By Tom Sietsema Sunday, May 23, 2010 When the owners of Rock Creek opened their doors in Bethesda five years ago, their intention was to serve "mindful cuisine" that didn't stint on flavor. With calorie and other counts listed on the menu, the happy surprise was discovering a lovely lobster bisque that only tasted creamy (its smooth texture came from pureed Yukon Gold potatoes and basmati rice) and finding appealing entrees that weighed in with fewer than 500 calories. Go now, and you get a warm welcome at the door, a well-made margarita (pink with pomegranate) if you choose, and gratis multigrain bread with garlicky chickpea dip instead of the usual butter. Beyond that, you'll also find a lot of food leached of flavor. Take the once-pleasing Mediterranean sampler -- "please," as Henny Youngman used to crack about his wife. Wet eggplant dip and mushy stuffed grape leaves take a back seat to the big green olives sharing the plate. A supposedly seasonal soup served this spring floated a few bits of pink tomato and asparagus in a golden broth that tasted like punishment at a spa. The beef filet comes in two sizes (nice touch), and it's cooked the way we ask, but I wouldn't call a few green peppercorns on the plate a "sauce," as this restaurant does. We can smell the cod coming our way; it's unpleasantly fishy and bedded on Israeli couscous that's about as exciting as reading a phone book. By not eating it, I saved 285 calories. The autumnal palette in the small dining room is soothing, and so is the noise level, which allows for easy conversation. Mine included this aside from a pal: "Thank God for alcohol."