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Sergio Ristorante Italiano, Owners Sergio and Luigi Toni's Italian in the Silver Spring Doubletree Hotel on Colesville Road - Closed after 37 Years


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Kay and I took a rare date night off tonight. In fact its the first night we have taken off together with the restaurant open since June! Before the opera at the Ken Cen (Flying Dutchman by Wagner with the insanely wonderful Alan Held -is there a better baritone today?) as the Dutchman, the amazingly effortless sounding (although I am sure the efforts to develop that effortless feel are equally amazing effortful) Jenifer Wilson as Senta and someone else whose name I forgot already who was lustrous as Erik in as ridiculous a staging as could possibly be imagined AFIK... alas, last performance).

Back to dinner.... our old warhorse favorite of Sergio's in Silver Spring in the Hilton on Colesville Road. It was simply wonderful. Not the food per se, the Zuppa di Pesce appetizer was super and the mussels in white wine & garlic were yummy, the entrees of rockfish with arugula and the lamb chops scotaditta just good although the roasted potatoes were wonderful & drench in olive oil and roasted till crisp on the edge of being burnt but not burnt. But the family welcome was wonderful. The pampering was wonderful. The too strong Campari & Sodas were wonderful. Having Sergio kiss me on both cheeks was wonderful. And they got us in and out in 45 minutes which left us just enough time to get to the KC from Silver Spring despite the traffic gods being against us. It was good to be at Sergio's tonight.

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Back to dinner.... our old warhorse favorite of Sergio's in Silver Spring in the Hilton on Colesville Road. It was simply wonderful.

I am happy to see that someone actually started a thread on Sergio's, it has been my family's 'special' occasion restaurant since it was Mama Regina's (and by special I mean wanting something that it worth the drive from Rockville, or for me Arlington). Sergio certainly adds to the charm but so do his son and daughter. If they are on the menu I recommend giving the crab cakes a try, they are certainly not traditional but they are amazingly good.

They can also do large parties well, the night before my wedding we took over the entire restaurant for my rehearsal dinner, and the food did not suffer even with the size of the crowd.

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I remember a L-O-N-G time ago, I was about to make my first trip to Europe, and was having dinner at Sergio's. I was a regular at the restaurant, having dined there many times in the past. I was chatting with Sergio (who lived, and perhaps still lives, down the street from where I grew up), and the conversation went like this:

"Sergio, I'm going to visit Italy next month - is there any place you think I should go?"

<In his thick Italian accent> "Roma."

"Okay I will, but where should I go to see all the great art and architecture? Where can I find really good food?"

"Roma."

"Is there anywhere else in Italy I should visit?"

<shaking his head> "No."

NB Sergio used to be Maitre D' at the old Cantina d'Italia downtown.

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We had a quick bite at Sergio's today -- what a surprise! Who would have known that such delicate yet satisfying pasta dishes could be found in the basement of a Maryland Hilton? We were charmed and have this spot on our to-return-to list.

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We go to Sergio's quite often. In addition to Dean's suggestions, the corbina is good. We are also partial to his ravioli specials.

Excellent lunch at Sergio's with the corbina and a homemade shrimp ravioli. Usual friendly, efficient service. I told Sergio I would be back soon and I will. Reasonably priced as well.

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My husband son and I visited mussel bar before all the reviews came out including Sietema. We were all disappointed. The mussels were small and dry and the frites not very good. I can accept small mussels as long as they are plump. I don't get why this place is all the rage. Sergio in Silver Spring has the best mussels and if they aren't good they will tell you so before you order! The mussels across the street at Mon Ami Gabi are 10 times better than at the mussel bar and their frites are spectacular.

I also like the mussels at Sergio's. The dish is very simple there but so good. At Mussel Bar it's done so many different ways it can be hit or miss.

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... Wanted to go to Fishnet, but they weren't open Sunday evening from what I could see on the net. Popped opentable up on my iphone to do a search nearby. 8407 wasn't too too far away, so off we went.

... The service was really stellar with a very nice bartender who made nice recommendations for us and got us everything we could possibly want very quickly. Would definitely go back!

This is really, really, really what sets 8407 apart from the rest of Silver Spring. The service is light years ahead of any other place in the downtown area.

Service sure is good at 8407.

But it's not bad at Sergio's either. We feel very welcomed there and treated well. Sergio gives big hugs, calls my wife Bella, and asks her "Who's THIS guy!" Then they're nice at Vicino's too, but maybe because we've been going there from the start.

It's the food that's ahead at the eight thousand something.

