The food served at this glamorous italian restaurant is outstanding! Absolutely delicious.
6/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
The dining room was noisy
The dining room was noisy on a busy Friday evening, in our opinion, but as the restaurant cleared, the noise level fell to a comfortable level. We found the restaurant design eye catching and our overall dining experience most enjoyable. Most importantly, the food was top notch, and our party of three enjoyed watching Chef Donna at work in the kitchen. Special thanks to the manager for knowing how to treat customers and make up for delayed seating.
6/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Big Menu, good value
So pleased that this place exists within walking distance to my house. Huge menu, good value, excellent food, pleasant service, cool design. Its not cheap, but the quality of the food and the experience make it a good value in this town. Check it out - I bet it becomes one of your favorites too!
7/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Hip, Down-to-Earth, and Delicious
Phenomenal neighborhood restaurant...and thankfully we have it. The area has long been underserved.
Many standouts on the menu. A few of my favorites include: the burrata and prosciutto; cold lobster salad; wild boar pappardelle; the gnocchi; and any of the pizzas or paninis...they're great.
7/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Another great meal at Al Dente with the Donnas (Mrs up front and Mr in the kitchen), working their magic. Mrs Donna is very attentive with her guests and the food is always wonderful (and nice to see the menu is always a bit different). I hope this is a winning venture for everyone. I know we always enjoy ourselves.
7/12/2013 5:00:00 PM
Very very loud. Hard to hear
Very very loud. Hard to hear person next to you. Menu confusing and wait staff not helpful in fact they were obnoxious. Food good but not great. Better pasta and better fish elsewhere.
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
The service is usually poor
The service is usually poor but on our last visit it was appalling. Dishes for other tables were brought to our table several times. It took 10 minutes longer to get a bottle of wine than to get a Negroni. The only thing that came quickly when we asked for it was the bill! We are neighbors and regular customers and we love your food, so we'll come again, but others might not be so forgiving.
7/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Italian Food
Roberto Donna still creates a fantastic and delicious menu.
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
The menu is loaded with unique items you don't find anywhere else. Great multi- course meal values. Best tiramisu!
7/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
great place to have 2-3 person
great place to have 2-3 person working lunches. It's quiet and spacy enough to allow freedom to talk at a normal leel and not worry about folks over hearding. Plus the service is great.
7/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Ate there on a perfect summer
Ate there on a perfect summer evening, chose the very affordable 4 course tasting menu.
Service was prompt, food very good, wine list had mostly Italian bit a special Virginia page also
General atmosphere was very pleasant with many families and their kids...
7/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
A great place
This restaurant was the perfect choice for us last Saturday night. We met two friends to catch up. The food was wonderful, and the service was excellent. Our waiter was attentive, friendly, and helpful. It's a friendly place with great food that manages to feel special and cozy at the same time.
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
better than I expected
We'd been to La Forchetta when it first opened, and weren't impressed. Gave it another try as Al Dente and were pleasantly surprised! Other than the pizza which was somewhat bland (must have been the cheese), all the other entrees were delicious and the stuffed dates and the zucchini flowers were amazing appetizers!
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good food, waiter was not so great
We were able to sit outside on the patio which is always a plus, the food was great (polenta fries are delicious!) but the waiter was not so great. After our food was brought to us, we never saw him again until it was time for the check... but we will definitely go back. All the other service people (hostess, manager) were very nice and accommodating, it was just the negligent waiter we didn't like.) Everything we tried we liked, my husband had the rockfish in a tomato/caper/olive sauce and I had a salad with arugula, eggplant puree and mozz cheese - all wonderful.
7/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Perfect for outdoor dining
My friend and I enjoyed one of Al Dente's great luncheon salad. We ate outside and it was a lovely ambience.
7/28/2013 5:00:00 PM
Roberto Donna is a master
Roberto Donna is a master chef - creative, delicious food.
