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Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant


4711 Hope Valley Rd
Durham, NC 27707
Phone: (919) 490-1172
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Google Reviews

Photo of Eric Gutglueck Eric Gutglueck
Jun 7, 2019 5

This place never disappoints. Amazing service and the best Italian food in town. Big fan of the pesto gnocchi

Photo of Gail Birkby Gail Birkby
Jun 5, 2019 3

We visited for lunch to celebrate a co worker's promotion based on a recommendation that the food was good. When we walked in we immediately noticed the greasy floors and gouges in the walls that looked like they hadn't seen new paint in a decade. The dining room was small and fairly empty when we arrived at noon. There were 10 of us and we could not be seated together. When we left at 1:15 there were maybe 5 other tables seated. The food arrived in a timely manner and then the server pretty much disappeared. We never could get refills on our drinks but managed to beg some out of the server "to go" at the end. I had to ask three times and the third time was after I waited up front and walked back in to check on the status of my drink. Instead of getting the drink they were busy cleaning the table for the tips. Once back at the office, we all started talking about how salty the sauce was. One person said the Chicken Parm was so bad she just left it there. Pretty much all the pasta entrees were just big piles of unremarkable pasta. My Pizza was "OK" but very salty and not a reason to go back. Only one person in our group said she liked what she ordered and that was the lasagna. At the end, instead of being served checks we all had to spend 15 minutes lined up at the front desk to pay our bills as the server stated that as her preference. I would never go back to this spot.

Photo of Jela Ok Jela Ok
Apr 21, 2019 3

Service is good, but food there!! Its plenty pasta, and sauce doesn't taste authentic Italian. I wont consider split a plate if it's your first time..meatballs is quantity vs quality..

Photo of Paul Seeds Paul Seeds
May 14, 2019 3

I came here around this time in 2018 and ordered a Stromboli. The middle of the Stromboli was ice cold - in fact, it seemed frozen. On the way out, I let the owner know who assured me, it was not frozen... OK, I must be making it up then. He assured me, everything is fresh. Well, my Stromboli was ice cold in the middle. Fast forward to April, 2019 - I come here again, thinking, perhaps I can get a Stromboli which is not cold in the middle. Wrong. 1 year apart, same exact thing. Stromboli is ice cold in the middle. The owner wasn't here this time, but, doesn't matter. Won't be back.

Photo of Patricia E Whited Patricia E Whited
Jun 21, 2019 5

Really delicious food with stellar service. We try to stop here as often as we can. Everything from their fresh bread and entrees to desserts is great tasting.

Photo of Bill Kokolis Bill Kokolis
Jun 25, 2019 4

We ordered calamari, a Scillian pizza, and wine. The pizza was great, with a crisp crust, good crumb, and not too much sauce. The wine (a sangiovese) was good with a smooth finish. The calamari, unfortunately, was overcooked and a bit too chewy. Service was attentive and fast without being overbearing. Overall a pleasant dinner.

Photo of Rob Klink Rob Klink
Jul 29, 2019 5

Great food and really big portions. It's a cozy atmosphere and the wait staff is very attentive. I've never been there when it wasn't busy but the service is quick. You also get take out!

Photo of Meredith Sexton Meredith Sexton
Jul 17, 2019 5

Don’t let the strip mall fool you. This is the best Italian around and the owners/staff are amazing and very personable and service oriented. Not a fancy place, but big comfy booths and damn good food.

Photo of David Straughan David Straughan
Oct 10, 2019 5

Can’t be beat if you are looking for that delicious neighborhood Italian joint. The food is fantastic but the warmth and comfort of the place is what really shines. The service is always friendly and professional and it’s a great place for the whole family, but date-appropriate as well.

Photo of Dimitri V Dimitri V
Aug 8, 2019 5

This is my favorite Italian place in the triangle. First the service here is consistently the best. Been here over a dozen times and I have never had mediocre service. The food is a good value. Can you find better food for double the price? Probably. But for the price it's the best Italian you will find. Also they have great fresh baked bread provided. Expect to wait during busy dinner hours as this place is no secret to the locals. The pizza there is not my favorite. Go for the pasta, leave the pizza to places that do it exclusively.

Photo of Zach The awesome Zach The awesome
Aug 3, 2019 5

Great experience from the time we entered until the time we left. We were visiting Chapel Hill and my son wanted Italian for dinner. The hotel recommended a different restaurant and I found this one of Google. My 12 year old son said the restaurant was cozy. Our waiter was very attentive and actually spoke to my son. That is a huge plus for us when we eat out. He is old enough to order for himself but so many times waiters/waitresses ignore him. The food was awesome and like others have stated, the portion size is huge. My husband had the lasagna, I had pizza and my son had penne pasta. We didn't try the desert but I'm sure it is as outstanding as the food. When back in the area, we will definitely be back. All around a great experience.

