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“Good Food: Fast, Friendly Service; Reasonable Prices” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pines of Rome

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Pines of Rome
4709 Hampden Ln, Bethesda, MD 20814-2909
301-657-8775
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Ranked #21 of 296 restaurants in Bethesda
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
silver spring, md
Top Contributor
223 reviews 223 reviews
164 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
“Good Food: Fast, Friendly Service; Reasonable Prices”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

My wife an I have been eating at this restaurant for more than 20 years, and it is one of our favorite places. Pines is consistently very good and its prices are quite reasonable. The ambiance is not very pretty, but the restaurant is very comfortable. The service is fast and friendly, and the food is always great. We usually start with our favorite appetizers - fried zucchini and white pizza with fontina cheese - which are terrific. My wife loves the clams in a white sauce as well as the raviolis in tomato sauce. I almost always get the veal parmigiana with pasta; the sauce is very simple - basically tomatoes with olive oil - and it is really, really good. No matter what you order at Pines, it's always very good and filling.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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49 reviews from our community

77% Recommend
    23
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    8
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bethesda MD
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Service Good, Food Bland”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Despite living very close to this place for several years I never knew it was there. A friend suggested this place for a Sunday retirement lunch for a mutual volunteer. There were five of us total. We went at 12:00 on Sunday and the place was empty, no literally no one but us. We ordered salads and I ordered the jumbo ravioli (cheese). The salad looked like they just chopped up some lettuce and put it on a plate. There is no dressing, only vinegar and oil of balsamic vinegar. I have bland taste, but making ravioli with store bought pasta sauce tastes better than what I had. The sauce was runny and bland and the ravioli was tasteless. The only bright spot was the dessert which a friend suggested and was a chocolate ball of ice cream. However, it was not homemade you could tell it was store bought. Really wanted to love this place as I too do not like the commercialism of Bethesda and wanted to find a good local place, unfortunately not this one.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Great Neighborhood Place - Thanks for Keepin' On!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

We've been going to the Pines of Rome since Bethesda was a small town without the metro-associated highrises. When there were local shops and stores. Thankfully, this establishment remains open despite all of the new building and activity in the area (making parking a problem, but on a weeknight, the garage across the street is $6 bucks).

The food is not gormet, but is highly satisfying. Start with a white pizza as an appetizer, but first make sure that you check out the chalk-boad specials. Something is always new and interesting. The pasta is freshly made, al dente, and accompanies most dishes. The seafood is excellent, the meats acceptable, but the pasta dishes are really great. Manicotti, ravioli, etc. etc. The old standards, well done, served efficiently in a family-friendly atmosphere. The wine list by the bottle is expensive, but the house wine by the litre is perfectly fine and reasonably priced.

Is this a foodie place? Not realy. But it is a satisfying place where, year after year, the traditional family-style neighborhod place continues to offer what we're looking for.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Traditional Italian”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

It's hard to not like a restaurant with 30-65 year old waiters in long sleeve white shirts (mine had worked there for 30 years!). I ordered the fried zucchini appetizer (very lightly breaded, so quite fresh-tasting) and lasagna (hand made noodles, great sauce, not spicey meat). Get a carafe of the house red!

Visited April 2013
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Rockville, Maryland
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“Classic Italian American home style food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013 via mobile

This is one of my favorite restaurants in Bethesda and I have yet to leave disappointed. It is casual, kid friendly and good for groups. Be sure to check out the blackboard as you enter for specials- some go pretty quickly like the artichokes!

Wine is served by the glass or carafe and is a reasonably priced addition to your meal. To start, we often get an order of the fried zucchini for the table (actual circles of zucchini in a batter that are fried) and a cheese less pizza (dough brushed with garlic, herbs and olive oil). As some people have said, the house bread is nothing special but the kids seem to enjoy it.

For my main course my go to dishes are either the eggplant parmigiana with a side of aglio olio pasta or the cutlet Milanese with the same pasta side. You can get traditional red sauce or meat sauce too. Kids seem to enjoy the spaghetti with meatballs. Their pizzas are tasty though not "gourmet". They are always well liked by the table. They have some good shrimp dishes and fra diavolo pasta with seafood too.

For dessert there are limited offerings but the tartufo is usually the way to go if you want something sweet with your coffee.

Service is efficient and it is a bit noisy. Don't be afraid to ask for your leftovers to go! The prices are very reasonable, especially for this area and the portions are generous. If you are looking for a place to call your local Italian restaurant this is it. For the 10+ years I have been going there I don't think anything has changed on the menu. And that is a very good thing!

Visited March 2013
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