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“A gem of a restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Olazzo

Olazzo
7921 Norfolk Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814-2501
301-654-9496
Menu
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Ranked #5 of 292 restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Italian
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating, Entertaining clients, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night
Wintergreen, Virginia
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A gem of a restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2013

This is our third visit to Olazzo's and we were so pleased that I felt I had to share our experience. Since it does not accept reservations, we arrived at 5:30 on a Thursday night. It was great as we were one of the first guests for dinner. Very attentive service, a creative selection of martinis, beers and reasonably priced wines. We went right for the main courses and found three of them outstanding: the meatballs (2 rather large ones) were very tasty and homemade, the pasta with clam sauce delicious and the shrimp and crabmeat was a total delight (large shrimp and lots of lump crabmeat); they serve it with Penne but they gladly accommodated my request for Linguinni and they changed the sauce to my liking. For all the dishes, the pasta was cooked perfectly "al dente". We had a wonderful dining experience at a very reasonable price.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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85 reviews from our community

85% Recommend
    43
    30
    7
    4
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Very Average for Vegetarians, Better for Meat Eaters.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

As a local, I wanted to like Olazzo. I really, really did. It has a lovely look and is tucked away on a quieter street.
Unfortunately, in the two times i have been there, everything has been quite mediocre.

First-- the bread is delicious, absolutely. And the service is quite attentive. However, both of the vegetarian dishes I ordered were not good. The first, a bizarre combination of cheese tortellini and dates, was just...weird. And I love dates and tortellini, just not together I guess.

My second dish, an eggplant and red pepper pasta was BLAND. The sauce was bland, the red pepper tasted like it was taken out of a jar with no seasoning, and it was just...eh.

My boyfriend's dishes, both with chicken and a pasta with a marinara, were better. Again, they were nothing spectacular, but the sauce was obviously fresh, and the chicken was tender and good.

A note on the ambiance: Beware! It is very, very LOUD in this restaurant. There may be people at the bar watching a game, loud music on, or just a whole helluva lot of people. Several times we have gone in wanting to eat but have left because we couldn't hear each other talk. While it looks very romantic from the outside, it is much better for a small group of friends who want a casual night out.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Special”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

A very special place to eat with a superb chef. The food is divine and the pricing is very reasonable. $45 for two. $60 for two with wine. So honestly, you won't be disappointed, it's clean the service is prompt and I'm sure there are nights that it's quiet and romantic.....

But that's why it's not perfect because EVERYBODY knows about it. This place will always be busy because there are so many people and since they don't take reservations, you can be sure that whenever you go it's going to be crowded.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Bethesda, Maryland
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Good Italian Food in Bethesda”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Awesome food. Great prices. They bring fresh bread to your table and salad comes with most entrees. They also have a lot of fun drinks - different flavored martinis and mixed drinks.

The only annoying thing is that they don't take reservations. I believe they do have a call ahead list, so just remember to call before you go. I tried to go there recently on a Saturday night and there was a 35-40 minute wait.

  • Visited June 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
baltimore
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“great place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had dinner at Olazzo on Sat night and we had a great experience. 3 of us got there at 6:30 and we got the last table for 5 of us. The other two were delayed in traffic for awhile but the waiter and hostess didn't make us feel uncomfortable at all for waiting. We all loved our food and some of us followed other reviewers and ordered the rose sauce and it was delicious. The ravioli was the best I have ever had. I could actually taste all the cheeses in the ravioli which usually doesn't happen. We were all very happy. We had an 18% tip added on which is unusual for a party of 5 and we would have left more than 20%, but really like restaurant and will return.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.

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