, but classic French dishes such as Dover sole meunière and mussels in a white wine broth will keep you coming back. D $$$

LEO & LIV (NEW) 8120 Wisconsin Ave. (Bethesdan Hotel), 301652-2000, Set in a hotel, this farm-to-table restaurant serves Mediterranean and American cuisine, from filet mignon and Moroccan lamb shank to butternut squash ravioli. There are also flatbreads and sandwiches, and a bar called But First Drinks (BFD). B D $$

LOTUS GRILL & BAR 4929 Elm St., 301-312-8191, lotusbethesda. com. You have your pick of traditional Indian fare (including pork chops, chicken and other items cooked in a tandoor oven), tacos (lunch only) and pizza (some with elements of Indian food) at this downtown Bethesda spot. L D $$

LUCY ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT 4865 Cordell Ave., 301-347-7999. The authentic Ethiopian menu here includes beef and lamb plates, such as kitfo (raw beef) sandwiches and boneless braised yebeg alicha (Ethiopian mild lamb stew). The interior is decorated with Ethiopian-inspired art and features a full bar. Beef and vegan samplers are available at the Bethesda location. L D $

LUKE’S LOBSTER 7129 Bethesda Lane, 301-718-1005, lukeslobster. com. This upscale carryout features authentic lobster, shrimp and crab rolls; the seafood is shipped directly from Maine. Try the Taste of Maine, which offers all three kinds of rolls, plus two crab claws. L D $

Great LUNCH SPECIAL $14.95 HAPPY HOUR at the bar every day 4pm–7pm 50% OFF ALL BOTTLES OF WINES on Wednesday 4pm–close 50% OFF ALL BUBBLES AND BEERS by the bottle ON THURSDAY (not valid for beers on tap) 4pm–close

MAKI BAR 6831 Wisconsin Ave. (Shops of Wisconsin), 301907-9888, This tiny 30-seat Japanese restaurant and sushi bar offers 60-plus kinds of maki rolls, categorized as Classic (tuna roll), Crunch Lover (spicy crunch California roll) and Signature (eel, avocado, tobiko, crab), along with sushi, sashimi, noodle bowls and rice-based entrées. L D $$

MAMMA LUCIA 4916 Elm St., 301-907-3399, mammalucia New York-style pizza dripping with cheese and crowd-pleasing red sauce, and favorites like chicken Parmesan and linguini with clams draw the crowds to this local chain. Gluten-free options available. L D $$


8008 Woodmont Avenue Bethesda, Md 20814 301-654-6083


7278 Woodmont Ave., 240-465-0500, At this local chain, look for mini-burgers, a “ginormous meatball” appetizer and thin-crust pizza with toppings, including herbroasted chicken, roasted mushrooms, fire-roasted red peppers and Spanish onions. J R L D $$

MEDIUM RARE 4904 Fairmont Ave., 301-215-8739, mediumrare A prix fixe menu that comes with bread, salad, steak and fries is the sole option at this small chain outpost (there are two Medium Rares in D.C.). Desserts cost extra. Weekend brunch also features a prix fixe menu. D $$

4929 Elm St, Bethesda, MD 20814 (301) 312-8191

MOMO CHICKEN & GRILL 4862 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 240-483-0801, Skip the breasts, and head for the wings or drumsticks at Bethesda’s first Korean fried chicken spot. Options such as seafood pancakes, bulgogi and bibimbap are part of the extensive offerings, all served in a hip space with framed record albums gracing the walls. J L D $$

MON AMI GABI (EDITORS’ PICK) 7239 Woodmont Ave., 301-654-1234, monamigabi. com. Waiters serve bistro classics such as escargot, steak frites and profiteroles in a dark and boisterous spot that doesn’t feel like a chain. Live jazz Thursday nights. Voted “Best Restaurant Wine List” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. J R L D $$

MORTON’S, THE STEAKHOUSE 7400 Wisconsin Ave., 301-657-2650, mortons. com. An ultra-sophisticated steak house serving pricey, large portions of prime-aged beef and drinks. The restaurant is known for a top-notch dinner experience but also offers lunch and a bar menu. L D $$$

MUSSEL BAR & GRILLE 7262 Woodmont Ave., 301-215-7817, musselbar. com. Kensington resident and big-name chef Robert


Free delivery within a three mile radius

$10 OFF Dinner order

of $50.00 or more

(dinner only) Lotus Grill & Bar (301) 312-8191 With this coupon. Dine in, not valid with any other offer. Expires 2/22/20

Try our delicious lunch buffet only


Lotus Grill & Bar (301) 312-8191 With this coupon. Dine in, not valid with any other offer. Expires 2/22/20



dine Wiedmaier serves his signature mussels, plus wood-fired tarts, salads and sandwiches. Wash them all down with a choice of 40 Belgian beers. R L D $$

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S 10400 Old Georgetown Road, 240-316-4555, This Massachusettsbased chain’s moderately priced menu offers burgers, big salads and stone-hearth pizzas, plus entrées including Anything But Average Meatloaf. J L D $$

OLAZZO (EDITORS’ PICK) 7921 Norfolk Ave., 301-654-9496, This well-priced, romantic restaurant is the place for couples seeking red-sauce classics at reasonable prices. Founded by brothers Riccardo and Roberto Pietrobono, it was voted “Best Italian Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. L D $$

THE ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Store D, 301-986-0285, Along with the classic flapjacks on this chain’s menu, you’ll find flavorpacked items such as apple pancakes with a cinnamon sugar glaze. And it’s not just pancakes to pick from: The restaurant serves a variety of waffles, crepes, eggs and omelets. J B L $

PASSAGE TO INDIA (EDITORS’ PICK) 4931 Cordell Ave., 301-656-3373, passagetoindia. info. Top-notch, pan-Indian fare by chef-owner Sudhir Seth, with everything from garlic naan to fish curry made to order. R L D $$

PASSIONFISH BETHESDA 7187 Woodmont Ave., 301-358-6116, passionfish The second location of Passion Food Hospitality’s splashy seafood restaurant features stunning coastal-themed décor and an extensive menu of shellfish, caviar, sushi, chef’s specialties and fresh catches of the day. Voted “Best Happy Hour” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. J L D $$$

PAUL 4760 Bethesda Ave., 301-656-3285, paul-usa. com. Fifth-generation, family-owned French bakery becomes an international chain, with locations in close to 35 countries. Aside from breads and pastries, look for soups, sandwiches and quiche. BLD$

PINES OF ROME 4918 Cordell Ave., 301-657-8775. Longtime Italian restaurant, formerly on Hampden Lane, still serves traditional pasta, pizza, fish and seafood at prices that are easy on the wallet. The white pizza is a hit, and don’t forget the spaghetti and meatballs. LD$

PIZZERIA DA MARCO (EDITORS’ PICK) 8008 Woodmont Ave., 301-654-6083, pizzeria Authentic Neapolitan pizzas fired in a 900-degree Italian brick oven range from the Siciliana with eggplant confit and black olives to the Solo Carne with sausage, pepperoni and salame. Salads, antipasti and calzones available, too. LD$

POKE DOJO 7110 Bethesda Lane, 240-696-0990, pokedojo. com. The owners of Bethesda’s Hanaro Restaurant & Lounge opened this poke place at Bethesda Row. The menu includes a handful of signature bowls, or you can build your own from the raw fish, rice and toppings offered. L D $


POSITANO RISTORANTE ITALIANO 4940-48 Fairmont Ave., 301-654-1717, An authentic Italian, family-run restaurant popular for private events, large and small. Colorful rooms are decorated with Italian landscapes, copper pots and hanging plants, and the outdoor patio is one of the most beautiful in the county. L D $$

PRALINE BAKERY & BISTRO 4611 Sangamore Road, 301-229-8180, This sunny restaurant offers a tempting bakery takeout counter, full dining service and a patio. The food, which includes chicken pot pie and pralines, is French with an American accent. J B R L D $$

PRIMA 7280 Woodmont Ave., 301-215-8300, craveprima. com. Renowned chef Michael Schlow aims to put a healthful spin on Italian food at this fast-casual eatery featuring bowls (no pizza or pasta here). Pick a suggested bowl (the della nonna has meatballs, ricotta, brown rice, roasted cauliflower, roasted zucchini and spicy tomato-basil vinaigrette) or create your own. Menu items are gluten-free and include local vegetables, fresh herbs, legumes and sustainable meat and fish. L D $

Q BY PETER CHANG (EDITORS’ PICK) 4500 East West Highway, 240-800-3722, Notable chef Peter Chang’s high-end flagship restaurant offers traditional Chinese dishes in an attractive, modern space. Peking duck, double-cooked pork belly and other authentic Sichuan cuisine are served, and some dishes are “ultimate spicy” for brave palates. J L D $$

RAKU (EDITORS’ PICK) 7240 Woodmont Ave., 301-718-8680, rakuasian Voted “Best Sushi” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018, this casual restaurant has bamboo walls that do little to dampen the noise, but the menu satisfies with everything from sushi to kung pao chicken. L D $$

RICE PADDIES GRILL & PHO 4706 Bethesda Ave., 301-718-1862, ricepaddies This cute copper-and-green eat-in/carryout makes quick work of Vietnamese favorites such as pork, beef and vegetable skewers infused with lemongrass and the classic beef noodle soup known as pho. L D $

ROCK BOTTOM RESTAURANT & BREWERY 7900 Norfolk Ave., 301-652-1311, India Pale Ales and specialty dark brews are among the award-winning beers crafted in-house at this cavernous yet welcoming chain, which offers a vast menu. The burgers are the real deal. J L D $$

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE 7315 Wisconsin Ave., 301-652-7877, ruthschris. com. A dark and clubby feel makes this elegant chain popular with families as well as the happyhour crowd. Don’t skip the fresh seafood choices, which include Caribbean lobster tail and barbecued shrimp. D $$$

SALA THAI 4828 Cordell Ave., 301-654-4676, salathaidc. com. This Thai mainstay cooks the classics and offers diners a nearly panoramic view of Woodmont Avenue through huge, curved windows. Live jazz Friday and Saturday evenings. L D $$


SAPHIRE CAFÉ 7940 Wisconsin Ave., 301-986-9708. A relaxing spot for tasting everything from Maryland-style crab soup to Argentine skirt steak, Saphire pumps it up a notch on Friday and Saturday nights with drink specials and DJs. Tiki bar open Wednesdays through Saturdays. L D $

SATSUMA 8003 Norfolk Ave., 301-652-1400, satsumajp. com. Bethesda’s first yakiniku (Japanese barbecue) restaurant has built-in grills at each table. Diners select a cut—short rib, chuck rib, skirt or tongue— and prepare it themselves. There’s also an extensive sushi and sashimi menu, as well as interesting cooked dishes. L D $$

SHARE WINE LOUNGE & SMALL PLATE BISTRO 8120 Wisconsin Ave. (DoubleTree Hotel), 301-652-2000, aspx. Share some buffalo chicken sliders or avocado bruschetta, or go for main courses ranging from Yankee pot roast to cedar plank-roasted salmon. B L D $$

SILVER (EDITORS’ PICK) 7150 Woodmont Ave., 301-652-9780, eatatsilver. com. Upscale, tonier version of the homegrown Silver Diner chain, with modern takes on American classics and an emphasis on healthy, local and organic ingredients. Sleek interior takes its cue from the 1920s. ❂ J B R L D $$

SMOKE BBQ BETHESDA 4858 Cordell Ave., 301-656-2011, Pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken, ribs and all the fixin’s, plus starters including smoked tomato soup and fried pickles served in a friendly, casual space. J L D $

ST. ARNOLD'S MUSSEL BAR 7525 Old Georgetown Road, 240-821-6830, Czech, German and Belgian brews served in an authentic beer-hall setting, furnished with the same benches as those used in the Hofbrau brewhouse in Munich. Pub menu features mussels, hearty sandwiches, schnitzel and goulash. R L D $$

SWEETGREEN 4831 Bethesda Ave.301-654-7336, sweetgreen. com. The sweetgreen fast-casual chain—with its focus on local and organic ingredients— concentrates on salads (devise your own, or pick from a list) and soups. Look for eco-friendly décor and a healthy sensibility. L D $

TAKO GRILL 4914 Hampden Lane (The Shoppes of Bethesda), 301-652-7030, Longtime, popular sushi destination relocated to the space formerly occupied by Hinode Japanese Restaurant. Look for the same traditional sushi menu, plus some new options, such as griddle-cooked teppanyaki at lunch, and more varieties of yakitori at dinner. L D $$

TANDOORI NIGHTS 7236 Woodmont Ave., 301-656-4002, Located in the heart of downtown Bethesda, the restaurant serves traditional Indian fare ranging from tandoori chicken, marinated in yogurt and spices, to a biryani flavored with saffron, nuts and raisins. L D $$

TARA THAI 7101 Democracy Blvd. (Westfield Montgomery mall), 301-657-0488, Thai cuisine goes high style at Bethesda Magazine readers’ pick

for “Best Thai Restaurant” in 2018. With colorful murals of ocean creatures looking on, diners can try dishes ranging from mild to adventurous. L D $$

TASTEE DINER 7731 Woodmont Ave., 301-652-3970, tasteediner. com. For 80 years, this crowd-pleasing if slightly sagging spot has served up everything from breakfast to burgers to blue-plate specials such as steak and crabcakes to crowds of loyal customers. Open 24 hours. J B L D $

TERRAIN CAFÉ (EDITORS’ PICK) 7228 Woodmont Ave., 240-345-9492, shopterrain. com/restaurants. Located inside the Anthropologie & Co. at Bethesda Row, this quaint café changes its menu with the seasons. Look for cheese boards; salads; toast topped with eggplant, smoked salmon or fig; and entrées such as duck breast and a fried cauliflower sandwich. R L D $$

TIA QUETA 4839 Del Ray Ave., 301-654-4443, This longtime family and happy-hour favorite offers authentic Mexican food such as moles and fish dishes, as well as the usual Tex-Mex options. Drink menu includes American and Mexican beers. J L D $$

TOMMY JOE’S 7940 Norfolk Ave., 301-654-3801, This Bethesda institution is now in the space formerly housing Urban Heights. The second-floor, window-filled corner location suits its sports bar persona, and the vast rooftop is ideal for outdoor drinking and snacking. Fare includes wings (Pohostyle, grilled and smoky, are a good option), burgers, crabcakes and ribs. Chunky brisket chili, on its own or on nachos, is a winner. ❂ L D $$

TRATTORIA SORRENTO (EDITORS’ PICK) 4930 Cordell Ave., 301-718-0344, trattoriasorrento. com. This family-run Italian favorite offers homemade pastas, baked eggplant and fresh fish dishes. Half-price bottles of wine on Wednesdays. D $$

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN (EDITORS’ PICK) 7100 Wisconsin Ave., 240-200-1257, Health-focused chain prides itself on serving fresh ingredients and features an open kitchen. The eclectic, multicultural menu changes from season to season, and includes sandwiches, salads and pizza. Beer, wine and freshfruit and vegetable cocktails are also available. Voted “Best New Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. R L D $

URBAN PLATES 7101 Democracy Blvd. (Westfield Montgomery mall), 301-690-9540, The fastcasual chain’s wide-ranging menu includes salads, soups, sandwiches, entrees such as grass-fed steak and striped sea bass, plus seasonal items. Meals are offered at stations—customers grab a plate and get in their desired line where chefs serve the made-from-scratch dishes. J L D $

UNCLE JULIO’S 4870 Bethesda Ave., 301-656-2981, unclejulios. com. Loud and large, this Tex-Mex eatery packs in families and revelers fueling up on fajitas, tacos and more. Kids love to watch the tortilla machine. J R L D $$

VÜK 4924 St. Elmo Ave., 301-652-8000, vukpinball. com. VÜK owner (and MOM’S Organic Market CEO) Scott Nash consulted restaurateur Mark Bucher

for the only thing offered on the short menu of his Bethesda pinball arcade other than Trickling Springs Creamery’s soft-serve ice cream: thin-crust New York-style pizza and thick-crust Sicilian pizza sold by the slice or as whole pies: cheese, sausage, pepperoni and mushroom/onion. L D $

WANG DYNASTY 4929 Bethesda Ave., 301-654-1188. A mix of dishes from Shanghai and Taiwan—sweet and sour chicken, crispy shrimp with minced pork, Peking duck, pan-fried noodles with beef—fill the long menu at this Chinese restaurant in the space that housed Shanghai Village. Weekend dim sum is offered. R L D $$

WILDWOOD KITCHEN (EDITORS’ PICK) 10223 Old Georgetown Road (Wildwood Shopping Center), 301-571-1700, Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s attractive neighborhood bistro serving fresh and light modern cuisine. Entrées range from Amish chicken with a scallion potato cake to grilled Atlantic salmon with creamy polenta. L D $$

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WOODMONT GRILL (EDITORS’ PICK) 7715 Woodmont Ave., 301-656-9755, hillstone. com. Part of the Houston’s chain, the eatery offers such classics as spinach-and-artichoke dip and its famous burgers, but also house-baked breads, more exotic dishes, live jazz and a granite bar. Voted “Best Restaurant Service” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018, and “Best Restaurant in L D $$$ Bethesda” by readers in 2019.


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For every special event in your life!

