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  • Al Dente

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Al Dente
  • Address:
    3201 New Mexico Ave. Suite E NW
    Washington, DC 20016
    Neighborhood:
    Friendship Heights
  • Cuisine:
    Italian
    Price: $30 and under

Al Dente Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.aldentedc.com
  • Email: info@aldentedc.com
  • Phone: (202) 244-2223
  • 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

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Free Parking weeknights from 5:00PM and all day Saturday & Sunday.
    50% OFF weekdays before 5:00PM.

A word from Al Dente
Al Dente is serving Italian Cuisine by Chef Roberto Donna near American University.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "My friend and I feasted on the gorgonzola dates, the pesto spaghetti and the bronzini. Our server knew the menu well and offered good advice."
    Dined on 4/16/2014
  • "We went for Valentine's Day and although the main course was delicious, the appetizers and desserts, however, did not have the same quality. The wine was also subpar. Tables were also far too close together, there wasn't even enough room between your table and the next to walk straight into your seat. I would recommend going here for a main dish, but no need to order any additives for the meal."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The brunch choices are healthy, varied and delicious. everyone was happy and we are a very savvy group of eaters."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "All four in our party ordered different dishes and all reported they were excellent. We also very much appreciated the excellent replacement for the wine we had ordered -- which was sold out -- at no additional charge. We will definitely return."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "And very fitting for this lovely meal. Just felt good and fresh and the smells and tastes were wonderful. We'll be back! Thank you."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We returned to Al Dente on a Friday night after having a great initial experience. Service was irregular. Sometimes we saw our waitress, sometimes not. Maybe understaffed. I ordered Eggplant Parmigiana (offered as a side dish). The small cast iron dish came filled with bland tomato sauce and very little eggplant. If there was cheese in the dish, I couldn't tell. When our adult daughter asked to substitute one kind of potato side for another, our waitress left to check with the kitchen and returned to tell us it was not possible. We considered having dessert but it took so long to get our waitresses attention that we decided to skip it. All in all, we decided our first impression must have been the fluke. Don't expect to return."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We've had great meals here before but never on a Saturday night. Maybe that was the issue... but one fish dinner was served frozen and another incorrect meal was served. Fish entree was promptly replaced but the incorrect meal just sat there for a while. Finally got the waitress to pay attention to us and she went to see about getting the correct meal. Several minutes later she returned to tell us they were out of that dish and what else would we want instead. At this point, everyone else had finished eating. Replacement meal arrived and it was good, but just too late. Management comped the two meals but it wasn't a satisfying evening. Two other meals were very good however! Just hesitant to go back on a busy Saturday night."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Always enjoy this place whether with a group or just a cozy dinner in the bar with my husband while watching all the action in the kitchen. Food is consistently great, especially the hand-made pasta. One of our favorite restaurants for a casual and delicious dinner. Roberto is the Man!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "The arugula salad was underdressed and the gnocchi was lacking in flavor. A+ to the design team, the ambience is lovely, but the meal itself was rather blah."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I had not been to Al Dente for about a year and was shocked at the pasta prices mostly in the $20+ range, and most other prices had increased. For a neighborhood restaurant, this is not acceptable. This may be the reason there were so many empty tables. Food was good and service was efficient, although the wines by the glass could be better (reds should not be warm)."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The food is good and servic eis beter than last time I visited. But when I got in, no one greeted me. I waited several miniutes before a waitress came to greet me. The waitress did not know what were the content of the soup of the day. They need more training."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "For the table we ordered a cold mezze sampler. It was nice but would serve the bar better. Did not order but squash blossoms had a nice presentation and seemed popular. Next were small salads, well dressed and fresh. Wine suggestion was nice and reasonably priced. Pasta course came at the same time as the main course. Our server thought we wanted them at the same time... Main course was special suckling pig on potato tarte. Flavorful, crispy skin, lacking with presentation. Panna cotta was very good. Back waiters seemed unkempt and were shouting in to other staff while clearing plates. Table was not set when entrees (and pasta) came out."