Summer House - North Bethesda

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4.4
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1544 Reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Chef Jeff Mahin’s California-inspired menu highlights simple, market-driven dishes with a focus on the wood-fire grill. From fresh Hawaiian tuna flown in daily to sustainably farmed Ōra King Salmon, guests will experience seasonal specialties made with fresh ingredients and local produce. To complement the menu, Summer House boasts an extensive wine list that focuses on the state’s distinct regional varietals and independent vintners, along with cocktails and local beer. The Market counter, shared with Stella Barra, serves a selection of fresh-baked pastries, sourdough English muffins and Mahin’s famous cookies, along with small-batch coffee and specialty espresso drinks. Extensive gluten-free and kids menus are also available.

Summer House evokes the breezy feel of a summer beach house with whitewashed wood, earth-toned tiling and warm hues. Glass garage doors along with a lofted ceiling and hanging string lights, bring the outside in – no matter the season.
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What 1544 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great Father’s Day brunch. Family friendly, good kids portion, tasty food and great service.

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MF
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 3

Our waitress Hailey was excellent and really made my daughter's birthday dinner special.

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OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Indoor seating was as good as outdoor. Like a perfect Cali summer vibe. Perfect

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OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress Carolyn was the best!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Emily was a great server! Super friendly, personable, and attentive!

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C
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 4

I recommend Summer House but with a few qualifications: First, it's hardly a value. While their main courses are tasty, it's annoying how some restaurants (like SH) "debundle" entrees by making the main item (i.e, a protein) a la carte or with a small side. To get a proper side, you pay extra, even for veggies. In my opinion, sides should be included for a proper meal. Second, the menu has gotten less adventurous lately. The food seems to be targeting a delicate palate; bold flavors are missing. And for a restaurant that claims to be born in Santa Monica, CA, where's the seafood? Only fish available is trout and salmon (but that's merely just meeting the lowest standard). Steaks are prevalent but expensive. Finally, the draft beer list is woefully thin. On the other hand, the restaurant is pleasant, has a nice atmosphere, and should appeal to most people for an upscale-casual experience.

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JF
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

I took a client there for a lunch meeting. Typically, I'm happy with my food choice. This time around it was just "ok." I did not care for the Turkey burger. I was expecting a more traditional ground turkey burger and what I got was anything but. A bit disappointed this time around.

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GD
San Francisco
28 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food options and all were quite creative and tasty. Sad outside in shade and really enjoyed the experience.

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GB
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Entrees are very expensive. I know it is a trendy area, but overly expensive for what you get.

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FL
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Everything was very nice. My second visit and I will definitely go back.

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MM
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

It's so beautiful there and with the open air spaces you get to enjoy the outside without being too hot. The food was delicious and our waiter was helpful in making suggestions. I had the ahi tuna poke bowl and was able to order it as a mix of kale and rice. My friend was enticed by the fried chicken salad but went with the salad that still had the tasty chicken on top. It was huge.

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EL
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

Summer House was a delicious restaurant for brunch with friends. The only thing that could have improved our visit was our server continually rushed us and did not make us feel welcomed at the restaurant. We made reservations over 2 weeks in advance of our visit and felt that server dramatically diminished the quality of our visit.

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c
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WE love this place. It's airy, friendly, with lots of great food choices. We brought our newly married kids for brunch and weren't disappointed

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KL
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 5

Went for brunch, service was not great, food was mediocre but atmosphere was new and trendy.

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PD
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice place, the food all is good quality ingredients and made from scratch. Delightful!
Service very attentive

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

My niece and I were there to celebrate her Masters Degree. Everything was very good but service was a little bit slow.

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OT
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Enjoyed another fine meal at Summer House! New summer menu includes some new and tasty drinks and food items

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MD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

I took work colleagues to lunch here to reward their efforts on a project - this turned out not to be a special lunch at all. I had requested outdoor seating in my OpenTable reservation but we were led to an indoor table, so had to be relocated and we were put by the kiddie fountain and parking garage entrance. Our service was friendly but overworked and didn't come by often. The service was very slow which I blame on the kitchen rather than the server. The food was so-so, nothing special. Salads were huge but not interesting - no special ingredients or unique flavoring. Good avocado toast. Prices are higher than most restaurants of this type so I would not rate this a good value.

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CJ
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on June 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Lovely restaurant. Light and airy. Open space which always makes me happy when I enter because it’s so bright and welcoming. Very nice patio seating that can be closed in the event of rain. Server was attentive and the food was good. Cobb Salad my friend ordered was very pretty in its display. I just had two vegetable appetizers. Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. Both tasty. We didn’t have dessert but they have a great cookie bar with lots of decadent treats - including oversized cookies! Would recommend to a friend.

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OT
Washington DC
72 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

Went to brunch with our 23 year old grandson. Good selection of options. Very busy restaurant

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MF
Charlotte
25 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is wonderful. The vibe and the outdoor seating is relaxing.
Passion fruit strawberry cupcakes are a must have!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service.. Good food. Gluten free options.... Manner Maya Goldstein was superb....