7200 Wisconsin Ave., 240-389-9317, worldofbeer. com. Craft beer-focused tavern chain offers 50 brews on tap rotating daily and hundreds of bottled options. Food is classic pub fare, including hamburgers, wings and bratwurst sandwiches, as well as flatbreads and salads. J R L D $

YUZU 7345-B Wisconsin Ave., 301-656-5234, yuzu Diners will find authentic Japanese dishes, including sushi, sashimi and cooked tofu, vegetable, tempura, meat and fish dishes, prepared by sushi chef and owner Yoshihisa Ota. L D $$

CABIN JOHN FISH TACO 7945 MacArthur Blvd., 301-229-0900, See Bethesda listing. ❂JLD$

SAL’S ITALIAN KITCHEN (EDITORS’ PICK) 7945 MacArthur Blvd., 240-802-2370, salsitalian Persimmon and Wild Tomato owners Damian and Stephanie Salvatore replaced their Asian concept Indigo House with a return to their roots. Find traditional Italian fare, such as bruschetta, risotto balls, Caprese salad, meatball subs, fettuccine Alfredo, chicken cacciatore and shrimp scampi. ❂ L D $$

WILD TOMATO (EDITORS’ PICK) 7945 MacArthur Blvd., 301-229-0680, A family-friendly neighborhood restaurant from Persimmon owners Damian and Stephanie Salvatore, serving salads, sandwiches and pizza. Voted “Best Neighborhood Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. J L D $


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CHEVY CHASE ALFIO’S LA TRATTORIA 4515 Willard Ave., 301-657-9133, This Northern Italian classic on the first floor of The Willoughby of Chevy Chase Condominium has been feeding families and casual diners for more than 30 years. Look for traditional pasta, veal and chicken dishes (plus pizza), served in an Old World environment. J L D $$

THE CAPITAL GRILLE 5310 Western Ave., 301-718-7812, capitalgrille. com. The upscale steak-house chain, known for its He-Man-sized portions and extensive wine list, is located in The Shops at Wisconsin Place. Entrées also include chicken, lamb chops, salmon and lobster. L D $$$$

CLYDE’S 5441 Wisconsin Ave., 301-951-9600, clydes. com. The popular restaurant features a frequently changing menu of American favorites and a collection of vintage airplanes and cars, as well as a model train running on a track around the ceiling. J R L D $$

DON POLLO 7007 Wisconsin Ave., 301-652-0001, See Bethesda listing. L D $

LA FERME (EDITORS’ PICK) 7101 Brookville Road, 301-986-5255, laferme This charming Provence-style restaurant serving classic French cuisine is a popular choice for an intimate dinner. Cognac Le Bar at La Ferme, a bar within the restaurant, opened in fall 2016. The bar serves small plates and cocktails. Voted “Best Romantic Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018, and “Best Restaurant in Chevy Chase” and “Best SpecialOccasion Restaurant” by readers in 2019. R L D $$$

LIA'S 4435 Willard Ave., 240-223-5427, Owner Geoff Tracy focuses on high-quality, low-fuss modern Italian-American fare at this modern space with a wine room. Pizzas, house-made pastas and fresh fish please business lunchers and dinner crowds. J R L D $

LITTLE BEET TABLE (NEW) 5471 Wisconsin Ave., 240-283-0603, Part of a small chain that started in New York City, Little Beet Table serves an entirely gluten-free lineup of dishes, including chicken, salmon, Korean rice cakes, a mushroom-and-black-bean burger and a whole branzino fish. The 100-seat full-service restaurant is in The Collection shopping area in Chevy Chase’s Friendship Heights neighborhood. L D $$

MANOLI CANOLI RESTAURANT 8540 Connecticut Ave., 301-951-1818, Italian and Greek specialties abound at a fun family eatery that features a large prepared foods section, dishes made with olive oil from owner Stavros Manolakos’ family farm in Greece and homemade mozzarella on pizza and subs. J L D $

MEIWAH RESTAURANT 4457 Willard Ave., 301-652-9882, meiwah This modern restaurant on the second floor of a Friendship Heights office building


offers top-quality Chinese dishes that are hard to beat. There’s also a sushi bar with an extensive menu. A fountain sparkles on the outdoor patio. L D $$

MOBY DICK HOUSE OF KABOB 7023 Wisconsin Ave., 301-654-1838, mobyskabob. com. This kabob takeout/eat-in mainstay was one of the first kabob places in the area. It makes its own pita bread. The menu includes a variety of salads and vegetarian sandwiches and platters. LD$

PERSIMMON (EDITORS’ PICK) 7003 Wisconsin Ave., 301-654-9860, persimmon Owners Damian and Stephanie Salvatore’s popular restaurant offers casual fare from salads to sandwiches to meat and seafood entrées in a bistro setting featuring a lively bar, cozy booths and bright paintings on the walls. R L D $$

POTOMAC PIZZA 19 Wisconsin Circle, 301-951-1127, potomac This cheery, casual dining room provides a break from the ultra-posh shopping surrounding it. In addition to pizza, subs and pastas are popular. Beer and wine available. J L D $

SUSHIKO (EDITORS’ PICK) 5455 Wisconsin Ave., 301-961-1644, sushiko Known as one of the Washington, D.C., area’s most respected sushi restaurants, Sushiko offers a wide range of sushi and other dishes. Kōbō, a restaurant within the restaurant, allows eight people to dine on 12- to 15-course tasting menus. L D $$

TAVIRA 8401 Connecticut Ave., 301-652-8684, tavira Fish stews and several versions of bacalhau (salted cod) figure prominently on the menu of this intriguing Portuguese restaurant, which manages to be charming and attractive despite its location in an office building basement. L D $$

GARRETT PARK BLACK MARKET BISTRO (EDITORS’ PICK) 4600 Waverly Ave., 301-933-3000, blackmarket Sublime American bistro fare served in a restored Victorian building next to railroad tracks; the building once served as a general store and still houses a post office. Entrées range from swordfish to a burger and pizza, including several vegetable options. Voted “Best Restaurant in Garrett Park/Kensington” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. J R L D $$

KENSINGTON THE BIG GREEK CAFE 5268 Nicholson Lane, 301-881-4976, See Bethesda listing. LD$

THE DISH & DRAM 10301 Kensington Parkway, 301-962-4046, The owners of The Daily Dish in Silver Spring serve comfort food made with local ingredients in a 2,800-square-foot space in Kensington. Steak frites, Maryland crab soup,


burgers and house-made desserts are on the menu. J R L D $$

FRANKLY…PIZZA! (EDITORS’ PICK) 10417 Armory Ave., 301-832-1065, franklypizza. com. Owner Frank Linn turns out high-quality pizza in a rustic brick-and-mortar restaurant. The menu offers wood-fired pies topped with home-cured meats and tomato sauce made from an 80-yearold family recipe. Wines and homemade sodas served on tap, too. Voted "Best Pizza" by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. L D $

JAVA NATION 10516 Connecticut Ave., 301-327-6580, A coffee shop with a brunch menu by day turns out a full-service menu with sandwiches, salads, quesadillas and tacos on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Beer, wine and liquor are offered along with coffee that’s roasted on-site. J R L D $$

K TOWN BISTRO 3784 Howard Ave., 301-933-1211, ktownbistro. com. Try filet mignon, duck breast à l’orange, chicken marsala and other classic continental dishes from this family-run eatery owned by Gonzalo Barba, former longtime captain of the restaurant in the Watergate Hotel. L D $$

KNOWLES STATION WINE & CO. 10414 Detrick Ave., Suite 100; 301-272-9080; Part retail wine shop, part restaurant, part bar, this spot near the intersection of Knowles and Summit avenues features a short menu with meat and cheese plates, appetizers, salads and sandwiches (including grilled chicken, roast pork and crabcake). Find more than a dozen beers on draft and more than two dozen wines by the glass, plus lots of beer and wine to go. J L D $$

NORTH POTOMAC/ GAITHERSBURG &PIZZA 258 Crown Park Ave. (Downtown Crown), 240-4998447, See Bethesda listing. ❂ L D $

ASIA NINE 254 Crown Park Ave. (Downtown Crown), 301-3309997, Pan Asian restaurant with a first location in Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter offers dishes from Vietnam, China, Thailand and Japan. Specialties include grilled lamb chops served with mango-soy coulis and miso honey duck breast drizzled with a sake butter sauce. R L D $$

ATHENS GRILL 9124 Rothbury Drive, 301-975-0757, athensgrill. com. This casual, friendly, family-run restaurant specializes in authentic Greek cooking, using recipes handed down through generations. Specialties such as rotisserie chicken, chargrilled salmon with a lemon dill sauce and lamb kabobs are cooked on a hardwood grill. L D $

BARKING MAD CAFE 239 Spectrum Ave., 240-297-6230, barkingmad Cooking from a wood hearth and selecting vegetables, herbs and edible flowers from its aeroponic (grown in air/mist but without soil) organic garden, Barking Mad Cafe has a corner spot in Watkins Mill Town Center. Look for made-

from-scratch brunch, lunch and dinner sweets and savories, such as breakfast pizza, watermelon salad and farro salad. ❂ R L D $$

BGR: THE BURGER JOINT 229 Boardwalk Place (Rio), 301-569-7086, See Bethesda listing. ❂JLD$

BONEFISH GRILL 82 Market St., 240-631-2401, bonefishgrill. com. While fresh fish cooked over a wood fire is the centerpiece of this upscale Florida chain, the steaks, crab cakes and specialty martinis make it a fun option for happy hour and those with hearty appetites. R L D $$

BUCA DI BEPPO 122 Kentlands Blvd., 301-947-7346, bucadibeppo. com. The Kentlands outpost of this national chain serves huge, family-style portions of Italian specialties from fresh breads to antipasti and pasta dishes amid a sea of Italian kitsch. Desserts include Italian Creme Cake and tiramisu. J L D $$

CAVA 213 Kentlands Blvd., 301-476-4209, See Bethesda listing. LD$

COAL FIRE 116 Main St., 301-519-2625, Homemade crusts fired by coal and topped with your choice of toppings and three different sauces: classic, spicy and signature, which is slightly sweet with a hint of spice. Salads, sandwiches and pasta also available, plus a full bar. L D $

COASTAL FLATS 135 Crown Park Ave. (Downtown Crown), 301869-8800, First Maryland locale for Great American Restaurants, a Fairfax-based chain. Seaside-inspired décor extends to the menu, which offers lobster and shrimp rolls, fried grouper and Key lime pie. Steaks, pasta and burgers also served. Voted “Best Restaurant in Gaithersburg/North Potomac” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. J R L D $$

COPPER CANYON GRILL 100 Boardwalk Place (Rio), 240-631-0003, ccgrill. com. Large portions of American classics such as salads, ribs and rotisserie chicken prepared with seasonal ingredients at family-friendly prices are the bill of fare at this spacious and casual chain restaurant. J L D $$

DOGFISH HEAD ALEHOUSE 800 W. Diamond Ave., 301-963-4847, dogfishale The first Maryland outpost of the popular Rehoboth Beach brewpub, the restaurant is packed with revelers and families clamoring for the Dogfish Head brews, burgers, pizzas and ribs. Check out the burger of the week. J L D $$

DON POLLO 9083 Gaither Road, 301-990-0981, donpollogroup. com. See Bethesda listing. L D $

FIREBIRDS WOOD FIRED GRILL 390 Spectrum Ave., 301-284-1770, gaithersburg. Part of a chain, this restaurant in the Watkins Mill Town Center cooks steaks and seafood over a wood-fired grill. Designed to look like a Colorado lodge, the eatery tends toward classic fare for entrées (surf-and-turf, salmon, burgers) and dessert (chocolate cake, Key lime pie, carrot cake). J L D $$



7745 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 301296-6168, A full slate of Italian dishes—from lasagna and baked ziti to frutti di mare and New York-style pizza—fills the menu at this Cabin John Village restaurant. J L D $$

GUAPO’S RESTAURANT 9811 Washingtonian Blvd., L-17 (Rio), 301-9775655, See Bethesda listing. JRLD$

HERSHEY’S RESTAURANT & BAR 17030 Oakmont Ave., 301-948-9893, hersheysat Fried chicken that tastes like it was made by an aproned elder is served up in a clapboard building constructed in 1889. Besides the fab fried chicken, Hershey’s serves up warm rolls, inexpensive prices and live music. J B R L D $$

IL PORTO RESTAURANT 245 Muddy Branch Road, 301-590-0735, ilporto A classic red-sauce menu, elegant murals of Venice and an authentic thincrust pizza are hallmarks of this friendly, unfussy Italian restaurant tucked in the Festival Shopping Center. Fried calamari and the white pizza are among customer favorites. Voted “Best Restaurant in Gaithersburg/North Potomac” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. L D $

INFERNO PIZZERIA NAPOLETANA (EDITORS’ PICK) 12207 Darnestown Road, 301-963-0115, Tony Conte, former executive chef of Washington, D.C.’s Oval Room, goes casual with his first restaurant, an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria offering sophisticated toppings such as shaved truffles and garlic confit. Cozy dining room seats 39, with a tiled, wood-burning pizza oven as the centerpiece. D $$

IXTAPALAPA TAQUERIA 411 N. Frederick Ave., 240-702-0217, The owners of Taco Bar (in a Gaithersburg gas station) serve Mexican street food at this fast-casual spot. Pick a protein to go on corn tortillas, then head to the fixings bar. Or try a taco that comes already topped (the alambre with bacon, grilled onions and red peppers and Oaxaca cheese is good). LD$

KENAKI SUSHI 706 Center Point Way, 240-224-7189, kenakisushi. com. This sushi counter at Kentlands Market Square offers what the owners call a “modern take on traditional sushi.” Experiment with the Black Magic roll, which comes with truffle oil and black sushi rice. Lunch is more informal, but at dinner there’s full service. L D $

LANZHOU HAND PULL NOODLE 3 Grand Corner Ave. (Rio), 240-403-7486, The made-to-order noodles (choose hand-pulled or knife-sliced) at this fastcasual spot are served in soups and stir-fries with beef, chicken, duck and other proteins. Rice dishes, dumplings and pork buns are also available. L D $

105 Market St., 301-978-7770, mobyskabob. com. See Chevy Chase listing. L D $

MOD PIZZA 145 Commerce Square Place, 240-552-9850, The Bellevue, Washington-based chain offers design-your-own fast-casual pies (hence, Made on Demand, or MOD). Pizzas, cooked at 800 degrees for three minutes, can be topped with a choice of nearly 40 sauces, LD$ cheeses, meats, spices and veggies.

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S 245 Kentlands Blvd., 240-477-1040, See Bethesda listing. J L D $$

OLD TOWN POUR HOUSE 212 Ellington Blvd. (Downtown Crown), 301-9636281, One of the eateries from Chicago’s Bottleneck Management restaurant company, this place features more than 90 local and international brews on tap. Classic American cuisine is served in a setting with copper-inlaid bars L D $$ and high ceilings.

PALADAR LATIN KITCHEN & RUM BAR 203 Crown Park Ave., 301-330-4400, This Cleveland-based chain covers the spectrum of Latin cuisine, with dishes from Cuba, the Caribbean and Central and South America. From Brazil, there’s feijoada stew; from Cuba, ropa vieja; and from Jamaica, jerk chicken. Bar selections includes 50 varieties of rum, 15 tequilas and six types of mojitos. J R L D $$

QUINCY’S BAR & GRILLE 616 Quince Orchard Road, 301-869-8200, Energetic neighborhood pub with a sports bar atmosphere, Quincy’s also has an extensive menu with wings, pizza, build-yourown burgers and chicken sandwiches, plus entrées including Guinness-braised brisket. Live music is also a big draw. L D $

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE 106 Crown Park Ave. (Downtown Crown), 301-9901926, See Bethesda listing. D $$$

SILVER DINER 9811 Washingtonian Blvd. (Rio), 301-321-3530, This branch of the trendy diner includes a full bar and brasserie-style interior. The latest food trends (think quinoa coconut pancakes) share company on the enormous menu with diner staples such as meatloaf and mashed potatoes. J B R L D $$

SIN & GRIN 353 Main St., 301-977-5595, Located in the heart of Kentlands Market Square, Sin & Grin is a fast-casual restaurant owned and operated by the Hristopoulos family, which also runs Vasili’s Kitchen. Pick from eight tacos, rotisserie chicken and an assortment of Mexican cuisine. L D $


THE MELTING POT 9021 Gaither Road, 301-519-3638, themeltingpot. com. There’s nothing like dipping bits of bread, vegetables and apples into a communal pot of hot cheese to get a date or a party started. The Melting Pot chain also offers wine, oil or broth to cook meat tableside and chocolate fondue for dessert. J D $$

555 Quince Orchard Road, 240-261-9777, Tacos and tequila are the focus at this branch of a restaurant based in Frederick, Maryland. Other Mexican food (such as enchiladas and fajitas) round out the offerings in the brightly painted space with kitschy décor. A mariachi band plays on Thursdays. L D $$



dine TANDOORI NIGHTS 106 Market St., 301-947-4007, tandoorinightsmd. com. See Bethesda listing. L D $

TARA THAI 9811 Washingtonian Blvd., L-9 (Rio), 301-9478330, See Bethesda listing. L D $$

TED’S BULLETIN 220 Ellington Blvd. (Downtown Crown), 301990-0600, First Maryland location of the modern diner chainlet from the folks at Matchbox Food Group. Boozy milkshakes, homemade pop tarts and the Cinnamon Roll As Big As Ya Head (served weekends only) are among the specialties. J B R L D $$

TED’S MONTANA GRILL 105 Ellington Blvd. (Downtown Crown), 301-3300777, First Maryland location of billionaire and bison rancher Ted Turner’s restaurant chain, which uses bison as the showpiece in a humongous selection of dishes, including burgers, meatloaf, nachos and chili. Soups, salads, American classics and spiked milkshakes also available at this saloon-style eatery. J L D $$

THAI TANIUM 657 Center Point Way, 301-990-3699, thaitanium Authentic Thai food laced with lots of chilies and garlic as hot as you like. Try one of the Thai street food dishes, such as roasted pork with Thai herbed sweet sauce and noodle soups. JLD$

UNCLE JULIO’S 231 Rio Blvd. (Rio), 240-632-2150, See Bethesda listing. J R L D $$

UNION JACK'S 9811 Washingtonian Blvd. (Rio), 240-780-7139, With a British pub theme, this spot includes lots of drink specials, live music events and a menu with fish and chips, citrus salmon, burgers, pizzas and pub fare. Billiards, darts and a slew of TVs are also here. R L D $$

VASILI'S KITCHEN 705 Center Point Way, 301-977-1011, vasilis Tan and brown décor lends a cozy vibe to this 4,700-square-foot Kentlands restaurant. The owners ran the popular Vasili’s Mediterranean Grill in another Kentlands location for more than a decade before closing it to focus on Vasili’s Kitchen. The Mediterranean menu is heavy on seafood dishes. J D $$

