Cesco Osteria

4.4
1184 reviews
$30 and under
Italian
CESCO OSTERIA is open for indoor and outdoor dining 12-9pm Mon-Fri, 5-9 Sat. Closed Sundays. Cesco Osteria combines unparalleled Tuscan-inspired cuisine from multi-award winning Chef Francesco Ricchi. CESCO offers casual and white tablecloth dining options as well as lounge-style seating, plus the spectacular Terrazzo CESCO for unique al fresco dining and libations.
For over 30 years Chef Ricchi has been dazzling guests with his Italian cuisine. He has earned dozens of awards including Best New Restaurant in the US; Top Twenty-Five Restaurants in North America; Best Italian Restaurant and Zagat Distinction.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitising
  • Surfaces sanitised between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitised menu provided
  • Sanitiser or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective equipment
  • Waiting staff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
  • Staff temperature check required
  • Contact tracing information collected
What 1184 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.2
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 17 hours ago
Overall2food5service1ambience3

The service was terrible. This time and the last time i went by here. Food is good but the service is just so bad I am not sure we will go back.

e
emc67
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 24 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, wonderful service. Definitely recommend.

LS
vipLauraS
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on 24 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service are always excellent at Cesco!

E
vipEuvites
Washington DC
42 reviews
Dined on 23 July 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We sat outside along a street, so the atmosphere provided by the restaurant was good, and the weather was excellent, but we can’t comment on the interior. Food was sensational. Egg fettuccine with wild boar sauce was a winner!

J
vipJudy
Washington DC
106 reviews
Dined on 17 July 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

The best pat was our waiter Raffi and the bus boy. They could not have been better. As anticipated with workforce shortages in the restaurant business, the service was very slow, but we weren't in any hurry, so this was okay. The drinks were very good: dirty martini and a Sazerac, and that's saying something because often bartenders aren't good at making Sazeracs. The calamari was so tough- I've never had tougher. Blacks is so much better. My husbands 2 pastas were excellent- one with vodka and one with squash and another person's crab cakes were large and very good. The steak Fiorentina was practically raw at medium rare and had to go back, but then it was very tasty. We'd go back again even with these issues. We sat outside on a lovely night!

RR
vipRandalR
Philadelphia
10 reviews
Dined on 15 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We’ve been coming here for a few years when we’re in DC. Did takeout several times during the pandemic. Glad to see they survived. Our meal last night was excellent. The service was as great as always. Definitely stays on our go to list.

AD
vipAppreciativeDiners
Washington DC
57 reviews
Dined on 13 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cesco deserves incredible praise for continuing to serve exceptional Italian food, fresh fish, and lovely salads. The service is outstanding. And it offers outside dining when the weather permits. We just love it.

e
viperwel
Orlando
18 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is delicious, great service, very attentive to your needs. Love that place.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on 9 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 3 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We ate outdoors on a very pleasant evening. The food and service were excellent.

KA
KunleA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 2 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Flaco is one of the best server I have ever known. Excellent customer service. I would recommend Cesco to family and friends.

HS
vipHarryS
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Felt comfortable sitting inside though there was patio seating. Service was as good as could be expected given the number of waiters working. Good wine list.

VD
VirginiaD
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We sat outside on a cool pleasant evening. I had the fettuccine with mushrooms and peas and my husband had the portobello pizza. We shared the mixed green salad with pears and blue cheese. Everything was well prepared and the sauce on the fettuccine complemented the ingredients well. The service was attentive and the prices are reasonable. We certainly would return again.

J
Joanneg
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on 2 July 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good was excellent. Service was impeccable. Beautiful restaurant. We were the only party in the dining room at 1:00 on a Friday. I really do not understand why?? Highly recommend!

M
Michael
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The restaurant was gorgeous and had an amazing aesthetic, the service was amazing and our server was quick and very nice. The food was not very expensive and looked and tasted amazing

DV
vipDonnaV
Washington DC
125 reviews
Dined on 28 June 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We had said that when we finally went back to a restaurant, Cesco would be the first. And so it was. This would be a five-star except that they gave me a different main course than I had ordered. It was in the same ballpark and I was happy to eat it, but not what I ordered. We expected changes in these times, and there were: A couple of our favorite touches were missing - the frittata amuse-bouche, tomatoes on the foccacia, and the breadsticks were different, though fine. Also didn't see the parmesan-wrapped greens appetizer. But the salt-crusted branzino was spectacular. Aside from a few passing trucks, eating outside was not too noisy and we felt quite comfortable. Cesco remains a favorite and we'll be back again soon.

LG
vipLogicGal
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on 26 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The waitstaff all wore masks, though most guests did not. We sat outside. The food was delicious and came quickly. The experience was delightful.

LS
vipLauraS
Washington DC
60 reviews
Dined on 25 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love that this restaurant is open until a respectable hour where many other Bethesda restaurants now close between 6 and 9...ridiculous. They take reservations for their beautiful, clean outside and the service and food are terrific.

JL
JanL
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on 25 June 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Patio dining was delightful! We shared appetizers, beer and wine at a leisurely pace. Will definitely return when we want a spot that is a bit removed from the busier, denser spots in Bethesda.