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We used to dine here fairly often when my parents lived in the area but it's been several years since our last vist. I also remember that we felt that the food preparations had declined. As we were staying across the street Tuesday, we decided to give it another try and enjoyed a very nice meal. We started with an old favorite-fried mozzarella with anchovy sauce on the side. It emerged greaseless, tasting of mozzarella not breading. The sauce was correct but a little went a long way. Next up were a perfectly cooked piece of caravello(sp) fish with spinach and a stuffed pork chop with spinach and gorgonzolo with a brandy sauce. For the chop,everything was in proportion with just the right level of richness without being over the top. A good in house version of tiramisu completed the meal. We stuck to the quaffable house red as the list still hasn't changed much and could use a facelist. The total bill was an extremely reasonable $70 plus tip.

As always, Sergio and his son Giuseppe (sp) provided the usual warm, efficient service. The room remains its somewhat dim but nicely appointed self. All in all, a surprisingly good dinner and we will return. it's nice to enjoy an old favorite so much!

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Tried this restaurant for the first time after nearly 5 years living just across the Silver Spring border. My sister and brother-in-law were in town and staying at the Doubletree for the marathon and pasta was the desired meal for pre-race carb loading. Figured it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try. As mentioned previously, the mussels were fantastic, our daughter could not get enough of them and probably ate half of them herself. The various pastas we had were all great. I had the corvina which my son also loved. Pasta was very good, but when considering the price, was a great value. Not quite as good as Al Dente, but also much more affordable. Looks like this will be a regular place to stop by for a good family meal for us from now on.

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Had dinner here with my fiancé for second time tonight. Very old school. I thought the room was a little too bright but we were by far the youngest couple there. We shared the Romano bruschetta to start and got it the last time too, I love how the bread is toasted and warm and the topping is cold, it consisted of tomato and celery peeled and diced. The tomato mix was freaking awesome, what a fantastic little simple bite. They also have now twice served me my favorite salad( not a composed one) of green and red leaf with a red wine garlic olive oil and parm dressing. It's what I looked forward to as I was ordering my entree, which was the rollata Della nonna. Enough has been said of that dish everywhere so I'll just say it lives up to the hype, lady got the chicken ravioli with a tomato Gorgonzola and fontina cream. That pasta may have been better then mine. A half carafe of red and a split tiramisu( which might just be the best one I've ever had) set us back 65 bucks with tip. What a awesome place.

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a split tiramisu (which might just be the best one I've ever had) set us back 65 bucks with tip. What a awesome place.

I don't know if this remains the case, but Sergio's son, Luigi, and daughter-in-law, Nadia (Luigis wife), used to, and may still, work the front-of-the-house, and Nadia made the sheets of Tiramisu - it remains the absolute best I've ever had, and I would love to have it again.

In 1995, I had dined at Sergio's more than I'd dined at any other restaurant in the world. His house was down the street from where I grew up, and I'd ridden my bicycle by it innumerable times before I knew what "Sergio's," or even who Sergio, was. I loved Sergio Toni - what a great man.

And, selfishly, no corkage charge - that most likely changed, but I had my first-ever great bottle of wine there: a 1970 Latour.

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We had a great evening last Saturday. Watched Birdman at the AFI (what fun!), and then walked over to Sergio for dinner. As usual, no matter how long between visits, we were treated like VIPs. Sorry for the lack of variety, but we both went for the appetizer and main specials. The app was a variation on supli (a kind of crouqette), filled with mild-flavored sausage and mozzarella. Sergio stopped by and, seeing that I was using knife-and-fork, told me that I should eat with my fingers, like they do in Roma! For mains, we had the special of pork medallions in a funghi/vino/burro sauce. Everything was good -- nothing spectacular. It's the hospitality, the personal touch, that makes this place a treasure. There was a mix of geezers (myself included), Doubletree hotel guests, and local families with young children, all being fawned over by the staff. Good food, a warm, inviting atmosphere -- what more  do you need?

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Justin Bittner, on 29 Apr 2014 - 7:52 PM, said:

a split tiramisu (which might just be the best one I've ever had) set us back 65 bucks with tip. What a awesome place.

Nadia made the sheets of Tiramisu - it remains the absolute best I've ever had

For 65 dollars, pre-tip, it had better be the best tiramisu you've ever had.  ;)

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Luigi generally takes care of us when we're there so he is front of house. Sergio seems to have overcome his mobility issues and was back to his old self last time we were there.

I haven't seen Luigi in twenty years - did you know he was in a punk-rock band?

Seeing MC Horoscope's post about Sergio's mobility issues - he was not a young man even back when I knew him. I don't want to guess his age, but he's got to be getting up in years (he was Maitre d' at Cantina d'Italia). This is one of the most durable stalwarts in the area, don't you think?

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Thanks to this thread I'm thinking about Sergio's for my upcoming birthday dinner since I suspect we (read: my husband) won't get our act together to get a babysitter so will therefore have our 2-year-old in tow. I've never been, we live nearby, and it sounds like they're child friendly and delicious, so I think it'll fit the bill.