8/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
We loved everything we had
We loved everything we had and can't wait to go back. We ate outside but the inside looked really nice. The food was delicious.
8/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Very good food. OK service
We enjoyed our first meal at Al Dente for an early Saturday dinner. The food was delicious and we will return again mainly based on that. However our waitress wasn't very friendly or attentive. She got the job done but didn't seem to put much emphasis on how much we enjoyed our experience at the restaurant. The odd thing is that the restaurant wasn't very busy either at the time.
8/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
Very good dining experience
We like Al Dente b/c of its imaginative and delicious dishes. The service is excellent too.
8/3/2013 5:00:00 PM
Chef Roberto Donna is back!!!
What a happy occasion to see Chef Roberto Donna back in top form cooking for DC and its suburbs in Maryland and Virginia! I had searched for agnolotti like his for many years, even being disappointed in Italy, and now I found them again. Hard to describe how truly heavenly these agnolotti are! Everything I've had at Al Dente to date has been superb, as I expect from Chef Donna and his years at Galileo.
8/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Relaxing evening; excellent
Relaxing evening; excellent service; pleasant ambiance; best of all - excellent food.
8/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
Al Dente holds steady
Though the limited "August menu" is somewhat of a disappointment, the food quality of Al Dente under Chef Roberto Donna continues to shine. Also, the advertised "roasted figs" were not available with the burata either, and the appetizer of stuffed zucchini flowers was reduced to two. That said the quality of all the offerings, including soft shell crabs and the agnolotti, was outstanding.
8/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dining Family Style
We decided to go for the family style menu and boy were we happy, surprised and full! Although it is the chefs picks for what you have on your menu i don't think you could go wrong. The portions are plentiful and you can take home what you can't eat. I thought it was a really good way to taste many items on the menu ,share and then when you go back you can choose one of your favorites. I do have to say the highlights were the grilled sardines, the homemade sausage , all the pasta dishes and the panna cotta was amazing! It is a really good value also at $40/person. Next time we are bringing more people.
8/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Donna does it again
We have dined in all the Roberto Donna restaurants that were more high end. This one is more modest in décor but the food is absolutely delicious and well prepared. Had the burrata with figs and prosciutto with balsamic vinegar and the prosciutto wrapped roasted dates stuffed with cheese and as appetizers. The lamb shank with beans entrée was perfect.
The service was a bit iffy. The servers were busy with restaurant week guests and it was erratic, although everyone was pleasant and tried hard to compensate. Would definitely go back many times
8/20/2013 5:00:00 PM
Al Dente opened its whole menu for Restaurant Week -- the food is so good that I went twice.
8/21/2013 5:00:00 PM
Bravo, Chef Roberto Donna!
This was my third time at Al Dente and I am now a confirmed fan. Roberto Donna is back in full force in a more casual environment but with food at the level of haute cuisine (he can't help it). Even on Restaurant Week, when I have been disappointed at most restaurants for not offering their best dishes or minimizing the portions, Al Dente provided virtually the full menu and full portions, which are very generous normally. We tried the pizza for the first time and it can easily be compared to 2 Amys, which was our favorite for legitimate Neapolitan pizza (watch out Peter Pastan - there is no parking issue here). Fabulous!!! Will return as much as possible!!!
8/23/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great brunch deal
Al Dente has a great brunch deal, two items and a cocktail for $20. All the food were tasty and heartily portioned.
8/23/2013 5:00:00 PM
We had Al Dente's variation on a Caprese salad and a divine dessert. We will definitely be back. Also, earning Open Table points is another incentive. I highly recommend Al Dente.
8/29/2013 5:00:00 PM
Great lunch tasting menu. Excellent food and the tiramisu is a must!
9/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
I been going to Al Dente several
I been going to Al Dente several times, and everytime is a whole new experience with the food. It seems that I can get enought, perhaps because is as close to the old country as you an get.
