Pesce Restaurant

4.6
574 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 574 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CP
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

A group of three colleagues had a post-meeting dinner. Our table was waiting for us on a crowded Wednesday night - nice buzz in the room. The regular wine list was being restocked, so we contented ourselves with a Sauvignon Blanc from the shorter list. Nice,?crisp wine, with good advice from our server. First course was the sardines, the grilled calamari, and the Caesar salad with good anchovies. Our main were the grilled salmon, the grilled Tautog (also called blackfish or chub), and the tuna. Each person enjoyed their choice. At the end we had a digestivo. Attentive service throughout. We’ll be back!

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v
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

The food was great and ambience was good. The server was very helpful and friendly

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L
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant: wonderful food, good service, quiet and cozy, and the prices are not too crazy. Highly recommended.

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M
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Average food and indifferent to openly hostile service. Perhaps they were understaffed the night we were there. So disappointing.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Great service.

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CA
Washington DC
81 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

We've been loyal customers of Pesce for years through changes of chefs and management. Last week's dinner was the worst we've had in memory. First, our waiter tried to push a very expensive bottle of wine on us. Second, the food was not as good as it used to be. Lastly, our food took a very long time to make it to our table. When we asked the waiter why the long wait, he said he didn't think it was, trying to cover up for the kitchen's tardiness.

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CH
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friend and I had a fantastic evening at Le Pesce in Washington, DC. We had drinks at the quaint bar before dinner - interesting choices and the standards. The meal - selections from a blackboard - was interesting and mouthwatering to read. Funny the waitstaff although local, were very Parisian in their approach. They were available, helpful if asked, but had the confidence that all of the food would be excellent - no need for questions! Everything from the bread through to the dessert (Goat Cheesecake) were simply out of this world. Wine selections by the glass or the bottle while not a huge selection were obviously well chosen for the types of entrees served at Le Pesce. Best table is a 4 top in the window - that requires a bit of an advance reservation - the coveted table with the most intimacy in the room! A small but fantastic restaurant that I would recommend to even the most well-traveled foodies! Highly recommended. I will definitely go there again and again.

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DD
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We were in DC for 5 nights and came here for dinner twice as our first visit was terrific. The menu offers a wide selection of appetizers and entres. The fish is very fresh and cooked perfectly. We ate black sea bass that was seasoned simply but deliciously, salmon with wasabi, skate wing with citrus and red drum - a new fish for us but another delight. Deserts were also very good - chocolate tart, plum sorbet the first evening and creme brule and rhubarb crumble the next. Service was very attentive. Our table the second night was a little close to a talkative couple who spoke a bit loudly. And, the bill with tip and one glass of wine each was close to $200 each night - a little pricey, but fair for DC.

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R
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

We went to dinner for Lobster Night. We were served lobster bisque, lobster beet salad, and a 1lb main lobster. The lobster bisque was terrible, there was no lobster pieces. The bisque was bland and tasted like it came straight from a can. The lobster salad was decent. Finally, the Maine lobster was good. However, the way that it was cut up made it more difficult to crack open. They had a poor selection of wine. Never going back.

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s
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

The noise level was overwhelming...........will not go there again.

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BB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was the third time I had dinner in Pesce. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is great and the staff is wonderful

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AF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had dinner there this week, the Sheepshead and Tuna entrees were excellent, the scallops/oxtail entree not so much. Somewhat overpriced for what you get, though the service was excellent.

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PG
New England
7 reviews
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, with very personable staff. Nice wine list. Small and intimate setting in front that opens up a bit in back. If you love seafood this is a must when in DC!

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DC
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pesce amazingly maintains its high quality through changes in chefs, owners. The ambiance remains charming, the service is always friendly and efficient, and the blackboard menu is so well suited to catches of the day. We met with out of town guests and Pesce didn't let us down. Much, much better than Black Salt, which we had gone to -- probably for the last time -- just the week before. I had the special Michigan Walleye, deliciously sweet in its walnut crust, though I was very tempted by the Dover sole when it went by to a neighboring table. Wine list is well matched to food and cocktails were terrific.

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K
New England
6 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The fish was so fresh! We had tuna tartare and walnut crusted walleye. The flavor was amazing! We’ll go again when we return to DC in August!

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pesce never fails to please

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B
New England
82 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

We had soft shell crabs that were delicious. However, this was basically a double portion of an appetizer, so nothing came with them. This is a cozy restaurant with very attentive staff.