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This restaurant continues to be a gem. I returned on Friday and it was as good as ever. I'm sure that there are more ambitious places, but I wish every neighborhood had this type of homegrown restaurant. The food was very good - the right price and the right portion. I had the ravioli di pollo and my companion had the manicotti, and we were both extremely pleased with the tenderness of the pasta, the quality of the filling, and the flavor of the sauces. We finished with the tiramisu (which I had talked up, and it was excellent as always). The service was warm, friendly and attentive without being obtrusive in any way - my dining companion, who comes from a country that doesn't do tipping the way we do in the U.S., noted that it was the first place that she hadn't felt rushed to turn over the table (it wasn't extremely busy, but it was Friday night and we took up a table for nearly 90 minutes). I need to find reasons to go back more often.

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31 minutes ago, jdc said:

I need to find reasons to go back more often.

The next time you, or someone else, goes, could you see if Sergio remembers me? At one point in time, I'd been to Sergio's more than any other restaurant, but that was back around 1985-1990. I don't think he ever knew my first name; he just called me "Rockwell" - I would love to see him again.

Sergio's daughter-in-law, Nadia, made the best tiramisu I'd ever had at the time.

On 6/27/2013 at 11:41 AM, mr food said:

As always, Sergio and his son Giuseppe (sp) provided the usual warm, efficient service. The room remains its somewhat dim but nicely appointed self. All in all, a surprisingly good dinner and we will return. it's nice to enjoy an old favorite so much!

Jay, are you sure Sergio's son is named Giuseppe? I could have sworn it was Luigi (who was married to Nadia), but of course Sergio could have more than one son.

Yes, the gentleman I know is Luigi. Skeleton in his closet: He was in a punk-rock band.

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12 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

The next time you, or someone else, goes, could you see if Sergio remembers me? At one point in time, I'd been to Sergio's more than any other restaurant, but that was back around 1985-1990. I don't think he ever knew my first name; he just called me "Rockwell" - I would love to see him again.

Sergio's daughter-in-law, Nadia, made the best tiramisu I'd ever had at the time.

I'll do you one better. When you're back on your feet, let's go and you can ask him yourself. My treat.

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We go to Sergio's once a year on my granddaughter's birthday (which was 2 weeks ago), and I always say, "I love this restaurant - must visit more often!"  I love it because it seems to be of a different era, and because the staff is so welcoming and accommodating, and the food is really good. And prices are very reasonable.  I had a branzino fillet which was moist and delicious - perfectly cooked.  Everyone in our group was equally happy with his or her choices.  We will be sure to go more regularly, and next time I'll ask Sergio if he remembers "Rockwell." :)

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On 12/9/2017 at 12:01 PM, MMM said:

We go to Sergio's once a year on my granddaughter's birthday (which was 2 weeks ago), and I always say, "I love this restaurant - must visit more often!"  I love it because it seems to be of a different era, and because the staff is so welcoming and accommodating, and the food is really good. And prices are very reasonable.  I had a branzino fillet which was moist and delicious - perfectly cooked.  Everyone in our group was equally happy with his or her choices.  We will be sure to go more regularly, and next time I'll ask Sergio if he remembers "Rockwell." :)

Sergio may not remember me now - it has been so long ... he must be in his 80s! I suspect his son Luigi is running the restaurant.

Ask him if he'll make you the three-pasta "appetizer plate" he used to make us - also, his beef carpaccio. They were both *so* good. 

It has been over ten years - if he doesn't remember my name, mention "Ken Pines" - he was the buddy I went with all the time.

Man, I just scrolled up - those pictures on TripAdvisor about kill me. I know those dishes look heavily sauced, but the sauces were always really good.

Shame on me for having this website and not going there in so long - sometimes you just put something off so long that it gets embarrassing to resolve. :(

It's funny - for nine years, I had this thread titled "Sergio's," because that's what we called it - but it's "Sergio Ristorante Italiano."

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On 9/25/2020 at 5:23 PM, Go for Gin said:

This place had great tiramisu, homemade ravioli, and friendly service.  Going to miss it.  

They had the best tiramisu I've ever eaten, and although I can't say "the best" ravioli (I've had many, many unearthly ravioli), Sergio's were somersault great, and the sauces were their equal.

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On 9/29/2020 at 3:27 PM, dwt said:

The food was good and comforting. But I will mostly miss Sergio, his family members and crew. They made us feel so welcome. And I loved how they fawned over my wife and daughter, calling them "bella." 

Well, the 2nd part was always a skeptical look and a "Who's THIS guy?," like "You'd do better with me!" LOL!

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