Restaurant Review: Olazzo in Bethesda Maryland

Posted on February 5, 2009. Filed under: Attempts at Cooking, Everyday Me | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

If you’re looking for a nice Italian meal out in a small but wonderful restaurant along the cute streets of Bethesda then just turn yourself into this treasure on Norfolk Ave. Olazzo surpassed my expectations and I can not wait to dine here again! The restaurant has a great ambiance overall, the lighting is moderately dim but I didn’t feel like I was sitting in the dark at any point. It is family friendly to a degree, since I don’t have a family I don’t know if I would take my kids here but there were 2 other families with children in the restaurant while we dined. It was a very quiet place overall but had a great feel.

After first walking in I immediately notice that there is a cute fire in the back, and my boyfriend sitting at a table next to it – just adorable! Well then upon closer inspection it is not a real fire, nor any fire: it’s a moving picture of a fire but it did make me feel warm inside! It was a wonderfully displayed ‘fire’ in the corner of the restaurant. There were only a few tables and I hear that they do not take reservations, we went on a Thursday night in the winter so we didn’t have much of a problem but I would imagine that on other nights it may be crowded, but again I have no idea (I’ll just have to go back and find out for you!).

Our waiter is very attentive and friendly and the staff overall was very pleasurable to be around. The menu was pretty varied and had very good options to choose one. I was torn between the Pasta Primavera and the Chicken Cardinale, I chose the chicken dish. As a starter they brought us wonderful home-made bread with a side plate of oil and vinegar for us to munch on. The bread was absolutely delicious and the oil and vinegar to dip was a nice change from the restaurants only offering oil as a dipping. We ordered an appetizer (it was my birthday – why not?!) to start our meal with, we chose the Fried Calamari. This restaurant hands down is my favorite for food presentation for their way of presenting the Fried Calamari. They delivered to our table a large, grossly over sized martini glass filled to the brim with calamari and a good portion of sauce for dipping in the center. Truly something that was good for the mouth as well as for the eyes, and I won’t lie – it was fun having such a large glass full of calamari at my table. The calamari was also perfectly breaded and fried and we had a very good size portion to share. Additionally, the calamari was all rings, and none of the other parts you sometimes get at restaurants.

After this large helping of seafood and bread we were brought salads. The house dressing was great, simple but good and the salad overall was very nice to eat. At this point I started to wonder how I was going to fit in any of my actual meal. The boyfriend ordered Chicken Parmesan. I tried it, of course, and the sauce was really great! It tasted very fresh and very full of tomatoes and seasonings. I really did enjoy the sauce and would consider getting that next time we venture over there. My chicken was great – cut into great sizes and overall very tasty! The pasta was also quite delicious. I thoroughly enjoyed the cream sauce that came on mine. It was a nice tomato cream, which I think is a bit off the beaten path at many Italian restaurants, but it was tasty! The food was really superb, so superb that there was no room for dessert!

Again between the great food, wonderful presentation and the overall ambiance of the restaurant I think this is a great place to go for a nice meal. The restaurant is decorated in a great way with cute little photos, etc on the walls, and of course the ‘fire’.  Overall it is a very small place but good things come in small packages.  Their website is apparently they also have a restaurant in Silver Spring aside from the location I visited in Bethesda. Olazzo is a worthwhile place to enjoy a very good Italian meal.


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