Cesco Osteria is located in a large space next to the Bethesda Metro Station previously occupied by a McCormick & Schmick's. The restaurant is nicely decorated with comfortable furniture, elegant glass lamps, and large open windows. Service on a quiet Sunday night was well coordinated and responsive. We enjoyed a very good amuse bouche of frittata and plate of breadsticks and foccacia. The wine list was comprehensive and reasonably priced with some good choices in the under $40 range. We enjoyed an excellent ripasso, a rich wine related to the Amarones of Valpolicella. Food was pretty good, but not brilliant. Pancetta wrapped scallops were served on a bed of slightly gummy spinach and goat cheese which didn't quite match. Fried calamari was a bit overcooked and served with something that resembled thousand island dressing. Lamb chops were done just right and served with an excellent sauce and vegetable saute. A plate of osso bucco had an excellent gremolata sauce, but the presentation was a bit amateurish, just a mound of mashed potatoes and an out of season flute cut tomato. We shared tiramisu for dessert which was tasty, but had a less than perfect presentation. I'd recommend the grappa di moscato as a finale. It had a wonderful bouquet and smooth taste. Our overall experience was very good even though there were some flaws in the presentation and side dishes. We do recommend Cesco Osteria for a good meal of northern Italian food.
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