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“Best Italian in Columbus”

Lola & Guiseppe's Trattoria
Ranked #35 of 2,285 Restaurants in Columbus
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 20 February 2014

I grew up in an area known for its saturation of amazing small Italian restaurants and moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Italian generally means chain fare "big box" restaurants. As such, I really enjoyed our recent visit to Lola's. It took me home.

We ordered the house chianti, an appetizer called Giuseppe’s Pasta Fritto, lasagna and eggplant parm. We were too stuffed for dessert.

The Frito is basically a block of fried alfredo sauced spaghetti, served in a pool of marinara. It is huge and dense! Only order this if you are very hungry. It had a delicate cheese flavor, but was quite creamy. The fried crispy part was delicious and reminded me of PastaSalvi, another local favorite fried pasta. The problem for me was that the block was so large that the edges were hot but the inside was cool. That did not bother my husband who happily finished it. My eggplant parm was OUT OF THIS WORLD. It had a delicate panko breading and was cooked perfectly. It was served with a small serving of spaghetti with marinara sauce and perfectly cooked string beans. I will assume that the spaghetti was home made, although I saw no indication that it was. I would definitely order the eggplant again.

My husband thoroughly enjoyed his lasagna. The serving was huge. He commented that it was the best lasagna that he has had in Columbus, (mine excepted, of course, since he wants to stay married!) It easily could have served two people.

I think the perfect meal for two would be a salad each (which are offered a la carte) and a shared lasagna. Perhaps then we would have room to try the Tiramisu! Since there are so many delicious sounding entrees, there is no question that we will return.

Two glasses of wine, one appetizer and two entrees came to about $65 with tip.

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1  Thank ChloesMomBetsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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167 - 171 of 253 reviews

Reviewed 19 February 2014

Upon arrival there was no room to stand inside the tiny waiting area to wait for a table (not even to put our name on the list). So...we braved the cold and stood outside for awhile until we could squeeze inside and get a table. Figured it must be worth the wait. We're glad we did. This little trattoria has so much more character than a chain restaurant. Nothing fancy but Lola speaks to everyone, is hilarious, and makes you feel at home. Our food was delicious but we were too filled to eat dessert so we took some to go. They ran out of the tiramisu (order early if you really want something!) probably because the portions are HUGE!! She should serve less dessert to make it last. Anyway, we took a slice of carrot cake back to the hotel and it was DELICIOUS. Worth going there for the dessert alone! Oh it was all decorated cute for V-Day too :)

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Thank ricefamily5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2014

We were in Columbus, OH for our daughter's volleyball tournament, and our niece attends THE Ohio State University, so we picked her up and headed over to Lola & Giuseppe's for what we hoped would be a very nice meal. And what a real treat it was!
When you enter this small restaurant (seats only 42) it's like entering your grandmother's house - the table settings, the small little rooms decorated with the little "junks" on shelves, artwork reminiscent of Italy, and the old style chandeliers - just like Grandma's! Lola and Joe (the owners) and their daughter Gabriella each have a presence, checking to see how their guests are doing, making sure your water glasses never go dry, and chatting with guests as if they were personally invited to their "home" for dinner.
We started with the recommended Pasta Fritto, something we could all share. This was one of the most interesting, unusual, and amazing starters we've ever had. I describe it as a small loaf of breaded, deep fried fettucine alfredo with a wonderful red sauce. This was perfect for the five of us to share. The garlic bread was crispy, light, and had the perfect blend of flavors. Everything at Lola's is fresh and homemade - nothing is frozen, and quantities are limited.
In addition to the regular menu, Lola's offers several seasonal dishes. Get there early if you want the seasonal brasciole (we missed it)! Here is a summary of our entrees:
* Chicken Marsala (seasonal). My daughter describes it as "amazing," the best she's ever had." The pancetta & pea risotto and green beans were also excellent.
* Chicken Parmigiana. I've never seen a young lady eat this meal so quickly! Obviously it was delicious!
* Gnocchi. While it looked very simple, tossed with that wonderful red sauce, our niece loved it!
* Eggplant Parmigiana. My wife reports that the unusually crispy, thick-cut eggplant slices topped with again, that amazing red sauce, was also very good.
* Salmone' (seasonal). The pan-seared salmon was also very good, with an unusual balsamic pomegranate glaze (I would have like more pomegranate flavor). The mushroom risotto was rich and flavorful, and the green beans were cooked to perfection.
If you want to go to someplace special and fun, then come to Lola & Giuseppe's. They want to get to truly know their guests. They even invite you to the kitchen to talk directly with Joe or one of the chefs if something isn't quite right! And if you need to use the rest room, you have to walk through the kitchen! Just like Grandma's!

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Thank Mike M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2014

Very small place. I wouldn't necessarily call this a romantic place since you're very close to the other diners but the food is delicious. Try the lasagna!!

Thank Alwaysmiling43062
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2013

Not your typical Expensive restaurant, but let me tell you something BY FAR the BEST Italian restaurant in the Columbus area. Very cozy, very small place but worth a try… (Try the meatballs)

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

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