3201 New Mexico Ave. Suite E NW
Washington, DC 20016Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.aldentedc.com/
- Phone: 2022442223
- Hours of Operation:
11:30AM to 10:00PM Daily
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian
- Executive Chef: Roberto Donna
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Al Dente
Al Dente is serving Italian Cuisine by Chef Roberto Donna near American University.Continued
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Al Dente reviews from OpenTable diners
88 reviews since June 3, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (58)great for outdoor dining (46)fit for foodies (45)great for lunch (24)notable wine list (16)kid-friendly (15)great for brunch (14)special occasion (13)good for groups (8)romantic (5)hot spot (5)late-night find (4)vibrant bar scene (4)scenic view (2)Show More
- So much potential yet a disappointOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 9/23/2014Food was average, nothing to write home about, service was the worst! Stay away.
- brunchOpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 9/21/2014liked the brunch menu. Bloody mary or juice, salad, and carbonara. Perfect. $20 per person. Just right. Waiter could have passed around more romano with the pasta. The salmonburger was also good, as was the frittata.Special Features:
- Classic ItalianOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/12/2014No one beats Donna's Pasta! Also try the specials.Special Features:
- Outstanding Rockfish FilletElanDined on 9/11/2014The fish is beautifully prepared and has just the right touch of grilling to it.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Vibrant flavors, good pizzaNClPkEaterDined on 9/7/2014Some adventuresome flavor combinations, good appetizers and specials, pizza worth the trip. Pasta (gnocchi) was a little bland - a bit of an outrage considering the price. Dessert pizza is a fun idea but a little haphazard in execution.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Too noisy to hear and fair foodjgoodman888VIPDined on 9/6/2014The main fish dishes were very good though $29 was a bit steep. Avoid the eggplant Parmesan - there was no eggplant that we could find in it all cheese and sauce. The pasta dishes were relatively bland - need more use of garlic and spices. The noise in the back was so loud we had to shout to be heard - would not go back until they added some soundproofing. The open table scale on noise is misleading - energetic means you have to shout which is not a positive. I wish they would change it.
- Surprisingly Good!SusanneVIPDined on 8/29/2014The quality of the food and surprising flavors was a wonderful surprise at this neighborhood restaurant. It was pleasant with good service and delicious food. We will go back, and soon --Special Features:
- Excellent and reasonably pricedOpenTable Diner Since 2004VIPDined on 8/24/2014We've eaten at Al Dente a dozen or so times on nearly every day of the week. In the summers the outdoor dining is very nice, in the winter we prefer seats at the bar near the wood burning oven. Most of the pasta is house made and is excellent. The pizzas are good as well. Wines and cocktails are reasonable priced. The service is generally good and well paced.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loud, slow but goodLWinDCVIPDined on 8/22/2014A great neighborhood spot. Food very good; great wine and draft beer choices. Very noisy inside on a Friday night. Service, as always, a bit slow and erratic, but worth it.Special Features:
- Al DenteElaineVIPDined on 8/19/2014Al Dente is now my favorite restaurant in DC. Everything is excellent and being on Open Table is a plus.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/17/2014As always good food, some dishes outstanding. The service was awful which has not been our experience before. Dishes for the party were served randomly. One pizza was not started by the time others were served. It was stated that the mozzerella had not been ready. Strange for a basic ingredient.Special Features:
- OMG it's slowTampopoVIPDined on 8/17/2014They forgot one of our appetizers and one of our desserts. At least with the desserts, the other two were brought out ahead of the forgotten one. The other two appetizers sat, one under the heat lamp and the other on a table in the dining area of the bar, while the cooks fired the forgotten appetizer. Took nearly an hour for our appetizers to come out after we sat down. Entrees were the only thing they got right. Took over 2 1/2 hours to complete dinner. Other tables sat down after us and left before us.
- Al Dente is wonderfulElaineVIPDined on 8/13/2014We were treating friends and Al Dente during restaurant week made us proud. Everything was perfect!Special Features:
- Great MealFCRobVIPDined on 8/11/2014The food was fresh, delicious and very creative. Lobster Risotto served with a whole grilled lobster. Wine was excellent and servers were focused and service oriented.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Another Great Meal at Al DenteFrankinDCDined on 8/11/2014This time the great meal came during DC Summer Restaurant Week. The entire imaginative menu was available to us at the special discounted price. Can't beat that deal, and it is by far the best dining in the AU/Tenleytown neighborhood.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- What went wrong?Ballet007VIPDined on 8/5/2014A return visit fell far short of an earlier one where two of us shared the whole lobster with risotto. It was plenty for two, a half lobster each. This time my friend ordered the lobster dish. To our chagrin the lobster was served out of the shell and had only two small chunks of meat. People at the next table were savoring the whole lobster in the shell. The waiter could not explain why we got shortchanged. We expected some sort of apology, some offer of adjustment. He said he had no authority to adjust and there was no manager on duty. Surely Al Dente's waiters should have some flexibly in a situation like this. The next day the manager called my friend and invited her to have a free lobster dish on another occasion.
