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About Bistro Italiano

Bistro Italiano is a gem of a restaurant hidden among all of the row houses in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. However, an unassuming facade should not deter anyone from visiting this restaurant. There are only a dozen or so tables in this small Italian bistro, but the ambiance is lively and welcoming. Bistro Italiano offers classic dishes such as lasagna, tortellini, fettuccine and chicken parmesan. The restaurant is frequented by neighborhood residents but is only blocks from Union Station and right off Massachusetts Avenue on D Street.

320 D St NE
Washington, DC 20002
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, American

Hours of Operation:

Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:00am - 5:00pm.
Dinner: Monday - Saturday 5:00pm - 10:00pm.

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(202) 546-4522

Additional:
Bar Dining, Full Bar, Takeout

Bistro Italiano Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on all time ratingsThis restaurant has not received enough recent ratings to display a current ratings snapshot
food

3.9

service

4.2

ambience

4.1

value

3.7

Noise

Quiet

86% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (48)
Great for Lunch (18)
Fit for Foodies (17)
See All
Romantic (16)
Kid-friendly (9)
Special Occasion (8)
Notable Wine List (5)
Good for Groups (4)
Casual (3)
Hot Spot (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Cozy (2)
Late-night Find (2)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Good for Birthdays (1)
Business Meals (1)
Good for a Date (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Vibrant Bar Scene (1)
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39 reviews
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 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Lovely little gem tucked away in a residential neighborhood a block from "restaurant row," & a few blocks from the Capitol. Caveat: the Malbec was ok but there are better (Mendoza area Argentine) wines values (w/o screw top) available.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Birthdays
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food3
ambience5
service3
value3

 
·Dined on November 6, 2017

The pastas looked delicious and may have been the reason the restaurant was recommended to us, but our lunch group had salads. Even with a generous amount of dressing they were uninteresting and had no flavor.

Tags: Cozy, Quiet Conversation
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food2
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 25, 2017

The food is not good at all. Do yourself a HUGE favor and avoid this place.

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food2
ambience1
service5
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 11, 2017

Regular Wednesday night dinner with daughter. Just a very fine pizza and wine at a very reasonable price. We will be going back.

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 6, 2017

Great neighborhood restaurant. Fresh food and great flavor.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on August 30, 2017

I pass by bistro Italiano every day on the way home from work. I've always wanted to stop in and eat. From the outside it looks cute and homey with great ambience and I imagined it would have delicious homemade Italian food. Appearances have never been more deceiving.

Recently, I had the misfortune to eat at bistro Italiano. It was an incident that I will not be seeking to revisit in this or indeed any other life. Upon entering the establishment him we were greeted why a server who's attitude can only be described as surly. Upon being asked if the meatballs were prepared fresh and on site, she had the audacity or maybe the honesty to admit that they were frozen. It only got worse from here.

The pasta in the chicken marsala can only be described as soggy. The tomato sauce decorating the lasagna and the marsala was clearly from a jar, And not only the same jar, but a jar that no self-respecting supermarket would include in its value range.

The house wine, a carafe of which retails at a not unreasonable $25, was a bland, flat, slightly vinegary offering that did absolutely nothing to relieve the pain of the experience that we were undergoing. Possibly the only thing I have to say in its favor is that it was indeed red as the wine list had indicated.

Save yourself the money, buy a box of pasta and some frozen meatballs and enjoy a night in. You will save yourself The disappointment though you will not have occasion to write a sassy review of this ilk.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 7, 2017

The food is very average, nothing you would remember (our party had fish, pizza, lasagne, pasta and we all came to the same conclusion)
Location is pretty cute! Don't get fooled by the other reviews that praise the food

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food2
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 19, 2017

Disappointing. Went for child's birthday. Appetizers overpriced for size/quality. Were not told until after we'd ordered appetizers and were ordering our meals that 2 of 3 of our choices were not available (no lasagna or steak). Chose the location because child wanted steak for birthday meal. Would have appreciated being informed of unavailable items before we'd been sitting there 20 mins and didn't have time to find another restaurant before our evening tour. What we did receive meal-wise was underwhelming.

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 28, 2017

Always enjoy a visit to Bistro Italiano. The pizza is amazing and the staff are friendly and attentive.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Casual
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 9, 2016

Wonderful spot to have a dinner for 2 in a cozy quiet easy-going atmosphere. Gracious personal service.

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food3
ambience5
service4

 
 (New England)·Dined on September 28, 2016

Bistro Itsliano has a setting that is cozy and quaint. Nothing special, yet it could be a very nice spot - except the food misses the mark. My friend had LaSagna and I had eggplant parmigiana with pasta. We began with two garden salads --- which were OK. We both had a glass of rather tasty Sangiovese red wine.

The main courses were lacking in flavor, and clearly were not created by a Chef who understands Italian cuisine. Both the Lasagna and side pasta with the eggplant were in water. The salsa - lacking flavor and good texture. The eggplant was not fried to that perferred crispy texture; and arrived with skin on, soft and had a high acid bite. Not appealing and couldn't be eaten. Nonna was not in the kitchen.

