Odeon Cafe

Italian, Seafood
$$$$ ($15-$24)
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Editorial Review

Odeon's wide windows -- open when weather allows -- and the good cheer that can be heard within exert a strong pull on passersby. Once inside, savory aromas and colorful continental decor confirm the decision to stay and sample the Italian cookery.
Although the manager describes his clientele as twenty- to thirty-something, varying degrees of wrinkles and gray hair make this a comfortable stop for any age. Parties of one and groups of eight seem equally at home in the cozy, two-story dining rooms.
All sorts of seafood make their way into the antipasto and salads (big enough to make a meal), 16 pasta dishes, 12 entrees and pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven. To wit: Insalata con granchi (crabmeat atop fresh greens and vegetables); pizza topped with shrimp, scallops, smoked salmon and squid; scampi de granchi (butterflied shrimp stuffed with crab meat); and the fresh catch of the day. Plus, complimentary marinated olives, pepperoncini and crusty Italian rolls provide a tasty nosh while awaiting the main course.
Try one of a dozen specials that complement menu mainstays. Though they change often enough to add variety, specials remain long enough to re-experience on a return visit.
Early bird discounts (15 percent off before 7 p.m.) and easy access to the Metro make Odeon a good stop after work.
Give in to the dessert tray. Fresh and appealing, the display of homemade confections features tiramisu, fresh fruit cheesecake, cannoli and cakes.
-- Lynda McDaniel