Photo of Stacy Cross Stacy Cross
Aug 27, 2019 5

It was awesome there! It gave you the Italian experience without you going to Italy. The only difference is that people were speaking English. The food was great and we had to take it home. The service was fantastic and we had no choice but to give her a very generous tip. A man and his family that come in every month and played his accordian for the restaurant.❤️

Photo of Professor Dubbs Professor Dubbs
Sep 6, 2019 5

Tonight was our first time dining at Pulcinella's. It exceded our expectations. The food was exquisite. My fiancee doesn't eat gluten, so we were excited they have gluten free pasta. The service from Harrison was superb. All the other staff we met were genuinely friendly. We have found a new favorite in Durham.

Photo of Josh Josh
Oct 28, 2019 4

I came here for my girlfriend's birthday over the weekend with some friends. None of us had been here before and we were eager to check it out. The atmosphere and service were wonderful (shout out to Harrison!), But the food was just average. I had the lasagna and while it was hot and the consistency was good, the flavor of the meat wasn't really there. The prices are also very reasonable! I definitely plan to to go back and try another dish, based on the service alone.

Photo of Dennis Dennis
Nov 15, 2019 5

All 4 of us enjoyed our dinners at P's last night. In my case, my recent absence definitely "made my taste buds grow fonder." The special dinner that owner Mike prepared-- a chicken/prosciutto/bowtie-pasta/vodka sauce dish was OUTSTANDING! And, while my wife & I always loved P's homemade bread & tomato/olive oil dipping sauce, I swear that it never tasted better than it did last night! This place still turns out GREAT unique, old-school Italian dishes at "great-bang-for-buck" prices. Plus, our favorite waiter, Harrison, is still there! Everyone needs to support this long-time, local, cozy restaurant that strives to keep pleasing its customers with "the best of Italy."

Photo of Jeff Phillips Jeff Phillips
Nov 24, 2019 5

Pulcinella's is easily the best Italian place in Durham. The service is always excellent and the food is amazing. The owner makes you feel welcome and the portions are more than generous. Great place. Highly recommended.

Photo of Chelsea Derreberry Chelsea Derreberry
Dec 14, 2019 5

The food is delicious! The bread & olive oil dip they bring out at the beginning of the meal was a wonderful treat & got us way too full before our meal since we couldn't stop eating it! Our server made us feel like family, which is always appreciated but it's even more special when you've never been at the restaurant before! We'll definitely be back when were in Durham again!

Photo of Joe Guess Joe Guess
Jan 1, 2020 5

We have been several times now. This is now my favorite restaurant!! The food, service and atmosphere are always top notch. Best spaghetti in the world. I order the marinara wth meatballs. It is incredible with zesty sauce and chunks of fresh garlic. Unbelievable!! Best restaurant ever...anywhere.

Photo of Tiffany Whiting Tiffany Whiting
Jan 22, 2020 5

Dinner was delicious! I got a to go order of the spaghetti with pink sauce which was a mix of the marinara and alfredo - best of both worlds! It comes with a salad and bread. They also have a chocolate cake that any chocolate-lover would appreciate. 😋😋

Photo of Gail Mullin Gail Mullin
Oct 25, 2019 5

I simply can’t say enough about Pulcinella’s. Too bad I didn’t know it was here years ago when my husband and I were looking for an authentic Italian Restaurant to have dinner. We moved down from NJ almost 31 years ago. Now that we’ve found it watch out!! The owner, waiters, staff, etc. are ALL truly wonderful and the food from the Eggplant Parmigiana to the Veal Parmigiana simply out of this world. The restaurant has that homey feel as if you’re in someone’s house at Thanksgiving with family and friends. Oh and by the way, try and save room for dessert because they have a Lemon Cello Cake to die for. Prices are what one would expect, actually better because the portion sizes are very large, at any upscale Italian Restaurant. Out of 5 Stars Pulcinella’s, if I could would get a 5 and a half!!!!!

Photo of Raleigh Training Raleigh Training
Feb 24, 2020 5

If you want good Italian food, there’s no better place! HIGHLY recommend! Feel free to use your imagination further than what’s on the menu. They’ll make it happen and they’ll never disappoint!

Photo of Robert Depo Robert Depo
Mar 8, 2020 5

Amazing food, great portions, great price, insanely good service. Very warm atmosphere. It feels like you're at a sweet relative's house. Experience was flawless.

Photo of Stan Stasiewicz Stan Stasiewicz
Jan 21, 2020 5

Came with a group of friends for lunch and wasn't disappointed. Just about everyone ordered something different and the waitress got it all right. The food was excellent and no one had any complaints. The portions were large and most everyone had a takeout box. We will be back.

