Judging Restaurants – Odeon Cafe


Odeon Cafe is located at 1714 Connecticut Ave, NW. I’ve always been tempted by the sign for a “whole Maine Lobster” deal out front. Their Web site says:

“All sorts of seafood make their way into the antipasto, salads, 16 pasta dishes, 12 entrees and pizzas. To wit: scampi de granchi (butter fried shrimp stuffed with crabmeat) and the fresh catch of the day. Complimentary marinated olives and pepperocini along with crusty Italian rolls, provide tasty noshes while awaiting the main course.”

You can see their menus here. Any fans? Any particular specialty you’d recommend?

26 Comment

  • I went about a month ago with my girlfriend. The service was great and setting was cool.

    I got the PENNE CAPPE SANTE, and it was exactly as advertised, pasta + scallops + tomato sauce + pesto. The combination of tomato sauce and pesto was unbelievably awful.

  • A good, if unspectacular place to eat. When I lived in Dupont it was my go-to for when I had to go out with unadventurous eaters. Nothing special about it, but the service is always good enough, as is the food.

  • Usually pretty good. Their longevity speaks for itself. I usually hit Luigi’s on 19th between L & M when I’m hungry for Italian downtown.

  • used to be good. good enough to be family place for before our wedding. but declined, and they stopped doing the scallopini di milano, which was my wife’s favorite menu item.

  • Not a fan.
    Not homemade pasta.

  • Something about the place—perhaps the lobster sign—always screamed “tourist trap” to me, so I’ve avoided it.

  • OK, I cannot resist but to egg some people on. Pasta Mia is the best, thats all there is to it. Why go anywhere else????

  • Predictable and decent. Sometimes that is all you need when an Olive Garden is not near by.

  • Wow – I worked here about 25 years ago as a waiter/bartender and met two of my enduring best friends (also waiters.) We used to call it the “Odious” cafe, or sometimes “The Hideon” but that was because of management (too much nose candy.) The food was actually good. (Well we ate it for free, but customers were happy.) It was a really new sort of restaurant and pretty cool back then. The menu looks basically the same and the prices are pretty good. I might go try it again someday.

    And an interesting aside – as PoPville contemplates the world of service – the waitstaff from those days have gone on to include 3 successful business owners, 2 published novelists and a Chief of UNESCO.

  • JMW brought it up, so I’m just gonna say it….I want an Olive Garden in DC. If Ruby Tuesday and FudRuckers can have multiple locations I’d think Olive Garden could have at least one. I’m saying this purely for the ulimited salad and breadsticks, not the dinners. If anyone knows of a local Italian joint with unlimited salads and breadsticks I’ll give up the ghost and move right in. Just sayin’. FYI, I know there are Olive Gardens out in the burbs…I’m talkin’ DC.

  • I’ll bet you a dollar skeedattle has either 1) attended at least one Rob Thomas concert in his lifetime or 2) has “I need a vacation!” somewhere on his facebook page

  • why? because i’m a fat american who likes mass-produced breadsticks? i think you have me pegged.

  • Went here with my family because my mom is not a brave food person. I was encouraged when we sat down next to a large party speaking only Italian. However the food was pretty blah…similar to pasta I could have made at home but for much cheaper. It was a little disappointing, I don’t think I would go back.

  • @Pete 1:24pm.. I would go further and say that skeedattle needs a Bahama-vention.

  • i’ll forever stand by my love of salad and breadsticks, but i’ll offer up some responses: 1) never been to a rob thomas concert, but have been to a lifehouse concert and dave matthews concert, so i’m worse than you ever imagined. 2) no despite answer to 2, i’ll take the bahama-vention and gladly give pete his $1.

  • I have a friend who’s a fan, but I find the place mediocre to just OK. The prices are good, though.

  • @skeedattle @JMW: Do we really need an Olive Garden in DC? Isn’t there a Buca di Beppo (better than OG imho) across the street from Odeon?

  • I had brunch here a few months ago and wasn’t very impressed. My food was luke-warm and for no reason, I had a smaller cup of coffee than any other customer. It’s a trite complaint, but was very annoying.


  • Need? No, but I’d like one. Buca di Beppo can kiss it.

  • had the brunch. it was gross

  • bland food. server screwed up an order. the bartender didn’t know how to make a negroni. c’mon.

  • i would take a date here back in the day (80’s) for a drink before we went somewhere else. in the summertime, it’s very nice.

  • Utterly not worth the time of going to. There is nothing bad there but nothing good either. There are at least two other Italian restaurants across Connecticut that are better and not tha much more expensive.

  • skeedattle: Just be patient, because odds are your idea of “food” is going to be in greater supply in Dupont Circle before long, since too much of the place is beginning to resemble a Mall food court in upstate NY. While you pine for some place that will slop you down with a bucket of breadsticks, I will venture into full-on “snob accusation” turf by recalling a time when there was a discernible difference between urban villages like Dupont and the the expectable food troughs of suburban America. Thanks for bringing the voice of sameness to the urban core. Warning: our cardiac centers aren’t as good as the ones way out in NoVA.

  • lsheehan86

    I LOVE Odeon. It is really good italian food at a very reasonable price. I have been there many times with different types of people and all were very pleased with the food, decor and service.

    Highly recommend.

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