9/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
The pastas were terrific,
The pastas were terrific, as were the bronzino and the soft-shelled crab. Lots to like here at Al Dente.
9/21/2013 5:00:00 PM
We had a bottle of Rose that we had before. It is quite good. One quest had a Jack Daniels or two. Everything we had was great. Fried zucchini blossoms wonderful, parmesan fries were great, meatballs tender and just right amount of sauce. Complimentary breads were the best. lasagna was first rate.. Board with 3 meats: prosciutto, salami.sopresetto (sp?) with fried bread and pckled carrots/onions were great. Caesar salad could have used a bit more dressing but it was good. Nice choice of wines. We'd all go back in a nanosecond.. Canolli was very good. Espresso and capuchino were very good.
We've decided our home away from home. Had pizza when they first opened amd was not impressed. Hope they've improved,.
9/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent food, would definitely
Excellent food, would definitely return. Waitress seemed condescending.
10/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
Our server, Kareem (sp?),
Our server, Kareem (sp?), and hostess were very friendly and professional. We liked the tag-team approach to serving at Al Dente. The breads were good, especially the focaccia, and the olive oil was first rate. My husband and I loved the Cornish game hen entree - in fact, we've never ordered any other entree at Al Dente. Also comes with delicious polenta fries. The fried stuffed zucchini blossoms were especially good. The panna cotta was great, especially with its booze-marinated cherries. I liked it a tad better than the apple fritters but maybe that's because I'm more bored with apple desserts (what's my problem?!). Definitely coming back.
10/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
I just returned from Rome and had dinner at Al Dente. Its as good as it gets and the truth is the ingredients and the preparation were equal to or better . Its a neighborhood gem in an area where parking is always available and a large terrace lets you eat outside.
10/15/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great. Food. Service some
Great. Food. Service some somewhere between slow and leisurely . We had time for a long lunch and we were not rushed.
10/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Very good food, team service, loud
Arrived and seated quickly with a reservation. Served by at least four waiters: one left menus another came for the order a third announced a item unavailable and a fourth served food. No one brought the wine reorder until reminded. Everyone gracious, but hurried. Hard to tell whom to ask for assistance. Bread not refilled. Satisfactory service given the incredibly busy dining room, but certainly not ideal. But it was so noisy conversation had to at a full shout! (And I had requested the impossible: a quiet table!) however, the food was delicious. Scallops were tender, well seasoned and served with a black polenta. Lemon chicken special was juicy and very good, if a bit heavy on the lemon. The chanterelle pasta was spectacular.
10/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
The table service made this meal
A more precise food rating would be 3.5 stars. The branzino was impeccably fresh but way oversalted, and the butternut squash-stuffed mezzelune were a shade overcooked. But our young server was perfection -- knowledgable, friendly (but not overly so) & definitely the factor that elevated this first visit to an overall 4 star experience. Will return.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food, but
Our visit was puzzling. We were almost the first folks in the restaurant , arriving at noon on Saturday. Yet getting our food was a painful process. The bread arrived early but from then on it went severely downhill. In fact, 5 out of 6 of us were served with no acknowledgement to the 6th that there was a problem. The 4th and 5th folks had to nag our server to get their food. And one person's request to hold any dairy product was either ignored or she got served the wrong meal. I would be willing to try this place once more on the strength of the food but would not return if the same thing happened again.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
First Time and Definitely Returning
Recently moved to the area and wanted to try something within walking distance. This place was exactly what I was looking for and I loved it! Had the side of eggplant parmesan (wish they had a full entree size!), the wheat pasta option which had a spicier sauce than expected and was really delicious, and my friend had the meatballs appetizer. We also split two desserts, big fan of the tiramisu! Will definitely be back.