Perhaps Nonna did come back to prepare dessert? At the end, because I was hungry and it was a rainy evening (I did but want to travel for dessert), I had a cannoli which was the highlight of the meal. It was in a fresh crispy shell, filled with a center creme rich in taste with delicate hints of vanilla and sweet mascarpone cheese.

The server was attentive, with a great smile, yet she was the only staff in the front.

Bistro Italiano needs Robert Irvine !

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on August 22, 2016

Service was slow but pleasant. A main course choice was modified without reference to the diner. Could be a really nice spot with a bit more attention in the kitchen.

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food3
ambience3
service3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on August 15, 2016

First time I have had major disagreement with Open Table rating. Chose this restaurant because of 4.5 on open table. Wanted to agree when we entered and waitress was very friendly. Reminded us of neighborhood Italian restaurant near our suburban home in California. Sadly, the food was nearly inedible. Veal was thick, not thin sliced, and though said to be "veal piccata" it did not have a single caper. Likewise, the tomato sauce on the pasta side dish was most likely canned - very acidic and tart. The cheesecake desert was an unadorned slice of cheesecake - good but no different than Costco. Cesare salad was bearable, wine was good. Our experience makes us wary of your ratings when far from home. We are not overly picky diners. Must admit Yelp gave it a 3.5!

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food1
ambience2
service4
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 20, 2016

I had the chef salad. It was the best salad I've had in a very long time.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 5, 2016

This was the best pizza I have ever had; and my husband said their lasagna might even be better than mine.....he never says that. It was a great meal and a great value. I would recommend it to any one who loves Italian food. I am so glad I stumbled on it while searching for "Italian food near my hotel" on the internet.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Great for Lunch, Late-night Find, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on June 22, 2016

Bistro Italiano was a great find on our trip to DC. Found this awesome little Italian restaurant just a simple ten minute walk from the Capital. Based on the reviews we had to see for ourselves what this local spot was all about. What a gem on Capital Hill, the food was awesome and the service was just what we expected based on the Open Table reviews. Something simple, but not overwhelming. Our server Ricardo was inviting and attentive from the minute we stepped inside. Our table for three was already set and waiting. I ordered the seafood al diablo and when it arrived I was more than impressed with the serving size. My wife and daughter eagerly split the alfredo chicken picata. Both dishes were amazing and at the price both were more than what we anticipated. With a bottle of Chianti from the restaurants simplistic (but satisfying) wine selection; all together our meals were under $100 with tip. We will be back again, no doubt. Well worth the trip and the coziness of the 30-seat restaurant reminded us of a little bistro we ate at in Siena Italy. P.S. loved watching the pizza being delivered to the secret service agents sitting across the street...you don't see that every day either.

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 14, 2016

Tiny treasure off the beaten path. Amazing food & ambiance while remaining moderately priced. Excellent choice for couples or groups. Food iis amazing!

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Pittsburgh)·Dined on June 1, 2016

I look forward to returning. I had heard of the place online and met a friend there for lunch. We both enjoyed it very much and I want to return to try the other menu items (and wine!!) Friendly, wonderful service. nice portion, all very good.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (St. Louis)·Dined on March 29, 2016

Wow! My wife was doing some research for our trip to DC. She came across this small Italian Restaurant. It was awesome. I had the veal parmasean with penne and red sauce and it was to die for. Probably close to the best I have had. The wine list is not extensive but value oriented. Not real expensive. The place probably seats 30 people max. Very reasonable in price versus the prices of other restaurants in DC. We will be back. Service was excellent and our we had no waiting. Everything flowed perfectly. Big shout out to our waiter Ricardo. He was great. We will be back! I wish I had a restaurant around the corner from my house!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience3
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on March 23, 2016

Great little affordable spot hidden in the Senate side of Capitol Hill. People are very nice and accommodating and the food is very good. Great spot for lunch.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on November 4, 2015

This Italian restaurant is small in size but big on flavor and food quality. We had Parmesan chicken and cannaloni. Both we delicious.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 7, 2015

A very charming and quaint neighborhood restaurant with a nice menu, great bar, very good service and great food. Great for couples or small groups that want something nice but not too formal or too loud.

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food4
ambience5
service4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 17, 2015

We enjoyed our dinner at Bistro Italiano. It's a gem in the neighborhood and I'm surprised it took us this long to find it. The caeser salad and chicken picata were outstanding. Particularly enjoyed the Sangiovese as well. Thanks and we'll see you again soon!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 2, 2015

If you want a local feeling, cozy restaurant, this is the place. Good food, edible... good wine and perfect for a small group of friends or couples

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food4
ambience5
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 27, 2015

I ate lunch at Bistro Italiano with a friend who was in two on business. It was tucked into a quaint little neighborhood near capitol hill. we really enjoyed it. The food was very good, wait staff very attentive, and the atmosphere nice. We got a table by the window up front which was a great spot. Overall a great experience!

