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“Old School Italian” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Castelli's

Castelli's
73098 Highway 111, Palm Desert, CA 92260
(760) 773-3365
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Ranked #26 of 208 Restaurants in Palm Desert
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Longwood, Florida
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Old School Italian”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2014

Very good food and service--nice atmosphere. Food was prepared to order and was top notch. Very complete Italian menu with just about anything you can think of--Great photos of celebs that have eaten there!!

Visited April 2014
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208 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    114
    41
    24
    20
    9
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Montgomery, New York
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Great recomendation.....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2014

We are from New York and the Concierge at the Westin hotel recommended this restaurant. Had reservations and seated immediately in the front area. Service was spot on. Food was great and the service was excellent. Went there on a Sunday night. . Had the Godfather dish. MMMM good.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Try to sit in front by the piano”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2014

If you have a large group you'll be in the back of the restaurant. Although very nice, the noise volume is so high, you won't be able to visit with someone across the table. Very busy, so reservations are a must. I'd suggest asking for a table in the front section of the restaurant, or take earplugs! The pear, walnut & goat cheese salad was exceptional, and the Caesar with anchovies was equally delicious. All the main entrees were served with a bow tie pasta with marinara sauce.. While very robust and flavorful, it did not pair well with the delicate chicken piccata I ordered. You won't find chicken piccata on the menu, but it's available, and the sauce is one of the best I've had. The bone in steaks were huge, and everyone was raving about them.
Would not recommend the spumoni for dessert.. Instead, go for the sorbet. Valet parking.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Lakeway, Texas
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Italian Restaurant Search”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

Very charming place. Piano music along with great ambiance paired with excellent food and service. What more could you ask for? Will be there again and again!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Olive Garden on Steroids”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2014

I am on the hunt for a go-to restaurant in the desert for good and reliable Italian-American food. There are a good number of high-end authentic gourmet Italian eateries, which are fine for a special occasion. But that's not what I'm after. I want a reasonably priced mom and pop type of place where I can drop in regularly for a good chicken parm or such. At the suggestion of a couple friends I tried Castelli's.

Immediately upon entering, I loved the ambiance. A strong aroma of garlic fills the air. Since I was alone, I sat at the bar. The bartender, Greg, was attentive and friendly. A basket of herbed garlic bread was served. The people next to me raved about the garlic bread. I didn't find anything spectacular about it. Lots of garlic, yes, but also bombarded with herbs.

I started with the escargot Italiana ($12). It was delivered very quickly and was hot. They were served over two pieces of the restaurant's signature garlic bread, which I thought was a little lazy on the chef's part, with a large pool of garlic sauce smothered all over them. (Why serve these over garlic bread, when there's already garlic bread at every table?) There was so much garlic in this that it was bitter tasting. The escargot themselves were great... tender and flavorful. I had to work like a lifeguard to save them from drowning in the pool of garlic sauce. But the two pieces of garlic bread were too much and nearly disguised the taste of the escargot.

For my main I ordered the pollo giovanni (the menu description reads "Charbroiled breast of chicken topped with a touch of marinara, Prosciutto, and mozzarella in a Marsala wine, mushroom and diced tomato sauce"). ($28) I expected a half breast of chicken, or perhaps a breast pounded thin like for a chicken milanese. Nope. The chicken brought to the table was a large as a man's head. As a big eater, I'm all for generous portions, but this was almost grotesquely large. All the flavors competed with each other so that none stood out. Over the top, too much of everything. The pasta side dish was overcooked and bland. $28 for chicken? Wow.

For everything the place lacks in the quality of its cuisine, it scores highly for atmosphere. Think old school family joint, photos on the walls, gentleman waiters in vests, Sinatra playing overhead. I would return to Castelli's to sit at the bar and have a drink, but for food? No. Too much of everything. If the chef could take any advice, it would be restraint.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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