Friday, October 28, 2016

Car stolen on Jones Bridge Rd., weapon offense at Whitman HS, robbery on Montrose Ave. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 25, according to crime data:

Disorderly conduct. 7400 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Theft. 6900 block Clarendon Road.

Stolen car. 3900 block Jones Bridge Road.

Weapon offense/arrest. Walt Whitman High School.

Theft. 9000 block Jones Mill Road.

Robbery. 10500 block Montrose Avenue.

Bethesda demolition update: Rugby Avenue (Photos)

There is one wall left at the former site of the Miller & Long headquarters at Rugby and Del Ray Avenues in downtown Bethesda. Workers are also getting ready to excavate the site, which will hold Donohoe Development's second mixed-use tower across from the Gallery Bethesda apartment tower.

Fall Festival at Westwood Shopping Center Saturday at 1 PM

The Westwood Shopping Center is hosting its first Westwood Fall Festival tomorrow, Saturday, October 29, from 1:00-4:00 PM.
Westwood Shopping Center
5400 Westbard Avenue

True Food Kitchen posts Coming Soon signage at Solaire Bethesda (Photos)

True Food Kitchen, the restaurant and anchor tenant at the new Solaire Bethesda luxury apartments, has posted Coming Soon banners promoting a Spring 2017 opening on the Wisconsin Avenue side of the building. The chain follows the vanished Rock Creek and new Beefsteak concepts into the Bethesda dining market, with healthy, organic spa cuisine as the primary selling point. You can examine their Fairfax County location's menu for a sense of what they might offer here.

Fresh-pressed juices will be part of the health beverages (such as one called Medicine Man at their Mosaic location featuring black tea, cranberry and pomegranate juices, honey and sea buckthorn) and cocktails served at a large scratch bar inside the restaurant, and a covered patio will provide al fresco dining. The Solaire was just delivered last week by developer Washington Property Company, and is now leasing.

Their website is up, but the chain's email list signup is not yet letting you set Bethesda as your location.
Also new outside the Solaire, are benches that were just installed. They are somewhat homeless-proof, but probably too short to provide a comfortable sleeping spot between armrests, despite lacking the more-blatant mid-seat hobo-repellent armrest you often find in urban areas.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Car stolen on Bethesda Ave., missing person report in Chevy Chase + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 24, according to crime data:

Theft. 7700 block Wisconsin Avenue.

Stolen car. 4800 block Bethesda Avenue.

Theft. 7100 block Arlington Road.

Missing person. 7300 block Delfield Street.

Experimac Bethesda update (Photos)

There are signs that the build-out of the interior of the Experimac store in the Bainbridge Bethesda at 4915 Fairmont Avenue may be getting underway. In addition to the ladder and other materials, there is an ad seeking staff to promote and market the store, which specializes in Apple device repairs, sales, and trade-ins.

Bethesda construction update: Pike & Rose Phase II (Photos)

Cars enter and exit
the Old Georgetown
garage off of
Grand Park Avenue
Phase II construction is rising high above PerSei Place at Federal Realty's Pike & Rose development. Facing north at the stub of Grand Park Avenue, you have the currently-unnamed apartment building to your left. Its retail space will include H&M and Sur La Table. On your right is the Canopy by Hilton hotel, which will have the 930 Rose luxury condos on top of the hotel floors. Retail tenants in that building include Lucky Brand.

Also making tremendous progress - but not pictured here -  is the REI building out front, near the central stoplight on Rockville Pike. REI is one retail stop at Pike & Rose where you apparently won't find yourself shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday. Beyond these buildings are those of Phase II tenants Pinstripes and, eventually, Porsche of Rockville.
Dead end of
Grand Park Avenue
at Phase I; Phase II
beyond fence
Future home of

Looking north on
Grand Park Avenue:
apartment building (left),
Canopy by Hilton hotel
and 930 Rose condos (right)
Future home of
Lucky Brand
Tower crane over
Canopy/930 Rose 
Canopy/930 Rose
Apartment building

Phase I meets
Phase II at
PerSei Place

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Theft from vehicle on St. Elmo Ave., theft on Strathmore Hall St. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 23, according to crime data:

Theft from vehicle. 4900 block St. Elmo Avenue.

Theft. 10300 block Strathmore Hall Street.

Vehicle burglary. 11800 block Old Georgetown Road.

Sidewalk work on Cordell Avenue (Photos)

Repairs have closed portions of the sidewalks along Cordell Avenue between Old Georgetown Road and Norfolk Avenue. Sections of the sidewalk have been replaced with new concrete near the M&T Bank and La Panetteria restaurant. All businesses remain open during the sidewalk closures, but pedestrians should be prepared to navigate blockades on both sides.

New lights in Bethesda's Veterans Park (Photos)

New stringed lights have been installed at Veterans Park in downtown Bethesda. The park is located at the intersection of Norfolk and Woodmont Avenues in the Woodmont Triangle neighborhood.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Car stolen on Connecticut Ave., liquor arrest at Whitley Park condos + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 22, according to crime data:

Stolen car. 9000 block Connecticut Avenue.

