Me and Me 7723 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda 654-3511 Hours: Lunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Dinner, 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday. Prices: Most dinner entrees $6 to $9. Cards: None accepted.
Me and Me is so small and unassuming it would be easy to overlook driving by. One might even overlook walking by. That would be too bad, because this is a cozy, charming little neighborhood restaurant that's well worth getting to know.
It offers some remarkably good food, served at reasonable prices by a personable, accommodating staff. The menu is mainly Italian with a few Middle Eastern specialties sprinkled in, and although not all the dishes make the grade, a few are top-notch.
For a shared appetizer, don't miss the Middle Eastern platter. It has one of the few good renditions of felafel we've found in this area, light, airy and without excess oil, with a chickpea mixture that's enlivened with plenty of fresh parsley.
The platter also has a lovely sweet-tart Middle Eastern salad, and a hummus dip (served with good pita) that's unusually light on the garlic -- at first we were disappointed at the lack of wallop, but the delicacy of this hummus won us over in the end. The Italian white bean appetizer is a beguiling one, too. Again, it lacks the usual garlic and pepper zip, but its subtlety lets you really taste the beans.
The Greek salad is a "nouveau" version, and all the better for it -- the greens are fresh romaine rather than the usual head lettuce, there's a separate dish of black olives on the side, and the dressing is an excellent sweet-tart-mustard blend.
Me and Me may have the best white pizza in Bethesda, and that's going some. The crust is superlative -- paper-thin, crisp on the bottom yet chewy above, brown around the edges, free of excess oil -- and there's a good fontina topping with plenty of garlic. Another pleasant if unspectacular appetizer is the sweet red peppers with anchovies and capers.
Fettuccine Alfredo is often an awful glue in restaurants, but here there's a refreshing lightness to it. The strands of pasta don't stick together and the sauce, applied with commendable restraint, isn't overloaded with cheese and nutmeg. If you're tired of Alfredo glop, you're ready for Me and Me's version.
Lasagna, another common restaurant disaster, is also done lightly and well here, with firm pasta sheets and a bright, fruity, fresh-tasting tomato sauce. High marks for the eggplant parmigiana, too, served with the same sauce.
The veal is decent enough, though not outstanding. We ordered it with mushrooms, spring onions and capers. What arrived, probably because of a kitchen mix-up, was veal marsala, with a pleasant if unremarkable marsala sauce. Zuppe di pesce, the most expensive item on the menu, was also among the poorest. It featured beautiful little fresh clams, unfortunately accompanied by iodine-tasting shrimp and pieces of dry sea scallops, in a dull broth that badly needed garlic, olive oil and pepper.
Our one unequivocal disaster at Me and Me was the combination kabob, a mixed skewer of tough, burnt beef, dry monkfish and nearly dry chicken.
For dessert there are very good cakes from Clement's in Georgetown, generously portioned and reasonably priced.