Our Philosophy

Welcome to Cafe Dodici — more than just a place to eat! Our goal is to provide you with a fulfilling dining experience with quality food, skillfully prepared and enjoyed in a welcoming, refined dining environment. Restauranteurs Lorraine Williams, her husband Alessandro Scipioni, and their niece Tsalika Rich have a unique philosophy on life and food that they share with each customer through the cuisine and ambiance at Cafe Dodici.


“Dodici” means “twelve” in Italian. It was chosen as the name because 12 plays a significant role in many areas of our daily lives—- 12 vibrations of tone, which gives us music; 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night, 12 months in a year. It is also a central theme in life from all over the world— Christianity’s 12 disciples, the 12 deeds of the Buddha, 12 astrological signs and on and on! In essence, the ‘magic’ of 12 affects your life every day. We share that “magic” with you!

Our authentic Italian inspired food…

We at Cafe Dodici take pride in the quality of our food. For you to enjoy the life essence of what you eat, we choose the best quality food both locally and from Italy. Then we take care to ensure that the foods’ natural, nourishing qualities are respected in the cooking process.

Co-owner Alessandro was inspired by Mamma Scipioni to prepare natural, fresh foods in the tasty style of his original home in Pesaro, Italy. He now shares this knowledge with you in his adopted home. We owe our continued growth and success to our wonderful and dedicated staff, in particular our creative head chef Tim Howard and his brother, sous chef Jim Howard. They form an essential part of the Dodici family as they have been responsible for the daily functioning of our restaurant since 2005.

The Cafe Dodici kitchen uses only high quality stainless steel cookware – no aluminum or teflon here. We also use only purified water for both service and cooking to insure the fresh taste of pure water in all foods and beverages.

Our goal is to compliment the food’s natural characteristics, rather than covering them up. While garlic, onion and salt are believed to heighten the flavors of foods, when used too heavily, they can mask food’s true essence and saturate your palate with only one flavor – sometimes for days! We use very little salt, garlic and onion in our recipes…. just enough to heighten the food’s natural flavor.

Our Ambiance…

Much time and energy has been devoted to the ambiance of our dining room and to the new gathering room for private parties, “Patricia’s Room.” To create a harmonious dining experience for our guests, Lorraine consulted a Feng Shui Master in China. Cafe Dodici’s decor is a compilation of artwork and artifacts from around the world. The two chandeliers were hand made and painted in Florence, Italy. There are paintings by Iowa artists as well as artists from India, China and Italy. We are especially proud of the oil painting of downtown Washington from 1907! We strive for an environment where you feel both pampered and relaxed—where you feel welcome again and again.

Thank you very much for dining with us at CAFE DODICI!

Buon Appetito!

Thank you very much for dining with us at CAFE DODICI!

Buon Appetito!

Lorraine Williams, Proprietor        –         Alessandro Scipioni, Proprietor        –        Tsalika Rich, Proprietor