Pesce Restaurant

4.5
615 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
For over twenty years, Pesce has been a favorite among Washingtonian diners for its fresh seafood and creative bistro entrees. We discover the freshest seasonal ingredients from local markets and the regional countryside, and select only the highest quality seafood from our fishmongers…and we do so daily.

Because of this obsessive pursuit of quality, our menus are hand-written each day and presented to your tableside on chalk boards. Our recipes, innovative yet rooted in classic technique, are intended to evoke a sense of pure bliss.

Have a glass of wine and bite to eat at the bar and you may feel you’ve been transported to a Parisian bistro. A relaxed environment, Pesce can host anything from a business lunch to an intimate dinner, or even a semi-private event complete with the option of a personalized menu.

Pesce, the best seafood destination in Dupont for 20 years and counting!


Regine Palladin, Owner
What 615 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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L
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Haven't dined here since they moved a few doors down. With all the new restaurants in DC, we had overlooked Pesce - shame on us! The staff is extremely gracious and they delivered the food promptly just out of the oven. We enjoyed the innovative dishes and extra special cocktails made with small batch bourbon. We would recommend this place to any fish lover!

KG
Naples
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The black board selections were great. The service and food were excellent

MB
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our seafood dinners were fresh and well prepared! The wait staff were on target with their recommendations.

CS
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We have enjoyed dining at Pesce since it first opened. The intimate dining room allows for quiet conversation. The changing menu always features excellent seafood. Pesce is one of our favorite restaurants to take out-of-town visitors to.

S
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Would I recommend Pesce?.........highly for lunch, NOT for dinner when the noise level is overwhelming....... we could not hear a word that our friends said and will not go back at night.

JZ
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Freshest seafood in town

CC
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food at Pesce was spectacular. Fresh, well seasoned. Great menu. The only thing the restaurant could still work on is the ambiente which is not as inviting as it could be and right now doesn’t fully match the high-end menu and high-end prices.

DC
Baltimore
25 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We have eaten here before and liked it so had a friend couple join us for a Saturday evening meal.
One of them ordered the Scallops and the portion size was shocking. When you are paying in the range of $35.00 for an entree you would hope one doesn’t have to buy additional food to make up for the small portion size as was the case when we went to another venue for an after dinner drink.

I
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

With the caveat...that my first meal was very nice, but the second visit - a week later, my friends' expensive sea bass...was not as flavorful as she had expected.

OL
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Selection of seafood was outstanding. The preparation of the octopus was by far, the best I've ever had. Overall, a very nice experience.

e
Los Angeles
45 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We saw the reviews of Pesce on Open Table and decided to try it while we were in DC. The food was excellent and the service and ambience were friendly and welcoming. You won’t be disappointed.

GJ
Washington DC
29 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Life can be complicated. Sometimes you want the challenge of snagging seats at the hottest new restaurant and basking in the scene. Other times, you want an uncomplicated dining experience with super fresh seafood, seasoned and sauced simply, served in a relaxed environment. Pesce has quickly become one of my faves for its understated, yet delightful, seafood-forward menu and airy environs. A few months ago, my cousin and I happened upon Pesce after an extended happy hour. We were so impressed, that when choosing a restaurant for dinner with the fam today, we decided to circle back to Pesce.

Upon arrival, you’ll notice that the space is light and airy---comfortable in size without being cavernous. There are no printed menus, but instead, a blackboard with seasonal entrees and appetizers. For starters, our table of three ordered grilled sardines, a Caesar salad (extra anchovies) and tomatoes dressed with olive oil and garlic. Our mains were mussels, linguine & clam sauce and crispy-skinned bass served with green beans. The food was fresh, flavorful and well-balanced--the service casual and friendly. Pesce is in Dupont Circle and you get the sense that it’s truly a neighborhood place that caters to a relaxed but discerning crowd. This restaurant could easily work for dinner with your bestie, your parents, out-of-town visitors or a low-key date night. Highly recommended!!

E
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

Nice cozy restaurant in the Dupont Circle area with excellent fish

EK
1 review
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

The food is very good but one entree was $36. It was pasta and scallops.......exactly two sea scollops. Priced a bit high. I would call this stingy.
Server was out to lunch. He was the bartender as well. Not exactly a master craftsman at the bar. And he got the wine order backwards.

OT
Philadelphia
3 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A DuPont Circle Gem! This is a quality neighborhood restaurant. The food was excellent and very well prepared. I had bronzini and sauted snow peas. My wife had a crab cake and a salad. The food was delicious. The ambience is casual and the is dress nice casual. Definitely worth a dinner date.

l
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Our party of 4 picked Pesce because we love the seafood and usually it's pretty quiet. On this night, the food was excellent, especially the stone bass, and the service was very attentive. And the room started out quiet but quickly got very noisy, unfortunately, making it hard for some of us to hear. I'll definitely be back, but I wish there was a way to make it quieter.

M
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My favorite fish restaurant in dc. Yummy food and lovely service.

LT
Washington DC
17 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I had not visited Pesce for a long, long time, mostly because there are SO MANY new restaurants opening on an almost weekly basis in the DC area. But our lunch was a great reminder that this seafood restaurant has really stood the test of time.

I ordered 3 appetizers rather than an appetizer and an entrée. The 3 dishes were grilled sardines, grilled calamari and fried soft shell crabs. All 3 dishes were delicious! Fresh sardines don't appear on menus often but, whenever I see them, I will always order. The calamari, with (most of) the membrane removed, were small, snow white slices against the dark (ink?) sauce. There were several pieces of tentacles, the part I enjoy most, which frequently don't appear in a calamari dish at all. The soft shell crab (one) was just the right degree of crunchiness and served atop Thai papaya salad. I love papaya salad and wish the kitchen would have prepared it with more of its traditional hot/sour flavor. But, all in all, it was a great lunch. I washed it all down with an Albarino. What's better on a hot DC summer day?

