Sergio Toni, the owner, told Bethesda Beat Thursday afternoon that he decided a few weeks ago that the restaurant wouldn’t reopen.
The restaurant, which has been around for 37 years, closed in mid-March at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and did not stay open for takeout or delivery, he said.
Mr. Toni, who is 85, is not planning to open another restaurant.
Cut through the lobby of the DoubleTree in downtown Silver Spring, walk past the door to the garage and take a few steps down into Sergio Ristorante. Below the hotel, Luigi Toni keeps his father’s place humming, playing host, waiter and manager. The same waiters who have been charming patrons for years are still here, wearing crisp white shirts and ties and calling your date “bella” as they refill the wine. (Getting pleasantly drunk is likely, because a liter of house white costs $20.) The menu is two pages of Italian-American classics printed on laminated Microsoft Word documents, and it hasn’t changed either. The stuffed pork chop ($18) is bursting with spinach and gorgonzola and draped in brandy cream sauce. House-made pastas such as shrimp ravioli and ham and pea tortellini are soft and floating in pools of butter and cream. Romantic, cozy and dripping with nostalgia, this is the kind of place where everyone applauds as a grandma blows out her birthday candles.
The Doubletree Hotel, which closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, has not reopened.
Photo by David Lay