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“Rainy Friday night” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cesco Trattoria

Cesco Trattoria
4871 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
301-654-8333
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Ranked #156 of 300 Restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $28 - $50
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Norfolk Avenue
Transit: Convenient to Bethesda Metro station.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Rainy Friday night”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

New beautiful restaurant in the former McCormick seafood space. Absolutely gorgeous bar space. Large and beautiful. Food experience was delicious. Wait staff were lovely. A lovely experience. Probably won' t return unless a special or romantic occasion.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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37 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    12
    11
    6
    3
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Go for lunch.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

Having dined at Cesco at its former location, we knew that service could be spotty in the evening. But lunch is a different matter. The staff were attentive, anticipating our needs.

The menu offered a variety of interesting dishes, including a create your own salad (the one from column A, two from column B type). We wished we could have tried the salads and pizzas especially, but that will have to wait for our next visit. We opted for composed crab salads, which were beautifully presented and had just the right amount of basil and good-sized pieces of crabmeat.

In short, the new location is sophisticated, chic, and comfortable. What we ordered was delicious. Cesco remains a good choice among Bethesda's many restaurants.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Although I liked the original Cesco better, this one is good too”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2012

I was sad when Cesco moved and disheartened to read all the bad reviews - Cesco had been one of "our" places and I loved it! I finally decided to try it for myself, with a friend. We had a very enjoyable meal. As for the food, it was delicious - I had special sweet potato soup and the tortelli in butter and sage sauce, and I enjoyed both (although the soup might benefit from being a tad thicker). My friend had the beet salad and gnocchi and thought both were good, especially the gnocchi, which has to be done well to be good.

While the service wasn't five-star service, it was quite good. Perhaps they're working on it in response to the reviews? I say - keep it up. Two suggestions: 1) keep a better eye on whether diners need refills on drinks (this is a complaint I have at many restaurants), and 2) tell patrons the specials right from the start - don't wait until you come to take their order, otherwise they don't have time to really consider the specials. Other than that, we had no complaints about the service. Everyone was friendly and respectful.

We sat outside, so I can't speak to the closeness of tables inside. The decor/atmosphere inside seemed nice (although a bit like it's trying too hard - I liked the decor/atmosphere of the old Cesco much better - it was cozier, more unassuming). The seating outside is nice except you are on a quite busy street, which does detract from the appeal of sitting outside. I know Cesco can't change its location and the traffic, but maybe put up some small trees or something for a little bit of screening?

Just as we were leaving, they were setting up for some nice-sounding live music (it was a Thurs night). I noted that for future visits, thinking it might be a nice spot for a drink and some music for a later evening. The only thing - the music was set up in the bar and was so loud (and it was smooth jazz!), I think I wouldn't be comfortable sitting in the bar. Cesco might want to think about figuring the sound better.

Overall, I'd say this restaurant is worth visiting. It might not become a favorite, but it's a fun, festive place with delicious food.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1 review
“This place is NOT worth the money”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2012

Made a reservation for a family birthday (4 people) - had to beg for a decent table, was ignored by the staff (on a Sunday night when the restaurant was one-third full!) and had a meal that was barely adequate. THEN we got a nasty message from Open Table saying we had failed to make our reservation! My 18-year-old daughter went home hungry.... The room is opulent, but the service and food don't measure up. Other reviewers say the place won't be around a year from now, and I expect they're right. While the food's authentic Italian (far better than most other places in Bethesda), the attitude and location will probably kill it. We won't be sorry.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Norwich, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“service mediocre”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

Seated immediately. Food average and for price not that great. Service was poor, drink order missed and when waiter reminded took forever to get drink. slow to clear dishes etc from table. Before I would go back I will have to read many positive reviews.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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