Liquor arrest. Whitley Park condominiums.

Burglary. 11100 block Stillwater Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 5500 block Randolph Road.

Theft. 11400 block Patriot Lane.

Buy one taco, get one free today at California Tortilla

Today is Taco Tuesday, and the last one for a while, at California Tortilla in Bethesda. Buy any taco, and get one of equal or lesser value free. You can get as many as 5 free tacos in your visit today. The offer is valid on in-store purchases only, and doesn't apply to delivery orders.

4871 Cordell Avenue
(301) 654-8226

New brunch menu at City Perch - here's my review (Video+photos)

City Perch at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda has a new brunch menu, and I stopped by this past weekend to try it out. New menu items include French toast; Eggs Benedict; Arugula+Endive salad with grilled shrimp, candy-striped and yellow beets, poached pears, goat cheese, candied walnuts and a maple balsamic vinaigrette dressing; The Roma sandwich with mozzarella cheese, tomato, pesto, and arugula on toasted sourdough; a crispy chicken waffle sandwich; crispy latke fries with applesauce and sour cream; Monkey Bread Babka; and smoked salmon-stuffed popovers.

Central to the new brunch is the Brunch Box concept, which pairs any entree with a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage for $19.99. You can upgrade to bottomless beverages for a $10 fee. Other high-end upgrades include truffles and caviar.
While they have a great Bloody Mary here, I chose a mimosa because most of the food I was ordering wouldn't pair well with tomato juice.
There was a strong flavor of freshly-squeezed juice in this classic brunch cocktail.
City Perch has been recognized by even the notoriously Montgomery County-averse food critic Tom Sietsema for its bread basket. Now you can order a special brunch version, which when I visited included a chocolate croissant, a lemon poppyseed muffin, and a walnut croissant, all new. Also in the basket were two favorites from the dinner version, the honey-dipped cornbread and orange-sage biscuit. Spreads included were Trickling Springs butter and strawberry jam.
Walnut croissant

Honey-dipped cornbread
with goat cheese and
toasted corn kernels on top
Orange-sage biscuit

Chocolate croissant

Lemon poppyseed muffin

City Perch plans to have a different kind of muffin in the bread basket each week. The lemon poppyseed muffin lived up to its name with a lemon zing to balance the sweet and very moist cake. Surprisingly, I found I liked the walnut-stuffed croissant as much as its dark chocolate-stuffed twin. Both are even better with butter added. If you remember my City Perch dinner review, you'll recall I highly rated the cornbread and orange-sage biscuit. Together, the brunch bread basket rates five stars.
Monkey Bread Babka
with a pitcher of
Nutella syrup
Another new bread item is the Monkey Bread Babka. Stuffed with even more dark chocolate than the croissant, it is a cross between a frostingless Cinnabon cinnamon roll and a popover. Inside the layers are coffee and cinnamon, and there is a small pitcher of Nutella syrup. I would give this four stars. However, while I ordered this to test out for purposes of this review, normally this would be too much bread following the bread basket.

In that case, I would advise going with the bread basket, unless you are a Nutella fanatic. For $5 more, you get a variety of breads and still get chocolate in the croissant. Either bread order is more than enough for two people.
Now, on to the main course - French toast. This isn't a diner recipe, that's for sure. At City Perch you get two thick slices of brioche with ricotta cheese, bananas, candied pecans, powdered sugar, and with a lemon-and-orange cornflake-encrusted bread crust for extra crunch. But don't stop there. At upscale Pike & Rose you can upgrade your French toast to "decadent" for $4, which adds farmers market berries on top, and mascarpone cheese between the slices of brioche.

I also added a side of two scrambled eggs to a meal desperately in need of protein. The eggs were perfect, and I didn't need to add any salt or pepper.
Lemon and orange-flavored
corn flakes add crunch to
the crust of the brioche
A generous portion of
farmers market berries
atop the toast

Warm mascarpone
oozes out from between
the slices of brioche in
the "decadent" version
The result is an off-the-charts-rich French toast, the soft bread and fillings contrasting with the crunch of still-crisp corn flakes and berry seeds. Unless you are a traditionalist, this may be the ultimate French toast in town. Perhaps not surprisingly for a restaurant known for its bread, this new French toast earns five stars.

All of the items and upgrades I ordered added up to $43.45. Assuming you get only one bread side, you could knock $4 (Monkey Bread Babka) or $9 (brunch bread basket) off of that price. And, of course, with no bread, you could get the French toast and mimosa for $19.99, and the eggs for an additional $4. Not bad for this price-point of restaurant.

Brunch at City Perch is an excellent and convenient choice when you are catching a Saturday or Sunday matinee at the iPic Theaters the restaurant is part of.
I had extra carbohydrates
to go
Pike & Rose is
decorated for Halloween