- Great Neighborhood PlaceMarginallyUsefulVIPDined on 8/1/2014The food is much better than the venue. The kitchen reliably turns out excellent pastas and fish dishes; the pizzas are a little underwhelming and not hearty (in quantity or taste) for me but if you like a light pizza they are OK. Service is usually quite good. But it's a small, informal restaurant with somewhat uncomfortable chairs - you certainly wouldn't want to linger for a leisurely evening. But if you are in the upper NW area and want an enjoyable Italian meal, this is a good and reasonably-priced choice.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DCvisitorDined on 7/30/2014Food was top-notch! You won't be disappointed dining here.Special Features:
- DisappointedBCS1Dined on 7/25/2014Five of us went on a Friday night, and we were pleased that we were able to be seated outside on a very pleasant evening. Our server was very professional and helpful, but the kitchen must have been having trouble. Our antipasti arrived one by one, with the last person being served as the first person had finished. The same thing happened with the entrees, the two pasta dishes being served when the rest of us were nearly finished. Our server was very apologetic and the manager also apologized and comped us three desserts, which were the best part of the meal. The food itself was good but not great - - not what I expected from Roberto Donna and not worth the high price point.
- Pushy waitressColFrogVIPDined on 7/25/2014The food was delicious and very reasonably priced. The menu is diverse and the tasting menu really is a great value. The only negative for our meal was a pushy waitress who kept trying to upsell us. It was annoying.
- Enjoyable lunchfriendofGusDined on 7/25/2014This was my third visit to Al Dente. My first was for dinner and the food was very good. Last time for lunch and the beet salad was wonderful. This time I just had a light salad which was good, but not as impressive as before. not sure how to recommend this place. My big complaint was that the cappuccino was terribly weak and I like good coffee!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Too noisy!SensitiveVIPDined on 7/18/2014The delicious food and good service are cancelled out by the unremitting racket.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great neighborhood restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2001VIPDined on 7/17/2014Great food, service was lacking. Homemade pasta with wild bore great, pizza great!Special Features:
- Just FantastaticTallOaksDined on 7/6/2014Every time we dine at Al-Dente we are more and more amazed by the quality of food it serves. Our guests are always impressed. Chef Roberto Donna, you've done it, again. Keep it up. The service is now impeccable too!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A GemSharonVIPDined on 6/27/2014Best Pizza, just like you're in Italy. Fresh items, authentic , delicious food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Beautiful Summer EveningmarjorielaneDined on 6/19/2014Great place to dine inside or outside. Extensive and varied menu and reasonable wine list! And Roberto Donna is at the helm!Special Features:
- Disappointed this visitJoyGVIPDined on 6/14/2014We have been here many times and we really have loved the restaurant. On one visit we had a waiter who was not very nice and I told the manager and she really filled in the blanks. She sent over an appetizer and said the deserts were on the house. Well this past Sat. night we again had a non attentive waitress. When you are paying over $200 for dinner for 4 people I expect to get good service. The waitress took 15 min. to bring my friend her wine with repeated requests. Then when I asked for parmesan for my salad after 10 minutes I had to go tell the hostesses that I wanted to speak to the manager. I told him the story and he brought the parmesan himself. They also stopped making my favorite bread that was like pizza dough:(
- ericDined on 6/4/2014pizza ok. But small plates are much better. Roberto Donna still shines, when he is cooking.Special Features:
- Some Improvement Neededgot2tellthetruthVIPDined on 6/4/2014My friend and I had an enjoyable lunch, and everything looked, and tasted, delicious, although my beautiful arugula salad with artichoke hearts was much too-heavily dressed! Another issue for me was the noise--mainly the piped-in music that was not only too loud but actually annoying and definitely detracted from the otherwise pleasant indoor ambience. On a positive note, our server was superb--pleasant and very efficient; however, since I am the one who recommended to my friend that we go to Al Dente for lunch, I was really disappointed this experience wasn't as positive as the most recent visit with my husband when we sat outside for dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 515 reviews are from the Al Dente reviews archive.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 6/1/2014Wonderful food and the 4 course for $35 menu is a bargain and a great way to taste Donna's art. The waiters were friendly. Despite being a slow night (Sunday), the service was a bit spotty. They brought some food late/out of order and provided the table with an additional dish for the trouble, very nice gesture. Wine list is fun and waiter readily offered a taste of one before we bought a bottle.Special Features:
