Judging Restaurants – Pines of Florence

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I’ve been pretty curious about Pines of Florence located at 2100 Connecticut Ave because it looks so out of place for a restaurant. It is surrounded by apartment buildings and in fact looks like it is in the lobby of one. But the reviewers on Yelp were very complimentary. I’m a huge fan of Italian food so I’d love to add another to my regular stomping grounds. The menu says “Uncomplicated Southern Italian Food at a Reasonable Price”. So what do you guys think – any fans out there?

23 Comment

  • yll find a lot of haters and truth be told its nothing exraordinary. but its a nice cozy restaurant. I also like Pesto in woodley park which is also out of place in an apartment building set away from other restaurants. Pesto for my money is far better than Pasta Mia. but its kind of a different style. ambiance in Pasta Mia is also on par with an old Roy Rogers.

  • Meh. That said, a friend of mine seems to like this place a lot, and she’s Italian and usually pretty picky. Whatever I got the time I went though was pretty unremarkable (something vegetarian is all I know).

  • My family and I have been eating at this chain (there have been about 4 locations) over the course of 13 years. Now there is this one and one out in Rosslyn that’s slightly more fancy inside but same prices.
    So I think you can call us fans my mother grew up in an Italian neighborhood in the Bronx so she likes to think she knows good Italian. I know I’ve ordered the Chicken Francese every time I’ve gone but I’ve sampled other dishes since we all tend to share our meal. So since I had this particular location last week and I brought left overs to the roommates who also seemed to like it. I would say most fans of Italian food would not be disappointed.

  • i haven’t tried this location, but i do love the one in ballston… its always a delicious meal, and the waiters/staff are so friendly and welcoming!

  • its usually empty. in fact. i went there on valentines day once. and made a reservation. thinking any and every italian place would be full on v day. not so. still empty. but they were great and had a rose waiting on the plate for my date. I feel like in a way though when restaurants are empty the food almost subconsciously tastes a little worse because your brain is thinking that nobody wants it. on the flip side at pasta mia your brain is tricked into thinking the food is fantastic because there is a line of people outside waiting to get in and eat the over oiled and buttered concoctions. i think we can all agree on one thing though. buca de bepo. is absolutly disgusting.

  • I’ve been going to this place for years – twice in ten years to be exact – and it is a stitch! The food is fine, not fine cuisine, but decent and affordable Italian food like you would find at Dupont Italian Kitchen or Spaghetti Kitchen. The exceptional part of POF is the decor. Spend your dining hours studying the placement of pictures, plastic flora, masking taped repairs, make-shift decorations and dog-eared wall-covering. Everything in the place has a tinge of discoloration and it is absent of any of the charm such as that you find in the contrived eclectic décor of Logan, Commissary and the like. You could imagine POF being an Italian area of Baltimore or Philly. After two glasses of yummy, cheap red wine, I usually start in laughing fits that will not stop. A dining partner will whisper, “Don’t be obvious but look at the pipe-cleaner mended virgin-mother-moment on the chipped wall shelf” and it’s another long spell of hysterics. If a low dose hallucinogenic or adequate red wine, followed by the munchies and wicked giggles are your scene, this is the place for you.

  • To me, there is something non-authentic about an Italian restaurant owned and operated by Pakistani’s. Thumbs down to all the locations, I’ve tried them all.

  • I thoght the same thing, cheap and decent looking food. Turns out it is cheap for a reason, I didn’t find it good.

  • Dreadful food, and shoddy service. Pines of Rome in Bethesda is where you to go.

  • I think this is a fun little date place, but I’ve definitely gotten some blah food there.

    I want to give it another chance though, but at this point in my life, I can make better food than they serve, so…

    Buca Di Beppo, though, that can be a fun place for salad and dessert.

  • I’m one of Eddie’s roommates and I do love it! MMM…I wish I had some now!

  • It has got to be better than Dos Gringo’s

  • Recently someone was telling me why they liked Dos Gringos and never once did they mention the food or service.

  • what on earth does italian have to do with dos gringos??? that said. dos gringos does indeed suck. and once some decent stuff opens on mtp street it will either have to up its game or fail. for the time being it will continue to do well cause there is no place else to go in Mount Pleasant.

  • great food, no… homey atmosphere, yes.

  • LOVE this Pines of Florence! Great food, divey atmosphere, and superb service and it is cheap! It is out of place given that it is a bit of a dive, but many of the buildings around it are listed in the Best US Addresses book or some such publication.

  • Personally, I love El Pollo Sabroso and Haydee’s, but then again, I am El Puma…

  • My in-laws live across the street, so I end up eating at this restaurant frequently. It’s the polar opposite of trendy — prior posts about the worn furniture are accurate. and a highlight of summer dining is watching the lights flicker when the air conditioning cycles on. But the food is fine if you know what to order (generally simpler is better; grilled meats and osso bucco are also good), far superior to Buca de Beppo in any event, and you get a lot of it for the money. It’s one of the best values in the area. Plus, the place is seldom crowded, so you don’t need to yell or lip-read to conduct a conversation.

  • I ate there once. it was alright. nothing special.

  • “The food is fine, not fine cuisine, but decent and affordable Italian food like you would find at Dupont Italian Kitchen or Spaghetti Kitchen.”

    I would not call DIK decent italian food. And if you’re talking about Spaghetti Garden in Adams Morgan, then I’m going to commence vomitting.

  • Anyone else notice that they serve ‘southern italian’ cuisine, yet the place is called Pines of FLORENCE?

    Apparently the owners have never been to Italy (or seen a map, for that matter).

  • Say what you will and make fun of this place all you want but it’s really good comfort good at a very reasonable price served by the nicest Kashmiris (not Pakistanis) you’ll ever meet and they throw freebies in after you’ve been there a few times.

    This is one of our cheap mainstays, meaning, “don’t feel like cookin’, where do you want to go”, as we’re breezing up Connecticut Ave.

    A really great thing: they deliver if you life in Dupont, Kalorama, AM, MTP, Columbia Heights. Am trying to convince them that Petworth isn’t too far…

    A winner in my mind.

  • Their white pizza is pretty good, and mainstays like ravioli and chicken parm are correct, soothing and sufficiently gooey. I get it delivered.

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