10/25/2013 5:00:00 PM
Beautiful Sunday brunch
My husband was out of town, so my two little boys (both under 4) walked to Al Dente for brunch on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I'd been meaning to try Al Dente ever since it opened but hadn't had a chance. I was very impressed. They were accommodating to my two high chair request and the servers were friendly, quick, and kind. We just ordered very simply - a marguerite pizza and a beer (for me) - but both were exceptional! The pizza was perfectly balanced and the crust was heavenly. My beer arrived in a frosted glass, which was perfect on our sunny day. I am going back next weekend with another family for brunch! Everything that passed by us looked wonderful and I'm anxious to further explore both the food and wine menus!
10/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
My husband and I shared the huge and delicious caesar salad, then he had the lamb shank which was astoundingly good. The meat was tender and beautifully seasoned, accompanied by delicious white means in a slightly spicy tomato sauce. I had a pizza with ham, olives, artichokes and mushrooms. It was just wonderful. The only rough part of the evening was the fact that a table of about 8 teenage girls was across the room and the acoustics made it impossible to hear anything except their shouting and laughing. It might have been nice for the management to make them aware that there were other people there.
10/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Roberto Donna-- at his best!
My husband and I and two friends had among us enjoyed every restaurant Donna had been involved with. We were intrigued by the 4-person tasting table with the chef but decided to start with the four-course tasting option. Every course was superb-- I would shout out the scallops and stuffed zucchini flowers! We are planning our rendezvous with the 12-course tasting and a chance to chat with Donna and watch his amazing skills up close. The restaurant is airy with a striking color palette of pumpkin orange in decor and art work. What most pleased us about the ambiance at Al Dente is the quiet. One can enjoy conversation without shouting (an all too familiar problem in almost all of our local 14th Street favs.). Our server, Maja, was great.
11/4/2013 4:00:00 PM
Best Italian in DC
This is an awesome restaurant serving true Italian fare. I've never had a bad meal here...in fact, I've only had outstanding meals here. My only negative is that in my last two experiences, the staff seemed well meaning, but not quite able to time food delivery. For instance, bringing one entree without the other, taking a long time before water glasses were filled, and then another long time before an order is taken....luckily, the meal more than makes up for it.
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
The food is outstanding - best minestrone soup I have ever had, the service is very good and the atmosphere is energetic yet comfortable.
11/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
I can't say enough about my meal at al dente. my spouse and i invited friends to join us who routinely dine in the best restaurants of Italky and France. we were all overhwelmed by the creativity and quality of the dishes here. the home made pasta was light and perfect, the pizza was amazing, and the grilled fish was superb. all of this paired with rare and affordable italian wines. one of the best meals I have eaten anywhere.
11/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
A foursome of us enjoyed dinner
A foursome of us enjoyed dinner at Al Dente. Their focaccia bread was especially good with a terrific olive oil. The fried squash blossoms were very tasty, not over-battered, and a little better than the polenta fries which could have used a little less sauce. The best entree was the agnolotti pasta cooked perfectly and lightly sauced. The osso bucco (sp?) was tender and tasty as was the veal stuffed with pork, though, again, a bit too much sauce overwhelming the diced potatoes. The big (it took all of us to eat it) tiramisu was ok but not as good as other restaurants we've been to. Kareem, our server, was very nice though we felt a bit neglected and maybe that was due to understaffing.
11/20/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great except too noisy
We had a wonderful dinner with lovely service and a bottle of wine at an excellent price. But like so many restaurants now, Al Dente was too noisy. It would be so nice to have a conversation during dinner without having to raise our voices!
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
Al Dente--A Gem
Roberto Donna is back and it is great to have this fine restaurant that serves excellent Italian and creative cuisine. The brunches have interesting menus and are a great value.
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great food; uneven service
Roberto Donna is a miracle worker when it comes to his recipes and preparation. Dinner can be noisy. Lunch is quiet. Brunch menu is very nice and a good deal. Waitstaff is hit or miss. And the meals do not always hit the table at or around the same time. But the food is delicious.
11/30/2013 4:00:00 PM