YARD HOUSE 211 Rio Blvd. (Rio), 240-683-8790, Part of a chain with locations in California, Illinois and Texas, this RIO Washingtonian Center spot is big: The 13,000-square-foot restaurant has more than 100 beers on draft, and more than 100 items on its menu, from poke nachos and Nashville hot chicken to Parmesan-crusted pork loin and gingercrusted salmon. J L D $$

YOYOGI SUSHI 317 Main St., 301-963-0001. yoyogisushi.wixsite. com/yoyogisushi. A no-nonsense neighborhood sushi place offering the familiar sushi, teriyaki, tempura and green tea or red bean ice cream. LD$

ZIKI JAPANESE STEAK HOUSE 10009 Fields Road, 301-330-3868, zikisteakhouse. com. This large steak house on a busy corner


charms patrons with its fountains, stone Buddhas and geisha mannequins. Food offerings include sushi, as well as meats cooked on a tableside hibachi. J L D $$

POTOMAC ADDIE’S (EDITORS’ PICK) 12435 Park Potomac Ave., 301-340-0081, addies Longtime North Bethesda restaurant from the Black Restaurant Group that closed in 2013 is reborn in the Park Potomac development. Date nights call for the signature entrées for two. R L D $$

ATTMAN’S DELICATESSEN 7913 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 301765-3354, This landmark Baltimore deli has run a second location in Potomac since 2013. The menu offers the same legendary corned beef, pastrami and other deli specialties. Third-generation owner Marc Attman is at the helm. J B L D $

BROOKLYN’S DELI & CATERING 1089 Seven Locks Road, 301-340-3354, brooklyns From chopped liver to chicken soup, Brooklyn’s serves all the deli specialties, plus more. Think hot pastrami with coleslaw and Russian dressing on pumpernickel. J B L D $

CAVA 7991 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 301200-5398, See Bethesda listing. LD$

ELEVATION BURGER 12525-D Park Potomac Ave., 301-838-4010, Fast-food burgers go organic and grass-fed at this Northern Virginia-founded chain. Veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, grilled cheese and a BLT available, too. Shake flavors range from banana to Key lime and cheesecake. LD$

GRAND FUSION CUISINE 350 East Fortune Terrace, 301-838-2862, grand Diners will find something for everyone seeking a taste of the Asian continent, a full sushi bar, and Chinese, Malaysian and Singaporean specialties. Chef’s specials include Crispy Eggplant in Spicy Orange Sauce and Double Flavored Shrimp. L D $

GREGORIO’S TRATTORIA 7745 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 301296-6168, Proprietor Greg Kahn aims to make everyone feel at home at this family-owned restaurant serving a hit parade of traditional Italian favorites, with all the familiar pasta, pizza, chicken, veal and seafood dishes; the gluten-free menu offers pizza, cheese ravioli and quinoa pastas. J L D $$

THE GRILLED OYSTER CO. (EDITORS’ PICK) 7943 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 301299-9888, This Chesapeake-style seafood eatery features small plates, salads, sandwiches and entrées. The sampler of four grilled oysters—with ingredients such as coconut rum and cucumber relish— showcases the namesake item. J R L D $$

GRINGOS & MARIACHIS (EDITORS’ PICK) 12435 Park Potomac Ave., 301-339-8855, See Bethesda listing.


This location voted “Best New Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. D $

HUNTER’S BAR AND GRILL 10123 River Road, 301-299-9300, thehuntersinn. com. At this Potomac institution and popular English hunt-themed spot, try a big salad or hamburger for lunch and a traditional pasta dish or filet mignon for dinner with the family. J R L D $$

LAHINCH TAVERN AND GRILL 7747 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 240499-8922, The menu of this sister restaurant to The Irish Inn at Glen Echo commingles Irish standards (traditional sausage roll, shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash, lamb stew) with fare such as Alaskan halibut. Lahinch is a coastal town in Ireland’s County Clare. J R L D $$$

LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN 7991 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 240205-7429, See Bethesda listing. J B R L D $

LOCK 72 KITCHEN & BAR (EDITORS’ PICK) 10128 River Road, 301-299-0481, Well-known chef Robert Wiedmaier’s RW Restaurant Group runs this upscale American pub (formerly called River Falls Tavern). Entrées include panroasted duck breast, crabcake, rockfish and New York strip steak. R L D $$

MOBY DICK HOUSE OF KABOB 9812 Falls Road, 240-660-2626, See Chevy Chase listing. L D $

MOCO’S FOUNDING FARMERS 12505 Park Potomac Ave., 301-340-8783, Farm-inspired fare in a modern and casual setting; this is the sister restaurant to the phenomenally popular downtown D.C. Founding Farmers. Try the warm cookies for dessert. Voted “Best Restaurant in Potomac,” "Best Cocktails" and “Best Brunch” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018, and also “Best Brunch” in 2019. B R L D $$

NORMANDIE FARM RESTAURANT 10710 Falls Road, 301-983-8838, This fine-dining French restaurant, open since 1931, strives to preserve its classical heritage while embracing new traditions. Dinner entrées run from seafood to beef and lamb. The restaurant offers quick service, a casual café option and a violinist at afternoon tea. J R L D $$

O’DONNELL’S MARKET 1073 Seven Locks Road, 301-251-6355, odonnells This market, from the family that ran O’Donnell’s restaurants in Montgomery County for decades, features a 10-seat bar for lunch and happy hour. The menu includes a raw bar, salads and many O’Donnell’s classics, among them a lump-filled crabcake sandwich, salmon BLT, seafood bisque and crab gumbo. L $

OLD ANGLER’S INN 10801 MacArthur Blvd., 301-365-2425, oldanglers Open since 1860 and known for its refined American food and beautiful fireplaces and grounds, it features live music on weekends. Signature cocktails include hard cider sangria and a pumpkin pie martini. Voted “Best Outdoor Dining” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. R L D $$$

POTOMAC PIZZA 9812 Falls Road, 301-299-7700, potomacpizza. com. See Chevy Chase listing. J L D $

RENATO’S AT RIVER FALLS 10120 River Road, 301-365-1900, renatosatriver The Italian restaurant offers fish dishes among its menu of pastas and classics such as penne with eggplant, and chicken parmigiana. Traditional Italian desserts include tiramisu, profiteroles and cannolis. Voted “Best Restaurant in Potomac” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. J L D $$

SISTERS THAI 7995 Tuckerman Lane (Cabin John Village), 301299-4157. The owners of a Thai restaurant and bakery in Virginia serve classic Thai dishes in a setting that mixes several decor styles (one room has a fireplace and looks like a living room filled with books). A dessert counter offers coffee and tea drinks along with ice cream, snow ice and other treats. See our review on page 276. L D $$

SUGO OSTERIA 12505 Park Potomac Ave., 240-386-8080, This stylish spot starts you off with honey-thyme butter on rustic bread. The menu focuses on Italian small plates, meatballs, sliders, pizza and pasta. Chef specialties include blue crab gnocchi and charred octopus. R L D $$

TALLY-HO RESTAURANT 9923 Falls Road, 301-299-6825, tallyhorestaurant. com. A local fixture since 1968, the eatery serves an expansive diner-style menu with Greek and Italian specialties. Choose from options ranging from burgers and deli sandwiches to pizza, calzones and dinner entrées. J B L D $

THE WINE HARVEST 12525-B Park Potomac Ave., 240-314-0177, Stop by this popular Cheerslike wine bar for a glass of wine or a Belgian beer. The menu includes salads, sandwiches and cheese plates. L D $

ZOËS KITCHEN 12505 Park Potomac Ave., Suite 115, 240-3281022, A fast-casual restaurant, Zoës features Mediterranean dishes such as kabobs, hummus and pita sandwiches. It specializes in takeout dinner for four for under $30. JLD$

ROCKVILLE/ NORTH BETHESDA A & J RESTAURANT (EDITORS’ PICK) 1319-C Rockville Pike, 301-251-7878, aj-restaurant. com. Northern dim sum is the specialty at this hard-to-find cash-only spot in the Woodmont Station shopping center. Warm-colored walls surround the crowd digging into thousand-layer pancakes and fresh tofu. R L D $

AKIRA RAMEN & IZAKAYA 1800 Rockville Pike, 240-242-3669, akiraramen. com. This minimalist Japanese eatery serves house-made noodles and vibrant food such as a poke salad. The sleek establishment, located on the first floor of the Galvan at Twinbrook building, features an open kitchen and several variations of ramen to choose from. L D $



200 Park Road, 301-738-0003, alcarbonrestaurant. com. Serving authentic Latin American fare across the street from the Rockville Metro station, this unassuming roadhouse has a loyal following for its arepas, empanadas, tapas and more. Try one of the natural juices including mango and tamarindo. BLD$

AL HA'ESH 4860 Boiling Brook Parkway (Randolph Hills Shopping Center), 301-231-0839, Kosher Israeli grill serves vegetable and protein skewers (including chicken, lamb, beef, chicken livers and sweetbreads). All entrées come with small ramekins of salads (think curried chickpeas; marinated red cabbage; and balsamic marinated mushrooms). L D $$

AMALFI RISTORANTE ITALIANO 12307 Wilkins Ave., 301-770-7888, amalfirockville. com. A family-run, red-sauce Italian restaurant with specialties including white pizza and lasagna. Lots of antipasti choices, too. The gazebo is a charming spot to dine during the summer. J L D $$

AMICI MIEI RISTORANTE 6 N. Washington St., 301-545-0966, Previously located at the Potomac Woods Plaza, this upscale Italian restaurant serves wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas and creative salads. The new, smaller establishment is cozier than the last with a menu that changes twice a year. L D $

AMINA THAI RESTAURANT 5065 Nicholson Lane, 301-770-9509. Pleasant and bright, Amina Thai is run by a husband-andwife team and bills itself as the first Muslim Thai restaurant in the area, using only halal meats and serving familiar Thai dishes. Chef’s specials include pineapple fried rice and grilled salmon. L D $

&PIZZA 11626 Old Georgetown Road (Pike & Rose), 240621-7016, See Bethesda listing. ❂LD$

BANGKOK GARDEN THAI STREET EATS (NEW) 891-D Rockville Pike (Wintergreen Plaza), 301-5452848. This fast-casual spot is a sister to Bangkok Garden in Bethesda and offers Thai classics (drunken noodles, pad Thai, fried rice, and curries served with chicken or pork belly) alongside Thai street fare, such as a mussel omelet. L D $

BARONESSA ITALIAN RESTAURANT 1302 E. Gude Drive, 301-838-9050, Pizzas made in a woodburning oven and more than two dozen Italian entrées star on the menu at this 100-seat stripmall restaurant. Trivia nights and kids pizza-making classes are offered. J R L D $$

BB.Q CHICKEN 9712 Traville Gateway Drive, 301-309-0962, This Korean chain uses olive oil for frying its chicken, which you can order as whole, half, wings or boneless. Other Korean and fusion entrées and sides—including kimchi fried rice, calamari and fried dumplings—are on the menu too. There’s also a full bar. L D $

THE BIG GREEK CAFE 4007 Norbeck Road, 301-929-9760; 5268 Nicholson Lane, 301-881-4976, See Bethesda listing. L D $

305 N. Washington St., 301-251-6652. Dim sum and rice and noodle dishes are the specialties at this popular eatery offering Taiwanese, Shanghai and Sichuan cuisine. It’s also one of the area’s top destinations for soup dumplings, where you can even watch the chefs making them in a glassenclosed booth. R L D $

BOMBAY BISTRO 98 W. Montgomery Ave., 301-762-8798, Bombay Bistro opened in 1991 as one of the first Indian restaurants in the area to combine high style, reasonable prices and a fresh take on traditional Indian, and it has been packed ever since. House specialties include tandoori lamb chops and shrimp and scallops masala. J L D $$

BONCHON CHICKEN 107 Gibbs St., Unit A (Rockville Town Square), 301637-9079, International fried chicken franchise with Korean roots serves up wings, drumsticks and strips with soy-garlic or spicy hot garlic sauce, plus other traditional offerings such as bulgogi, bibimbap and scallion seafood pancakes. LD$

BOTANERO 800 Pleasant Drive, Suite 160, 240-474-5461, Located in the King Farm neighborhood, this small plates restaurant and wine bar features cuisine that changes seasonally. Some recent offerings include a fig and prosciutto flatbread and quinoa grilled salmon. B L D $

CAVA 12037 Rockville Pike (Montrose Crossing), 240235-0627; 28 Upper Rock Circle, 301-200-5530; LD$ See Bethesda listing.

CAVA MEZZE (EDITORS’ PICK) 9713 Traville Gateway Drive, 301-309-9090, The dark and elegant CAVA Mezze offers small plates of everything from fried Greek cheese, octopus and orzo in cinnamon tomato sauce to crispy pork belly and macaroni and cheese. There are martini specials, too. R L D $$

CHINA BISTRO 755 Hungerford Drive, 301-294-0808. Extensive Chinese menu features many familiar favorites, but this is the place to go for dumplings. With tender dough wrappers and chock-full interiors, these beauties come 12 to an order and with 16 different filling choices. Fresh, uncooked dumplings are also available for carryout. L D $

CHINA GARDEN 11333 Woodglen Drive, 301-881-2800, The Cantonese restaurant moved from Rosslyn, Virginia, to the former Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar space. The lunch menu includes dim sum items (they are on a pushcart on weekends). L D $$

CHUY’S 12266 Rockville Pike (Federal Plaza), 301-6032941, Drawing inspiration from New Mexico, Mexican border towns, the Rio Grande Valley and Texas’s deep south, Chuy’s is part of a family-friendly chain that serves up a Tex-Mex experience. Colorful food meets colorful décor, where “If you’ve seen one Chuy’s, you’ve seen one Chuy’s” rings true—eclectic collectibles give each location its own flair. Free chips are served out of a car trunk display. ❂ J L D $



dine CITY PERCH KITCHEN + BAR 11830 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), 301-2312310, Located above the entrance to the iPic Theaters at Pike & Rose, City Perch offers creative, seasonal American cuisine in a rustic, inviting space. The menu includes raw-bar selections, small plates, shareable salads and entrée options such as grilled shrimp and Long Island duck. R L D $$$

CLYDE'S TOWER OAKS LODGE 2 Preserve Parkway, 301-294-0200, tower. Here is Clyde’s version of a lodge in the mountains. Well-prepared food runs the gamut of American desires, from burgers to fish, plus a raw bar. Check out the twig sculpture spanning the ceiling of The Saranac Room. Voted “Best Restaurant Décor” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. J R L D $$

COMMONWEALTH INDIAN 11610 Old Georgetown Road (Pike & Rose), 240833-3055. The owner of two Bollywood Bistro restaurants in Virginia opened this fine-dining spot that serves traditional Indian favorites such as curry chicken and butter chicken, along with fresh-baked bread and Indian salad. The bar has Indian-inspired cocktails and Indian beers and wines. R L D $$$

COOPER'S HAWK 1403 Research Blvd. (Research Row), 301-5179463, Part of a national chain, this restaurant and winery lists which of its wines to pair with the contemporary American dishes on the sprawling menu (pasta, steak, seafood, burgers, 600-calorie or less dishes). There’s also a tasting room and a retail space. J L D $$$

THE CUBAN CORNER 825 Hungerford Drive, 301-279-0310, Pork and empanadas shine at this small space brimming with ethnic pride (there’s a tribute wall to famous Cuban-Americans). Don’t skip the Cuban coffee or the Cuban sandwich, a sub bursting with ham, pickles and tangy mustard. LD$

CSNY PIZZA 1020 Rockville Pike, 301-298-3650, csnypizza. Carry out a New York-style pizza from this spot by the owners of Pizza CS. Their second Rockville location also offers six seats for guests to dine in, and serves whole pies, hot subs and pizza by the slice. L D $

DOMOISHI 201 E. Middle Lane, 301-666-6685, domoishi. com. This Rockville Town Center restaurant lets diners customize their bowls of ramen, and also sells poke and wings. The eatery shares an address with Pearl Lady, a bubble tea shop. LD$

DON POLLO 2206 Veirs Mill Road, 301-309-1608, See Bethesda listing. L D $

EAST PEARL RESTAURANT 838-B Rockville Pike, 301-838-8663, eastpearl Choose from many options of Hong Kong cuisine, including familiar dishes featuring chicken, beef, poultry, pork and even duck, as well as those for adventurous tastes. Try the soups ranging from egg drop to seafood with bean curd. LD$


EL MARIACHI RESTAURANT 765-D Rockville Pike, 301-738-7177, elmariachi Serving Tex-Mex and South American food in a bright, pleasant space made lively with colorful art. In addition to the usual enchiladas, tacos and burritos, look for Peruvian seafood and Cuban beef specialties. L D $

EL PATIO 5240 Randolph Road, 301-231-9225. This bustling café with pretty green umbrellas on the patio serves up the traditional meat-heavy dishes of Argentina, as well as pizzas and freshly made baked goods. Look for mouth-watering empanadas, beef tongue and sausage specialties. J B L D $

FAR EAST RESTAURANT 5055 Nicholson Lane, 301-881-5552, Owned and operated by the same family since 1974, this classic Chinese restaurant greets customers with two royal stone lions out front and sticks to the familiar ChineseAmerican basics. Check out the daily specials and dim sum menu. L D $$

FARMSOOK 800 King Farm Blvd., 301-258-8829, A tastefully modern dining room soaked in a soothing yellow light. The usual suspects are on the menu here, but chef’s suggestions include an intriguing broiled fish wrapped in banana leaf and stir-fried duck. L D $$

FINNEGAN’S WAKE IRISH PUB 100 Gibbs St. (Rockville Town Square), 301-3398267, Irish pub with a nice selection of bourbons, whiskeys and Irish beers and a very limited bar menu offering such fare as bangers and mash, poutine (french fries, gravy and cheese curds), a chicken club sandwich, fish and chips, wings and a burger. L D $

