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Pulcinella's Italian Restaurant

4.5

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

Photo of Nathan Mlot Nathan Mlot
Mar 15, 2022 5

My favorite Italian Spot in the triangle. Atmosphere has a great family feel, and my family has been treated incredibly well every time we're there. You are greeted and seated with smiles and friendly hellos. All the dishes are incredible, fully of flavor, and have a real house-made taste. Prices are portions are great. I highly recommend the Spaghetti alla Bella Donna, meatballs, or house-made sausage. Never had to wait too long for any dish to arrive at the table, and everything is always hot and freshly prepared. Housemade salad dressing will knock your socks off, best I've had. Thank you for such a great restaurant!

Photo of Laura Seaver Laura Seaver
Feb 26, 2022 5

I've been dining at Pulcinella's for years, but last night was the first time in a while. Food & service (Laura) were great, as usual. I love the side salads and tried the house made Italian...very good! My entree, the seafood cannelloni with vodka cream sauce, was excellent! Enough for two so I should have had leftovers to bring home, but I finished it all! Pulcinella's continues to be my go-to Italian restaurant in Durham.

Photo of Tammie Gentry Tammie Gentry
Oct 19, 2021 5

I had my birthday dinner tonight and the food was delicious 😋 very good prices and nice people. Excellent service as well!!! I would highly recommend!! Thank you to the staff there!! Wonderful ❣️

Photo of Tom Eagen Tom Eagen
Jan 30, 2022 5

We have been dining at Pulcinella’s for many years and always enjoy the experience. Pizzas are great and the menu is long and varied. Have never had a mediocre, let alone a bad meal there. Their care is shown even in their side salads which are invariably fresh. The staff is everything you would want: friendly, smart, accommodating, attentive and quick. And wonderful wines at very reasonable prices.

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.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 mo vas mo vas
Sep 16, 2020 4

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Elissa Dellosso Elissa Dellosso
May 22, 2022 5

We have been regular customers for a very long time. The atmosphere is friendly with an excellent wait staff. The food is like good home Italian cooking. The portions are enough for dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day. You won't get a better value anywhere else like what you get here. And the white garlic sauce is to die for.

Photo of Jarrett Thomas Jarrett Thomas
May 18, 2022 5

We just tried last night and got to enjoy our still incredible leftovers this evening. We had never had a house Italian vinaigrette like theirs before where it has just a bit of tomato blended in it to make the side salad sing, and their olive oil is the most olive tasting olive oil I've had in years that I'm now furious how much the grocery store stuff has been cut with sunflower seed oil. Just those two things had us raving even before the entrees came out. My partner's chicken parm was picture perfect (I should've taken a photo) and the taste (especially that bright beautiful sauce) was more than enough for me to steal bites. I ordered the Pasta and Sauce: fettuccine w/ creamy pink sauce, add chicken (freaking delicious), and now I have the dilemma of getting the same thing, mixing it up or getting the lasagna that folks kept ordering for takeout.

Photo of Melinda Smith Melinda Smith
Apr 28, 2022 4

Food was fabulous, especially the calamari. Laura our server very good. The only thing I have to say is the atmosphere. If you want a VERY loud dining experience please eat here! You can hear every conversation going on in the entire place. If you want a romantic dinner stay away.

Photo of Bethany Keyes Bethany Keyes
May 15, 2022 5

Very good. Fast service, good food. Waitresses are super friendly. I love the family atmosphere. Bread and oil is very good. Bread tastes very fresh. Definitely recommend!!!

Photo of Alisa McAlister Alisa McAlister
Jul 15, 2022 5

Pulcinella's has been our family's favorite neighborhood restaurant for years. In fact, my sweet father-in-law and mother-in-law simply loved the place. We enjoyed taking our in-laws and our three children to dine-in - Epic memories over great food! All of the food is amazing. The staff, every single one of them, is friendly, welcoming, and accommodating! Our daughter, who is all grown up now, recently took my husband and me there for a fabulous lunch. Both of us got the chicken parmesan which is always out of this world tasty. My daughter got the bow ties with pesto - equally delicious. We love Pulcinella's and the staff!!!! If you like Italian food, good service, and a lovely atmosphere, you won't be disappointed!!!

Photo of Cindie Cavender Cindie Cavender
Jan 3, 2022 5

I don't know which is better - the food or the service! Everything is outstanding. The servers are beyond helpful and friendly. The lasagna, stromboli, and any other pasta dish is worth getting. And definitely ask for the house dressing on your salad.

Photo of Mark Easley Mark Easley
Aug 21, 2021 5

Had very good lunch of pizza and pasta. Dine in ambiance is nice. Classic Italian restaurant vibes. Staff was friendly and good service. Lunch specials includes drink and entree includes a salad. Complimentary bread and oil with the meal.

Photo of Jason Canepa Jason Canepa
Aug 31, 2022 5

Shrimp Alfredo unbelievable, the best Alfredo that I can remember!! Truly truly a awesome dining experience! And also wine bottles 50% off on wensdays!! Wow spectacular come check it out .

Photo of Andrea Haak Andrea Haak
Jul 21, 2022 4

If you are looking for a quaint Italian restaurant - this is it! Not only is the food good but the entire place has such a feeling of home and it’s understandable as to why. This is a family owned restaurant with a beautiful story! The father and mother worked there when they were younger - the mom, a waitress and the father, worked with the pizzas… Years later they are the proud owners of this lovely establishment. I’m really happy I found this place, my husband and I will be returning! I love the story behind the family and what it means because it means that love is put into their food. Who doesn’t want a little love? The staff was super friendly as well. I look forward to my next meal there.

Photo of Trasie Phan Trasie Phan
Jul 29, 2021 5

Casual heartwarming Italian food. We ordered a pizza to go last week and that was spot on. Then today after watching one too many Pasta Grannies episodes, I had a craving for lasagna. OMG! Theirs is the best. They also make family size trays of it to go. The lemoncello mascarpone cake is to die for!!! What a superb meal and the service was amazing. Laura went above and beyond ensure we had a great experience. With “Covid and all” service here is exceptional. This place is not to be missed.