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Good, reasonably priced Italian in Washington, DC

I am looking for a good, reasonably priced, maybe family-style Italian restaurant in Washington DC. Bucca de Pepo is too cheesy for my taste and Maggiano too much of a chain. Any one have any suggestions? I would love something that feels more home made for a good price!

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  1. Are you looking in DC proper or in the DC area in general?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Terrie H.

      DC proper for now, but wouldn't mind some that are outside, though close, to DC for the future too.

      1. re: oamter

        Haven't been in years, but Otello on Connecticut Ave in Dupont Circle was a decent value. In Bethesda, La Paneteria is also a good value.

    2. what about Filomena in Georgetown? HUGE plates. I've only been once - with a group of girlfriends - and we had fun.

      I was going to suggest Dino before I saw the "Bucca/Maggiano" style request. Dino is my favorite Italian in the city, and I don't like eating Italian out because it's so easy to make...but we DO go there. So if you want lighter and more sophisticated but not overpriced, Dino in Cleveland Park is it. Otherwise, try Filomena.

      1. Dino has 3 course meal for $39. Was there on xmas eve and it was very good and the owner couldn't be nicer. Very much liked this place.

        1. I love Dino - that would be my personal choice, but you might also consider Carmine's. It's very much family-style. Huge portions meant for about 4 people, decent quality, casual.

          1. I'll vouch for Dino's too, although Carmine's is a good option if there is a larger group. The food at Carmine's is nowhere near as good as Dino's but it does have a more "familiar" Italian feel people who are not real foodies or if there are kids in the group.

            1 Reply
            1. re: SpareRib

              The noting of Bucca and Maggianos is why I recommended Filomena in Georgetown - red sauce Italian in huge portions.

              Dino is the opposite end - light, not ungodly portions, etc. I do love Dino, but think it's a bit different than what the OP was trying to find similar to....just a thought!

            2. I am # 3, 4, or 5 to suggest Dino. Good value and great Italian food.

              4 Replies
              1. re: beanodc

                This is probably not a good suggestion for the OP but what is that italian place called that opened at about the same time as Potenza and had somewhat casual refined italian near Penn Quarter? All that's in my head is Siroc but i don't think that's right

                1. re: daves_32

                  I'm curious as to why you think Dino's isn't a good rec. It's been on my must try list for a while (Im actually a Baltimorean) based largely on Dean Gold's exceptional taste in Asian food based on his posts here. I haven't made it to Dino's based on my Baltimore-centric tastes, but based on his posting I really respect the owner. He does seem to understand good food.

                  1. re: JonParker

                    If posters would distinguish between authentic Italian and Italian-American, that would go a long way as to avoiding confusion concerning what type of cusine is actually sought. It appears the OP is seeking Italian-American.

                    1. re: KevinS

                      I always make recommendations on what my perception of "Italian" (whatever) food is. It gets too complicated otherwise and it just complicates things unnecessarily. I assume that once OP has a collection of recommendations that narrow down their search somewhat they will then do their own homework on the recommendations and make their final decision on what they perceive as being the best "Italian" meal is. Everyone has a menu on line these days, and OP can figure it out for themselves once they have a few recs from the locals.

              2. Have you checked out Bistro on 320 D Street NE? It's right behind Schneider's wines of the world on Capitol Hill.

                The restaurant is family owned, small, and about as authentic as Italian gets in DC. It's also not very well known and usually easy to find a table. I always felt the best Italian restaurants in DC closed. AV was amazing, as was Fio's on 16th.

                There's also a solid Italian Deli on Penn Ave SE (1300 block or so). All the cops get their sandwiches there, so just head down Penn Ave and look for a mass of cop cars. Those sandwiches are my favorites in DC (for Italian subs anyway).

                1 Reply
                1. re: epsato

                  A couple of suggestions re Italian dining were made in the Washington Post's dining chat 12/28, including a couple of places in Virginia and one in DC: Luigi's Pizzeria Restaurant for "good and basic" http://live.washingtonpost.com/ask-to...