17 Comment

  • I highly recommend it! Great not-too-expensive spot for solid Italian food with generous portions. The fiance’s parents (Long Island Italians) adore it – it hits just the right balance between “nice” and “good value.” If you go, be sure to get a bottle of the Santa Cristina sangiovese.

  • Absolutely. Otello is favorite of my family’s. http://thedistrictsleeps.blogspot.com/search?q=Otello

  • I’m less enthusiastic than the first two posts — don’t think the food is the greatest and know there are better Italian joints in close proximity — but it certainly is passable and strikes the right note on value, especially for that area.

  • I used to work across the street from this place and it was my former bosses’ go-to for an informal and reasonably priced business lunch. It’s been a couple years since I ate there but it definitely had a lived-in feel and was never terribly crowded but also not completely empty during lunch. The maitre d’ was always welcoming and usually treated us to a little glass of liqueur after the meal (which I think he did for everyone as they finished). Service was good and while the food wasn’t mind blowing it was certainly solid, as a previous commenter put it.

  • I haven’t been back in a few years, but when I used to work near there, I would go fairly regularly. I would classify it as “always good, occasionally excellent,” which appears to be in line with other comments above.

  • Reasonably priced, competently prepared Italian delivered by people who actually seem to know and enjoy what they’re doing. I still prefer Famous Luigi’s but they’ve been hit-or-miss lately.

  • You know what they say about cooking Italian food. It takes a minute to learn, a lifetime to master.

  • Otello’s OK but I wouldn’t call it “hidden”, and “gem” is a stretch.

    To me the real “hidden gem” of an Italian place in that neighborhood is Giovanni’s Trattu, around the corner on Jefferson. It’s intimate, out of the way, and I’ve always liked the staff. I can’t remember if I’ve ever had pasta there.

  • I ate there once with my family. I was extremely disappointed. The pasta didn’t taste like they made it in house. Meals were very commercial in my opinion and not authentic. I never went back. So many other great places now, one of which I absolutely love is Posto on 14th st. I will say my parents had no issue with their meal at Otello but they’re not foodies.

    YES, Mark, Giovanni’s Trattu, another great gem!!

  • I love Otello, and I lived in a Tuscan villa for 3 months with private chefs. It’s reasonably priced, has a wonderful family atmosphere, and the food is very good, with huge portions. One of my faves in DC.

  • You’d figure Giovanni’s Trattu would be better Italian. They charge you $10 more for the same damn things you get at Otello. Save the $10 and get more wine at Otello. Much nicer place. The walls at Trattu are full of tacky crap and you can easily go deaf on the weekend.

  • ^^Posted by Tony Otello, Jr.

  • i’ve never had a bad meal at otello’s. i believe that catania’s on n. cap makes their bread.

    and yeah, definitely not what i’d call a hidden gem.

    this place used to be a hidden gem:

    but the neighborhood kinda grew up around them.
    best tiramisu i’ve had in dc.
    used to be that little desert cafe in woodly park.
    ( though if people have recommendations for better tiramisu.. i’d love to hear it!)

  • wonderful post! now i have to go there. i love the food at sette, but everytime i set foot in there, it’s over $100 bucks (i eat a lot).

  • I must recall my previous post. As I strolled through DuPont yesterday and noticed Otello, I realized that is not the same restaurant I was thinking. The one I was thinking of I didn’t like was Dupont North …sorry still don’t remember name. So I apologize. I have yet to try Otello!

    Keeping it real! Logan Girl!

  • stopped in otello for lunch yesterday, and i LOVED the food–the bruschetta laden with chopped fresh tomatoes & basil was divine–i mean, really. i don’t often go nuts over a piece of toast, but this was delicious. a plate of cold appetizers had just the right amounts of a happy assortment of things like lentil salad, tender FRESH calamari, peppers, small bits of cold salmon and braised cabbage, fresh tomatoes–i forget what else. plus, the prices are definitely right: hearty lunch for two, including a bottle of pellegrino, a bottle of wine, cappucino, & dessert was a mere $82!! and yes, the waiter brought us two adorable little complimentary glasses of port after we were finished. best of all, the restaurant was nearly full but we could hear ourselves think. that in itself is miracle in the disco belt (dupont circle).

Comments are closed.