FLOR DE LUNA 11417 Woodglen Drive, 240-242-4066, flordeluna Latin American fare includes tamales and lomo saltado (a stir-fry of beef and peppers) at this 75-seat restaurant near Whole Foods Market. Tacos, nachos and quesadillas are also in the lineup. Finish off your meal with the tres leches (three milks) cake. J R L D $$

FLOWER CHILD 10072 Darnestown Road (Travilah Square Shopping Center), 301-545-6750, See Bethesda listing. LD$

FOGO DE CHÃO 11600 Old Georgetown Road (Pike & Rose), 301841-9200, Part of an international chain, the Brazilian steakhouse offers cuts of meat—plus a salad and vegetable station—at allyou-can-eat prices. R L D $$$

FONTINA GRILLE 801 Pleasant Drive, 301-947-5400, fontinagrille. com. A trendy spot with its curvy maple bar and wood-burning pizza oven, Fontina Grille is a favorite gathering place for the King Farm neighborhood. Pizza, pasta and salads are the main attractions. Three-dollar pasta dishes available on Monday nights and half-price bottles of wine on Tuesdays. J R L D $$

GORDON BIERSCH 200-A E. Middle Lane (Rockville Town Square), 301340-7159, The national brewpub chain prides itself on house beers and friendly service. The shiny bar is boisterous,


and the menu includes bar favorites with some barbecue and Asian touches, small plates, salads, pizza and flatbreads. J L D $$

GUMBO YA YA (NEW) 101 Gibbs Unit C (Rockville Town Square), Fusing New Orleans and Puerto Rican cuisine, this casual spot offers empanadas, jambalaya, po’ boys, blackened catfish and more. JRLD$

GYROLAND 1701-B3 Rockville Pike, 301-816-7829, Build-your-own salads, open-face and wrapped sandwiches, and other Greek choices star at this fast-casual spot near Congressional Plaza. For dessert, Gyroland serves loukoumades, a bite-size fluffy Greek doughnut soaked in hot honey syrup. L D $

HARD TIMES CAFÉ 1117 Nelson St., 301-294-9720, Good American beer selections, hearty chili styles ranging from Cincinnati (cinnamon and tomato) to Texas (beef and hot peppers), and hefty salads and wings bring families to this Wild West-style saloon for lunch and dinner. L D $

HINODE JAPANESE RESTAURANT 134 Congressional Lane, 301-816-2190, hinode Serving traditional Japanese cuisine since 1992. All-you-can-eat lunch and weekend dinner buffet offers 40 types of sushi, 14 hot foods and a salad bar. Check out the patio with full bar service. L D $$

IL PIZZICO (EDITORS’ PICK) 15209 Frederick Road, 301-309-0610, ilpizzico. com. Setting aside the strip mall location and lack of pizza (il pizzico means “the pinch” in Italian), chef-owner Enzo Livia’s house-made pasta dishes, gracious service and extensive wine list of mainly Italian wines make even a weeknight meal feel special. L D $$

IRON AGE 1054 Rockville Pike, 301-424-1474, Part of a small chain of all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurants, this branch opened in 2012. Garlic pork belly, spicy chicken and beef brisket are among the dozen-plus offerings. There are two menu options (the pricier one includes a few more items, such as steak and octopus). J L D $$

JINYA RAMEN BAR 910 Prose St. (Pike & Rose), 301-816-3029, A 74-seat eatery that’s part of a chain, Jinya serves 12 different types of ramen, ranging from the classic wonton chicken to a creamy vegan option. Try the Jinya Mini Tacos, which come with a choice of salmon poke, pork chashu and kimchee, or spicy tuna. J L D $

JOE’S NOODLE HOUSE 1488-C Rockville Pike, 301-881-5518, Chinese expats and many other customers consider the Sichuan specialties (soft bean curd with spicy sauce and hot beef jerky) among the area’s best examples of gourmet Chinese cooking. L D $

JULII (EDITORS’ PICK) 11915 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), 301-5179090, A French Mediterranean bistro from the owners of CAVA, Julii looks like a glass box from the outside and serves fare such as salmon crudo, roasted bone marrow, crispy trout, New York strip au poivre and tableside nitrogen ice cream. L D $$

KUSSHI 11826 Trade St. (Pike & Rose), 240-770-0355, The owners of Hanaro Restaurant & Lounge, a Japanese restaurant in Bethesda, serve up similar sushi offerings here. A boat-shaped platter with 64 to 128 pieces of sushi or sashimi is a fun shareable option. L D $$

KUYA JA’S LECHON BELLY 5268-H Nicholson Lane, 240-669-4383, kuyajas. com. This fast-casual restaurant that started as a pop-up in the Rockville area specializes in serving lechon, a Filipino pork belly dish. Chef and owner Javier J. Fernandez, a native of the Philippines, shares the flavors of his home country through ricebowls, spiced wings and homemade pastries. LD$

LA BRASA LATIN CUISINE 12401 Parklawn Drive, 301-468-8850, labrasa A bold, yellow awning marks the unlikely industrial location of the popular La Brasa. Customers rave about the rotisserie chicken, lomo saltado (Peruvian marinated steak), Salvadoran pupusas and Tres Leches. L D $

LA CANELA (EDITORS’ PICK) 141-D Gibbs St. (Rockville Town Square), 301-2511550, Sophisticated, modern Peruvian cooking shines in a regally furnished dining room in a yellow stucco building graced with curvy black ironwork. The menu includes artfully prepared seafood, pork, chicken and beef dishes. L D $

LA LIMEÑA GRILL 1093 Rockville Pike, 301-417-4922. An offshoot of nearby La Limeña Restaurant, this Peruvian eatery with a spacious patio serves several traditional seafood dishes, including Ceviche Mixto, an appetizer of lime-marinated tilapia served with glazed potatoes and crispy dried corn kernels. The Chicha Morada, a sweet corn-based drink, pairs nicely with authentic and tender braised-beef J L D $$ entrées.

LA LIMEÑA RESTAURANT 765 Rockville Pike, 301-424-8066, lalimena Diners can choose dishes such as beef hearts, tripe and homemade pastries in this tiny but well-appointed eatery. Desserts include passion fruit mousse and vanilla flan. And of course, there’s rotisserie chicken to go. L D $

LA TASCA 141 Gibbs St., Suite 305 (Rockville Town Square), 301-279-7011, The Rockville location of this regional chain strives to keep things interesting with 45 tapas dishes and six kinds of paella, including Paella Mixta with chicken, shrimp, chorizo, scallops, mussels, squid and clams. R L D $$

LEBANESE TAVERNA CAFÉ 115 Gibbs St. (Rockville Town Square), 301-3098681, A casual and pleasant family spot for lunch or dinner, the café is a more casual offshoot of the local Lebanese Taverna chain, serving hummus, pita, falafel, lamb kabobs, salmon and chicken. J L D $

LEBTAV 1605 Rockville Pike, 301-468-9086, LEBTAV has a shorter menu than its fast-casual sibling Lebanese Taverna Café. You’ll find sandwiches, bowls, hummus, falafel, chicken and lamb kabobs. L D $

LIGHTHOUSE TOFU & BBQ 12710 Twinbrook Parkway, 301-881-1178. In addition to the numerous tofu dishes ranging from Mushroom Tofu Pot to Seafood Beef Tofu Pot, diners at this Korean stalwart can try barbecue, stirfried specialties and kimchee, the national dish of pickled cabbage. L D $

MAMMA LUCIA 12274-M Rockville Pike, 301-770-4894; 14921-J Shady Grove Road, 301-762-8805; mammalucia See Bethesda listing. L D $$

MATCHBOX 1699 Rockville Pike, 301-816-0369, matchbox See Bethesda listing. J R L D $$

MISSION BBQ 885 Rockville Pike, 301-444-5574, mission-bbq. com. This outpost of a national chain, known for its support of U.S. military troops and veterans, serves its barbecue—including brisket, ribs and pulled pork—alongside a slew of add-your-own sauces. Come for lunch and stay to recite the national anthem at noon. J L D $

MOBY DICK HOUSE OF KABOB 14929-A Shady Grove Road, 301-738-0005, See Chevy Chase listing. L D $

MOD PIZZA 12027 Rockville Pike, 301-287-4284. modpizza. com. See North Potomac/Gaithersburg listing. LD$

MOSAIC CUISINE & CAFÉ 186 Halpine Road, 301-468-0682, mosaiccuisine. com. A diner with a soft European accent. Try the fresh Belgian waffles for breakfast. For those with hefty appetites, the waffle sandwiches are worth the trip, but don’t overlook the homemade soups or light dinner entrées. J B R L D $$

MYKONOS GRILL 121 Congressional Lane, 301-770-5999, An authentic Greek taverna with whitewashed walls with Mediterranean blue accents on a busy street, Mykonos Grill turns out legs of lamb and fresh seafood expected at any good Greek L D $$ restaurant.

NADA 11886 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), 301-7714040, Part of a small national chain, Nada serves street tacos with fillings such as caramelized cauliflower, fried tofu and pork carnitas. The brief menu also includes soups, salads and a fajita plate. Margaritas and seasonal cocktails are available. R L D $$

NAGOYA SUSHI 402 King Farm Blvd., Suite 130, 301-990-6778, Cheery yellow walls decorated with shelves of Japanese knickknacks greet customers who come for the large selection of sushi at this unassuming sushi spot in King Farm. L D $$

NANTUCKET’S REEF 9755 Traville Gateway Drive, Rockville, 301279-7333, This casual New England-style eatery offers a wide range of reasonably priced seafood dishes, including raw and baked oysters, stuffed cod, fried Ipswitch clams, seafood tacos, tuna and salmon salads, and lobster items. Signature cocktails are made with Nantucket Nectars juices. R L D $$

NICK’S CHOPHOUSE 700 King Farm Blvd., 301-926-8869, nickschop Aged Angus beef cooked over an open fire is the specialty at this upscale spot, but seafood lovers can get their fill from big crabcakes. Signature steaks include slow-roasted prime rib weighing 10 to 32 ounces. Separate bar menu. L D $$

NIWANO HANA JAPANESE RESTAURANT 887 Rockville Pike, 301-294-0553, niwanohana. com. Clean Asian décor and elegant wooden screens greet diners at this friendly and busy sushi spot located in Wintergreen Plaza. There are the usual sushi rolls, plus creative options such as a Spicy Scallop Roll with mayonnaise and chili peppers, noodle dishes, teriyaki and yakitori. L D $$

THE ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE 12224 Rockville Pike, 301-468-0886, See Bethesda listing. This location stays open until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. J B L D $

OWEN’S ORDINARY (EDITORS’ PICK) 11820 Trade St. (Pike & Rose), 301-2451226, This Americanstyle restaurant, barroom and beer garden from Neighborhood Restaurant Group boasts 50 rotating drafts and more than 150 types of bottled beer. The 175-seat restaurant serves salads, burgers, pork, seafood and fondue entrées, and those looking to grab a drink can make the most of the space’s 60seat beer garden. Voted “Best Restaurant Beer Selection” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. R L D $$

PETER CHANG (EDITORS’ PICK) 20-A Maryland Ave. (Rockville Town Square), 301838-9188, Chef Peter Chang’s Sichuan specialties are showcased in an apricot-walled dining space. Garnering a cult-like following over the years, Chang is best known for dishes such as dry-fried eggplant, crispy pork belly and duck in a stone pot. L D $$

PHO 75 771 Hungerford Drive, 301-309-8873. The restaurant is one of the Washington area’s favorite spots for the Vietnamese beef noodle soup known as pho. Soup can be customized with bean sprouts, Thai basil, chilies, lime, and hot and hoisin sauces. Beverages include interesting options such as Iced Salty Pickled Lemon Juice. L D $

PHO HOA BINH 11782 Parklawn Drive, 301-770-5576. This pleasant pho restaurant offers the full gamut of variations on the beef noodle soup, plus about a dozen grilled entrées. The Adventurer’s Choice features “unusual” meats, including tendon, tripe and fatty flank. The Vietnamese iced coffee is divine. L D $

PHO NOM NOM 842 Rockville Pike, 301-610-0232, phonomnom. net. As the name suggests, the specialty is pho, but there are also grilled dishes, noodles and the Vietnamese sandwich known as banh mi. House specials include Vietnamese beef stew and pork and shrimp wontons. L D $

PHOLUSCIOUS VIETNAMESE GRILL 10048 Darnestown Road, 301-762-2226, This casual restaurant and bar is home to traditional Vietnamese cooking, with fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil and many herbs and vegetables. The menu features pho, noodle dishes,



dine rice plates and lots of protein dishes. Beverages include bubble tea, smoothies, beer and wine. L D $$

PIKE KITCHEN 1066 Rockville Pike, 301-603-2279, pikekitchen. com. The 6,200-square-foot, 100-seat Asian food hall at the Edmonston Crossing shopping center includes eateries dishing up Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, pho, poke, ramen, bibimbap and more. LD$

PIZZA CS 1596-B Rockville Pike, 240-833-8090, Authentic Neapolitan pies are offered in a sub-shop atmosphere. Choose from a list of red and white pizza options, or build your own pie with herbs, cheeses, meats and vegetables. J L D $

POTOMAC PIZZA 9709 Traville Gateway Drive, 301-279-2234, See Chevy Chase listing. JLD$

QUINCY’S SOUTH BAR & GRILLE 11401 Woodglen Drive, 240-669-3270, See North Potomac/ Gaithersburg listing. L D $

SADAF HALAL RESTAURANT 1327-K Rockville Pike, 301-424-4040. An elegant alternative to the run-of-the-mill kabob places dotting Rockville Pike, Sadaf is pristine, with lace curtains and glass mosaic tiles in front. In addition to kabobs, it offers Persian curries and fish dishes. JLD$

SAM CAFÉ & MARKET 844 Rockville Pike, 301-424-1600, samcafemarket. com. Fill up on the kitchen’s juicy skewered meats or interesting entrées, including pomegranate molasses stew and marinated grilled salmon, then have a gelato and check out the hookahs. LD$

SEASONS 52 11414 Rockville Pike, 301-984-5252, seasons52. com. A fresh, seasonal menu featuring items under 475 calories. Choose from flatbreads including Blackened Steak & Blue Cheese and Grilled Garlic Pesto Chicken to entrée salads to meat and seafood dishes. Nightly piano music. L D $$

SHANGHAI TASTE 1121 Nelson St., 301-279-0806. Co-owner and chef Wei Sun, a Shanghai native, specializes in preparing three different flavors of soup dumplings at this small restaurant in a strip mall. The menu also includes traditional Chinese-American dishes, such as General Tso’s chicken and fried rice. LD$

SHEBA RESTAURANT 5071 Nicholson Lane, 301-881-8882, sheba The menu features authentic Ethiopian cuisine with lots of vegetarian and vegan options. House specialties include Dulet Assa, chopped tilapia mixed with onion, garlic and jalapeño and served with a side of homemade cheese. L D $

SICHUAN JIN RIVER 410 Hungerford Drive, 240-403-7351, sichuanjin Customers find terrific Sichuan cuisine served in a no-frills setting. Take the plunge and try something new with the authentic Chinese menu, including 23 small cold plates. L D $


SILVER DINER 12276 Rockville Pike, 301-770-2828, silverdiner. com. Customers flock to this trendy diner that still offers tableside jukeboxes. The latest food trends (think quinoa coconut pancakes) share company on the enormous menu with diner staples such as meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Voted “Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. J B R L D $

SPICE XING 100-B Gibbs St. (Rockville Town Square), 301-6100303, Chef and owner Sudhir Seth, who also owns Bethesda’s Passage to India, serves up small plates and dishes that reflect the history of culinary influences on India. Try the all-you-can-eat lunchtime buffet. J R L D $$

THE SPOT 255 N. Washington St., This 6,200-square-foot, 200-seat Asian food hall, not far from Rockville Town Square, includes a handful of vendors, including Mian Pull Noodle (dumplings and noodle dishes), Poki DC (the Hawaiian-inspired raw fish dish called poke) and Alpaca Dessert (shaved snow ice and ice cream-filled waffle cones). LD$

STANFORD GRILL 2000 Tower Oaks Blvd., 240-582-1000, thestanford From the Blueridge Restaurant Group, owner of Copper Canyon Grill restaurants, comes this 300-seat American eatery on the ground floor of an office building. Salads, burgers, steaks and seafood, plus sushi, with an eye toward high quality. R L D $$

STELLA BARRA PIZZERIA 11825 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), 301-7708609, Adjacent to its sister restaurant, Summer House Santa Monica, Stella Barra is an artisan pizzeria with a hip, urban vibe. Look for crisp crusts with chewy centers topped with butternut squash and candied bacon or housemade pork sausage and fennel pollen. Italian wines available. R D $$


11825 Grand Park Ave. (Pike & Rose), 301881-2381, An airy, light and stunning space sets the scene for modern American cuisine with a West Coast sensibility. Fare includes salads, sushi, tacos, sandwiches and steak frites. Do not miss the bakery counter. Voted “Best Restaurant in Rockville/North Bethesda” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018 and 2019. J R L D $$

SUPER BOWL NOODLE HOUSE 785 Rockville Pike, 301-738-0086, superbowl Look for a large variety of Asian noodle dishes in super-size portions, plus a wide selection of appetizers. Also, bubble tea and desserts, including Sweet Taro Root Roll and Black Sugar Shaved Ice. L D $

SUSHI DAMO 36-G Maryland Ave. (Rockville Town Square), 301340-8010, A slice of New York sophistication, this elegant restaurant offers sushi à la carte or omakase, chef’s choice, plus beef and seafood entrées and an impressive sake list. L D $$

SUSHI HOUSE JAPANESE RESTAURANT 1331-D Rockville Pike, 301-309-0043, A tiny, plain restaurant serving a large selection of fresh sushi, including sushi and sashimi combinations. Lunch specials


for under $7. It’s popular, so be prepared to wait. L D $$

SUSHI OISHII 9706 Traville Gateway Drive, 301-251-1177, This charming sushi bar in the Traville Gateway Center offers friendly service and 24 specialty sushi rolls, bento boxes and a few grilled items, including beef, poultry and seafood teriyaki. L D $$

