Cesco Osteria

4.5
1240 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
CESCO OSTERIA is open for indoor and outdoor dining 12-9pm Mon-Fri, 5-9 Sat. Closed Sundays. Cesco Osteria combines unparalleled Tuscan-inspired cuisine from multi-award winning Chef Francesco Ricchi. CESCO offers casual and white tablecloth dining options as well as lounge-style seating, plus the spectacular Terrazzo CESCO for unique al fresco dining and libations.
For over 30 years Chef Ricchi has been dazzling guests with his Italian cuisine. He has earned dozens of awards including Best New Restaurant in the US; Top Twenty-Five Restaurants in North America; Best Italian Restaurant and Zagat Distinction.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 1240 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
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DC
vipDCDiners
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cesco has been an institution in Bethesda for many years. We are really going to miss it. Best of luck to all Francesco, Elaine and all of the wonderful employees.

BP
vipBethesdaPat
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2022
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Never taken the time to write a review but the service was so terrible that I decided to do so. With an empty restaurant and a waitstaff of 5, one would think that we would have seen our waiter more than just when he took our orders. Had to ask multiple times for clean bread plates, glasses etc. I understand and appreciate these may be first world problems but the level of service received at a restaurant should be commensurate with the cost being charged, which is far from the case here. As a local who lives in downtown Bethesda and with many options, and this restaurant not being right in the middle of the downtown food scene (2 blocks away) it would stand to reason that they would try to stand out in some form or another with either service, and or food. Lastly, I would think that it’s better to not advertise at all than to advertise “ fresh homemade pasta” when in fact it clearly was not “homemade / made to order”.

v
vipvalueman
Washington DC
53 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Yum, yum, yum
Great food, great service (including the focacia guy 👍) , and tables not too close together.
Thanks !!!

F
vipFoodlover
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2022
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely reliable neighborhood restaurant. Only down side was diminished supply of wine but since there were alternatives it was no big deal

f
fouad
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

New Year’s Eve with dancing and a good set menu

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food!

SC
SpartacoC
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great place, goo0d food, attentive staff

NA
vipNAK1
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food!!!!!! Just the best!
Service was wonderful. Everything was just perfect.

j
vipjamesemich
New York Area
21 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cesco has become our go to Italian restaurant in Bethesda. Food is really wonderful here. Great friendly wait staff who recognize you and treat you like old friends.

D
Diner1
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food is so delicious here - it is my favorite Italian restaurant in Bethesda.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience4

The food was very enjoyable and the atmosphere was great. But they forgot that we were sitting there for over 25 minutes before they ended up saving us

HH
vipHollyH
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed a really delicious birthday celebration. The staff was friendly, informative, and very professional, making great recommendations for food and drink. We enjoyed a variety of dishes. Be sure to try the fried calalmari! Portions are generous. The fresh pasta is wonderful, but the filet mignon and salmon were terrific, too. A great special occasion place, and quiet (carpeting is a plus!) so that anyone who struggles with their hearing can participate fully in the fun.

A
vipAllen
Richmond
35 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was exceptional. Service was spread a little thin to manage all the tables. It was still good.

B
Babs
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious. Very relaxing atmosphere

v
vipvalueman
Washington DC
54 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding Cinghiale (wild boar)!!!
Never disappoints, keep up the FABULOUS job, THANKS!

ED
EuniceD
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

It is a very nice Italian place, good food quality and amazing Aperol Spritz. There's also a very complete wine selection. Recommendable for celebrations. There's also a very nice Latin live music group every Friday.

DH
vipDHRockville
Detroit
41 reviews
Dined on December 3, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Nice decor and friendly environment.
Raw oysters were large and delicious. Lamb ossobuco , salty branzino and seafood linguine were all amazing . Rack of lamb chops was a bit disappointing. Very small and sauce was somewhat sweet.
Barolo wine is as good as it gets .
Excellent service and a very pleasant evening.

Main complain which is a serious hazard is the amount of visible dust on the lamps above the tables. Clearly they weren’t cleaned for weeks if not months . One can see visible pieces of dust that makes you wonder if it doesn’t fall in your food while you’re eating it.
We mentioned it to both our server and the owner. We didn’t get the impression that they cared much about our complaints. SAD.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Our waiter was so impatient and not interested in our party. He was rude when we wanted to change an order. Was very curt to the one minority member of our party. He was rude all the way around. Wanted to place our dinner order before ordering drinks and apps. Food was ok but not what it used to be. Disappointed in the $400 experience.

t
trishm
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was perfect!