- Food good, service spottyChipper2VIPDined on 5/31/2014A recent visit to Al Dente was notable for an interesting tasting menu, an unusual and satisfying selection of wines, and tasty cocktails, all at reasonably prices. The service, while earnest, was rough around the edges. The waiter needed assistance in opening our bottle of wine, was unable to find out anything about the grape variety of the wine, and generally tried to hard. He was obviously new at the job. The bus boys swept in at one point like a swat team, with three or four of them whisking our dishes away a tad too aggressively. But these were sins of trying too hard rather than too little, so we will definitely be back. Diners should be forewarned that the tasting entrees are small.Special Features:
- Good neighborhood placeLWinDCVIPDined on 5/30/2014Went on a Fridayu; no problems, seated outdoors immediately. Nice to be off the street and in a patio like area. Food was very good; excellent beer and wine selection. Service seemed to be in 'learning curve' mode. Server seemed a little befuddled; flubbed one drink order. Assume she was recent grad and this may have been first job.Special Features:
- Wet, Wet, WetNonicknameVIPDined on 5/29/2014Have been to Al Dente twice in about 30 days for dinner. The first visit with three other female friends was delectable--particularly the octopus appetizer. But on the second visit with one other lady, oh my what a bad Thursday night the place was having 29 May 2014. This time it looked like it had rained on the octopus plate. The pasta too was soupy. The rockfish filet had a bone (although my companion was forgiving on this point), wet skin and was served with tiny,wet green potato pieces with what was either green beans or asparagus chopped up. The waiter periodically explained that the kitchen was having a "bad night." Both times the dessert was stellar, and as my 2nd friend put it, the coffee was hot. Had to ask for water refills!Special Features:
- Best kept secretCostisVIPDined on 5/26/2014I have no idea why more people have not discovered Al Dente for what it is: astoundingly good taste at reasonable prices in a very accessible location. Everyone is friendly and tries hard to please, and the dishes are memorable.Special Features:
- A real gempauperDined on 5/22/2014We had a great dinner at Al Dente which has a combination of sophistication and family atmosphere. I loved watching the kitchen and the chef lovingly preparing various dishes that are presented well and absolutely delicious. But the winners were the deserts which reminded me of some old family recipes , one of kind. A great place to relax and eat well with a great family atmosphere.Special Features:
- Great SpotcraterDined on 5/20/2014great lunch and fun local spot. menu is always appealing and service excellent. continue to support and glad you are so closeSpecial Features:
- Excellent FoodStaciaDined on 5/17/2014I have been to Al Dente multiple times and their food is always excellent. The fettucine bolognese and wild boar tagliatelle are particularly special. I rarely go to a restaurant more than once because there are so many great ones in the city but this one is a regular. However, beware that a reservation does not mean that your table will be ready on time.Special Features:
- Great foodJSproDined on 5/17/2014All the pastas are hand made here, we tried three different and all were excellent. The pizza is cooked in a wood fired oven and is perfect. Great appetizers - especially the fried zucchini blossoms. When the weather cooperates, eat outdoors.Special Features:
- Very Good Value, ConsistentDtlawDined on 5/15/2014This was our third dinner at Al Dente. Each time we have been very pleased with the quality of the food preparation, the service and the overall ambiance. This time my wife and I tried the 4 course tasting menu. The two appetizers were delicate and subtle. The main course, veal shoulder, was moist and delicious and the desert was first rate. The other couple with us, natives of Portugal, were equally pleased. One had the bronzini (an Atlantic fish common in Europe) and was very pleased with the preparation. We will definitely go back again, especially to try the bronzini.
- Off Night because AU GraduationporchnapperDined on 5/10/2014We made an 8:30 reservation through OpenTable. When we arrived there was a crowd by the door and the hostesses were pretending to help people. We ultimately sat at the bar by the pizza oven, informed the hostess we'd remain there, and she told us she'd send a waitress over. That never happened, but the bartender took good care of us and it was fun watching the pizza makers work. So, even though the restaurant appeared overwhelmed by graduation parties, it turned into a fun evening.