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“frequently patronized - hit and miss”

Osteria de Valerio and Al
Ranked #132 of 1,867 Restaurants in Cleveland
Price range: $15 - $100
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Reviewed July 23, 2012

I was introduced to this place several years ago, and I have frequently patronized it on a regular bases, primarily for the performers Rick and Sharonna. The food is average to good but inconsistent; the price is always consistence at the high end. It can be difficult to get service at the bar, busy or not. I noticed the restaurant is always a little dirty, and the bathrooms are always dirty. The entertainment atmosphere is very good when the performers Rick and Sharonna are on the venue; it helps distract from the proprietor who I’m sure has a Napoleon complex. If he’s not insulting minority patrons, then you can typically find him manhandling a female customers. Its embarrassing to witness and it seems like he’s serious even though he laughs about his antics. There is a good old boys code among the regulars and the staff that turns a blind eye to these offensive infractions. That aside, if you choose to eat there bring your check book and stay off the radar off the owner and which point you may actually have a good time … if Rick and Sharonna are performing that is.

1  Thank emily j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 - 66 of 87 reviews

Reviewed June 9, 2012

I generally don't eat Italian in restaurant cuz it sucks compared to what Italian food is supposed to be (and I'm not Italian). Osteria falls into this category. If you are not an Italian food snob, you'll like this place. If you like authentic Italian, don't expect much from the food.

Saying that, the service was fantastic and the wine list was superb. The place is below ground level and you could quite easily miss it. On the way in, take the door to the right. The restaurant is in the basement and it almost feels like you are in a secret restaurant. We had a good time and my wife customized her main course which I'm sure made it taste better than the menu standard (you may want to do that). The complimentary bread was hot and good and it came with a spicy cream cheese which I really liked.

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Thank RM12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2012

My husband and I celebrated my birthday at Osteria. I had no idea that it was even there - it's down some steps, not very obvious. It's s smallish place - with maybe 15 or 20 tables and a bar. We had an 8:00 reservation on a Saturday evening, and it was nearly full. It was a little bit on the loud side, but nothing too obnoxious.

The wine list is extensive - all Italian wines. The server was very knowledgeable about the wines.

We started with the Carpaccio di Bufala con crimini e olio al limone - it was excellent. Sliced paper thin, I never thought about lemon juice on buffalo before. We then moved on to the Zuppa alla crema di asparagus con tartufi e aragosta (creme of asparagus soup with lobster) and Caprese vincotto (tomatoes with mozzarella and basil). The soup was just to die for. Creamy, but not too heavy. Nice pieces of asparagus, and bite sized pieces of lobster. I could have eaten that all night. The tomatoes in the salad wer nice as well - surprising, since it's early in the season. Next was the pasta course - Pappardelle alla bolognese. Another excellent dish. My husband is not a fan of pasta, but he really liked this. Nice ground veal and duck, the sauce made with fresh tomatoes, but not in the least bit acidic. The pappardelle was perfectly cooked - a tad bit al dente. Then we moved on to the Filetto di manzo alla dolce gorgonzola e portobello (filet mignon with gorgonzola) and Braciola di argnello grigliato al vincotto (grilled rack of lamb). Each dish also had freshly shucked peas and polenta. The peas were not mushy, nicely sweet. The polenta's consistency was off. It was a little bit rubbery. At first I thought it was mashed potatoes, but the taste was off. It's a little bit dark in the restaurant, so I couldn't see all that clearly to try to figure out what was going on there. It finally occurred to my husband what it was. The filet was done perfectly - rare - with a portobello mushroom cap on top, with the gorgonzola sauce over. The sauce was almost too much - I think the steak would have been good without it. My husband's lamb was excellent - rare as well. If he wants to chew on the bones, I know it's good! He settled for taking his uneaten portion home to enjoy them there. We finished with tiramisu and dessert wine.

Dinner was a bit on the expensive side - but then we couldn't decide what we wanted, so we pretty much got a little of everything. While expensive, I think the portion sizes supported the cost.

All in all, an excellent dinner. We both brought home half of our dinners and enjoyed them for breakfast the next day. We will definitely go back again, now that we know they are there!

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Thank gatsbyCleveland_Ohio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2012

Great calamari frito, lobster ravioli in black ink sauce very nice, excellent veal marsala, and wonderful tiramisu...on Thurs-Sat nights live music, which was not being adequately appreciated by a noisy crowd..a small place, but great atmosphere and great food. Pricey, but you get what you pay for. Excellent wine list, particularly for wine by the glass. Always on my list when I'm in Cleveland, whether i'm staying downtown or not.

Thank Gary307
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2012

I have always wanted to try this restaurant so I purchased a Living Social for it and I was pleasantly surprised!! We brought our 15 month old so I was a little worried but we ended up having a great time!! The staff was super friendly and patient with us!! We had 2 dishes...one with chicken sauteed with tomatoes and served with asparagus and mashed potatoes...the other was orecchiette pasta with italian sausage!!! They were both AMAZING!!! We will def be back!! **Make Reservations**

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Thank MICHELLES267
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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