G
vipGail
New York Area
31 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Everything was very fresh and delicious!!

A
vipahmadA
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The place looks really nice. The food was good but the service was very slow.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food and service, as always!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We celebrated our son and daughter-in-law’s birthday! Cesco always provides great atmosphere inside and outside and the food and service are terrific. They also time the meal well so we are not in and out in under an hour. Service was very nice! Wonderful evening and we will definitely celebrate more memories there

t
trishm
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was fantastic, hard to have a conversation as the music was too loud……..

n
natsfan
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience4

Service was very poor and we notified them of our daughter’s wedding anniversary but there was no mention and nothing was done for the kids. Water glasses were not refilled and I was never offered a coffee refill.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New Orleans
8 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to celebrate a birthday. Service was a little slow at the start but quickly recovered and the server was very helpful and attentive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were a group of nine and the service and food were outstanding.

JO
vipJimO
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The next best thing to dining in Florence. Great food, wine, and service.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing and wine list was great!

DO
DeeOne
Washington DC
46 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

A warm evening so it didn’t matter that the heaters were not on outside. The patio is lovely. The food was delicious. I had butternut squash ravioli. The pasta was clearly handmade and the filling excellent. The gratis pre-dinner serving of vegetable frittata was a very nice addition to the meal.

LQ
LauraQ
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Felt very comfortable dining inside, lots of room and open space.

RR
RaymondR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Really good food and service at a reasonable prices. Nice comfortable atmosphere.

E
annE
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

The food was not as good as it was in previous visits. Risotto was undercooked and gummy with too much cheese. The crab and avocado tower was very sloppily assembled. I will try it again but not for sometime.

C
vipChuck
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been to Cesco many, many times and have never been less than delighted. The service is discreet and appropriately attentive, the menu diverse and the preparation outstanding. We will be back often.

c
csvj
Baltimore
47 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Genuinely warm hosts greet you with an obvious pride in their Osteria and then deliver on every aspect of that pride through their highly personable, courteous, and professional service. The exceptional variety on the menu is complimented with a "picture-taking" presentation that compliments the meal. When the weather permits dining on the patio is highly recommended.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
94 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

We ordered a fennel salad that was just ok, dressing kind of bland. My dining partner got the wrong entree and had to wait for the one she ordered, while I ate mine before it got cold. It was a Saturday night and they were busy and didn’t seem to have enough waiters

b
bdbroonzy
Baltimore
19 reviews
Dined on October 14, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

I appreciated the ability to make a reservation for an outdoor table. We were seated immediately and it was not crowded. The scallop appetizer and ravioli entre were REALLY good. The soup had a great flavor but should have been hotter (however, we didn't ask to have anything done about that). Friendly service and an enjoyable meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service. They handled special orders and changes with no problem. Would go again.

G
Gigi
Portland
10 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food4service1ambience3

Unfortunately there was a large party, and I mean BIG that took up a space that we could not see in the back. Because of this, service was close to non-existent for the dining room. Allowing a grace period because of the predominant thinking of shortage of restaurant workers, we were set to leave after half an hour. During our wait, we were presented with an amuse-bouche kind of small dish, no water, no person to explain the wait. Then, one minute to leaving, wait staff suddenly swoops into the dining room. No explanation, no apologies. Wait staff kept trying to pour sparking water which we did not order or want. Rest of the meal, without the catered event pressure, service was adequate.

Food was well done and above average. We ordered arancini rice balls, a mixed salad with roasted pears and blue cheese, the Tuscan fish soup, and butternut squash ravioli. All nicely presented and delicious.

We will probably return to Cesco again but not soon and not on a weekend. For this evening's service issue, we feel the management could and should have done a better job in organizing the staff. If nothing else, no reservations should have been taken for the busiest part of the catered event when it appeared that all wait staff was needed.

We would recommend for the food with a caution re: service.

FAQs

Cesco Osteria does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Cesco Osteria also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (301) 654-8333.

Cesco Osteria is rated 4.5 stars by 1240 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.