Photo of Caroline Bronson Caroline Bronson
Feb 9, 2019 5

Best place ever!!! We happened upon it & are so glad we did!! The food was incredible & the service was perfect!!! Will definitely come again!

Photo of Farnoosh Brock Farnoosh Brock
Dec 14, 2018 5

I was in the mood for lasagna tonight and we wanted to try a new place. I’m so very glad we came to this family owned friendly warm attentive and lovely place with delicious homemade Italian food and extremely extremely kind and attentive service. I don’t remember feeling like tipping as much as I did in the recent years anywhere else and it felt so good to do it as a reward for great service and hospitality and food. Will definitely be back here again. We even got free tiramisu as a welcome for our first visit.

Photo of Anthony Edwards Anthony Edwards
Jan 3, 2020 4

A delightful, cozy, popular Italian restaurant in a good location. Family run. Great, friendly owner often checks on tables to make sure all is well.

Photo of Anthony Altemara Anthony Altemara
Aug 22, 2020 3

I love the food and the people, but wish they were taking mask wearing more seriously. Most people in the kitchen were wearing masks, but a few weren't at all. A few more people weren't wearing masks properly, exposing their noses.

Photo of Randy Rutkowske Randy Rutkowske
Apr 18, 2018 5

I love Pulcinella's. The people and service there are great. Mostly it has the feel of a genuine family restaurant. I like that a salad and bread are included with the meal. The food is traditional Italian. There are posted special dishes which are original and can be very good.

Photo of Annalena Mills Annalena Mills
Sep 27, 2020 5

I have eaten in Italian restaurants all over the United States and of course Italy. Pulcinella’s is the closest to a REAL AUTHENTIC italian meal here in the states!! Almost everything is homemade and the sauces are impeccable!( not to mention the tiramisu!!). We were here in town for the weekend and ate there twice!! Highly recommend it! Especially for Italians!!!

Photo of mo vas mo vas
Sep 16, 2020 4

Good 🍕

Photo of Hannah Robinson Hannah Robinson
Aug 8, 2020 5

I got some food to-go on a night I didn’t feel like cooking. Google says they close at 8, but their sign says 9. The customer service was great. I had no idea what I had ordered but the employees were very patient and helped find my order. As for the food, my boyfriend loved it! But I didn’t really like what I ordered. I got the fish with mussel and clam I believe with white wine sauce... it had a weird seafood taste and was flavorless. I’ll try something else next time! But I wish their side salad was a mixture of iceberg lettuce because spring mix has a really strong vegetable taste.

Photo of Ciro Mcalpine Ciro Mcalpine
Sep 3, 2020 5

Not what I expected driving up, I’m a strip mall area, I thought hmm..., but, the food, amazing. Lobster ravioli, Chicken Parm, manicotti, all just wonderful. Service was wonderful, food arrived hot and quick. Then, the desserts, red velvet cake and lemon cake, amazing.

Photo of Roberta Wippich Roberta Wippich
Oct 19, 2020 5

This was our first time back since they opened for dine-in. It was, as it has always been, delicious. My husband had spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs. I had chicken with prosciutto and cheese in a brown sauce. Can't remember what it's called, but it is the first item under chicken. Their lasagna is always better than good. Cannot say anything bad about this place.

Photo of M Demers M Demers
Nov 9, 2020 5

The staff were so friendly and helpful! The food was delicious! They did a great job sticking to COVID guidelines too, which was very important to me. There is outdoor seating as well as indoor seating that they spread out well.

Photo of Sandra Taylor Sandra Taylor
Nov 14, 2020 5

We just had another amazing dinner from Pulcinella's! My favorite is the Spaghetti alla Bella Donna, but we also got pizza, salad, and a calzone. Something for everyone in the family! Efficient takeout service, friendly staff and delicious and very reasonably priced food! Already looking forward to the next visit. Thank you, Pulcinella's!

Photo of Montravias King Montravias King
Nov 28, 2020 5

This was my second time visiting this wonderful establishment. I had to write a review this time for sure. I ordered Pulcinella's Special Pizza and Garden Salad. The Pizza was absolutely delicious. The sauce, ingredients, and dough all were fresh and homemade for sure. The salad was perfect and the vegetables were fresh also. In addition to the food the customer service is second to none. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly. If your looking for a good Italian Restaurant try Pulcinella's.

Photo of JB NC JB NC
Jan 8, 2021 5

So delicious, willing to substitute capers 4 raisins. Been eating here 4 years, still great w/generous portions.

Photo of Kim Perrino Kim Perrino
Jan 25, 2021 5

Always a treat to stop there while I'm in Durham!! Today I had Bruschetta, which was perfect and a glass of white wine!! Plus a added Bonus a Chat with Mike the Owner!! Always a great story from the past!! Thank you. Such a great place to Dine for truely Authentic Italian Food.