April 20, 2014

Aug 18, 201110:02 AMTable Talk

Cesco Moving to McCormick & Schmick’s Space

Aug 18, 2011 - 10:02 AM

Francesco Ricchi, the longtime owner and chef at Cesco Trattoria, is moving his restaurant from 4871 Cordell Ave. to 7401 Woodmont Ave., which the seafood chain vacated earlier this month. An October opening is planned.

Richhi says the new restaurant will “probably” be called “Cesco Osteria.”

The new space will seat up to 230 people, compared to 105 in the current location. A private dining area will seat up to 70 more. And an outdoor area with a fireplace will accommodate another 70 people.

Co-owner and manager Elaine Sheetz says the new Cesco will be “two restaurants in one.” One part will be casual and will feature pizza and pastas. The other will be more formal and will offer traditional Italian fare. Many of Cesco’s most popular dishes will still be available, but Sheetz says much of the traditional menu “will be different.”

Ricchi, a 65-year-old native of Florence, says the pizza will be “Florentine” style, with a thicker, crunchier crust than Neopolitan pizza. He says patrons also will be able to choose from four types of pasta with up to 30 types of sauce.

In addition to dinner seven nights a week, the new Cesco will be open mornings for pastries and coffee—offering the feel of an “Italian coffee shop,” Sheetz says—and afternoons for lunch Monday through Saturday. It will open for brunch on Sunday.

Ricchi says he hasn’t increased prices since Cesco opened more than 14 years ago—and he actually plans on reducing them at the new location. “Pricey restaurants are having a difficult time,” he says.

Ricchi says he is hoping to make the space “more visible” from the street. “I was always struck by the fact that you couldn’t figure out it was a restaurant [when it was McCormick & Schmick’s]," he says. No major changes are planned inside, although Sheetz says they’ll “lighten it up” and give it an “updated, Tuscan feel.”

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Welcome to Table Talk, the blog version of the column in Bethesda Magazine. Be one of the first to find out about new restaurants and food shops, and join in the lively discussion about first bites, snipes and recommendations.

Before becoming Food Editor of Bethesda Magazine, Carole Sugarman was an award-winning food reporter for The Washington Post for 20 years. She has also written for national food magazines and a food policy newsletter, as well as judged cookbook and cooking contests. She lives in Chevy Chase where she eats PB&J for lunch when she’s not working.

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