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All photos: Kimberly Cadena

It was almost deja vou. Just last week we made the trek to Bethesda for the Taylor restaurant opening but Vapiano was sure to deliver so we definitely couldn’t pass up the opportunity to attend the opening party. With over 70 locations worldwide including Ballston, DuPont, Chinatown, and now Bethesda locally they are well-rooted in the DC area. Their relaxed style of dining begins when you enter and are given a card to scan at a number of stations including the bar, pasta or pizza chefs, salads, and deserts. At the end of your visit the card is scanned at a central location to pay the tab. Part cafeteria, part bar/restaurant.

We roll up to the Bethesda Row area in which this restaurant was added and it’s a bright, red sight lit up well and looking fresh. We walked the red carpet to a friendly entrance and started exploring our way around the large open room. White and red wine were circling as well as several appetizers on sticks that were only slightly too large to eat in one bite.

The pasta dishes were delicious and staff was very friendly – key since you interact individually with the chefs. Our favorite was probably the pizza, baked fresh and thin with a perfectly crunchy crust.

The European style continues with large tables and random seating decorated by small pots of herbs as well as large trees which filled the space well. The only complaint is that the room is large with hard surfaces and on a busy Friday or Saturday it will be difficult to even hear a friend sitting next to you.

Dessert started circling and we were in heaven tracking down each one to try. The tiramisu-like cup as well as chocolate mousse with raspberry syrup on top were our favorites.

Escape the city for a little while and head to Bethesda to visit the new Vapiano and Taylor. It’s a nice getaway and the dishes are solid favorites.

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