TAIPEI TOKYO 14921-D Shady Grove Road (Fallsgrove Village Center), 301-738-8813; 11510-A Rockville Pike, 301-881-8388; These sister restaurants offer a sizable roster of Chinese, Japanese and Thai dishes. The Fallsgrove Village location is the younger and sleeker of the two, with full sit-down service. The older sister, opened in 1993, is more like a noodle shop/cafeteria. L D $$

TARA THAI 12071 Rockville Pike, 301-231-9899, See Bethesda listing. L D $$

TEMARI CAFÉ 1043 Rockville Pike, 301-340-7720. Deep-fried oysters, classic rice balls, ramen noodle soup, sushi and sashimi and comic books to peruse while you await your order set this Japanese restaurant apart from the rest. L D $$

THAI PAVILION 29 Maryland Ave., Unit 308 (Rockville Town Square), 301-545-0244, The soaring ceilings decorated with red chandeliers shaped like giant, stationary spinning tops give the feel of a modern museum. When the menu says spicy, believe it. J L D $$

THAT’S AMORE 15201 Shady Grove Road, 240-268-0682, This local chain focuses on familystyle portions of classic Neapolitan dishes such as lasagna and chicken Parmesan in a more elegant setting than might be expected. Good for groups and large families. J L D $$

TRAPEZARIA 11 N. Washington St., 301-339-8962, thetrapezaria. com. This down-to-earth and hospitable Greek/ Mediterranean restaurant serves top-notch and unfussy small plates and entrées. Choose among a variety of dips, vegetarian mezze, souvlaki, sausages and more-involved fish and lamb dishes. Save room for the baklava. L D $$

URBAN BAR-B-QUE COMPANY 2007 Chapman Ave., 240-290-4827; 5566 Norbeck Road, 301-460-0050, Urban BarB-Que Company, a tiny joint run by a couple of local friends, has a winning formula and features fingerlicking ribs, burgers and wings, plus salads, chili and smothered fries. Staff is friendly, too. J L D $

URBAN HOT POT 1800 Rockville Pike, 240-669-6710, urbanhotpot. com. On the first floor of the Galvan at Twinbrook building, this hot pot spot features a conveyor belt where food travels to diners. A prix fixe all-you-caneat menu allows you to create your meal at your table using one of the stationed iPads. Choose from a selection of noodles, vegetables and meat to add to a bowl of hot stock, then do it again if you’re still hungry. L D $$

VILLA MAYA 5532 Norbeck Road (Rock Creek Village Center), 301-460-1247. Here you’ll find all the traditional Mexican and Tex-Mex favorites from quesadillas to

fajitas that are sure to please the whole family. R L D $$

THE WOODSIDE DELI 4 N. Washington St., 301-444-4478, thewoodside Though the original location of the venerable Silver Spring eatery and caterer that dished up matzo ball soup from 1947 to 2019 closed, this location is still open. Choose from a wide selection of sandwiches, burgers and entrees. There’s also a pickle bar. JBRLD$

WORLD OF BEER 196B East Montgomery Ave., 301-340-2915, See Bethesda listing. JRL D $

XI’AN GOURMET 316 N. Washington St., 301-875-5144, This casual diner prides itself on its comfort food. Named after an ancient city, Xi’an heavily features Sichuan and Shaanxi cuisines, after the chefs’ regional heritage. Go for the Shaanxi cold steamed noodles or the Shanghai soup dumplings. L D $

YEKTA 1488 Rockville Pike, 301-984-1190, Persian cuisine, including a selection of beef, chicken and lamb kabobs, is served in a beautiful dining room. Try a dessert such as frozen noodle sorbet or saffron ice cream. Check out the adjacent market after polishing off your kabob. L D $$

YUAN FU VEGETARIAN 798 Rockville Pike, 301-762-5937, From tea-smoked “duck” to kung pao “chicken,” the whole menu is meatless, made from Chinese vegetable products. There is a large selection of chef’s specials, including Pumpkin Chicken with Mushrooms in a hot pot. L D $

SILVER SPRING ADDIS ABABA 8233 Fenton St., 301-589-1400, addisababa Authentic Ethiopian-style vegetables and fiery meats are served atop spongy bread in communal bowls. Traditional woven tables and a roof deck add to the ambience. There’s a weekday lunch buffet, too. RLD$

ALL SET RESTAURANT & BAR 8630 Fenton St., 301-495-8800, allsetrestaurant. com. American cuisine with a focus on New England specialties. Look for clams, oysters and lobster, plus crabcakes, and beef and vegetarian options. J R L D $$

AMINA THAI 8624 Colesville Road, 301-588-3588, aminathai See Rockville/North Bethesda listing. L D $

ASTRO LAB BREWING 8216 Georgia Ave., 301-273-9684, A menu of about a dozen items—including handheld savory pies, a sausage roll and a hummus platter—are served in the downtown Silver Spring brewery’s taproom. Grab one of the hop-forward beers brewed on-site to sip at the communal tables or on the patio. JLD$

AZÚCAR RESTAURANT BAR & GRILL 14418 Layhill Road, 301-438-3293, The name means sugar, and it fits: The colorful Salvadoran spot is decorated in bright purple and orange with Cubist-style paintings.

The pork-stuffed corn pupusas are stars. Also look for more elegant dinners, including fried whole trout. L D $$

BETE ETHIOPIAN CUISINE 811 Roeder Road, 301-588-2225, beteethiopia. com. Family-run Ethiopian restaurant with a modest dining room but some exemplary cooking. Don’t miss the vegetarian sampler, and in nice weather, opt for eating outside in the lovely, shaded back patio. J B L D $$

THE BIG GREEK CAFE 8223 Georgia Ave., 301-587-4733, biggreekcafe. com. See Bethesda listing. L D $

BUENA VIDA (EDITORS’ PICK) 8407 Ramsey Ave., 301-755-6132, The second-floor fullservice restaurant (its sister restaurant Tacos, Tortas & Tequila fills the first floor) has a menu with à la carte items, or you can pay a set price for unlimited Mexican small plates. Offerings include ceviche, guacamole, salads, tacos and enchiladas. The space is light-filled, with vibrant murals and a 720-bottle tequila and wine rack. R L D $$

CAVA 8515 Fenton St., 301-200-8666, See Bethesda listing. LD$

COPPER CANYON GRILL 928 Ellsworth Drive, 301-589-1330, See Gaithersburg listing. J R L D $$

CRISFIELD SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 8012 Georgia Ave., 301-589-1306, With its U-shaped counter and kitschy, oyster-plate-covered walls, this landmark seafood diner has customers lining up for the Eastern Shore specialties such as oysters and crabmeat-stuffed lobster that it has served since the 1940s. L D $$

CUBANO’S 1201 Fidler Lane, 301-563-4020, cubanos The brightly colored tropical dining room and the authentic Cuban cooking evident in dishes such as ropa vieja (shredded beef in onions, peppers and garlic) and fried plantains keep customers coming back. L D $$

THE DAILY DISH 8301 Grubb Road, 301-588-6300, thedailydish A neighborhood favorite serving seasonally inspired, locally sourced comfort food, including bar bites and brunch dishes. Full-service catering is available, too. J R L D $$

DENIZENS BREWING CO. (EDITORS’ PICK) 1115 East West Highway, 301-557-9818, denizens The bright-orange building houses Montgomery County’s largest brewery, featuring core beers and seasonal offerings, along with drafts from other regional breweries. Menu of snacks, sandwiches and salads includes vegetarian options. There is a large outdoor beer garden and indoor seating overlooking the brewery. D $

DISTRICT TACO 1310 East West Highway, 240-531-1880, This branch of a local chain of eateries that grew out of a food truck serves fastcasual fare, from egg-filled tacos for breakfast to quesadillas, burritos and tacos for later in the day. JBLD$

DON POLLO 12345 Georgia Ave., 301-933-9515; 13881 Outlet Drive, 240-560-7376, See Bethesda listing. L D $

EGGSPECTATION 923 Ellsworth Drive, 301-585-1700, eggspectation. com. This Canadian import features fresh and creative egg plates in an elegant yet casual dining room complete with a fireplace and colorful Harlequin-themed art. It also serves great salads, dinners and dessert. B L D $$

EL AGUILA RESTAURANT 8649 16th St., 301-588-9063, elaguilarestaurant. com. A cheery bar and generous plates of TexMex favorites such as enchiladas and Salvadoran seafood soup make this eatery popular with families and others looking for a lively night out. L D $

EL GAVILAN 8805 Flower Ave., 301-587-4197, gavilan The walls are bright, the music’s upbeat, the margaritas are fine and the service is friendly. The usual Tex-Mex fare is here, as well as Salvadoran specialties such as tasty cheese- or pork-filled pupusas. J L D $

EL GOLFO 8739 Flower Ave., 301-608-2121, elgolforestaurant. com. Friendly, home-style Latin service is the hallmark, as attested to by the many Salvadorans who stop in for lunch and dinner. Pupusas, soups and beef dishes such as carne asada as well as more adventurous choices can be found in the charming, raspberry-colored dining room. JRLD$

EL SAPO CUBAN SOCIAL CLUB (EDITORS’ PICK) 8455 Fenton St., 301-326-1063, elsaporestaurant. com. Cuban specialties are the focus at this restaurant from owner and chef Raynold Mendizábal, who also owns Urban Butcher in Silver Spring. Small bites such as empanadas and cod croquettes are on the menu with dishes that Cuba is known for, including the beef entrée ropa vieja and puerco asado (roasted pork). L D $$$

ETHIO EXPRESS GRILL 952 Sligo Ave., 301-844-5149. Ethiopian food goes fast-casual in this counter service eatery that offers your choice of carbohydrate bases (i.e., injera, rice, pasta), plus grilled meats (or tofu), sauces and lots of vegetables (the spicy lentils and yellow split peas are especially good). L D $

FENTON CAFÉ 8311 Fenton St., 301-326-1841, fentoncafesilver An out-of-the-way crêperie serving 31 kinds of sweet crêpes and 16 varieties of savory crêpes. Savory versions range from cheese and ham to roasted eggplant with zucchini, bell pepper, sundried tomato, garlic and onion. B L D $

FIRE STATION 1 RESTAURANT & BREWING CO. 8131 Georgia Ave., 301-585-1370, firestation1md. com. A historic firehouse made over as an eatery serves 21st-century pizza, sandwiches, meat, seafood and vegetarian entrées. Try the Cuban sandwich with seasoned pork, chipotle mayo, Dijon mustard, pickles and Swiss cheese on a ciabatta roll. L D $

GHAR-E-KABAB 944 Wayne Ave., 301-587-4427, This spot offers a mix of authentic Indian and Nepali cuisine. From Indian staples such as chicken tikka masala and lamb curry to Nepalese appetizers such as furaula (vegetable fritters) and cho-e-la (marinated duck), there are a variety of South Asian flavors. J L D $$



dine THE GREEK PLACE 8417 Georgia Ave., 301-495-2912, thegreekplace. net. Here are big portions of better-than-average food at reasonable prices. The bifteki pita sandwich, a seasoned ground lamb and beef patty with tzatziki, tomatoes and red onions, is especially good. L D $

GUSTO FARM TO STREET 8512 Fenton St., 301-565-2800, See Bethesda listing. ❂ J L D $

ITALIAN KITCHEN 8201 Fenton St., 301-588-7800, italiankitchenmd. com. Casual, attractive pizzeria with bar seating also turns out homemade sandwiches, calzones, salads and pasta dishes. L D $

JEWEL OF INDIA 10151 New Hampshire Ave., 301-408-2200, Elegant décor and excellent northern Indian cuisine make this shopping center restaurant a real find. Diners will find a good selection of curries, and rice and biryani dishes. L D $$

KAO THAI 8650 Colesville Road, 301-495-1234, kaothai This restaurant turns out top-notch curries, noodle dishes and vegetarian options, plus house specialties, such as Siam Salmon with Spicy Thai Basil Sauce and Thai Chili Tilapia. Dishes are cooked medium spicy. L D $$

LA CASITA PUPUSERIA & MARKET 8214 Piney Branch Road, 301-588-6656, lacasita Homemade pupusas, tamales and other Salvadoran specialties are available, plus a full breakfast menu and a small selection of grocery items. B L D $

LA MALINCHE 8622 Colesville Road, 301-562-8622, lamalinche Diners will find an interesting selection of Spanish and Mexican tapas, plus a full Saturday and Sunday brunch featuring huevos rancheros, variations of tortillas Espanola and more. R L D $$

LANGANO ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT 8305 Georgia Ave., 301-563-6700, langano Named for the popular Ethiopian vacation spot, Lake Langano, this longtime restaurant offers fine Ethiopian cuisine such as doro wat (spicy chicken stew) and tibs (stewed meat) in a cozy white- and red-accented dining room. Lunch specials on weekdays. L D $

LEBTAV 8535 Fenton St., 301-588-1192, lebanesetaverna. com. See Rockville listing. LD$

LOCAVINO 8519 Fenton St., 301-448-1819, In the space that overlooks Veterans Plaza and that once housed Adega Wine Cellars & Cafe, this wine bar focuses on local wines and beer but includes offerings from other regions. Salads, burgers, sandwiches, pasta and flatbreads fill the menu. LD$

LUCY ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT 8301 Georgia Ave., 301-589-6700. See Bethesda listing. L D $

MAMMA LUCIA 1302 East West Highway, 301-562-0693, See Bethesda listing. L D $$


MANDALAY RESTAURANT & CAFÉ 930 Bonifant St., 301-585-0500, mandalay The modest dining room is packed most evenings with families and large groups who come for the Burmese food, a cross between Indian and Thai. L D $

MATCHBOX 919 Ellsworth Drive, 240-247-8969, See Bethesda listing. J R L D $$

MCGINTY’S PUBLIC HOUSE 911 Ellsworth Drive, 301-587-1270, mcgintys Traditional Irish pub and restaurant features corned beef and cabbage, live music and dancing. Early-bird special, three-course menu for $15, from 5 to 7 p.m. J R L D $$

MELEKET 1907 Seminary Road, 301-755-5768, This family-owned, Ethiopian-Italian restaurant serves classic vegetarian, beef and chicken Ethiopian plates, alongside Italian entrées such as pesto pasta with chicken. For breakfast, try a traditional Ethiopian dish of kinche (a buttery grain porridge) or firfir (bread mixed with vegetables in a red pepper sauce). B L D $

MI RANCHO 8701 Ramsey Ave., 301-588-4872, You'll find a boisterous party atmosphere every night at a place where customers can count on standard Tex-Mex fare at good prices. The outdoor patio, strung with colorful lights, is the place to be in nice weather. LD$

MIX BAR & GRILLE 8241 Georgia Ave., #200, 301-326-1333. Modern American bistro with charcuterie and cheese plates, brick-oven flatbreads, ceviche and other light fare. Look for lots of wines by the glass and beers on tap. J R L D $$

MOD PIZZA 909 Ellsworth Drive, 240-485-1570, LD$ See North Potomac/Gaithersburg listing.

MRS. K’S RESTAURANT 9201 Colesville Road, 301-589-3500, Here’s an elegant, antique-filled option for special occasions and brunch. This historic restaurant beckons a younger crowd with the Wine Press, a European-style wine bar downstairs, which has its own more casual menu. R L D $$$

NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE'S 8661 Colesville Road, 240-839-3400, See Bethesda listing. J L D $$

OLAZZO (EDITORS’ PICK) 8235 Georgia Ave., 301-588-2540, See Bethesda listing. J L D $

PACCI’S TRATTORIA & PASTICCERIA 6 Old Post Office Road, 301-588-0867, paccis Diners will find a range of classic Italian dishes, including homemade meatballs and sausage. L D $$

PARKWAY DELI & RESTAURANT 8317 Grubb Road, 301-587-1427, theparkway Parkway features a bustling back dining room that makes this popular spot so much more than a deli. Longtime waitresses greet regular customers and kids with hugs during busy weekend breakfasts. All-you-can-eat pickle bar. B L D $


PHO HIEP HOA 921-G Ellsworth Drive, 301-588-5808, phohiephoa. com. Seventeen kinds of Vietnamese soup called pho can be customized to taste in this upbeat restaurant overlooking the action in the downtown area. L D $

PHO TAN VINH 8705-A Colesville Road, 301-588-8188, photanvinh. com. A family-owned Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Tan Vinh was opened in 2014 by Tiffany Chu, who sought the traditional food she ate in her youth. She and her chef mother serve emergent classics such as pho and put their own spin on items such as the Tan Vinh special, a “deconstructed” banh mi sandwich. L D $

PLNT BURGER 833 Wayne Ave. (Whole Foods Market), 301-6089373, This vegan fast-casual eatery within Whole Foods Market serves cooked-to-order plant-based Beyond Meat burgers, fries and softJLD$ serve dairy-free ice cream.