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "I chose this restaurant based on high ratings, but was disappointed. Found most of the food to be average. Ordered "little things to go with bread" to share among 6 people but it wasn't tasty enough to get finished. Although the bread was certainly tasty. My mother minestrone soup, both she and my daughter noted it was very watery. Our main dishes arrived at different times. Decore is funky and interesting."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "I used to love I Matti in Adams Morgan and was sorry to see it close. But now I have an equally good Italian restaurant right in my neighborhood! Al Dente is excellent. A friend joined me for lunch, and we had the tasting menu: three courses that were just the right size - and delicious. The fiori di zucchini appetizer was the best I've ever had. The pasta was fresh and tasty, and the homemade chocolate ice cream wonderful - on a par with the fabulous gelato at Dolcezza. So Al Dente will become one of my standard haunts."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Our food was good - I had a pizza, my mother the divine lemon chicken (not lemony at all, but half of a roasted chicken!), and my aunt a pasta stuffed with veal, beef, and pork - the bread was delicious as well. However, our service was horrible. Our waiter just neglected his duties in so many ways, it was bad The restaurant was out of chardonnay (how do you run out of a popular wine!?), no longer offered the drink that I ordered, and failed to let us know that the delicious sounding entree my mother ordered with butternut squash had been replaced with BEETS (what?! MAJOR CHANGE!). It was all of these little things that added up to us just being ready to leave by the time our food came, leading to a less than enjoyable experience."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Its tough to find genuinely good Italian food outside of Italy, let alone in DC. But this restaurant sinks to new depths. Not only do they have the audacity to charge $25+ for a small plate of mushy, overcooked pasta but they do so in a pretentious atmosphere. Our party's pappardelle comes out bland and with strands stuck together. A plate of duck ravioli, while the filling tastes fresh, also comes garnished with mushrooms that taste canned. An appetizer of stuffed zucchini flowers comes out lukewarm and with only two pieces, barely enough for a mouthful. Certainly not worth the drive up to American University, let alone $80 for three dishes."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "this was our first time at Al Dente, and we went for dinner. Overall it was a very positive experience. This was the Saturday after Valentine's day, and the place was packed. As a result it was very noisy. The food was outstanding. Salads were large and fresh. My wife had the mushroom risotto which was great, and I had the boar ragu pasta, which was also excellent. Wine list tends toward the Italian, as you would expect, and there were a number of affordable, decent wines. Service was somewhat inattentive, but the waiters were all hopping because there was not an empty table. We would go back."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Our waiter gave us a bill with a $20 item that we did not order. When we pointed out the error, he simply took the bill from us (no apology) and returned, saying he gave us the wrong bill (still no apology.) The service throughout the meal was spotty--we had to ask for bread and we did not feel important as "only" a twosome, rather than a larger group. Our tip reflected our unhappiness with his service---12%."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The food was very good, the service fair - the waiter was good, but the servers did not seem to know who ordered what. What I liked the least and this was a big detractor was the cramped space. Our table for two was sandwiched between other tables for two and we could hear every word the couple next to us said and I'm sure they could too. I would not go again to Al Dente as a party of two unless I got a table for four because as good as the food was, the whole experience was less than relaxing and did not allow for a nice conversation. I suggest management trade some revenue for space and comfort."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Popular, pleasant atmosphere . Zucchini flowers and wild boar ragu were very good. The ragu could have been better reduced. The salmon was over cooked"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "The three course luncheon menu was just delicious and a great price for the quality."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Menu could use some explanation to help with appetizer choices. Minestrone soup was lukewarm and terrible. Burrata appetizer with dates delicious but waiting for the bread and plates to eat it made it less exciting. Pizza crust is exactly the same as the bread which is good but a but a bit redundant after our appetizers. Entire bag of baby arugula dumped on pizza creating 2 inch pile with nothing to anchor it or dress it with. When one of the hostesses saw me drizzling the olive oil from my breadplate onto my pizza slice she did rush over with a bottle of very good olive oil. Meatballs were outstanding! Service was erratic. Nice waitress but couldn't flag her down as she bustled by. Maybe too many tables to handle. Will try it again."
