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“Noisy...but GREAT dining experience!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Olazzo

7921 Norfolk Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814-2501
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Ranked #7 of 301 restaurants in Bethesda
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating, Entertaining clients, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Columbia, Maryland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Noisy...but GREAT dining experience!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2013

My husband and I were being spontaneous yesterday and decided to venture outside our comfort zone (& neighborhood) and find somewhere "new" to go for dinner. So, after choosing the Rockville/Bethesda area, we pulled up TripAdvisor and searched restaurants. Olazzo was #3 on the list...and after deciding on Italian I started reading the reviews. They were truly on point!!!

We loved the ambiance...but it is a "tight squeeze" if you end up being seated in the main dining area. We had no problem being seated right away and for a Saturday dinner time...that was great. But, were about to be seated in a tiny narrow table that had a large party behind it, tables on both sides....and servers going every which direction around the teeny table. My husband was getting change for the parking meter...we didn't have any and although the meters allow you to sign up online and pay via mobile...we didn't feel comfortable. So I told the hostess that little table would not work. Luckily, I saw a man getting ready to pay his bill and leave...I immediately asked her if we could have his booth by the bar. She checked with who looked like one of the owners or manager...and we were seated.

Now, YES the restaurant was very noisy...so if you're looking for a romantic, quiet dinner for two...this is NOT the right choice. But, the reviews on how good the food is...and how reasonably priced were all true!!!! Hubby had a Stella beer...I had the Olazzo martini. My drink was nothing special...on the weak side. So, I wouldn't get it again..but the chicken cardinale and lasagna bolognese we had were absolutely delicious!!!!! For dessert, i ordered the cannoli and hubby had the lemon cheesecake. The cannoli was ok...but the lemon cheesecake was truly HOMEMADE...you could tell it wasn't bought from a US Foodservice or Sodexo type company...and it was sublime!!!! Our bill came to around $60...not bad! Each entree came with a small salad. The bread and dipping oil with balsamic vinegar was ok...needed some seasoning or cheese in it.

But...overall we were impressed and would go back. So...bring some quarters for the meter and be sure to visit Olazzo soon!

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95 reviews from our community

84% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
148 reviews 148 reviews
115 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Still a great spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

Great atmosphere, great service, great food. Nothing fancy, but if you want great pasta, this is it. Monday half price wine night makes a fun night at a low price, too. Graet appetizers and love the calmari!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Los Angeles, California
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Good food at a reasonable price but expect tight, noisey environment”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

Restaurant was nearly full on a recent Thursday evening which was encouraging sign. Based on positive reviews, we gave Olazzo's a try.

Positive - Prices were reasonable. Menu is full of traditional Italian fare and some innovative takes on some dishes. Quality of food was good. Shared an appetizer and two pasta dishes plus a dessert. A few glasses of wine and we were out the door of $65.

Drawbacks - Tables are tight and noise level gets pretty high at times. Service can lag at times and follow up to see how our food/drinks were, never happened.

Okay but could have been much better executed.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Chevy Chase, Maryland
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Great place!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

This restaurant is tight for seating but an awesome choice for lunch or dinner. I have eaten here many times with both work situations and dates. It is always a great meal. There are some lower carb choices too, which I really appreciate. It is hard to stay away from the bread though!

Visited September 2013
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Clifton, VA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Wonderful Italian Food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

We decided to give this place a try even though we didn't have a reservation on a Saturday evening. We were seated immediately. The place was packed and the bar was hopping. We ordered the arancini (stuffed risotto balls) as an appetizer. These lightly fried balls of risotto and mozzarella were quite tasty especially when topped with the marinara sauce. I had the special of the day which was a grilled red snapper accompanied by pasta in olive oil and garlic and chunks of asparagus. My wife had the tortellini. Although it took quite some time for our entrees to appear it was well worth the wait. My red snapper was absolutely delicious. The pasta was a nice addition. I actually prefer it in oil rather than a heavy sauce. The tortellini were also fantastic. We were quite pleased with our meals and look forward to visiting here again. A nice touch in the end was a complimentary desert due to the fact that our table was so close to all of the bar activity (we didn't ask for the comp but couldn't refuse the offer). I highly recommend this restaurant and rate our meals as some of the best we have ever had.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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