Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School
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The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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Bethesda bistros

Maiya Blumenthal
Ala offers a unique, foreign seeming design, making it difficult to believe it is in Bethesda.


Rooted3 has a calm environment and offers a number of make-your-own bowls in addition to prepared ones. Each bowl offered comes with greens, a grain base and homemade fritters. These fritters are made primarily from legumes and are flavorful and filling. In addition to being part of your bowl, they can be ordered as a side with sauce ($6.99).

A personal favorite bowl is the Cowboy ($14.85). This dish, like all others we tried at Rooted3, has the perfect amount of freshness to contrast the fritters and grain base. We ordered this bowl with romaine lettuce as the green, and the crunch and freshness of it perfectly complemented the heavier elements of the dish, including potatoes, fritters and roasted chickpeas.

Rooted3 is located on Cordell Avenue and has sage green accents with ample eating space both inside and outside.

Another thing that makes Rooted3 special is its inclusivity. We dined in the sage green with eaters who have many allergies, and the staff was very accommodating. Rooted3 is vegan and free of the top nine allergens.(excluding coconut), making it extremely easy for people who keep kosher or have other food restrictions to dine there.


Located on Elm Street, DIG stands out with it’s clean, white walls, a bright sign and a large patio, which, on a nice night, is a pleasant place to enjoy your meal. DIG is on the calmer side and paired with its fast service, is an easy place to go in a rush or for a sit-down dinner.

While everyone is familiar with make-your-own bowl places such as Chipotle, Cava and Bibibop that offer ingredients of different cuisines, DIG offers a fresher, more seasonal option. In addition to making your own bowls, DIG has prepared plates, bowls and salads.

We ordered the Tofu, Greens, & Grains Plate ($11.95), the House Salad ($10.80), the Seared Salmon plate ($13.80) and a piece of focaccia bread ($3.30).

The word to best describe our meal is balanced. Each plate came with protein, grains and vegetables. Every item was well-spiced, and the dressing complimented the plates. Overall, DIG is a healthier make-your-own restaurant that leaves you feeling good.

DIG is a more upscale version of the typical fast-casual place that leaves you feeling good, as the food is fresh, light and filling. It is also perfect for practically any situation due to its convenience.


An upscale restaurant that brings an innovative twist to Mediterranean cuisine, Ala is a good addition to the dining options in downtown Bethesda. Its location on Fairmont Avenue near Bethesda Row offers easy street parking and pleasant patio seating.

We ordered the Golden Cauliflower ($22) as an entree. The cauliflower was nicely toasted but was coated in many different flavored sauces, which was a little overwhelming. An especially overwhelming taste was dill.

To accompany the entree, we ordered Eriste ($14), chopped egg noodles mixed with chickpeas and spices. The noodles had a very hearty flavor, which paired well with the other dishes.

We ordered the Baba Ghanoush ($14), which was our favorite dish as the mixture of smokiness from the eggplant and sweetness from the peppers and pomegranate was a very pleasant balance. We also ordered the side of Fried Halloumi ($16) whose honey and Mediterranean spice coating paired well with the cheese, bringing out its savory flavor.

Finally, we ordered Shish Kunafa ($16) for dessert. While it was described as having a sweet cheese filling, the only sweet flavor came from the syrup, which was tasty, but paired weirdly with the savory cheese.

For the most part, Ala had an impressive variety of food, with quick service, making the experience even more enjoyable.


Aventino is a posh Italian restaurant with a chic interior and dining experience. Besides the restaurant’s priciness, the biggest challenge was its limited availability. We scheduled our reservation over a week in advance, and there were still only two time slots left, which were both at less preferred times to eat dinner. However, once we made it into the restaurant, the experience was delightful.

As kosher eaters, the menu was a bit limited, however, they were very accommodating and didn’t fail to provide good service.

We started with the Pizza Rossa ($10), a traditional Roman flatbread. The bread was perfectly toasted and the tomato sauce was sweet. We also ordered the Insalata ($16), which is a snap pea salad. The salad included tangy lemon dressing, a nutty almond crunch and pecorino cheese. We also tried the Cappelletti ($26), a ricot- ta stuffed ravioli. The cheese was creamy, encompassed by chewy pasta. The dish was enhanced with a sunchoke sauce. Another entree we ordered was the Orata ($46), a type of seabream fish, which was cooked to perfection.

For dessert, we tried the Chocolate Semifreddo ($14). The rich chocolate ganache and crispy coffee nib were balanced out by an atypical basil mint sauce, the perfect way to cap off our meal.

While the food was top-tier, the portions were less than what may be assumed by the price and we left feeling slightly hungry. Aventino fosters high-end food and is perfect for a special occasion, however may be unrealistic for your average dinner.

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About the Contributors
Gila Safra
Gila Safra, Reporter
Mia Forseter
Mia Forseter, Sports Editor
With much of her life revolving around playing sports, Mia is excited to take on her role as Sports Editor for the Lion’s Tale this year. She looks forward to designing spreads and continuing to provide a great sports section for readers. Outside of Lion’s Tale, Mia plays for the Varsity Softball and Cross Country teams. Mia enjoys volunteering at the National Youth Baseball Academy during the summer. She is also very involved in debate, and is a media center fellow. She can’t wait to work with her co editors to produce an amazing sports section and overall newspaper.  
Maiya Blumenthal
Maiya Blumenthal, Opinion Editor
Maiya is so excited to continue her work on the Lion’s Tale this year as an opinion editor. She can’t wait to help people share their ideas with the community in this role. Outside of Lion’s Tale, Maiya plays basketball, tennis and piano, and participates in Friendship Circle and the CESJDS Debate Team. Maiya can’t wait to work with the rest of the Lion’s Tale staff to produce interesting and unique content this year.  

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