Will be going back for another meal in 3-4 weeks when my West Coast niece visits from out of town.

S
New York Area
32 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Good food but a bit overpriced. Wine list way too expensive. Should have more reasonable wine priced list

JM
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

I think there is no better place for fish in the city. Variety, preparation, innovation -- all amazing. There is also a clever mix of cocktails and other beverages, including a grapefruit cider that was perfectly refreshing on a hot day paired with walnut-crusted walleye (which took me back to my days fishing in Wisconsin). Desserts -- especially the chocolate torte and the cinnamon ice cream -- are worth every calorie. If I have any complaint, it is how expensive it is. This is a restaurant I have to reserve for special occasions, though I would eat here much more often if I could afford it.

JP
London
2 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Shrimp appetizer was amazing... As was the lobster risotti... I thought the wines by the glass could have had more value for how pricy they were but it is a classy place where you can have good conversation

AL
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 5

The ambiance was nice and the owner (I think) was very friendly and welcoming. The food, however, was disappointing. We ordered the lobster special - the bisque soup didn't have any chunks of lobster, the beet salad was awful (unless you like cold yams, beets and squishy lobster), the lobster lacked quality meat. Our daughter ordered the halibut - it was too spicy. I didn't like it either. The server went through the menu too fast and didn't check back, except to see if we liked the appetizer, which I didn't. We had to ask for more bread. It was pricey and we weren't satisfied. I would have been happy with the lentil soup, bread and dessert - no seafood - which is why we went there.

SF
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Calamari oustanding. And we could hear each other talk! L9ve this place and will return.

T
Washington DC
114 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

This review is relatively easy to write. First, only make a reservation if you plan on using public transportation, a car service or walking to the restaurant -- unless you have at least 30 minutes to finding parking. There is virtually no street parking and any garage is blocks away. Ugh! The food is very good, and the service is adequate although somewhat understaffed. Given the very high prices, one would expect that the portion sizes would be robust. The emphatic answer is "no." As I said from the perspective of my wife and me, there was little "gray" area in our experience at Pesce.

WE
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The restaurant is well located and really charming on the inside. We only wished the service was a cozy and charming as the decorative atmosphere; it seemed brisk, cold and administered with forced friendliness.

As for the food, the dishes were nice portions, delicious and fresh; the small menu changes daily. Unfortunately by only 6:30 pm, a few of the more alluring dishes were "sold out", which we found curious being as it was so early in the evening on a non-weekend day.

Overall, I would certainly go back and try new dishes -- and hopefully experience different waitstaff.

PC
Washington DC
111 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We went for soft shell crabs at 6:30 PM. Unfortunately, they were sold out already. We had lobster instead. It was very good but we really wanted soft shells.

JZ
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great to find a full menu sea food establishment. Some additional fresh water offerings would be welcome.

O
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

The service was outstanding. The food very good. Beware - valet parking is no longer available! Parking in the area is very difficult.

SE
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great time and thank you for the prosecco at the end. My wife and I had a great experience and will be back.

DB
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

The dinner started out well with a large servings of mussels and provided bread. However when dinner came it was about 2-3 oz piece of fish on top of 1 mushroom and 2 vegetables. It was absurd how small the portions were and the fish and sauce was pretty bland and not anything to write home about. I dont mind smaller portions when they are stated and actually have great flavor. Overall no point in coming here when such better options for quality of food as well as quantity and price.

HS
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Fresh seafood, well cooked. A big favorite of ours.

OT
Los Angeles
84 reviews
Dined on June 9, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Good seafood, pleasant service

AD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Our party of three was seated promptly with no waiting at the time of our reservation. We all found our dishes to be fantastic. I had tuna - the best tuna I have ever had! It was very tender, flavorful, and paired with a highly interesting sauce that complemented the rare tuna and did not compete with it. I also had the grilled sardines, which reminded me of the wonderful grilled sardines in Spain or Italy. The wine list is not extensive, but it has obviously been chosen carefully to select wines that pair with the seafood dishes on the menu.

W
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Did not like butterscotch pot du creme
Lobster in risotto tasted leftover
Somewhat disappointed for my 65th birthday dinner ☹️

E
Washington DC
43 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

Fresh, fresh fish, but noise level will keep us from coming back for awhile.

KL
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Fish was absolutely delcious - server recommendation was spot on!

DN
Kent
14 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Nice restaurant and friendly service but the Tautog was a little over cooked and dry, and the sauce also dried

j
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Imaginative and careful preparation of both shellfish and whitefish starters and main courses. Daily menu, so no point in dwelling on particulars. We went mid-week when it was very quiet.

N
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had seen this restaurant earlier in the day and decided to go for an early dinner before a DC by Night Tour.
Booked a table online and walked straight there. Explained we only had about 45 mins which they said was totally doable. It was 6pm on a weekday so the restaurant was pretty quiet.
We ordered the clam linguini which my husband said was amazing. I ordered the whole Branzino which was stuffed with rosemary and was deliciously moist. Served
With snow peas and I ordered a side of roasted potatoes.
Food was so timely that we ordered a second glass of wine and a dessert. By the time we left the restaurant was busy.
Lucky find. Highly recommend.

s
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place. Great service. Great chef. Must try house made anchovies on you salad.

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