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“Fine food and service”

Cesco Osteria and Co2 Lounge
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Ranked #88 of 364 Restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: Metro Accessible, Red Line Bethesda Metro Center Metro Schedule: http://www.wmata.com/rail/schedules.cfm
Chevy Chase, MD
Level Contributor
125 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Fine food and service”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

The food at Cesco is excellent. It does not push the bounds of any culinary envelope, but that is not what this place is about. Fine, simply prepared Tuscan fare that is delicious and well-presented with professional, attentive service. A quiet oasis of excellent dining among the Bethesda restauarants that try to out shout one another a few blocks away, often with food that doesn't measure up to what's available here.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank KenCC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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61 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    22
    4
    6
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Jupiter, Florida
Level Contributor
122 reviews
83 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Painfully Slow Service”
Reviewed 14 October 2013

The atmosphere was very good but their service is horrible. No attention or not enough attention and very slow in exiting. Otherwise I would happily say excellent but every step was to slow and to be so close to Washington, DC and get SLOW service? What's wrong management?

Now the food is another thing - EXCELLENT. Even the prices were fairly high but the presentation of the meals, the taste! AWESOME.

Slow wait staff will put the damper on this establishment.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Big D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great Meal in a Wonderful Airy Enviornment”
Reviewed 7 October 2013

It's not easy standing out among the other great eateries in such a small area in Bethesda, but Francesco Ricchi has done a marvelous job of mixing fantastic food with a warm and lively atmosphere to make it a stand-out destination for your palate.

Upon entering, you're greeted to the sights of an open-air kitchen, a sleek-looking bar, and a dining room layout that makes you feel like you're about to dine in true luxury. Do make sure to visit during the warmer months, where you're able to enjoy your meal outside on the patio.

All food, including the pasta (especially the pasta!), is made or cooked fresh. My go-to appetizers are either the prosciutto or the mussels: a wonderful broth that doesn't rely on the typically heavy-tomato base that others tend to use. While my girlfriend noted that her mixed green salad can sometimes come with a little too much dressing, it's certainly not a terrible situation that ruins the meal.

While pasta is always a good choice, I tend to go for the gnocchi, something you can't really make at home easily. Great texture and flavor, really doesn't warrant the need for any heavy sauces.

Regarding main dishes, you can never go wrong with a steak. Cesco's trademark Zingara leaves a great crust on it. I've always had it come out the way I wanted it (never over- or under-cooked) and the truffle flavor adds a subtle hint of that mushroom-y goodness. Otherwise, I did enjoy a salt-encrusted turbot during one visit when it was a special for the day. The server de-salts and de-bones the fish right at the table before serving it. Truly an underrated way to cook a fish, it really does a great job of locking in the flavor.

It should be quickly noted that the service is timely and friendly. Never an empty water glass or bread basket. In addition, I've had the servers make fantastic wine recommendations when bringing along a small party.

Usually review sites like this tend to have more negative/down comments, which tends to be human nature. However, when quality and service are this good, I think it's only right to also show some positivity when warranted. Cesco's really hits the nail on the head with its food and ambiance. I've also heard that he recently opened now for Sunday brunch; I haven't been yet but some colleagues have been very happy with the menu and selection.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Rooce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
318 reviews
229 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
“Overpriced, so-so food”
Reviewed 29 September 2013 via mobile

The service is fine, the ambience is nice but when it comes down to it, you're here for the food and Cesco simply just don't deliver. We started with an delicious tomato focaccia however the panzanella salad we had we not in the traditional style as described and was overdressed. Seeing that the pasta was all fresh and homemade was what drew us to Cesco initially. This however was the biggest disappointment of the meal. My wife's gnocchi was soggy and under seasoned. The wild boar ragu called to me from the specials menu, but again the pasta felt anything but fresh and homemade, rather rubbery and the sauce was underseasoned and lacked the savory burst of flavor one would hope for. It wasn't unedible nor did we have traumatic service but I just left wanting way more than what I got and especially considering the price. Next time I'll just ask for a plate of the focaccia and call it a day

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Aaron P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chevy Chase, Maryland
1 review
“A true gem”
Reviewed 16 September 2013

I'm a long-time resident of Washington, but this was my first experience at one of Chef Francesco Ricchi's restaurants. I recently went to Cesco's with a group of friends for dinner. We enjoyed a couple of cocktails at the well-stocked and roomy bar before our meal. We were seated at one of the secluded tables in the back, which was a nice touch. I was impressed by the comfortable and airy dining area. For my appetizer, I had the pancetta-wrapped roasted scallops, and for my entree I had the prosecco-braised veal Osso Buco. Both dishes were to die for! My friends were equally pleased with their choices. We had a very attentive and cordial waiter. I wrapped up my dinner with the Bomboloni . . . you've got to try this awesome dessert. All in all, a great dining experience. I will be back!

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Delije
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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