PORT-AU-PRINCE AUTHENTIC HAITIAN CUISINE 7912 Georgia Ave., 301-565-2006, The eatery serves a small menu of Haitian fare: five appetizers, five entrées (plus an entrée salad) and two desserts. Chicken wings, fritters, whole red snapper, fried turkey and legume casserole are among the highlights. A Sunday brunch buffet draws crowds. R D $$

QUARRY HOUSE TAVERN (EDITORS’ PICK) 8401 Georgia Ave., 301-844-5380, facebook. com/quarryhouse. Closed for nearly three years after a fire, this basement-level dive bar reopened in its original space. The inside holds the same 1930s-era feel as the original bar, and burgers and Tater Tots are still on the menu. D $

SAMANTHA’S 631 University Blvd. East, 301-445-7300, This white-tablecloth, Latin-Salvadoran spot in an industrial neighborhood is popular because of its welcoming attitude toward families with young children. The steak and fish specialties are good. L D $$

SERGIOS RISTORANTE ITALIANO 8727 Colesville Road, 301-585-1040. A classic red-sauce Italian restaurant that manages to feel special, with soothing wall murals and high-quality service, despite a basement location inside the DoubleTree Hotel. Ravioli with asparagus and cheese in a tarragon sauce is popular. L D $$

SILVER STRINGS 8630 Colesville Road, 301-587-0596. Serving classic American food in downtown Silver Spring, this spot features live music in the evenings by mostly jazz, blues and classic rock musicians. L D $$

SLIGO PIT BBQ 9701 Sligo Creek Parkway (Sligo Creek Golf Course), 301-585-9511, This opento-anyone spot at Sligo Creek Golf Course serves meats—turkey, pork, brisket and chicken—cooked in wood-fired smokers. Burgers, hot dogs, classic sides and beer are available. J B L D $$

THE SOCIETY RESTAURANT & LOUNGE 8229 Georgia Ave., 301-565-8864, societyss. com. A sleek and modern atmosphere catering to a nightlife crowd, Society offers fare with a Caribbean accent. Check out the rooftop seating and daily drink specials, which include $25 beer buckets. L D $$

SUSHI JIN NEXT DOOR 8555 Fenton St., 301-608-0990, sushijinnextdoor. com. The eatery is spare, clean and modern, and offers terrific udon noodle soup and impeccable raw fish. Choose from 11 appetizers and seven soups and salads. L D $$

SWEETGREEN 8517 Georgia Ave., 301-244-5402, sweetgreen. com. See Bethesda listing. L D $

TACOS, TORTAS & TEQUILA 8407 Ramsey Ave., 301-755-6132. Also called TTT, this first-floor fast-casual spot is below its fancier sister restaurant, Buena Vida. The focus is on quesadillas, tortas and tacos—carne asada, garlic shrimp and house-made chorizo among them. There’s a full-service bar and an outdoor patio. BLD$

TASTEE DINER 8601 Cameron St., 301-589-8171, tasteediner. com. See Bethesda listing. J B L D $

THAI AT SILVER SPRING 921-E Ellsworth Drive, 301-650-0666, thaiatsilver The Americanized Thai food is second to the location, which is superb for people-watching on the street below. A modern and stylish dining room with a hip bar in bold colors and good service add to the appeal. L D $$

URBAN BAR-B-QUE COMPANY 10163 New Hampshire Ave., 301-434-7427, See Rockville listing. L D $

URBAN BUTCHER (EDITORS’ PICK) 8226 Georgia Ave., 301-585-5800, urbanbutcher. com. Hip, eclectic setting is the backdrop for this New Age steak house, with its home-cured salamis, sausages and other charcuterie, plus meat dishes made from local animals of yesteryear breeds. There’s a lounge, bar, meat curing room, retail counter and dining area. Voted “Best Restaurant in Silver Spring” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018 and 2019. R D $$

URBAN WINERY 949 Bonifant St., 301-585-4100, theurbanwinery. com. This tasting facility offers craft wines made with local and international grapes, and customers can even create their own wines (by appointment). Light menu includes artisan cheese, charcuterie and smoked seafood platters, plus Greek mezze. D $

VEGETABLE GARDEN 3830 International Drive (Leisure World Plaza), 301598-6868, The popular vegan, vegetarian and macrobiotic Asian restaurant features a wide variety of eggplant and asparagus dishes, plus vegetarian “beef,” and “chicken” dishes often made with soy and wheat gluten. L D $$

VICINO RISTORANTE ITALIANO 959 Sligo Ave., 301-588-3372, A favorite neighborhood red-sauce joint that hasn’t changed in decades, Vicino features some fine seafood choices in addition to classic pasta dishes. Families are welcome. L D $$

UPPER NW D.C. THE AVENUE 5540 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-244-4567, A family-friendly neighborhood restaurant and bar with dishes such as crab pasta, poutine, burgers and baby back ribs. Fun décor

includes classic posters and a giant magnetic scrabble board. J B L D $$

BLUE 44 5507 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-362-2583, The menu features classic American favorites infused with the flavors of Italy and France, including ratatouille, pork schnitzel and bouillabaisse. J R L D $$

BUCK’S FISHING AND CAMPING 5031 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-364-0777, Diners can enjoy a seasonal menu that changes daily, and offers hip takes on comfort food such as roast chicken (locally raised) in an artsy-chic setting. D $$$

CAFÉ OF INDIA 4909 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-244-1395, Here’s a cute corner café with two levels of dining and an extensive menu that includes vegetarian and tandoori entrées, dosas, L D $$ samosas, tikkas, curries and kabobs.

CAPITAL CRAB AND SEAFOOD CO. 5534 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-966-2722, The owners of a food truck and catering business opened this Chevy Chase, D.C., restaurant. There’s a large patio for cracking crabs and eating classic crab house fare, including hush puppies, corn and coleslaw. Carryout with curbside pickup available. D $$$

COMET PING PONG (EDITORS’ PICK) 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-364-0404, Landmark fun spot where you can play Ping-Pong or admire local art while you wait for your wood-fired pizza. Choose from more than 30 toppings to design your own pie. R L D $

DECARLO’S RESTAURANT 4822 Yuma St. NW, 202-363-4220, This is a family-owned neighborhood staple, with a traditional Italian menu and upscale/casual atmosphere. Signature dishes include agnolotti, veal scallopini, broiled salmon and hand-made pasta. L D $$

sprouts, and entrées such as lamb ragu.

D $$

MACON BISTRO & LARDER (EDITORS’ PICK) 5520 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-248-7807, macon Southern and French cuisine converge at this airy, charming restaurant in the historic Chevy Chase Arcade. Appetizers include raclette and fried green tomatoes, and steak frites is offered alongside short ribs with grits for main courses. Voted “Best Restaurant in Upper Northwest D.C.” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2018. R L D $$

MAGGIANO’S LITTLE ITALY 5333 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-966-5500, The restaurant features oldstyle Italian fare that’s a favorite for large groups and private celebrations. Check out the signature flatbreads and specialty pastas, including lobster carbonara. J R L D $$

MASALA ART 4441-B Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-362-4441, Here is fine Indian dining featuring tandoor-oven specialties and masterful Indian spicing. Start off by choosing from a selection of nine breads and 17 appetizers. L D $$

MILLIE’S (EDITORS’ PICK) 4866 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202-733-5789, This eatery in the Spring Valley neighborhood may be from up north—it’s the second location of a popular Nantucket restaurant—but its flavors are distinctly south-of-the-border. The menu offers coastal takes on tacos, quesadillas and salads that are as summery as the bright, nautical décor of the dining room. Voted “Best Restaurant in Upper Northwest D.C.” by Bethesda Magazine readers in 2019. J R L D $$

PARTHENON RESTAURANT 5510 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-966-7600, This is a neighborhood eatery taken up a couple notches, with an extensive menu full of authentic selections familiar and exotic, including avgolemono (egg/lemon soup), tzatziki, moussaka, dolmades and souvlaki. L D $$


GUAPO’S RESTAURANT 4515 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-686-3588, See Bethesda listing. R L D $$

I’M EDDIE CANO (EDITORS’ PICK) 5014 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-890-4995, A play on the way “Americano” is pronounced, I’m Eddie Cano is an Italian joint with nostalgic 1970s-themed décor. The standouts on executive chef James Gee’s menu include fried zucchini, spaghetti and meatballs, spaghetti with clams, escarole salad and eggplant parmigiana. D $$

JETTIES 5632 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-364-2465, See Bethesda listing. J L D $

LE CHAT NOIR 4907 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-244-2044, This cute, cozy neighborhood bistro is run by French restaurateurs, who cook traditional fare such as steak frites, bouillabaisse and braised lamb cheeks. R L D $$

LE PAIN QUOTIDIEN 4874 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202-459-9141, See Bethesda listing. JBRLD$

LITTLE BEAST CAFÉ & BISTRO 5600 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-741-4599, At this dinner spot on the corner of McKinley Street NW, find pizza cooked in a woodburning oven, sharable dishes such as Brussels

4940 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-237-7383, The crunchy-crusted New Havenstyle pizzas can be topped with a choice of almost three dozen ingredients. There's also pasta, panini, salads and house-made desserts. J L D $

PIZZERIA PARADISO 4850 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202-885-9101, An outpost of the small chain started by chef and owner Ruth Gresser, this Spring Valley spot has the same style of woodfired Neapolitan pizza as the original Paradiso that opened in D.C. in 1991. Try the Di Mare pizza, which has spicy garlic pesto, mussels, shrimp, spinach, red onions and Grana Padano cheese. L D $$

SATAY CLUB ASIAN RESTAURANT AND BAR 4654 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-363-8888, The restaurant prides itself on providing a comfortable/casual setting with a menu that spans Japanese sushi, Chinese moo-shi vegetables, Thai curries and Vietnamese spring rolls. L D $

TARA THAI 4849 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202-363-4141, See Bethesda listing. L D $$

WAGSHAL’S RESTAURANT 4855 Massachusetts Ave. NW, 202-363-5698, Longtime popular deli expands grocery and carryout section, and adds a casual sit-down restaurant in the Spring Valley Shopping Center. Same high-quality fare, including the overstuffed sandwiches. L D $ n




Summer Camps CAMP


Adventure Theatre's Summer Musical Theater Camp








6 - 12

Glen Echo



12 - 17


American Volleyball Camp



9 - 18

Washington, DC


Barrie Camp



4 - 14

Silver Spring


Beauvoir Summer



3 - 17

Washington, DC


Bretton Woods



5 - 15



Bullis Summer Programs



3.5 - 17






4 - 17

DC Metro area


Camp Arena Stage



8 - 15

Washington, DC


Camp Hidden Meadows



6 - 16

Bartow, WV


Camp Horizons



6 - 16



Camp JCC



4 - 21



Camp Olympia



3.5 - 15



Camp Rim Rock for Girls



6 - 15

Yellow Spring, WV


Camp Tall Timbers



7 - 16

High View, WV


Capital Camps



7 - 18

Waynesboro, PA


Creative Summer at Holton-Arms



4 - 13




Adventure Theatre's Summer Musical Theater Training Program


html camps.html

301-251-5766 301-251-5766

ESF Summer Camps



3 - 14

Glen Echo Park Summer Camps



4 - 17

Glen Echo


Good Counsel Summer Camps



4 - 17



Green Acres School Summer Camp



3 - 12

N. Bethesda


Headfirst Overnight Camps



8 - 12



Headfirst Summer Camps



3 - 13


Imagination Stage Summer Camp



3.5 - 18



Lowell School Summer Programs



3 - 14

Washington, DC


Oneness-Family School Summer Programs



3.5 - 11

Chevy Chase




Bethesda, Washington, DC


Round House Theatre Summer Camps



5 - 18

Silver Stars Gymnastics



3.5 - 16

Silver Spring, Bowie


Spy Camp



10 - 13

Washington, DC


St. John’s College High School Summer Sports Camps



7 - 17

Chevy Chase


Stone Ridge Summer Campus



4 - 17



Summer at Norwood



3.5 - 14



Summer at Sandy Spring



3 - 16

Sandy Spring



3.5 - 14



Summer at WES

Day & Overnight

Silver Spring

Summer Dance at Maryland Youth Ballet



2 - 19

Silver Spring


SummerEdge at McLean School Tru2Form Hoops

Day Day

3 - 18 5 - 16

Potomac Bethesda

240-395-0676 240-459-0949

Valley Mill Camp


Coed Coed Boys camp

4 - 14



Washington International School Summer Camp



3 - 17

Washington, DC


Washington Sailing Marina Summer Camps and Programs



8 - 15



Westmoreland Children’s Center







Girls camp






Essential information on


summer camps

SPECIALTIES Celebrating 41 years, it will be an unforgettable summer as they take their final bow in a musical theater show! Two weeks of singing, dancing, costumes, props and acting. With a trip to NYC or a role in Addams Family to choose from based upon your choice of session, this inclusive three-week training program develops students’ performance training by providing focused instruction in an immersive musical theatre environment. Ask about our scholarships. American Volleyball Camps are the most fun and challenging camps in the DMV. From beginner to elite, all levels (youth, middle school, high school) are welcome. On-site swimming, horseback riding, canoeing, sports, archery, arts, nature, outdoor living skills, STEM, coding, overnights, karate, science, video production, baking, theatrics, music and leadership training. Swim instruction/pool, before/after care, outdoor excursions, crafts, dance/music, cooking, coding, robotics, chess, drones, parkour, and sports for PK-8th graders. Counselor-in-Training leadership experiences for 6th-12th graders. Our specialties are adventure, day, tennis, golf, soccer, field games, arts and crafts; swim lessons included in day camp. Lunch included in all camps. Free swim for all camps. High ratios staff to camper. Transportation, before and after care available. Traditional day camps; sports/athletic camps; specialty camps; pick 3 Calleva focuses on empowering kids through exciting outdoor adventure experiences, with hubs in Maryland & Virginia. Transportation included. Some programs include overnight. Camp Arena Stage is a place to explore, discover and create art, with over 75 arts activities including acting, filmmaking, dance, theater, sculpture and more! 1, 2, 3 and 4-week sessions. Horses, rafting, arts, mountain boarding, mountain biking, organic farming, rock climbing, fishing, sports, 1000 foot zip line and more! We encourage campers to be creative and independent, have fun and make friendships that last a lifetime. Activities include aquatics, sports, outdoors adventures, horseback riding, performing/visual arts and more. Camp JCC is the place to be this summer. Explore everything we have to offer from arts, sports, theater, STEM, daily swimming and so much more. Horseback riding, swimming, soccer, tennis, gymnastics, basketball, track and field, and more. Transportation and extended care available! All girls overnight camp with horses, private lake, sports and arts. Voted Best of Bethesda 2015, 2017 and 2019. ACA accredited. Variety of sessions offered and activities. Specialties: aquatics, equestrian, sports programs, challenge and great outdoors, archery, arts and more. Capital Camps is a Jewish overnight camp where campers develop lifelong friendships while exploring our sports, adventure, visual/performing arts, and aquatics programs. Create your own summer: We offer classes in the arts, cooking, crafts, dance, music, outdoor exploration, sports, swimming, tennis, theater, academics and more. Transportation, extended day are available. Nationally recognized as The Aspen Institute’s 2019 Project Play Champion, ESF is where every camper is free to explore their curiosity and power their potential. Sign your kids up for a summer of fun! Camps and workshops for kids and teens in visual and performing arts, plus nature and aquatic life programs and more! Archery, art, baseball, basketball, circus, culinary, field hockey, film/photography, football, forensics, lacrosse, robotics/STEM, soccer, softball, team sports, theatre, volleyball, and yoga. Before/after care and concessions available. Daily, on-site swimming instruction; Create your own path in science & technology, sports, music and art. Our five-day program is the only one in the DC area that allows kids to mix and match their electives to create their ideal experience. Our goal is to provide an environment of growth for kids through fun and play. We run sports, day, creative arts, and STEM camps. More than 100 1, 2, 3, & 4-week camps in drama, dance, musical theatre and filmmaking. Horsemanship, outdoor program, onsite swimming pool; newly expanded teen, STEM and theater arts programs; and extended programs into August including an aquatics camp. Daily nature exploration (1st-5th grade), pool trips and water-play, yoga, thrilling creative arts and sciences, low camper to counselor ratio, and extended care! 1-week and multi-week camps for youth and teens. Focus on acting, playwriting, storytelling, design and more. Inspire creativity and explore your imagination! With 18,000 square feet of space, Silver Stars Gymnastics offers kids the opportunity to learn cartwheels, climb the ropes, flip on the trampolines and make memories with new and old friends. Spy Camp is filled with top-secret briefings and activities that put spy skills to the test. Recruits hone their tradecraft, learn from real spies and hit the streets to run training missions. Baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, performance training, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, wrestling Choose your own adventure from over 45 classes including musical theater, robotics, moviemaking, cartooning, jewelry making, sculpture, dance, cardboard boat regatta, cooking, ukulele lessons, swimming, diving, sports academy, community service, adventure camps and more! Early childhood, specialty day camps in STEM, art, dance, cooking, sports, academic enrichment, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, CIT. Campers can choose from a wide variety of workshops and specialty camps that include sports, adventure, arts, technology, academics, music, robotics and much more! Nine sessions that include archery, robotics, cooking, sculpture, animation and video game development, basketball, hiking, entrepreneurship, dance and more! Summer classes, workshops and camps for beginner, intermediate and advanced dancers. Classical and contemporary ballet, modern and jazz, dance crafts, performance opportunities and more. Audition Feb. 15 for ages 10 and up. Come dance with us! From producing a blockbuster movie to conducting eye-opening science experiments, SummerEdge at McLean School offers some fun and learning for everyone. We are the premier basketball organization for kids from K-12, on all skill levels. Kids who want to improve their game and have fun come to us. Kayaking, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding, rock climbing, archery, air rifle, gymnastics and more. Adventure program for children 10 -14. Transportation provided. STEAM camps in English; Language instruction in Spanish, ESOL, Mandarin Chinese and French. Great summer days spent learning the wonderful sport of sailing on the Potomac River. It is empowering, fun and healthy! Camps available for beginners through advanced. Each theme oriented session includes water play, special events, special projects and music. Outdoor playground and well-equipped pre-school classrooms. Low teacher to child ratio.



summer Camps



Palisades, NW D.C.


D ay


S TE M • Creative Arts • S p o r t s • O ve r n i g h t B oy s & G i r l s • Ag e s 3 -13 BETHESDA, MD




Mater Dei School



Episcopal High School


St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School

Flint Hill School



St. Albans School & National Cathedral School

Loudoun Country Day School

To enroll or learn more visit or call (202) 625-1921 302


summer camps


BE THE BEST WITH US Voted “Best of Bethesda” 3 years in a row! Our professional instructors are dedicated to helping boys and girls K through 12th grade, to become better players. Our programs include: • Individual and Group Training • Competitive Boys and Girls teams • Presidents Day and MLK Day Camps • Multiple Weeks of Summer Camps Ask us about our multi-week or sibling discount available until May 15th.


