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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 9 times today

Cesco Osteria

4.2
826 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
  • Romantic
Cesco osteria combines unparalleled Tuscan-inspired cuisine from multi-award winning Chef Francesco Ricchi with a sensory experience that includes live music, breathtaking lighting, and artisan cocktails in its contemporary Co2 lounge. CESCO osteria 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 20 years Chef Ricchi has been dazzling guests with his Italian cuisine. He's earned dozens of awards including Best New Restaurant in the US; Top Twenty-Five Restaurants in North America; Best Italian Restaurant and Zagat Distinction.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
CESCO osteria:
Monday to Friday from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm
Saturday & Sunday from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Co2 Lounge:
Monday through Thursday from 4 pm to Midnight
Friday from 4 pm to 1 am
Saturday from 5:30 pm to 1 am
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Phone number
(301) 654-8333
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Francesco Ricchi
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Catering
Catering and private events available.

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Parking details
Beat Bethesda's parking shortage....and avoid the wind, rain, snow, heat!.
Take an elevator to Cesco's! Located directly underneath the restaurant, 400 parking spaces await our dining public. Take an immediate left off Woodmont Avenue onto North Lane. Our parking entrance is located 200 feet on the right. We are Bethesda's only restaurant...where parking is an interior elevator away! Dinner and event parking is $4.00.
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Public transit
Metro Accessible, Red Line Bethesda Metro Center
Metro Schedule: http://www.wmata.com/rail/schedules.cfm
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Entertainment
Co2 Lounge is an upscale theatrical nightspot featuring its own sizzling (literally) DJ booth with unparalleled surround sound and three live entertainment stages, a dramatically lit fashion runway, a unique teatro e galleria that will feature avant garde art and photography exhibits, film screenings and dancing, and elite culinary and beverage creations. A dramatic wall of glass opens onto an intimate outdoor terrazza framed by architectural trellises that double as art displays and 300 glittering overhead festival lights. Co2 Lounge will be the only multi-media, indoor/outdoor social, entertainment, cultural and dining venue of its kind yet in the region. This WiFi hotspot is poised to become “the” after-hours destination to "see and be seen", to imbibe from one of the most extensive mixology menus in the area, and to sample celebrity Chef Francesco Ricchi's award-winning fare.
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Dancing, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 826 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.3
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Quiet
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 4 days ago

The quality of food at Cesco is consistently excellent. I really enjoy their daily seafood specials. It is a very quiet atmosphere, and great to have a business or personal conversation. Would highly recommend.

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3.0Dined 7 days ago

Food was good. However the service was disappointing. It took about 20 min for someone to acknowledge us. I expected a little more attention. I know this sounds pompous but for these prices I expected the staff to notice if my glass is empty. I had the whole Mediterranean fish. It was brought out and placed next to our table. It took the staff about 10 min before someone came over and deboned it. The flavor was satisfactory. The wine was delicious Starpoint Cabernet 2015. My wife had fish as well. Her was well prepared but a little bland. The food was descent but I would we expected more based on the reviews

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Great northern Tuscan food and atmosphere for a date. The service was amazing and the wine list is quite extensive.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Mother’s Day buffet. Good options

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

This was Mother’s Day brunch. Service was good, none of the food was. It was either cold or lukewarm. Pizza that looked good was cold even when it arrived on the buffet table. The pork was so dry, it was unbeatable. Salads are good, as were desserts, which apparently were not made in house. The Bloody Mary my husband had was so watery that he left more than half of it. What seems suck a shame is that the space is beautiful and it could be a great neighborhood spot, but the food is just not good. Will not dine there again and that is a shame since we live just a block away.

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

We had a family occasion [Mother's day] thus decided to visit this restaurant on a Sunday at 12:30. ... Seating was prompt, assistance for my elderly mother supportive and thoughtful. The atmosphere was pleasant. tomato topped salmon good, and the salmon/ lox dish quite good. I am not as familiar with serving this without some nice breads, which this did not have. Beef was served sliced, and not very tasty. Multiple salad type dishes, e.g. noodles, and these were interesting but not overly compelling.. Shrimp was not cooked the best way, perhaps too long??, according to my wife, who is an officianado on such things..... I thought they were ok. Pork dish was touted as their speciality, and our family does not eat pork... so that one is on us. Fruit was unremarkable, and just a filler. Omelett bar was good, but again not special; but nice to have. I liked the chicken dish, but it was overly done with sauce. Desserts were ok, with tirmisu good, but not great. Found the same brownies I buy from BJ's on the table.. tasted and looked the same... might have preferred something more novel. Apple cake good. At $50 per person, surprised that the tea/ coffee was an additional charge. Just too expensive for what we got.. even though there were some good items. Perhaps the restaurant is better with off the menu items. Still a pleasant afternoon, trying different foods.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Mother’s Day lunch for 6 and they gave us a fabulous table with excellent service!!!!!

