Fittingly, the Olazzo story is about friends and family. Roberto and Riccardo Pietrobono grew up in Silver Spring the sons of Italian immigrants. Both attended the University of Maryland, and Roberto was planning to go to law school. But when he visited a friend in California who owned a restaurant, he ended up working there instead.

Three years later, in 2002, he opened Olazzo, a tiny storefront restaurant in Bethesda with his 23-year-old brother as head chef.

Four years ago, they opened a Silver Spring location, serving the same classic Italian entrées priced under $20. And they’re currently expanding their Bethesda restaurant, doubling the square footage and adding 35 seats, shooting for a February completion.

Through the years, Olazzo has amassed a loyal following and won many awards, thanks to a cozy atmosphere, great value and terrific home-style food. Roberto says they have one patron who comes in every day for lunch.

7921 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda, 301-654-9496;
8235 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, 301-588-2540; www.olazzo.com

Other Top Vote Getters: Pines of Rome, Mamma Lucia, Assaggi Mozzarella Bar, Positano Ristorante Italiano