Readers’ Pick, Best Youth Sports Program


STEM, Sports & the Arts Our six-day, five-night program provides the best of both worlds – the fun and traditions of an overnight camp, but with shorter stays and the convenience of being close to home. And, we’re the only overnight camp in the D.C. metro area that allows campers to mix and match their electives to create their ideal camp experience!


Weekly Sessions (July 5–July 31)


Episcopal High School

LEARN MORE & ENROLL! Use Discount Code HOC2020 to Save 15% (202) 625-1921 BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


summer camps




DAY-CAMPS PEACE WEAVERS (Ages 3½-6½ years old) • Unique weekly themes with related arts, play and projects • Water-play and trips • Fun-fitness games, creative movement and yoga • In-house entertainment and off-campus field trips



Begins January 24 Early-Bird Ends March 2

EARTH KEEPERS (Rising 1st-Rising 5th+ graders) • Daily outdoor excursions to wilderness areas of MD, VA and D.C. • Interactive exhibits at nature centers and museums • Exploring with fossils, animal tracks, fishing nets and bird-calls • Swimming and climbing time

Pool & Water Play

Moon Bo Field Trips Yo g a unce A r t works Mindfulness Environmental Education CONTACT US! SUMMER@ONENESSFAMILY.ORG – (301) 652-7751




Chesapeake Bay

summer camps


2020 SUMMER CAMP -week camps for ages 3.5 -18 4 d n a , 3 1, 2,


Bender Early Childhood Center

PRESCHOOL A Place For Summer!

A Place For Families

• On site daily swim instruction

• Preschool for children 18 months-5 years

• Sports, arts & technology

• Various program options, 7:00 AM-6:00 PM

• Low counselor-to-camper ratio

• Free family membership with full day enrollment.

• Extended day & transportation options available

• Conveniently located in Rockville, Maryland

• Memories of a lifetime

Applications for the 2020/2021 school year open in January!

Applications Now Open for Summer 2020 at

6125 Montrose Road Rockville, MD 20852

Readers’ Pick, Best Preschool

Visit or call 301.881.0100



summer camps


Tr a n s p o r t a t i o n In c l u d e d

Ce l e b r a t i n g 6 4 y e a r s !

Ag e s 4 - 1 4

Vi s i t u s a t o n e o f o u r Op e n Ho u s e s F e b - Ma y 2 0 2 0

Valley Mill Day Camp w w w . va l l ey m i l l . c om

S p ri n g a n d S u m m er P rog ra m s



Ages 4-14



June 15 - August 14


Come visit us at an Open House! Sundays, 1 to 3 pm Jan. 12, Feb. 2, Mar. 8 Registration opens January 8, 2020

Bus stops in Bethesda & Chevy Chase


13500 Layhill Rd. , Silver Spring, MD • 301.576.2818 Minutes from ICC & Glenmont Metro 306



Multiyear winner by a leading Family Magazine!


summer camps








NEW F OR 2020!





.C O M / B E


cruising the

Highway for boys & girls ages 4-13

CAMP DATES Session 1: June 22 to July 10, 2020 Session 2: July 13 to July 31, 2020

Readers’ Pick, Best Summer Day Camp

For detailed information about Creative Summer programs, please visit our website



summer camps


Beauvoir Summer offers an array of exciting activities for pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade campers, all led by experienced adult counselors! Field trips • Swimming lessons • Outdoor camps • Delicious daily lunches • Leadership programs • Specialty camps in technology, art, dance, fencing, sports, and more. Beauvoir Summer runs June 8 to July 31, 2020.


Our programs are located at Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School 3500 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20016


DAY CAMP ages 5 & up

An exciting and imaginative outdoor experience with a wide range of weekly themes! Activities during camp include arts & crafts, field games, mini golf, archery, swimming, and activities specifically geared towards older campers. These activities are giant swing, zip line, and slip n slide. There is a counselor in training program for ages 13-15. Swim lessons for all ages and abilities included! Soccer, tennis and golf lessons are also available.

ADVENTURE CAMP ages 6 & up A fun, active, one-of-a-kind camp! The activities for the week are ropes course, zip line and giant swing, hiking and primitive skills, canoeing, tubing, stand up paddle boarding, rapid swimming and native craft. •• 240-848-9128 240-848-9128 BUS SERVICE AVAILABLE • Camp open to non-club members



Good Counsel CAMP EXPO DAY FEBRUARY 9 I 12:30 - 3:30 pm

Bring the entire family to our first ever Camp Expo Day, where each child in the family can explore their interests and meet the top camp coaches and instructors in the Washington-metropolitan area.

2020 Summer Programs ATHLETICS Archery Baseball Basketball Field Hockey Football Lacrosse Soccer Softball Team Sports Volleyball Yoga

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY Forensics Python Coding Robotics STEM


Circus Culinary Film & Photography Theatre Visual Arts

Learn more at

summer camps





summer camp for fo r bo boy boys ys and an d gi gir girls rls Pre-K Prere-K K - Gr Grad Grade adee 8

NINE WEEKLY SESSIONS June 8 - August 7, 2020 Awesome adventures include archery, robotics, cooking, sports, and more. There’s something for everyone. Day camp located in the heart of Bethesda on the Washington Episcopal School campus – open rain, shine, or heat wave! Before Care and After Care available. Check out the Sleepaway Camp for children entering Grades 3-8. Starting March 1, private tours of campus facilities available. Please call 301-652-7878 to schedule a tour.

Register online at today!

WASHINGTON EPISCOPAL SCHOOL 5600 Little Falls Parkway, Bethesda, MD 20816 | | 301-652-7878



summer camps


Star in a full-scale musical!

Summer Musical Theatre Camp Rising Grades 1–6 Monday–Friday

2 Week Sessions Glen Echo Park

2020 Camp Dates July 25-26 Hitter, Setter, Libero Camps July 27-31 Various Position Camps Youth & Middle School Aug. 1-2

Prospects, Serving, Defense

Aug. 3-6

All Skills Camp

Aug. 8-9

Hitter, Setter, Libero Camps

Head Coach, Barry Goldberg Save $50 when you pay it all now by Jan 31 with & ATMTC ACADEMY the code EARLYBIRD50

2019 Inducted into AU Athletics Hall of Fame 2013 NCAA Regional Coach of the Year, Sweet 16 7x Patriot League Coach of the Year 18 NCAA tournament appearances 31 seasons at American University On The Campus of American University Washington, DC

Washington Sailing Marina Summer Sailing Camp Programs

Half & Full Day Camps! Athletic~Specialty~ Pick 3~ Bulldog Day Camps Extended Day and Lunch Plan Available AGES 3½–17 ~ JUNE 15–AUGUST 7



Summer fun along the Potomac River • • • •

Full-day Sailing and Windsurfing Camps Transportation Available from Bethesda/Chevy Chase Area Week-long Sessions Beginning in June Ages 8-15 Welcome!

Registration at Questions e-mail Washington Sailing Marina Alexandria, VA

summer camps



June - August: ages 4-15

Liquid Adventures Kayaking School May - October: ages 10-adult

Horse Adventures Equestrian Year round: all ages

Family Nights on Calleva Farm June & September: all ages

Farm & Forest Cubs Spring & Fall: ages 3-8

Registration starts in January 2020

Registration Open Now! Ages 3 ½ to 14 • One and Two Week Sessions: June 15-August 14, 2020 Junior Day | Specialty Day Camp Classes | Adventure Camps | Sports Camps BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


summer camps


Summer Program for boys & girls ages 6-16 1,2,3 & 4 week sessions

We’re here here for for you We’re

We’re always happy to talk about what makes our program special give us a call.

304-456-5191 Toll Free: 800-600-4752

Email: Email: Nested in the beautiful Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia.

Olivier Muñoz, Artistic Director

MARYLAND Youth Ballet SUMMER 2020

Gallop to the beat of Summer fun!

Camp Olympia

Co-Ed Instructional Sports Program Camp June 15 - August 28

Just outside the nation’s capital in Downtown Silver Spring, MD.

Spring Break Camp:

• Classes for ages 2-20 • 5-week Summer Festival • Summer Ballet Boys Workshop • Advanced Intensive • Contemporary Workshop • Wolf Trap Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods Performance Opportunity • and More!

April 6-10 & 13

Open House Dates:

Jan 25, Feb 1, Feb 22 week minimum Ages 3-1/2 - 15yrs Door to Door Transporation Extended Care Available

AUDITIONS for ages 10-18 at MYB on FEB 15.

Activities Include: nclude:

• Horseback Riding • Football ball • Basketball • Gymnastics • Swimming • Soccer

926 Ellsworth Dr. Silver Spring, MD

• Te TTennis nnis • Mountain Biking • Games and more!

5511 Muncaster Mill Road, Rockville, MD 20855

Photograph by Jeri Tidwell



summer camps



! OV R P



! THEATRE VISIT RoundHouseTheatre.Org/Camp for more information and registration.

This summer, St. John’s College High School has something for every athlete! SJC offers a wide variety of summer sports camps for both boys and girls, including: Baseball Basketball Field Hockey Football

Lacrosse Performance Training Soccer

Tennis Track and Field Volleyball Wrestling

For more information, please visit us online at

ST. JOHN’S COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL 2607 Military Road, NW, Chevy Chase, DC 20015 202-363-2316 /



summer camps



ARENASTAGE.ORG/CAMP Away from the everyday 3, 2 & 1 Week Sessions Coed | Ages 7 to 16

In addition to our award-winning program, we offer special clinics and extended sessions. Enroll now for Summer 2020! To register & for more info visit 301.874.0111

MUSICAL THEATER TRAINING COMPANY One-on-one training from the nation’s best musical theater professionals ARENASTAGE.ORG/ACADEMY


SESSIONS BEGIN JUNE 22, 2020 CALL 202-600-4064

Come Grow With Us Serving the Community Since 1970

SUMMER PROGRAMS available for full or part-day, serving children ages 2-4 years old. Call us today to reserve a space! Tours available Tuesdays and Fridays through February. Three locations in Bethesda




Award-winning sleepaway camp in The beautiful shenandoah valley for ages 6-16. camp horizons offers 50+ activities that challenge our campers to reach their fullest potential, and experience their best summer ever!

540.896.7600 •

summer camps


Lowell Summer:


NEW! Early Bird! MINI CAMP June 15–19 8:00 am–4:00 pm SESSION 1: June 22–July 10 STEAM Offerings to include: • Robotics • Welding • • DJ Camp • Programming • • Production of The Wiz!• AND MORE!

8:00 am–3:15 pm

8:00 am–3:15 pm

SESSION 2: July 13–31 LAST CALL!: August 3–7

9:00 am–3:15 pm

Aftercare Available (S1 & S2 ONLY)

Onsite pool and swim lessons Eight-acre campus bordering Rock Creek Park CAMP OPEN HOUSE: January 26, 1 pm–3 pm

NE Camp W! Music Rock Progra m Counselor-in-Training Opportunities

Offering a wide variety of day camp programs for preschool through teens

1640 Kalmia Road NW Washington, DC 20012 202-577-2006

pers 1st - 6th grades:

24 – July 12

5 – August 3

pers nursery



24—August 3

New for Summer 2020!

Flexible scheduling options now available!

Campers Nursery (4 by 9/1/2020): June 22 – July 31 or June 29 – August 7 Campers PK to 6th grades: New! June 22 – July 10 and/or July 13 – 31 The The 7th 7th week week (August (August 33 -- 7) 7) can can be be added added to to any any session session or or used used by by itself itself if if you you are are looking looking for for just just one one week week of of camp. camp.

Join us for Summer in the Snow Open House: Saturday, January 11, 2-3:30 pm (The first 50 people thru the door will be able to register on the spot and be guaranteed admission!)

Club SciKidz Camp: August 10 - 14 & 17 - 21 BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM | JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020


summer camps


Classes • Birthday Parties • Open Gym • Competitive Team • Camps

It’s Not Just Gymnastics, It’s Gymtastic!



Two Great Locations! 2701 Pittman Drive, Silver Spring, MD 301-589-0938 301-589-1717 fax 14201 Woodcliff Ct, Bowie, MD 301-352-5777 301-352-8414 fax

SUMMER CAMP June 22 to July 31, 2020


This summer, let your child’s imagination run wild!



Stone Ridge

shopping. beauty. weddings. pets. travel. history.



Shadow Mountain Escape in Luray, Virginia, features timber-frame cabins for a romantic wintry escape. For more, turn to page 322.




PR guru Barbara Martin opts for a style with loose curls when she gets her hair done at Drybar in Bethesda.







A public relations professional shares her winning moves for looking good at events

GLO30: “[Founder] Arleen Lamba has figured out how to make monthly facials a part of your life—and they really, really work. I swear by their GloUp sunscreen and moisturizer.” 4915 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, 855-456-3030,

FORTUNAS: “I take all of my shoes here once a year, never fail. I’ve now paid more for fixing my 4-inch black Manolo BBs than I did when I originally bought them.” 7835 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-6542533,

BLUEMERCURY: “My go-to nightly skin care duo is the Fresh Soy Face [Exfoliant] ($43) and their M-61 PowerGlow Peels ($30).” 7105 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda, 301-9860070,

G STREET FABRICS: “During the winter/early spring, I’m constantly making Peeps dioramas for my clients [#guildedpeeps on Instagram] and [as commentary on] the political landscape [@wethepeeple on Instagram]. G Street is the most colorful spot in MoCo and a great place to stroll for both fashion and craft inspiration.” 12220 Wilkins Ave., Rockville, 240-283-8300,

BARBARA MARTIN IS the force behind some of the most glamorous events in town, from hotel and restaurant openings to brand launches. She counts SoulCycle, Birchbox, Varnish Lane and Sweetgreen among her clients. If you happened to catch one of the fashion shows on Bethesda Row and ran into Jessica Alba or Andy Cohen shopping there, you can thank Martin. Martin’s public relations firm, The Brand Guild, which she co-founded in Bethesda with co-CEO Jayne Sandman, turns 10 this year. The firm is now located in D.C. and New York City and has more than 40 employees. It’s not unheard of for Martin to attend events every night of the week. It’s Martin’s job to show up looking appropriately fantastic, and to ensure that her clients do, too, which means that over the course of her career she’s built one of the most enviable contact lists in the business. We reached out to the wife, mother and entrepreneur, who lives in Bethesda’s Bannockburn neighborhood, for her top tips and favorite spots for getting party-ready.

CHRISTOPHERS GLEN ECHO HARDWARE AND GLEN ECHO PHARMACY: “I could truly live in the Glen Echo Shopping Center as it has everything I need, and these two places bookend it. The pharmacy is old-school and has everything, from Mason Pearson hairbrushes to OPI nail polishes to birthday cards. The hardware has literally everything else. (No, really. Just try them.)” Christophers Glen Echo Hardware, 7303 MacArthur Blvd., Bethesda, 301-229-3700, ww3.; Glen Echo Pharmacy, 7311 MacArthur Blvd., Bethesda, 301-299-5656, DRYBAR: “A blowout at Drybar is my post-SoulCycle Saturday staple. I always get the ‘Cosmo’ [loose curls], which still looks good the next day.” 4840 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, 240-483-4277,

NEIMAN MARCUS’S LAST CALL SALE: “My ride or die. Not the Last Call stores, the actual Last Call sale in their Chevy Chase store. Some of the best items in my closet have come from there.” 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., 202-966-9700, LUNA: “For fun jewelry. We had a client who was wearing a necklace from here. I took a photo of it, texted it to my husband and made him drive to Luna to get it—and then made him box it up and give it to me for Christmas.” 7232 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-656-1111,





Meghan Evans opened Park Story to showcase clothes and other items by D.C.-area designers.

“FASHION IS THE SECOND farm-to-table movement,” opines clothing designer Meghan Evans, who opened her shop, Park Story, in Chevy Chase, D.C., in October. “Everyone who’s designing or producing in our area in small batches is doing it sustainably and not overproducing. The environmental impact is so tiny, given the scale, and producing locally is offsetting transit costs. I don’t know anyone who’s designing in the area right now who doesn’t care deeply about the environment.” Evans created Park Story as a collaborative boutique that showcases clothing, accessories and home goods from independent designers in the area. After a successful run as a pop-up shop in Virginia’s Mosaic District, Evans found a permanent location in the District. In addition to her own line of women’s separates, Evans carries women’s clothing from D.C.-area designers 320


Mimi Miller, Rebekah Murray of Virginia Dare Dress Co., and Rebecca Ballard of Maven Women. Many of the items Evans carries also support charitable causes, fairtrade laws or global microbusinesses—such as the ontrend jewelry from Kicheko Goods, handwoven baskets from Bethesda-based Mandinka Style, and responsibly sourced handbags from Farrier Leather. Evans, 32, who lives in D.C., has been buoyed by the positive response she’s received from customers and the local design community. “We’re a small but mighty little group, and everyone’s very well connected and supportive. We also have the same focus on buying fewer, better things—because if you shop for things that are better made, they’ll last longer.” Park Story, 3813 Livingston St. NW, Washington, D.C., 202-730-4556, n


A new store in Chevy Chase, D.C., is shining a spotlight on local designers


100 Years Later: Women’s Fight to Win the Vote Join Montgomery College President DeRionne P. Pollard for a dialogue with author Elaine Weiss and historian Dr. Elsa Barkley Brown, to mark the anniversary of the women’s right to vote.