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Made reservations for Sunday brunch with my parents and my family. There was limited breakfast choices for brunch (no waffles, sausage, grits, toast, biscuits, cereal, etc). Omelettes were cooked like scrambled eggs with toppings and was undercooked and runny. The toppings for the omelets were very limited. All of the food was bland with not much taste. The bacon was considerably undercooked. The peeled shrimp and oysters on the half shell did not taste fresh. The saving grace were the desserts. Will not be going to this restaurant for brunch again.

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4.0Dined on May 9, 2018

Was able to have a nice business meeting without too much background noise, which was great because some of the folks in our party are hard of hearing. Worked out great.

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4.0Dined on April 30, 2018

Excellent food and service. Wine list is interesting and reasonable. We will definitely return.

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2.0Dined on April 29, 2018

Our booking hadn't registered somehow and there was no one at the front desk. We actually went out and came back in again but no one noticed. We had to track someone down. No tables were laid and it seemed as if they thought they were done for the night. Our waiter was lovely, very friendly and sweet but he recommended two dishes for one of us that were almost identical when presented - both overly sauced and full of garlic. Crab tower appetizer was nice but overpriced for the tiny amount of crab used. Pasta was overcooked - this is an Italian restaurant! Ambiance was not remotely Italian, certainly not an Osteria vibe, just the usual sad corporate expense account feel that is so prevalent in the DC area, big rooms, high ceilings, boring decor, zero heart, large check. Anonymous. Could have served any kind of cuisine and looked exactly the same. Overpriced and not much fun.

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

This is a Bethesda gem. Exceptional food, generous portions and a staff that treats diners like family. This is a great option for a neighborhood meal, large groups or special occasions.

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

We love this place. Food is always hot and delicious, service is friendly and knowledgable and great with recommendations. Carlos is wonderful and has been there for years and always remembers us and our tastes. Cesco and his wife make the place real and welcoming. The menu has something for everyone and they take special requests and adjustments without complaint. It is a go to favorite for our family or high end entertaining . The salt encrusted fish is not to be missed and the bolognese is comfort food at its best and the wine list offers fabulous bottles. Highly recommend.

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2.0Dined on April 21, 2018

Although we were there on a Saturday evening, the restaurant wasn't full 20 minutes after we arrived; nevertheless, the wait staff was not attentive at all. A couple of times we had to wave for someone to come over to our table. I ordered the vegetarian lasagna and ate a few bites. It was totally covered in ricotta or mozzarella and wasn't very tasty at all. My friend had a steak and said it was good.

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4.0Dined on April 20, 2018

The food is quite good – the service is relaxed, Which is fine. The food came out very timely but there was an occasion when we would’ve liked attention and had to call for our waiter

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5.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Dinner for four. The whole Mediterranean sea bass and the crab crusted rockfish were excellent.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Excellent salads, excellent seafood, excellent wine, excellent dessert, and excellent service. A noteworthy evening out.

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4.0Dined on April 6, 2018

Had a family birthday dinner. Nice experience.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Enjoyed our Easter Brunch/Lunch at Cesco Osteria on Sunday with family. All the food was authentic Italian, carefully prepared and delicious. Chef Ricchi was at the buffet table to answer questions, receive compliments and serve his clientele.

We will return for dinner and other events. I understand there will be a similar brunch for Mother's Day. Hint, hint!

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

We enjoyed Easter brunch with our family. The chef prepared incredible varieties of delicious Italian specialties. Oysters on the half shell and jumbo shrip, wow what a treat. Homemade smoked salmon that was incredibly flavorful. So many great desserts to list. This our first time and wr can't wait to return to this gem.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

This was our first time visiting Cesco Osteria. We came for the Easter Brunch. Food and service were excellent. And no brown (burnt) eggs at the omelette station. Fluffy and perfect. Chef was fun and personable. We will definitely come again.