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LV
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

The outdoor seating was roomy and very pleasant with few distractions from the street. We were a little disappointed in the drinks, they weren't very strong. But the food more than made up for it. It was our first time there and we were delighted with the service and food so we'll definitely be going back. We'd suggest you have the ahi tuna appetizer and ice cream sandwich for dessert. Whatever entree you put in between those two will be wonderful. Enjoy!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great time and my friends loved the area!

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So amazing. We had the best waiter ever. We had a severe gluten allergy and they were amazing with accommodating our needs and properly labeling it with allergy sticks. Food was amazing

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k
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Food is just plain not up to snuff. Service was very good. Nice surroundings. But the food was of no better quality than McDonalds at 4 times the price.

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JS
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

This was not my first visit to Summer House and therefore the outstanding service, food and lively ambiance came as no surprise. I will return again and again.

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s
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The food/price wasn't the best - but the location and ability to be seated quickly, and outside, was a benefit. In terms of the service, we ordered one of the dishes without an item - and the kitchen/staff opted to substitute it with something else rather than remove it. While we appreciated the thoughtfulness, the item was replaced with something equally undesirable - so the lack of the communication but good faith effort just extended the amount of time to receive the dish while everyone else was eating. Independently, it was also delivered with the wrong side dish.

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D
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great. I have no complaints

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SC
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on May 27, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Our server was excellent and attentive.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 1service 2ambience 2

The expeditor poorly planned the food timing such that my mother’s food was cold and my son’s food came out 10min after everyone else’s. It took 45 min to be served brunch and so we didn’t want to wait for a new order. The manager credited the cold dish, which was appreciated. Nonetheless, what was intended to be a celebratory special occasion brunch felt anything but.

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J
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had brunch outside and it was lovely! The brunch lunch menu is more extensive than the dinner menu so we opt for brunch usually. Food was terrific. Omelets, brown sugar bacon and mimosas! Yum!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the most fantastic experiences. We like to come here for their brunch. The food never disappoints. Today we celebrated my birthday and the waiter made it feel extra special. Thank you!

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ES
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

We had a reservation at 10:30am for brunch. We arrived and were seated in the patio. We were greeted with water and after that, the service deteriorated quickly. It took about 20 minutes before the server returned to get our order which we gave him our drink and meal order at the same time (avocado toast, Chicken and waffle, IPA and Chardonnay). We received our meal and were half way through it when our drinks arrived. Server apologized but nonetheless, we sat for over 30 minutes without food or drink and when we got our food, we still had no drink. He tried to makeup for the lack of service as he comped a sea salt chocolate chip cookie for us. Not sure if server was new, station was too large, he was spread too thin or was seated inappropriately but for whatever reason, we suffered. Thanks, ~Ellen Sosis and Scott Anderson

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 2

Severely overpriced even for the area, feels like you’re getting nickel and dimed. Food options have almost no real connection to California.

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AP
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Summer House is an interesting restaurant. It is attractive and the food very good, made with high quality ingredients. However, there are, in my view, several problems.

First, it is loud. I say this not only because we subjectively found the noise level excessive, but we actually measured the sound level using an APP called Soundprint. The APP is designed to measure, and keep track, of restaurant noise. Looking around Summer House, one can see that the restaurant is "designed" to be noisy. Every surface is hard - from floor to ceiling. This results in sound bouncing around a good deal, adding to the din. I think the only thing that kept Summer House from being noisier when we were there is that a number of walls, which are apparently glass, were opened to outdoor seating. Thus, there was one less reflective surface.

The second thing is that the menu at Summer House is quite limited. Having a limited menu, as opposed to many dozens of items, is often good in that the kitchen can focus. However, we actually found it hard, within the limits of the menu, to find things we wanted. We finally settled on burgers, and I will add they were really excellent. At the same time, many of the dishes are quite high priced.

Desserts are interesting. They have an assortment of large cookies (one can purchase to take these home as well) that are really impressive in looks and size. We purchased some to take home and while flavorful, they also were somewhat hard. This could be from the cookies sitting around for a while or how they are baked. And maybe it is intentional. I do think that the idea of cookies for dessert is really good, but I'm not sure if these work. They also have a variety of other sweets (muffins, etc.) and those do look like they might be worth trying.

So, bottom line is that the limited menu and noise level did not appeal to us.

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BM
Washington DC
140 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

My wife and I had a late lunch. We were able to sit outside in the shade. We shared the spinach artichoke dip. My wife had the crispy chicken sandwich and I had the turkey club. The food was excellent. However, there were long delays for food to be delivered. The House was pretty packed so it seemed the kitchen was running to catch up. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves because we were not on the clock.

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DH
New England
24 reviews
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Summer House - North Bethesda once again delivers with a delicious breakfast on the patio.

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K
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great, but in particular our server was amazing. He was so professional and knowledgeable and pleasant, it made our evening!

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D
Chicago
25 reviews
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Service was very slow our waiter was good kitchen was delayed

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