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WINTER WONDERLAND HUSBAND AND WIFE INNKEEPERS Ralph and Karen Riddle dreamed of having a timber-frame home in the woods after Ralph retired from the Army. That home, located on 15 acres in Luray, Virginia, and bordering Shenandoah National Park, grew to include timber-frame cabins that opened in 2002 as Shadow Mountain Escape, a romantic winter oasis with the feel of a tiny European village in the forest. The property has a nature trail, a lookout tower with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains’ Skyline Drive, and a new stone courtyard that features a Gothic-style tower with an iron chandelier and gargoyles. Winter guests can cozy up under a blanket in the courtyard and drink gluhwein (a German mulled wine with orange spice) as chestnuts roast on the fire. Shadow Mountain’s four timber-frame cabins were



crafted from Virginia red and white oak. Each has exposed beams, elegant wrought iron railings or beds, European antiques, plump leather furnishings and a woodstove or fireplace. Shadow Mountain is part of the Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop, an itinerary visitors can follow that includes Luray Caverns, wine and whiskey tastings, and restaurants in Luray and Sperryville. Rates at Shadow Mountain Escape begin at $195 per night (two-night minimum) and include a welcome basket of treats, plus Friday evening wine by the fire. Shadow Mountain Escape, 1132 Jewell Hollow Road, Luray, Virginia; 540-843-0584;


A NEW INN BY THE BAY SET AMID TOWERING PINES alongside a wide creek that spills into the Chesapeake Bay, Swanendele Inn offers water views from several porches and rooms. Opened last June in Ridge, Maryland, in St. Mary’s County, the inn’s seven guest rooms and suites each have a gas fireplace, books (including many on St. Mary’s County and Maryland history) and art collected during two of the owners’ travels. Dutch-born Gerald Meyerman, formerly a senior official at the World Bank, and his wife, Victoria O’Hara, a longtime journalist and former NPR correspondent and senior editor, are happy to give guests a tour and share the stories behind the inn’s art collection and furnishings, which include a 1700s Catholic church bench from Quebec province, embroidered cushions from Afghanistan, and numerous paintings and pieces from Ecuador, Russia, South Africa, Bosnia-Herzegovina and other countries. Meyerman and

O’Hara run the inn along with Miguel Gavilanez. The property’s shared spaces include a great room with a two-story stone fireplace in the center, and an oversize upper porch overlooking the water. The Margaret Brent Suite has comfortable butter-yellow chairs, a stonesurround gas fireplace, a luxurious bathroom with a two-person hydrotherapy massage tub, and a private deck where you can watch the sun rise over the bay while listening to a symphony of caws and chirps. Winter rates begin at $210, full breakfast included. Swanendele Inn, 49946 Airedele Road, Ridge, Maryland; 301-576-9910;

A LAIR FOR NITTANY LIONS FANS FEEL THE SCHOOL SPIRIT at Graduate State College, a new addition to Graduate Hotels’ fast-growing portfolio of collegiateinspired getaways (mid-Atlantic sister properties are located in Annapolis, Charlottesville and Richmond). Opened in September, the 150room hotel is a block from Penn

State University in State College, Pennsylvania, and a short walk to restaurants and shops. Guest room decor includes playful nods to the university, with bed pillows that say “We Are” and a life-size Nittany mountain lion floor lamp in honor of Penn State’s mascot. Blue and white pinstripes and plaids

pay homage to Penn State’s school colors. The bathroom wallpaper, dotted with hand-drawn ice cream cones, might entice you to dart out to Berkey Creamery, a beloved dessert destination on campus. The vibe in the hotel lobby’s lounge invites studying—or at least hanging out—with well-stocked, built-in bookshelves, reading nooks and a 20-foot communal worktable. Poindexter, a cafe that doubles as an evening bar, serves caffeinated drinks, cocktails, all-day breakfast (try the “S.E.C.”—sausage, egg and cheddar on a brioche bun), salads, sandwiches, small bites, and milk and cookies. Dogs stay free and receive a pup perk from BarkBox; cats are also welcome. Rates begin at $100 per night. Graduate State College, 125 S. Atherton St., State College, Pennsylvania; 814-231-2100; n




I’m Game

How I learned to stop worrying and enjoy the thrill of the casino

MY MOTHER HAS ALWAYS loved the noise, lights, sizzle and electricity of a casino. She especially loves the slots, and often strolls around until one “speaks to her.” Me? Well, I’ve always preferred the exhilaration of ridiculously high and fast roller coasters that would turn most 45-year-olds green. I’d sooner travel to Branson, Missouri, to try out the latest adrenaline-pumper at Silver Dollar City than book a ticket to Las Vegas to fritter away precious money. (Did I mention I’m cheap? This is definitely a contributing factor to my casino aversion.) So, it’s safe to say that taking on an assignment



to write about casinos was a pretty big gamble. Would I ever be able to overcome my distaste for this loud, dark, maze-like experience that others seem to embrace so easily? Could I get over the intimidation factor of those unspoken rules shrouding the blackjack and craps tables? Luckily, I have a healthy sense of adventure— and a mother who was all too eager to be my casino wingwoman. So off we went into the realm of roulette wheels and royal flushes. And while I won’t be jetting off to play roulette in Monte Carlo anytime soon, I could easily be persuaded to return to these two Maryland casinos.





Li ev ! Ca si n o & Ho t el This gambling mecca in Hanover near BWI Airport has a Costco next door and an outlet mall across the street—not that there’s anything wrong with that; it just looks an awful lot like Anytown, USA. The first taste of Live!’s magic, however, comes from its ability to make you feel like you’re on an instant vacation, far from the suburban sprawl just outside its doors. Check in, sign up for the rewards card that offers newbies $25 of free play money, drop your bags in the room and head out to explore. Aside from the labyrinth of 4,000 slot machines, 50 poker tables and more than 200 table games like blackjack and roulette—some of which can be accessed with a mere $5 buy-in—you’ll see the entrance to an event center that hosts such acts as Gladys Knight and Grand Funk Railroad. There’s a smoking section of gaming that thankfully features one wall entirely open to fresh air. Bars are sprinkled throughout the space, and a Bobby’s Burger Palace satisfies when all your imbibing has brought on a case of the munchies. This was my first casino visit for research purposes, and while I used my sign-up bonus for an hour of fun on the slots, I mostly wandered around drinking stiff gin and tonics and trying to muster the courage to

if you go WHERE TO STAY The hotel attached to this casino recently earned a AAA Four Diamond Rating, and it’s easy to see why from the minute you step into the lobby. Its contemporary art collection includes everything from works by local artists to an Andy Warhol, and the second-floor spa level features guest room suites outfitted with private spa rooms and a fancy shower operated by a digital display on the wall.


sit down at a table. Those reasonably priced $5 tables were always packed. Maybe returning during an off-peak time, like a weekday, is a better way to dip a toe in? I later learned that Live! offers tutorials on some of the more popular table games. It also hosts a regular Ladies Poker Brunch that includes a poker tutorial from dealers.

The property features an outpost of The Prime Rib, where you should absolutely order a barrel-aged Manhattan, a heaping bowl of steamed clams in lobster broth and whatever cut of steak calls to you. For breakfast, head down to David’s for crab hash, classic eggs Benedict or a stack of pancakes. Live! Casino & Hotel, 7002 Arundel Mills Circle, No. 7777, Hanover; 855-563-5483;




if you go WHERE TO STAY

at i o n al Ha rb

Stepping onto the casino floor of this Prince George’s County resort, I instantly noticed the stark differences between MGM and the handful of other casinos I’d been to in the past. It’s bright, relaxed and the tables aren’t squished together. There’s plenty of energy, but it somehow feels less overwhelming and more manageable. This might just be the perfect casino for me. “This is fine dining in the world of gaming,” says Alex Alvarado, vice president of table games and slots at MGM National Harbor. He adds that they don’t bill the property as a casino, per se, but rather a resort that happens to have


o r

a casino. Still, there’s some serious play going on here. In the Asian gaming pit (so named for an array of table games popular in Asia), folks crowd around a few rousing games of baccarat. There are several styles of roulette here, too. (Who knew there was more than one?) I, for one, appreciated the electronic tables, which allow beginners to try out certain games with lower stakes, away from onlookers and without the added stress of live dealers. These digital games feature a service light you can hit if you want someone to come over and explain the game. Poker slot machines are another great way to learn without the pressure, Alvarado says.


WHERE TO EAT There’s a wide variety of dining options at MGM, including Shake Shack, Voltaggio Brothers Steak House and the enjoyable high-end seafood spot Fish by José Andrés. Visit the Bellagio Patisserie for breakfast croissants and coffee. TAP Sports Bar is everything you want a sports bar to be: a convivial spot to drink craft beer, indulge in bar food favorites such as nachos and crab dip, and catch a game on big screens. MGM National Harbor, 101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill; 844-646-6847; mgmnational



Here again, the hotel is so outstanding in its own right, why would you stay anywhere else? If you’re lucky enough to book one of the gorgeous suites, the abundance of windows in the wedge-shaped rooms allows for jaw-dropping views of National Harbor, D.C.’s monuments and the Potomac River. Downstairs you’ve got high-end shopping, an awesome spa, sit-down restaurants, a food court and whimsical, largerthan-life seasonal displays that prompt smiles from visitors of all ages. Oh, and a very nice casino.


To keep things fresh, MGM changes out some of its slot machines weekly, unlike other casinos that swap them out monthly or even annually. But the casino also keeps a few one-armed bandits on hand for those who prefer the traditional slot-machine experience of pulling down the handle (new machines only require pressing a button). Altogether, MGM offers 3,100 slots, 158 table games and 46 poker tables. There are different areas for different types of gamblers, from pricey tables for high rollers to a low-stakes spot near a dance floor with a $15 a hand buy-in and a DJ on weekends. Upstairs, Hold ’em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud aficionados will find 40,000 square feet dedicated to poker tables and tournaments. The on-property theater hosts big-name performers such as Mariah Carey, Kem and Smokey Robinson, and also pop-culture tours like a live version of The Price is Right. Alvarado acknowledges that the intimidation factor is real, but he has some comforting assurances for folks who find themselves standing on the sidelines: “If you walk up and want to buy in, any one of our dealers will teach you how to play, even if a game is in progress. They’ll correct you if you do something out of sequence. If you’re playing blackjack, they’ll give you advice. Even people at the table will be like, ‘You gotta hit that.’ ” And with those encouraging words of advice, I felt like I might finally be ready to jump in and join a live table game—next time.

off t o t he


With its dark, den-like vibe and instantly detectable haze in the smoking areas, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia definitely veers old school. But what it lacks in high-end luxury, it makes up for with variety. West Virginia has looser betting laws than the ones you’ll find in Maryland, so this resort packs in locals and out-of-towners who want the novelty of betting on live horse races. You can also participate in sports wagering, which allows bets on off-site games of everything from football or cricket to hockey. Another nice perk: Free drinks for gamblers are legal here, and that’s a casino tradition not yet available in Maryland. The sprawling space features 2,500 slot machines, 87 table games and 24 poker tables. The hotel affiliated with the casino, The Inn at Charles Town, isn’t nearly as glitzy or modern as those at MGM and Live!, but the staff is



friendly, the rooms are clean and some of them feature balconies with prime views of the racetrack. You can see the hotel just across from the track, and there’s a free shuttle that bounces between the hotel and casino every 15 minutes or so. Among the nine restaurants in the casino, try the Hollywoodthemed Final Cut Steakhouse, which incorporates local meats and fish, plus veggies from a house garden. Starters such as applewood-smoked bacon glazed with Luxardo cherries and thyme, and a satisfying salad of iceberg wedge, fennel and herbed buttermilk dressing, set the scene nicely for the main event—a selection of perfectly cooked steaks that includes two wagyu options. Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, West Virginia, 800-795-7001, n

Rina Rapuano is a freelance writer who lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, her slot-crazy mother and her two kids. She’s on Instagram @rinacucina and on Twitter @rinarap.





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etc. PETS


ADVENTURES IN PET SITTING THE CALL FOR HELP came from my teenage daughter early one morning last summer. Pet sitting at a home in our Silver Spring neighborhood, she went downstairs to find an unwelcome surprise on the dining room floor: a decapitated bird that the cat had brought in through an open window. “The huskies I was watching had cozily arranged themselves among the feathers, while the cat responsible for the deed watched from on top of the dining room table,” says Natalie, now 19. Cleaning up the bird’s remains ranks among the more extreme tasks that have been required during the four years she has cared for pets in owners’ homes during summer vacations and school breaks; the worst being the time a client asked her to empty chipmunk traps— 5-gallon buckets of water that held the bloated corpses of a dozen animals. Natalie has always loved cats and dogs—she’s especially attached to our beagle, Daisy—so the opportunity to watch other people’s pets while getting paid is “the ideal job,” she says. She’s cared for animals ranging from tabby cats to Labradors to a guinea pig with a fondness for evading capture and chickens who liked to wander into neighbors’ yards. Teens like Natalie and people who offer a wider range of pet care services find themselves in high demand in the Bethesda area. Claire Jackman, 34, of 334

Silver Spring began walking dogs for clients after graduating from college and started her business, Baby Got Bark, about 10 years ago. Since then, she’s had to hire six people to help her. Over the years, Natalie’s part-time job has taught her much about the behavior of house pets. The biggest lesson: Keeping to a pet’s schedule is the key to avoiding problems. “Dogs are notoriously early risers, and when you’re the only one in the house, you have to be, too,” she says. Natalie has found that most pets warm to her quickly—though they occasionally can get too comfortable, like “when I’m woken up at 4 in the morning by Olive the pug snuffling in my ear, or Pepper the Labrador puppy sitting on my chest,” she says. At times, it can be difficult figuring out how to handle unexpected client requests—like dealing with the chipmunk traps at the house where she was caring for two cats—that aren’t part of her $35 fee for staying overnight. “If the pets weren’t so endearing and the money wasn’t so good, the chipmunk bodies might have done me in,” she says. Jackman says some of her dog-walking clients have asked her to pick up their pets from the vet after a procedure, or to feed their fish. At first, she says, “I would do anything, I would go above and beyond just so that I could get a good name, get any kind of word


of mouth.” Once she started hiring contractors, she knew she had to set limits to deter clients from taking advantage of them. “They need to get paid for the work they’re doing,” she says. The increasing use of technology, particularly security cameras in homes, has added a new wrinkle to pet sitting. It bothered me that Natalie might never know whether cameras were monitoring her. While pet sitting one night, she called to see if I could investigate a weird whistling noise, which turned out to be the air conditioner. Uncomfortably aware that I might be on camera, I loudly announced what I was doing as I moved through the house. Jackson says she understands why homeowners install cameras, but that it’s “kind of creepy” when she and her employees visit a new client and spot the equipment in every room. Still, technology also has its benefits, she says. Her clients use Time To Pet, an app that makes it easy to book services and receive real-time updates about their animals. In the end, Jackman says, trust between owners and pet sitters remains the cornerstone of the pet care relationship. The use of technology “can’t change that fact.” n Julie Rasicot lives in Silver Spring and is the deputy editor of Bethesda Magazine.


Dealing with the unexpected is just part of the job





How an innovative field house brought national attention to Bethesda’s Walt Whitman High School

IN 1959, AS A tidal wave of baby boomers approached high school age, Bethesda faced a classroom shortage. Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, built in 1935, was showing its age and running out of space. Walter Johnson High School, opened in a farm field in 1956, helped relieve some of the strain by serving the expanding number of North Bethesda students. But the western suburbs, rising relentlessly outward along River Road, needed a high school of their own. So the county school board announced plans to build a new school—Walt Whitman High School—on land along Whittier Boulevard. With design innovation as the goal, the school board hired architect Anthony Ferrara, a Potomac resident and a founder of the Bethesda-based firm now called McLeod, Ferrara & Ensign. By the 1950s, Ferrara had established himself as a forward-thinking school designer, and his buildings were conspicuous throughout Montgomery County. They included North Bethesda Junior High School (completed in 1955), Rollingwood Elementary School in Chevy Chase (1951), Hillandale Elementary School in Silver Spring (1952), Emory Grove Elementary School in Gaithersburg (1950), and George Washington Carver High School and Junior College in Rockville (1951).

Ferrara created an angular design for the new Bethesda high school, with intersecting blocks forming a U-shaped complex, its arms of various heights wrapping around a center courtyard commonly referred to as “the quad.” Inside, a multilevel, open approach to classrooms and common areas created flexible learning environments. The field house became a design focal point. Ferrara was familiar with the work of futuristic architect R. Buckminster Fuller, who in 1954 exhibited a type of structure he called a “geodesic dome.” The geometry of the dome’s strong but lightweight framework was based on polygons, connected to create spherical shapes. With a grant from the Educational Facilities Laboratories, an entity of the Ford Foundation, Ferrara produced a detailed cost study comparing conventional gymnasium designs with Fuller’s geodesic dome. The school board was reluctant to commit public funds for such a radical concept. Yet Ferrara’s study proved that building the dome was not only feasible, but could provide, at significantly less cost, 4,000 more square feet and 1,000 more seats than a conventional twostory field house. When completed in 1962, the field house received national attention as the country’s first steel-framed geodesic

dome built at a school. The Architectural Record declared the dome “gives more for less.” Modern Steel Construction magazine commented that “whatever the nature of physical education is in this century and the next, the dome should be adaptable enough to accommodate it.” Over the next 30 years, the 3,500-seat dome hosted sports events, convocations, theater productions and concerts featuring chart-topping acts such as singer Wilson Pickett. In 1992, the dome was torn down to make way for a remodeled campus. Early this century the school was again renovated and expanded to serve its increasing enrollment. In February 2018, the school board approved another expansion. The $24.5 million project calls for demolishing the adjacent and abandoned Whittier Woods Elementary School and Whittier Woods Annex and replacing them with an addition housing 18 classrooms, five science labs, a courtyard and a dance studio. The project is scheduled to be completed by September 2021. Despite the changes, the school will always be known to generations of Whitman graduates as “the home of the dome.” n Author and historian Mark Walston ( was raised in Bethesda and lives in Olney.





Photographer Edgar Artiga had never seen an elite gymnast up close before he met Northwest High School sophomore Kayla DiCello, who trains at Hill’s Gymnastics in Gaithersburg (“Best Hope for a Hometown Olympic Gymnast,” page 104). “When she first came in, she was a typical, shy 15-year-old,” he says. “Then she started working on the balance beam—she was this super-confident, amazing athlete. Everything she did blew my mind.” In addition to capturing Kayla airborne, he photographed her doing a back handspring on the beam. “Her flip was so fast that the camera had trouble keeping up. I had to get it at just the right second to capture the right moment in focus. Thankfully, I just had to hit it correctly once, and we nailed it—after 25 flips,” he says. “In the back of my mind I’m thinking, how cool would it be if this girl goes to the Olympics?”



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