A bohemian-styled seafood hangout in Southern California just added an East Coast offshoot at Pike & Rose, bringing the North Bethesda complex a new place to pick blue crabs while knocking back orange crushes, sangria pitchers, and icy buckets of Natty Boh.
Hello Betty docked on the second level of Canopy by Hilton (940 Rose Avenue, Bethesda) on Friday, April 8, with lots of nods to surf, skate, and snowboard cultures across the 3,000-square-foot space. A 40-foot retired boat anchored on the patio will transform into a full-service bar this summer with room for 23 imbibers at a time.
It’s the second Hello Betty restaurant for Denver-based restaurant group Sage Restaurant Concepts, which debuted the chic original in Oceanside, California in 2014. The 138-seat dining room is filled with Baja-themed decor like lights dangling from ropes, sunset murals, leafy palms, turquoise tabletops, woven chairs, beach blankets, and vintage boom boxes. A sprawling patio out front carves out room for 167 alfresco diners.
Iconic local staples like mumbo sauce, rockfish, and Chesapeake blue crab show up on the Bethesda menu. The seasonal crustacean cruises into a chorizo and queso dip with corn tortillas and a seafood roll, along with crab cakes and she crab soup.
A smoky, fire-roasted bucket of blue crabs tossed in Old Bay vinegar, joined by potatoes and corn on the cob, feeds up to eight and draws inspiration from both crab boils and beach barbecues. The “Beach Bonfire” section also cooks oysters and whole trout over an open flame to produce a charred finish.
Fish and chips and the peel-and-eat shrimp carry over from the Oceanside location. The kitchen also prepares tinned mussels and octopus, a popular drinking snack in Europe. Group tacos assembled tableside come with protein picks like asado chicken, pork belly carnitas, rockfish, carne asada, Scottish salmon filet, and shrimp.
A six-pack of Baltimore’s beloved Natty Boh arrive on ice in Igloo coolers, and Hello Betty’s take on Eastern Shore’s cult orange crush comes with citrus-infused Wheatley vodka. There’s also frose and pitchers of sangrias and spritzes.
Open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight, with weekend brunch service to follow.