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“Cesco getting its act together” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cesco Trattoria

Cesco Trattoria
4871 Cordell Ave., Bethesda, MD 20814
301-654-8333
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Ranked #174 of 296 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.
Bethesda, MD
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Cesco getting its act together”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

I have had several occasions to visit Cesco since my last review.
I am happy to report that it has improved.

There are many good items on the menu. They offer host of good salads and desserts, although you should avoid anything with a tomato sauce. The wait staff is ill-trained, but always courteous. The noise level is suitable for conversation, which is the reason my group continues to go there.

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

60% Recommend
    12
    9
    6
    3
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Potomac, Maryland
1 review
“The owner has no idea how to manage a restaurant.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

It is clear that the people running Cesco have no clue how to manage a restaurant. The last time we went to Cesco when it was at its previous location in Bethesda, we had a reservation and waited for 40 minutes for a table, finally gave up and went elsewhere. I thought in its new, roomier location the management might be able to handle their customers better.

Boy was I wrong. After waiting almost an hour for our entree, I asked the waitress what was wrong. She told me that our order had mistakenly been placed at the end of the line some time after it was originally given to the kitchen. When the meal finally came after three more requests, the veal chop I had ordered was only cooked only the outside; it was completely raw inside. I sent it back. It returned slightly more cooked, but still raw inside. I sent it back again. When it arrived, actually done, it was so soaked with pepper that it was inedible.

Looking for some gesture from the management, I got none. There was nothing removed from the bill and nothing else was offered in compensation for ruining our dinner. I would have expected to have not been charged for the veal chop or offered a free dessert. Not at Cesco. For obvious reasons, I'm never going back.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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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Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
46 helpful votes 46 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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Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
21 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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