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“Better than nothing”

Cesco Osteria and Co2 Lounge
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Ranked #67 of 380 Restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: US$30 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian
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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
Reviewed 15 June 2014

Nice restaurant, with good decoration. Our service was quite good in the sense that the waiter was very attentive despite the numerous errors, some of them quite basic. The food was tasty but seemed to be microwaved pre-cooked stuff. Nothing fresh.

If you want to sit down with cloth napkins instead of eating fast food, then go but don't expect much.

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Thank Gazap0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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39 - 43 of 68 reviews

Reviewed 17 February 2014

We celebrated Valentine's Day with a dinner at Cesco. Upon arrival, we were not offered to check our coats and we walked to the table, asked one of the bussers if there was a coat check. She clearly did not speak English and we never got an answer so our coats hung on the back of our chairs throughout the dinner. We chose to order off the regular menu. Our waiter, an older gentleman, was very distracted while taking our order to the point he started talking to someone else while my boyfriend was telling him our food selections! We ordered appetizers, pasta, main course and after 45 minutes the appetizers finally arrived. Yes, 45 minutes we waited for appetizers. We split the pasta dish, which was delicious and plenty for two people. We had to ask for water. Our table was cleared and we waited, waited, and waited some more until our waiter came to ask us if we were ready for dessert. We had not yet received our main course! After we told him this, he brought our main course, the salmon dish and the halibut dish, both were very delicious. Our plates were cleared and we waited, and we waited, and we waited to order dessert from our waiter who did not make another appearance until we flagged down a different waiter to order our dessert from. We were comp'd the dessert, but we were not looking for free dessert as much as we were looking for a nice dining experience. The food was terrific and maybe we just got a bad waiter, but it will keep us from revisiting this establishment.

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Thank reachteresa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2014

We went to Cesco for the second time, to celebrate our daughter's birthday. From the word go, service, food and overall dining experience were marginal. I initially wrote the following (brief) review for OpenTable, but they still have it as pending over a month later. So I have decided to post the original review here, with some additional explanation:

"Spotty though well-meaning service. Food just barely above average and completely unsatisfactory for a restaurant in this price bracket. Desserts clearly not fresh; one had to be sent back as it had gone bad. Won't be returning."

"Spotty though well-meaning" service meant that two waiters appeared to be quite vocally at odds as to who should be taking care of our table. Inappropriate within earshot of diners.
"Food barely above average" included dishes that looked like the ads for what is been at Olive Garden.
"Desserts clearly not fresh" saw the kitchen deliver a slice of cake that was practically frozen, and a portion of Tiramisu which had gone rancid. No comment from management or even the kitchen when the dish was returned.
"Won't be returning" means that there is so much competition for my dining out dollars in Bethesda/Potomac/Rockville that I will not bother with Cesco again.

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1  Thank purposefultravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

Let's start with the positives - the restaurant interior is absolutely gorgeous. It goes down fast from there. Despite the promise of a luxurious setting the service is poor and the meals barely mediocre. My octopus salad came with limp pieces of octopus hidden at the bottom of the plate topped with enough roughage to last a week. If I had to guess there was less octopus on my plate than in one piece of sushi.

My wild Alaskan salmon I am quite sure never saw the blue Pacific waters. It was unremarkable and tasted farm raised. Others at my table had pasta dishes - served in small dishes that most places would use for appetizer portions - very undersized and nothing special.

Service was horrendous. They managed to botch two of the nine orders at our table. They rarely came around to refill the water glasses. This, despite the fact that the restaurant did not even seem that busy. There were large sections of the restaurant closed off and dark.

Everyone at our table agreed that this would be the first and last time we visit this place. There are so many better choices in the area there is no need to settle for an overpriced restaurant with skimpy portions, mediocre cooking, and truly poor service. Steer clear until this place cleans up its act and fixes its problems.

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2  Thank terrysb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Went to dinner at Cesco for the first time since they moved to their new location on Woodmont Avenue some years ago. We had not been fans of the restaurant at its old location but were very pleasantly surprised by the experience last night.

The room is attractive and cozy, and the three dishes we shared (pastry-wrapped Portobello mushroom, penne with eggplant, tomato and ricotta, and veal scaloppini with mozzarella and tomatoes) were well-prepared and very tasty. Having told the waiter my wife and I were splitting all three-dishes, without asking the kitchen divided each dish into two attractive smaller plates. Very thoughtful and not done by all restaurants. The service was excellent. When the wine we ordered was out of stock, the management gave us a better bottle of the same kind of wine (Montepulciano) at the same price as the one we had ordered.

All in all, a very nice dining experience. I am looking forward to coming back with friends to see if this experience is confirmed.

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Thank Sheldon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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