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5.0Dined on March 28, 2018

It was great

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2.0Dined on March 22, 2018

The place is average / food the same as Facci - everything tasted the same - same sauce on the lamb, the same sauce on the filet, the same sauce on the rib - vegetables and mashed potatoes- all the same. The pasta, was cooked properly- the seafood ok- the pizza, below average. The wine slightly over priced. Overall average to below average. Nothing impressive.

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5.0Dined on March 18, 2018

We happened to be in the area . Searched in Open Table to see which Italian restaurant was nearby. Unfortunately, google map kept directing us to NIH. Called the restaurant to get better directions and the maître d was kind enough to stay on the phone and gave us clear directions, until we arrived at the restaurant. Once at the restaurant, we were met by a friendly staff and we quickly relaxed. The seafood angel hair pasta was delicious and so was the fried calamari. Split experience on the pizzas - one said good, the other said it was ok. Service was quick but not obtrusive. We will definitely come back to try the other dishes. Wonderful dining experience overall.

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5.0Dined on March 17, 2018

My husband and I had a wonderful dinner at Cesco Osteria. The restaurant was busy but we could still converse at a normal level. Great cocktails, wonderful food, and attentive (but not intrusive) service. We'll definitely return.

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5.0Dined on March 15, 2018

The food was grand. Service was fantastic, there was a food allergy and was no problem

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5.0Dined on March 11, 2018

Lovely and quiet dinner out in an inviting traditional setting.

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5.0Dined on March 6, 2018

We were two couples and each person ordered a different thing. We all thought our food was delicious. The atmosphere is very comfortable and not at all hectic, which is our preference.

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5.0Dined on March 4, 2018

We were in town for a business meeting in Bethesda and wanted a place within walking distance from the hotel. We picked the resturant based on reviews on Trip Advisor and it looked good. The food and service was great. The price was consistent with other resturants in the area.

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Nice atmosphere. Great server. Osso Buco and risotto were much too salty for my taste. Tiramirsu was good. Not well frequented for a Saturday night. Maybe because it's on a pricey side if you order anything but pasta or pizza. Will it survive?

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2018

The food here never disappoints. Great salads and great fish. Wonderful wine list and delicious desserts too. Carlos is always attentive and gracious and somehow remembers us every time we dine there no matter how long it has been. I don’t know why the restaurant seems to remain undiscovered in it’s ‘new’ location.

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2018

Consistently great food and service. Ambiance is beautiful.

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4.0Dined on February 17, 2018

We ran late and they were kind enough to hold our reservation (place was still pretty empty when we got there, but almost full by the time we left). Beautiful room and good service. Nice and quiet, though probably less so when busy.
We split one appetizer and ordered two salads and two different pastas for main courses. All good, though the squid ink tagliatelle would’ve been better for a bit less cooking (more al dente). I hadn’t specified though, so couldn’t hold kitchen responsible for that. Coffee for me, gelato for hubby, didn’t order booze. Too much food for us,but it was all good.

Bill was just under $90 including tax, not bad. We have season tickets to Roundhouse theatre and will definitely return!

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2.0Dined on February 15, 2018

Severely understaffed for Valentines day. waited too long between plates. food was great though.

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1.0Dined on February 14, 2018

They messed up our entrees three times on their shorter Valentines Day menu. They brought the wrong items out twice and on the third time brought a really raw steak (ordered medium). I would not recommend.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Great food and service. Only drawback was one server kept bumping my dates chair when he walked through the dining area. We will revisit for certain.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

First visita table for four for Valentine's Day. Exceeded expectations in all respects. Serious Italian chef and fine dining with a great menu and wine list (some hidden bargains and Wednesday is half price wine night.) Very convenient to Metro and parking in building. Great service even though it was quite busy that night. The chef is from Firenze and the food shows it. Will return!

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Valentines Day and the restaurant was full. Wonderful service and a lovely special Valentine's Day menu selection.

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3.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Valentine's Day and very crowded. Food excellent as always but service was less than excellent. Lesson: avoid special occasions for the best experience.

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4.0Dined on February 14, 2018

We went to Cesco for our Valentine's Day Dinner. We were really excited, as it was our first time here, however we weren't told (even when we called) about the Valentine's Day Special menu. I've heard so many good things about this place, but there was nothing vegetarian about that menu for dinner - minus ONE pasta. Needless to say, the food still tasted excellent but it was a little disappointing. The two ladies seated next to us felt the same way - that the choices were limited.

The wine list was terrific, the service was great, although our server was a bit rude.

I don't want to judge it based on just this visit, so we definitely plan to go again to try food of their normal menu and will update this review!

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