Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Passage to India - Bethesda
Passage to India serves a great selection of Indian food in an elegant decor, reminiscent of the dining rooms of the Maharajahs. Chef Sudhir Seth introduced the concept of Regional Cuisines of the Indian subcontinent and showcases food from all over India with local ingredients and home blended spices. The restaurant is located Bethesda's restaurant row, just 3 blocks from the Bethesda metro (Red Line).
Bethesda, MD 20814
Hours of Operation:
Daily 11:30 am–2:15 pm
Mon–Thu, Sun 5:00 pm–9:15 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–9:30 pm
Old Georgetown Road (Route 187)
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Beer, Full Bar, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Passage to India - Bethesda Ratings and Reviews
Passage to India is still enjoyable, but it is getting a little tired and lacks the sparkle it used to have. We were there at the end of a long holiday weekend, and the food seemed less freshly prepared than usual, as though it had been prepared earlier and then sat on a warming tray.
Nice choice for a special occasion, but we felt the services was not up to the prices. The menu offers a nice variety of Indian foods and there were many interesting selections. Everything we ordered was enjoyed. But, as an example, of the persons had no fork at his place setting and after being served had to catch the attention of someone, to ask for a fork. One of the servers spilled water and an ice cube when refilling the water glass, and we had to wait for our waitress to get her to put extra napkins under the area that was wet.
Three of us ate here on New Years night. The staff was very accommodating, making suggestions for us, who are family with Indian food, as well as for other guests who were less so. The crowd was a mix of regulars and first timers. The food was excellent, complemented by the great service. Conveniently located near parking and not far from Metro.
We went for a friend's group New Year's Eve dinner. Were gracious in accepting and adjusting the reservation, which changed number a couple of times. Food is delicious and satisfied a broad spectrum of palates. Refined ambiance with low noise level allowed for conversation of group without necessity of shouting. Will return to this favorite.
We were so disappointed on Xmas Eve. We have been here before, but the quality and service have declined. We did not know who our waiter was, and both were brusque with us although it was not crowded. The appearance of the food was not appealing, and the rice was extremely dry. Even the spoonful of fennel seeds at the exit was stale and dry. We are so sorry. We know Passage has a long history in Bethesda but don't know if we will return
Very well prepared and wide-ranging Indian food. We liked that there were dishes for everyone--both spicy and not. The restaurant is very pretty with soft colors. Perhaps best of all--it is quiet enough to have a conversation without screaming at your dining partners.
I've been to Passage to India before and enjoyed my meal, so maybe they were having a bad night. Service was really off. When we arrived, we let the host know the name for our reservation. Rather than seating us, he answered the phone and proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes describing (to whoever was on the phone) the ingredients in several dishes. When we were seated, the wait staff took another 10 minutes to bring us menus, although the restaurant was at least half empty. The food was average - not bad, but not good enough to merit returning to this restaurant.
We frequently dine at Passage to India because the food is excellentand authentic (with several Indian regions represented). Service is always attentive. Best of all, even when the restaurant is full, you can have a conversation with your tablemates without screaming.
As lovers of Indian food, we had been to Passage to India once almost two years ago and were underwhelmed, so we were surprised when another couple of friend of ours pushed for a double date there. We have never been so happy to be proved wrong!
We basically followed all of the suggestions of our waiter, ordered one entree from every region on the menu, and split everything. It was phenomenal. Flavorful, interesting, and oh-so-perfect for a cold winter evening. Even the garlic naan — something you'd expect to taste roughly the same at most Indian restaurants — was particularly excellent. We will definitely be back!
Food is brought too fast. You feel like you are being hurried through the meal even though no one was waiting for a table. We had not finished our appetizers and the main entrees were there. The servers whisked our appetizer plates away and instructed us to use the "big plates to finish the appetizer".
The food is hit or miss. Overall its decent food but not the best.
Always wonderful service and great food
I love the fact that’s it’s good for conversation and get together for any occasion .. but mostly for quietly spending time w friends or business lunch ..
always esthetics of white glove service w white table cloth...& great food wins me and keeps me coming back !
Food was better last time. Not so much this time. There were four of us- we ordered four dishes, and two appetizers- plenty of food but most of it was just mediocre. We had been there before and had an excellent meal but not this time. There are so many good Indian restaurants and this was such a disappointment this time.
I had family travel here for Thanksgiving and needed a good place to eat. For some of my family, they were eating Indian food for the second time. For others, they were long-time Indian food lovers.
Our headcount kept changing, which is painful for us and for any restaurant we were dealing with. Passage to India's waiters did a great job of organizing, re-organizing and eventually moving us to accommodate surprise new guests. We started out with a table for 8 and eventually wound up with a table for 12. The waiters accommodated us with grace.
The food was pleasing, and managed to span a range of mild to spicy. Many Indian restaurants have great difficulty creating dishes mild enough for my wife's palate. And yet, for the first time in living memory, she praised a navratan korma as being truly mild and great-tasting.
In the future, we will both return to Passage to India to dine in as well as order take-out.
The maitre d' / waiter was surprised that we had a reservation - he said that he couldn’t find it. He seated us and then again came back to check if I really had the reservation. I showed him the open table confirmation and then he went back to check on it. We were made to wait at our table until he could satisfy himself that we indeed had a reservation. He confirmed that we did have a reservation when he came to serve us water.
Food was way too Americanized and not authentically Indian.
Ambience is reasonable but gets cancelled out due to the extremely close seating and loud conversations from the larger parties.
Our waitress was friendly and efficient, but the waiters were grumpy and had an air of indifference about them.
In my opinion, there is no Bethesda restaurant that has better ambiance than Passage to India. One notices the calming music as soon as one enters. The tables are covered with white table cloths, the chairs are upholstered, the carpeting is plush, the walls are covered with framed prints of Indian figures, and the windows are partial covered with decorative Indian screens. There is no buffet table so there is not a constant movement of people. The servers move quietly and efficiently and don't strike up a conversation unless one initiates one. This atmosphere is conducive to lowered voices. The food is varied and consistently very good. I particularly like the vegetarian dishes and the Sali Boti, a lamb dish that is accompanied by a crisp green salad and a small bowl of lentils. The flavors are more complex than those in most other Indian restaurants. The list of wines by the glass is small, but well chosen and reasonably priced at $8.95. I avoid the coffee here, but the herbal tea is a wonderful end to a meal.
Food seemed a little on the pretentious side ... taste wise was fine . Definitely not authentic Indian - ( despite the geographic referrences to the items on the menu ) But yes , it sits well on your pallete .
Definitely needs to improve on service - impatient and brusque waiters .
I like Indian food and feel this restaurant really captures the authenticity of Indain food. I ordered the Scallops, but unfortunately, they were VERY SALTY. The service is always pleasant and quick. I'll try another entree next time. Will be back. I'm sure it was just an off day.
Using a Groupon, I revisited this restaurant, but the ambience was poor. LOUD inside, waitstaff placed couples NEXT to each other, when there were open available seats farther apart. Noise level too high and food is only so -so. Had to flag waiter down a few times to refill water, wanted to order a lentil side but was told it comes on the table - it did not.
We were also NOT told that there was an 'upcharge' for white meat chicken.
We left disappointed and probably won't be back.
I love this restaurant. The taste of the dishes was amazing from the starters to the main courses. What I like about Passage of India is that the spice in the dishes is layered and fragrant so you don’t just get a hit of heat as in other Indian restaurants. The food is far superior and more authentic than Rasika which is more about style over substance. As ever the staff were very courteous and service was excellent.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.