TS
TomS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 24 June 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

we felt it was an off night at the restaurant, having been there before. the food seemed average and tired, unlike our past visits.

DB
vipDinBethesda
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great spot
Pasta and pizza are great.
Also, do excellent fish.
Underground parking available

HT
HelenT
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on 23 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Osso bucco was a treat. Chicken was phenemoninal. Service outstanding.

AC
AndreaC
1 review
Dined on 22 June 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Very good food deff will be coming back although the service is not that good... I would have to call on to the waiter to get a few things through my dinner. The food was delicious and I did like the atmosphere.

RM
RMis
1 review
Dined on 22 June 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Felt rushed from the moment we sat down. When asking for recommendations for dietary constraints, server seemed uninterested and just ready to take the order.

SB
SueB
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on 19 June 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Sadly, our visit was a big "meh." It took 15 minutes to have a waiter greet us- we had to ask. We also had to ask for the wine list.

While our appetizer was good, the entrees were not remarkable. I had a fettuccine with peas and mushrooms in a rose cream sauce. There were few peas and the pasta was slightly overcooked.

Our night of waiting continued....long after finishing our entrees we were offered dessert. We ordered profiteroles and cappuccino. Our dessert was stale. We sent it back but he didn't take it off the bill as he said he would. Only after we finished/rejected our dessert did our coffee come. It took about 20 minutes to get the coffee. At least it was hot and good.

And oh yes, it took forever to get the bill and close it out. Had we had cash on us I would have done an estimate, tossed it on the table and left.

On the plus side, it was a beautiful evening with good company. We only wish both the food and service were better.

PS
vipPamelaS
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on 19 June 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We enjoyed our dinner. Service was a little bit slow, presumably for staffing reasons.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 18 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything we ordered was great!

AD
vipAppreciativeDiners
Washington DC
58 reviews
Dined on 18 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We've eaten at Cesco twice in the last week -- and will probably eat there twice next week too. We love it. I'm stunned by the negative reviews about service. This is an extraordinarily challenging time for restaurants because they are universally short staffed. So, please go easy on restaurants about this. The staff at Cesco are working extraordinarily hard and are very responsive. The food is terrific. Waiters do a wonderful job recommending what is the freshest and the best. Also, the kitchen is willing to modify requests for different sides than the ones listed on the specials on the menu. Outdoor dining has been delightful. We will soon comfortably go indoors to escape the impending heat and humidity. It is a large restaurant and plenty of socially-distanced room. Everyone there is vaccinated. Sure, people may come in who are not, but with so many people showing up with masks, one can feel comfortable that patrons are behaving responsibly. In sum, Cesco is a very special restaurant.

C
Charlotte75
New England
11 reviews
Dined on 17 June 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Met local friends here while visiting Bethesda. Sat outside and enjoyed wonderful wine & food on a beautiful June night.

v
vipvalueman
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on 16 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The wild boar with fettuccine is EXCELLENT. Always get it. Yum!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 12 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was delicious!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on 12 June 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience5

Rude service , extremely insulting.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on 12 June 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience3

The service was disappointing even though I gave them 20% tips. For such beautiful place you would want think better service. There were no menu for drink, nothing like bread you get before your food. The food I go was very small compare to the price of it. But it was delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They had a platter!

AR
AnnaR
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on 5 June 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I was surprised at how pleasant the outdoor dining was. The restaurant, like so many others, is struggling to hire enough staff. Service was very pleasant if slow. The food took a long time to arrive but was hot and delicious when it arrived. I would definitely return.

M
Marcus
1 review
Dined on 5 June 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Service was slow and almost non existent. No wine knowledge from the server. Steak was supposed to be medium rare but was so charred I literally couldn’t eat it. Tried putting some tobasco on and it didn’t help. Worst 42$ steak I’ve ever bought. And I guess arugula is a side now a days, since that’s all the fish and the steak came with, not an arugula salad, just arugula on the plate.

BK
vipBKGilchrist
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on 5 June 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience4

Usually very good, for both for the food and service, the service was terrible last night, in addition, it was hot in the restaurant. They were obviously overbooked.

While our dinner took almost two hours, it got so warm, I lost my appetite.

The poor couple next to us, who was celebrating their anniversary waited over 30 minutes for their first drink. It was their first time there so my husband and I repeatedly told them to be patient and said it might be a good idea to order their dinner the same time the ordered their drinks. They eventually got their food as we were leaving, and it looked delicious, just as ours was.

FM
vipFoodMaven
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on 5 June 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience3

The food was good but not special. The service was slow but that is because we’re short waitstaff everywhere in Bethesda. Not really sure I will go back. there’s nothing wrong, or bad. but I expect food I can’t make at home at that price point

CG
vipChristinaG
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on 4 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely, good food. Great service. Will go back. Great for large parties

LA
LorenaA
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on 4 June 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We went to celebrate our daughter graduation and we had a good time, all the dishes we order were delicious amd the bread was warm and fresh.

Over all nice place for a cozy celebration

FAQs

Cesco Osteria does offer delivery in partnership with Uber Eats. Cesco Osteria also offers takeaway which you can order by calling the restaurant at (301) 654-8333.

Cesco Osteria is rated 4.4 stars by 1184 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting bookings at the moment.