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "Food is awesome. Some of the best Italian I've had in DC. In fact, some of the best italian I've had outside of Italy. However, stick to the more authentic items on the menu... The menu is too large for their own good and some items are not as good as others. The decor is fantastic, but the florescent lighting used to illuminate the walls kills the atmosphere at night... It would be far more intimate and cozy if they just turned those darn lights off : )"
    Dined on 2/11/2014
  • "$18 is a lot to pay for a bowl of pasta and meat sauce, but it was very good."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "We went here for dinner on Saturday night. The food was pretty good, excellent breads and pastas and the lamb shank was great. However our waiter was condescending and it felt like a place where regulars get treated well but outsiders are not welcome. Our table sat with finished plates for 20 min while our waiter chatted with his buddies at the bar and drink orders were not correct."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I liked this restaurant and will definitely go again and order pasta next time since I think that's what they probably do best. I had the Rockfish that wasn't bad, but it was so hot that I had to wait ten minutes to eat it. My husband's pork was delicious. The house wine was terrible and for a place that charges well over $20 for entrees I expected better. Love the location."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Every morsel of the tasting menu was delicious beyond measure. Watching this master chef produce the finest food is a great pleasure. We were sorry the meal ended because it was so enjoyable. I cannot recommend a restaurant more highly."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Food was very good and the portions were very abundant. One member of our group was upset that she could not make substations in her vegetables."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "This is a really nice neighborhood restaurant. The food was very good. The service was professional - attentive without being overbearing. I had the Wild Boar Tagliatelle. It was excellent and not over salted as food can sometimes be in a restaurant. My companion and I started by sharing stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto. They were outstanding! My salad was huge, bigger than it needed to be and a very interesting variation on a Caesar salad: all the igredients of a Caesar salad, but a different dressiing. Very good. My companion had an excellent grilled fish. We had to go to a concert before we could try the desserts, though they looked good. All in all, a very pleasant evening."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Although I have liked the food the 4 times I've been at Al Dente. My favorite part is their bread!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Glad we did not invest in dinner. Pasta at lunch was so so. Squash blossoms were a greasy, exotic appetizer. Surly waiter who forgot several key elements like the wine list, water, an grated parmesan, then overcharged us on the check."
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "An excellent choice for a Washington restaurant week meal. All three courses were what you would get on a non Restaurant Week day and our selections made for enjoyable dining. Service was a little ragged in getting a second glass of vino. The desserts were wonderful. FYI: If you don't want to sit at a high table and you prefer a table of normal height make you needs known when you make your reservation."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "We were very longtime followers of Roberto. While we didn't expect his past high end restaurant , we expected more. The service was very disinterested!"
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "We have only eaten lunch here several times. The food and ambience are terrific, the service not so much. Our server was pleasant but not as attentive as we would have liked. I had to remind him that he had not brought my wine although, my husband had been served. He did tell us about the "Restaurant Week" special but we had to ask him for several things after our food was served. Although the food was excellent, as always, the rest of the experience was disappointing."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "Although he wasn't in the kitchen the night we were there, we enjoyed Mr. Donna's touch. We went for Restaurant Week. Once again, a restaurant that offered it's full menu. Way to go! I had the burrata with prosciutto and a few dates. Excellent! Followed by the steak, also excellent, and the chocolate salami for dessert. All excellent. If it were closer (we live in Virginia), we would go to this restaurant more frequently. By the way, we went to Roberto + 4 late last year and really enjoyed it. We decided to come back to try the "pedestrian" main dining room. As you can see, we weren't disappointed. Give Al Dente a try!"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Second time, and it was during restaurant week. A true bargain: I had the special Hazan recipe lemon chicken, a favorite of CHef Donna, and my companion had the lamb shank. All excellent...and especially at restaurant week prices."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Superb! Roberto Donna made his entire menu available with no surcharges for Restaurant Week. Very generous portions of creative pastas, deliciously seared meats, and the best wild mushroom risotto I've ever tasted. Can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 1/16/2014
  • "I had wanted to try this restaurant because we live in the neighborhood, so we thought we would try it for Restaurant Week. First of all we had to ask about restaurant week--there was no mention of it on the menu or in the other cards we were given. They essentially opened up the whole menu, which was good. The lamb shank was disappointing--sauce too "tomato-ey" with no complexity. Some other dishes were quite good. Service was quite slow, which I could understand as it was very busy when we went in, but it got slower as tables emptied, not the reverse. We had a very long wait for dessert and eventually asked a manager for help. Tables are also very close together, and the decor has no noise-softening elements, so it was very noisy."
    Dined on 1/13/2014
  • "After several months absence decided to give the place another chance. In short, the food is great, and the service ranges from confused to slow to indifferent. A little better this time, but only in comparison to the terrible service in previous visits."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "As usual - food really excellent. Wonderful meal accompanied by terrific bread."
    Dined on 1/9/2014