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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (New England)·Dined on February 17, 2015

We were in DC on vacation and got stuck in a snow storm. The restaurant was not only open but by the end of our meal we were the only ones there. They were incredibly nice, the food was wonderful and the wine list was a nice mix.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 9, 2015

Our meal was very good, but the server informed us on arrival that the oven was broken "if we didn't know" (not sure how we would have known). This meant that we couldn't order pizza, subs, or garlic bread. However, we did have baked pastas, all of which were very good. Hope they get the oven fixed soon...

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience2
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 13, 2014

Consistently excellent food! Our go to spot for family and friends when they visit and want great Italian food!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Hot Spot, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on September 24, 2014

This was our second dinner at Bistro Italiano. Our first was with a family group of about 10, which filled almost half of this tiny restaurant that appears to be a converted row house. Very cute.... The service and food were great.

Our second was just us parents and a young adult child. Again, the food and service were good. We were there on weekday evenings and the restaurant was not full. But, I would definitely get reservations for the weekend.

For Washington the prices are very moderate. Highly recommended.

Tags: Good for Groups, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience5
service5

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on July 30, 2014

While visiting DC and staying in the Capitol Hill area we found this gem of a restaurant on Open Table. The Salvadorian owner-chef does a marvelous job with Italian cooking and the staff, which includes his daughter, is friendly and committed to making the dining experience pleasant for the entire family. The locals enjoying this small and cozy bistro all seemed to enjoy the place and the for just as much as we did. When returning for future DC visits we will surely select the Bistro Italian as a dinner site.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 24, 2014

This used to be a fun, neighborhood restaurant with above average Italian food. Since new ownership took over, the décor has improved but the food has declined. While there are a few good dishes such as Calamari Diablo; others suffer. For instance, the classic spaghetti with olive oil and garlic comes out lukewarm; not hot and it is the size of a side dish portion. The pizza used to be above average as well. But time and again it comes out with enormous amounts of cheese, little tomato sauce and a mediocre crust. The sandwiches are probably a better bet but do you need a white tablecloth restaurant to get a cheese steak or a meatball sub? The salads are interchangeable as the Greek looks like antipasto and the antipasto looks like the Greek

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food2
ambience3
service1

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on May 19, 2014

Nice place. It was highly recommended by our hotel, and while it was good, it didn't make the "wow" we expected. Everything was average. No major issues but nothing outstanding either.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience3
service3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on May 7, 2014

Reasonably price good quality italian food
Very authentic

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service3

 
 (Orlando)·Dined on May 6, 2014

We found Bistro Italiano via UrbanSpoon; it was a great find. All of our meals were delicious and the atmosphere was fabulous along with the service.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on April 1, 2014

The reviews for this small neighborhood establishment were great. While parking is easy and a plus, the restaurant itself is quite small and not particularly attractive (the reviews stated that the décor was a real plus). Salads were almost tasteless. My chicken piccata, though not made with capers, was very fine and more than ample. My friend's eggplant dish was very tomato-ey. The wine list is weak though very affordable. So... if you're looking for an inexpensive decent meal in a quiet neighborhood, go for it. If you are looking for a special meal with pleasant culinary surprises and a nice bottle of wine, this is not your place.

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food3
ambience1
service2

vip
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on February 27, 2014

I enjoyed Bistro very much. It is a neighborhood restaurant, really nice to find in the DC area. It's about a 10 minute walk from the Metro. Very unpretentious, food quality and quantity is very good. Wait staff stays attentive, but not intrusive. Save room for the chocolate cake.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience3
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 12, 2014

Bistro Italiano is one if our favorite Capitol Hill eateries. Good food, very good service, and a warm, homey ambiance. We liked it even before they put white tablecloths on the tables! Try the chicken or veal castellana. And the house wine us a fine value.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience5
service4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 8, 2014

Bistro Italiano is the kind of restaurant you always want in your neighborhood. It is small and quiet, the service is welcoming and efficient, and the menu has something for everyone. It is the classic Italian restaurant - not the latest in Italian cooking but good Italian" comfort food." It was the perfect place to go with friends after a movie and to catch up over a leisurely dinner that everyone really enjoyed.

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food3
ambience5
service5

 
 (Portland)·Dined on February 5, 2014

Neighborhood fun! Warm inviting pocket Bistro, 12 tables and 3 seat bar. Bar service makes a decent cocktail, limited but affordable wine list is friendly and quite good enough. White tablecloths, subdued lighting, mildly inattentive service that would be described as inobtrusive on a romantic dinner interlude. Intriguing menu, Itallian classics from chicken Marsala' Picatta, Lasagne to Alfredo de Mare. Scampi and scallops over linguini in classic Alfredo was delicious. Totally reasonable prices, the package all together will bring me back with a happy knowing smile - probably not unlike local regulars in the know!

Tags: Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food4
ambience4
service3

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