Third Spot On Way for Sonoma, Mendocino Grille Family

The owners of Mendocino Grille and Sonoma are planning to bring a new concept to Bethesda Row as part of the development's expansion, slated for completion in the spring of 2008. Pacific will be the third restaurant for Elias Hengst and Jared Rager, and executive chef Drew Trautmann (also of Sonoma and Mendocino) will oversee the new kitchen as well.

The formula will stay true to the group's successful restaurants, showcasing "superlative seasonal cuisine, simple, timeless design, and exceptional service in a true neighborhood restaurant," Hengst says. Like its wine bar siblings, Pacific will offer more than 40 wines by the glass. The list will focus on hard-to-find selections from California, Washington, New Zealand, Australia and Chile, following the "Pacific" theme. The bar will feature a custom Winekeeper system, like the one behind Sonoma's bar, ensuring wines will be served at the appropriate temperature.

Unlike its older siblings, however, Pacific will be open early for breakfast and plans include a small gourmet market and cafe serving light fare and selling organic staples like milk, cheese and charcuterie.

On the menu, Trautmann will offer contemporary takes on American comfort food. "We’ll use the best local ingredients as simply as possible," he says. "We believe in the inherent quality and freshness of our region's offerings - it's the reason we purchase from farmers, ranchers, and fishermen throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia."

Pacific’s architect is Griz Dwight of Grizform Design, who is quickly racking up an impressive portfolio around town, including the stunning new Black's Bar and Kitchen and the forthcoming restaurant from chef Peter Smith, PS 7's.

Also opening in the Bethesda Row expansion: a Lebanese Taverna.