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“Pleasantly Surprised”
Review of Cafe Italia I

Cafe Italia I
Ranked #133 of 880 Restaurants in Arlington
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Local cuisine, Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Jeferson Davis Hwy
Transit: ART-ARLINGTON TRANSIT The ART of getting around Arlington. ART operates within Arlington County, providing access to Metrorail and supplementing Metrobus with smaller, neighborhood-friendly vehicles. CommuterDirect.com.FAIRFAX CONNECTOR The Fairfax Connector bus system runs seven days a week.
Montreal, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Pleasantly Surprised”
Reviewed November 19, 2012 via mobile

I didn't want to walk too far from my hotel and was looking for a delicious plate of spaghetti after checking in to my hotel. Luckily I ended up at Cafe Italia ristorante. The service was absolutely beautiful, the restaurant had an old world European warmth to it and the pasta sauce was amazing. What more can a person hope for on a Monday night.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Ron G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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216 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Long Beach, CA
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Old School Atmosphere, great service and good food”
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Italian as you would expect it, lots of menu choices, friendly staff and a old-school checkerboard tablecloth and wine bottle laden atmosphere. I had the stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer which was just average and the putanesca which was pretty good. The price was average and they do offer value-conscious set menus.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank jdlane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“"Carbo-loading for Marine Corps Marathon"”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Even with the crowd of the Marine Corps Marathon coming in to get the best carbs in Crystal City, they were able to seat a party of 2 within 5 minutes, and not a long wait for slightly larger parties. The waiters and staff, while swamped with tables, were able to maintain their friendly composure and make us feel welcome. The food was excellent! One of the freshest red sauces that I've had in a while.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank obxluver03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
896 reviews
317 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 858 helpful votes
“Only for those who have not experienced decent Italian-American cuisine”
Reviewed October 23, 2012

As someone who grew up in Chicago (with outstanding Italian-American cuisine) and lived for five years in Rome, I found my recent meal at Cafe Italia as indescribable, as in indescribably bad. Despite the names of the dishes, they are neither quality Italian nor Italian-American. The pasta is overcooked, limp and starchy, the cheese is a gooey, like one finds in a tube in Europe, the bread is dry but not crunchy, the sauces are uninspired and the wine is best and favorably described as alcoholic. I thought I might do well with a dinner salad, but even that had no crisp greens.

Since I was a guest, I ate sparingly, returning home for some nice wine and cheese.

But...if you have a family in tow, and you and your kids are satisfied with sit-down comfort food at a reasonable price, this may be your place. Otherwise, steer clear. Crystal City is NOT the place to go. Instead, drive to nearby Alexandria to the Del Ray area or Old Town. The selection of quality restaurants in either area is excellent.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Anthony-Susan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level 6 Contributor
179 reviews
105 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Good food, nice staff”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

The prices were very reasonable and the food was good. If you're looking for exciting italian dishes this is not the place for you. But if you want a quick, good meal by all means go here, just don't have anything with marinara sauce--it was bland and tasteless.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank RDD57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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