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TP
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 2

The amount paid does not align with the portions. The food was lukewarm. Menu was very limited. I was not impressed

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Wonderful meal and experience.

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a
Miami
15 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

i am very fond of the restaurant but the evening was disappointing. largely because of their advertising genuine dover sole which i ordered. it was $60 and for that price it should have been perfect. a request to filet the fish at the table was declined. the fish was undercooked and that made fileting it difficult and a moderate amount of the fish inedible. it was served with a few browned potatoes and spinach. a panna cotta dessert also fell short with an unappetizing gel or agar topping. the soft shell crab was fabulous and the cod excellent but at these prices consistency is important.

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NC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is one of the very best places to have fish! I highly recommend it.

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C
New York Area
27 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Very good and attentive service, very nice atmosphere. Unfortunately, the food did not measure up. All of our fish dishes were over-cooked, sides were unremarkable. Not planning on returning.

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OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Pesce was a favorite restaurant of my wife and me back from 1993-96, and we went back two nights ago for the first time in 23 years. Much to our surprise and joy, it was fabulous (despite the fact that ownership changed four years ago). Highly recommend it. The grilled sardines and the tuna tartare were terrific, as was the branzino. And very accommodating and gracious service given our diet issues, to boot!

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r
Raleigh
8 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Good food at reasonable prices. Limited menu only shortcoming--perhaps because a bit early in season for local fish

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AC
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The servers were very responsive to our allergy issues and the food was extraordinary. It was a special occasion for us, and we were not disappointed!

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KL
Cleveland
2 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Pesce was terrific—as always. Chef really has a way with fish and is endlessly creative.

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MM
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice meal and great service. Just one bite of one dish seemed not to be up to par. When we mentioned it, the waiter took it off our bill and offer led a replacement.
Great otherwise!

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RA
1 review
Dined on March 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We really enjoyed our waiter and his professional approach!
Love the restaurant overall and will come back!!

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JA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Started with some, they we're really good and the highlight of the meal. Lobster risotto was only ok, which is not what you want for $40. The creme brulee was also, sub par. Food was ok, but not for $140.

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BK
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Amazing food in a casual, unfussy atmosphere. If you love fish, this is the place for you.

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JC
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All of our dishes were excellent and out of the ordinary. Truly worth a return visit. Only downside was that it was a bit more expensive than we remembered, but still worth a visit for great seafood amd variety.

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JH
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pesce is the same every time we eat there - and the rating is great! The food is always wonderful and the staff treat you like family. Great sea food moderately priced.

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t
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fresh fish, nice variety of starters with a reasonable wine list. restrained nautical theme that is comfortable and quirky enough to be a neighbor favorite

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RC
Austin
32 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service
Limited menu - out of all lobster dishes but other fish dishes were super
Hot chocolate rorte best dessert

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A
London
27 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Fabulous food in a simple but warm environment. The food is fresh and prepared by people who clearly love what they do. A little pricier than comparable restaurants in the neighborhood, but well worth it.

Minor caveat: this is not an ideal place for a private conversation -- we listened to an extended essay on the virtues of saving while we dined.

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RF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Waiter treated us as though his tip would be based on much he could up sell every bottle of wine or dinner. Totally inappropriate behavior at an expensive top restaurant. After pushing the Dover sole for $60 very hard, I pointedly asked if he would like to order the whole fish and invited him to do so! He seemed to back off, but the ambiance of a fine dinner was destroyed. I've been there three times in the past six months, I won't be returning soon - too bad.

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Y
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

An absolute gem and cozy place. Excellent food and service. I plan to return on my next visit to DC.

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SE
Richmond
15 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Octopus billed as their star and it was divine as advertised. Branzino as well. Skate wing and sardines near misses. Attentive and knowledgeable wait staff, wine list short but sufficient. Cozy neighborhood atmosphere

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I had frequented Pesce many times when we lived near P street 20 years ago. Always great then and this time again a fabulous experience! Excellent wine list-we had an amazing Sancerre with our superbly prepared and tasteful lobster risotto and skate wing. Portions just right, reasonable price. They greeted and treated us like family to their non pretentious, warm, quaint, and quiet eatery. This remains a long-standing and lovely jewel in the DuPont Circle area.

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EG
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We have eaten here many times and every time we come we love it. The food is delicious, the service is quite nice and it is a wonderful, casual restaurant.
Do not walk but run.

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