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“Fine dining in small town Iowa”
Review of Cafe Dodici

Cafe Dodici
Ranked #1 of 16 Restaurants in Washington
Cuisines: International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Description: Welcome to Cafe Dodici, a restaurant with a mission to represent the essence of its own definition: "to restore". The intended goal of Lorraine Williams, her Italian husband, Alessandro Scipioni and Tsalika Rich is to offer more than simply a place to eat; they want to give the gift of good, wholesome food, served with the purpose of replenishing energy in an enjoyable and refined dining environment. Our restaurant's goal is to be a fulfilling dining experience on every level. Food unites families, friends and people of all backgrounds around a table; it is food that keeps your body, mind and soul healthy, rejuvenated and happy. Cafe Dodici takes pride in the quality of its food; in order for us to enjoy the life essence of what we eat, we take particular measures to ensure that our foods' natural, nourishing qualities are respected in the cooking process.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
123 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Fine dining in small town Iowa”
Reviewed December 28, 2013

We come to Washington three or four times a year and our visits would not be complete without dinner at this wonderful oasis. Finding such exceptional food, warm Italian atmosphere and family driven customer service makes this a must stop destination for anyone desiring high quality food, drink and friendliness. The menu includes everything from pastas to steaks and plenty in between.

Next to the restaurant is the Dodici Coffe shop.mit is actually a small space more like your own living room and offers coffee drinks, wine, snacks and more. If you need lodging, above the coffee shop is a two bedroom rental apartment that can be had by the day or longer. All three properties are set right on the town square and are the perfect location to create your own Norman Rockwell moment!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank gordy g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Atmosphere, feeding the soul!”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

A visit to Café Dodici in downtown Washington, Iowa, is to step into an atmosphere that "nourishes the home of your soul"! That statement is the goal of the entire experience.
The culinary offerings are generally Italian, but that's like saying 'they serve food!' Taste, imagination and skills transform the menu into a satisfying stroll through flavorful choices.
Prepared and served by a family dedicated to your enjoyment!

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank shepfarms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Washington's Gem”
Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

We come to Washington a couple times a year usually...visiting friends and my Husband preaches at Marion Avenue Baptist Church. We love to stay at the Dodici Suite while in town and frequent the coffee shop but had not made it to the restaurant until this last visit. Delicious!...And not just because it's in a town with nothing but fast food, pizza and misc Chinese and Mexican restaurants...but because it really is good! We made it in for Sunday brunch. There were 6 adults and 4 kids...probably not a table of patrons that would make you jump for joy but our kids were well behaved and they bent over backwards to accommodate us (even made some apple sauce on a whim for one of the babies because his mom forgot his food at home). The service was great! Lorraine, the owner, was making rounds, checking on tables, as friendly as can be (even noticed me holding my friends baby while she ate her salad and came and carried him around for a few mins when my food came...so sweet). The restaurant had great atmosphere and was clean. Good menu selection for brunch. I ordered the eggs alla Loraine...eggs Benedict with mozzarella and prosciutto and it came with roasted potatoes. It was delicious. Only complaint was that my poached eggs were overdone (but that may have been from confusion...when ordering eggs for my 2yr old the waitress might have gotten requested cooking mixed up). They didn't skimp on the hollandaise (pet peeve) and it was yummy. My husband got the tortellini...he said it was cooked well and good quality but a smidge bland. The Crossaint French toast was yummy...light and not too rich and sweet. Ordered the chocolate almond torte for dessert with a mocha latte. DELICIOUS! The whipped cream tasted like it might have had some mascarpone whipped in maybe?..something was a little different/special about it. I feel like the serving size was a little too small though compared to the serving size of the other desserts I've seen and had from there. (My friend got the tiramisu and loved it. I've had their creme brûlée to-go before...flavor is good but not custardy/creamy enough for me? A little closer to flan-like consistency) Latte was yummers. A wonderful gem for Washington locals and visitors. Sure wish the small town I live in had something of this caliber.

1 Thank HollanBishop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, Iowa
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Raw Chicken”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

I ordered the chicken roulades since that is the "dish to not miss", according to a review. While it did taste okay, that was only after having to send the entree back due to them presenting me with raw...YES, quite RAW, chicken. My date ordered a pasta dish, which he said he enjoyed. I see that particular item is no longer on the menu. The wine, a white, was good.

As far as the attention others rave about receiving here, it did seem as though regulars (?) are showered with it and strangers? Not so much. It was just before Christmas and our first time there. We had reservations. We drove over an hour for the experience, and it was acceptable. We don't need to be coddled by the owners nor thanked more than anyone else for visiting; it was only a keen observation.

Will I go back? Maybe. Their prices are high for the region. I'd really prefer to go someplace where they don't send out raw chicken, though. I might add that there was no apology offered for that, either. If I had been elderly, shy, or any other status that would have affected my ability to see or sense the raw meat? I shudder at the thought. This was not slightly undercooked but VERY raw chicken. I would hate to imagine the food borne illnesses or other nasty side effects eating raw chicken would result in. I would venture to say that this is a rare (I really hope) occurrence, although it certainly didn't make a very good first impression and the wait for them to present a satisfactory replacement was long and with nothing offered/provided in the meantime.

Visited December 2012
Thank JenaRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
71 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Wish we lived in Iowa again”
Reviewed August 8, 2013

My husband and I loved to go to Washington back in the 70's when our children were young. We hadn't been there for many years, so on a recent trip from Florida to Colorado, we decided to drive through Iowa and stop in Washington for old time's sake. SInce it was lunch time, we hoped to find something other than fast food, When driving around the town square we came upon Cafe Dodici, and couldn't have been any more fortunate. Washington is certainly blessed to have this incredible restaurant right on the square. Our experience at Cafe Dodici was outstanding. The service was top notch and the food absolutely delicious. The menu has many interesting choices, most with a European flair added. There is also and excellent wine list. We tried the soup of the day, the Mango Chicken Salad and Alex's Mac'n'Cheese. All we can say is "Yum"! The ambiance in the restaurant is warm and inviting, we felt like we could easily have been somewhere in Europe. The decor is very well done and we found ourselves admiring many of the pictures and sculptures which come from all over the world. Lorraine, the owner, came by our table and we were delighted to enjoy a few minutes of her time. She and her husband Allesandro, who is from Italy and oversees the kitchen, have created quite a special place here in Washington. Next door is their Dodici Shop which serves coffee, pastries, soups, sandwiches, desserts and chocolates, plus one can browse local artist's creations and gifts. There is even a Dodici Night Suite above the shops which can be rented should accommodations be in order. Cafe Dodici is not to be missed, we have said several times since being there that we wish we lived in Iowa again.

We suggest you Google Cafe Dodici and look at all the creative pages and pictures on their website. Be sure to check out what Dodici stands for. We can't wait to get back through Washington again, and next time we'll stay in the beautiful Dodici Night Suite and sip specialty coffees from the Dodici Shop.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank AK L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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