Unusually good food; family style restaurant; I'd definitely recommend it.
This is usually a pleasant dining experience. A great friends’ get together place. However, our service was below par. I have mentioned this before in my reviews on this restaurant, they need to train their wait staff better. Some servers are truly excellent and some below par. Our server tonight lacked the skills to make this a more pleasant dining evening . We had to ask for bread , more water , etc. She also did not appear to know the menu well. Although the food is good and often excellent, more emphasis has to be put on the training of wait staff.
We both had the 4 course pre-fix and enjoyed it. Pasta is excellent
I’ve never had a meal this good ( salmon) and been treated with such service and respect.
Such slow service. Our waiter was busy doing everything except visiting our table. We have no idea what he was really doing at all. Asked the manager if he could please take our order and so he did with no apology nor any from the waiter either. 1 hour and 5 mins after we had been seated.
Food was good, but two dinners, two drinks and a salad was $170 plus tip. Very expensive for posing as a neighborhood spot with cafeteria aesthetics and untrained staff.
The kids loved the pizza
Al Dente is reliably superb
Excellent food! I most enjoy the capriciosa pizza, arugula salad, pasta, and yummy desserts. If they made Ribolitta (soup) it is a bonus.
Very nice and affordable. Service was great and guests loved the pasta — hot until the last bite. Fish was delicious too.
Everything we ordered was well prepared and delicious! The service is great! Friendly atmosphere - happy patrons!
Go for the tasty pasta, casual atmosphere and and the wine/beer list, which make it a nice neighborhood option. Just don't expect smooth operations. Something is always a challenge. On this night we had a table for 7 and experienced a hiccup where the pizzas came out at least 10 minutes later than the pasta, which is always really unpleasant. Unless specified otherwise, a table should be served all at once or not at all. Staff is friendly and tries to make up for glitches. We appreciate the effort.
Roberto Donna's kitchen continues to delight. We had a terrific rockfish with a tomato-based sauce, and a fabulous braised beef. Just a unique combination of flavors, perfectly executed. Comfortable, spacious, attractive room, more relaxed than the usual down-town spot.
I was disappointed, probably because a couple of friends told me it was great.
The starter we shared(fried zucchini), was small but really tasty.
The pizza was fine, but not as amazing as described. For us it would not be worth the drive. I cannot judge besides this as we had only starter and pizza.
The service was fine and friendly.
Never disappointed. Pasta is always the best, especially the pappardelle. Attentive service. Good wine selection. Pizza excellent too. Done miss meatball appetizer or zucchini flowers.
Always good food and good service. Our neighborhood default restaurant. Never disappointed!
Roberto Donna is fantastic. Every dish, whether main, appetizer, side, or dessert, has been delicious. Very, very few restaurants anywhere produce food at this level. A gem.
I have checked a lot of items on the list that characterize Al Dente. It works well as a neighborhood pizza joint for the AU students. It’s good for those looking for Italian beyond pizza. For some it’s an amazing find. Roberto Donna has been plying his trade at the top of ratings for 40 or so years and he’s quietly here under the radar. If he’s not good for a Michelin star or two he ought to be good for a few James Beard awards. The restaurant is a real find.
We were here for the Christmas season seven fishes traditional Italian dinner and again for the New Year’s Eve dinner, both fixed menu. Amazing tastes, some of them new experiences. Cotechino sausage, homemade there, was exceptional and nearly an afterthought on the menu. Branzino, on both menus, was a real highlight. And don’t ignore the desserts, take them home (you’ll be full from the fixed menu) and enjoy after a proper waiting period. They’re worth the wait.
We visit four or five times a year and Al Dente is always great.
My birthday dinner was delicious and relaxed
Almost empty at lunchtime, but a pleasant neighborhood spot. We began with a pizza - a bit underdone, but it quickly disappeared between the 3 of us - 1 child, 2 adults. My Al Dente burger and lentil soup were delicious. Both rich with cheese. Burger cooked to order. Friend had the branzino, which looked good but didn't get raves. Child also had the Al Dente burger with fries. Service okay - we may have been too busy eating to even notice our waiter. We shared a chef's dessert. Surprise is nice, but these complex desserts are a mess when divided up for sharing.
While they were pretty behind on reservations, the food was definitely worth the wait. We had the seven fishes dinner and every course was fabulous! Not too much food and not too little either. I definitely plan on going back soon!
Christmas Eve, they overbooked. Total chaos. Very unpleasant experience
I like this place. The food, wine and the wait staff are all very good though I have been there on very busy nights and watched the waiters scramble to try and keep up. The restaurant features a woodfired oven in the middle of the place which lends great ambiance. They feature pizza but to be honest I stopped ordering that because the crust tends to be a bit on the limp side which is surprising given the equipment they have to work with. Besides, there are several delicious choices on the menu. Yes, I will be going again.
Fantastic Christmas Eve 7 fishes dinner. Food was outstanding, service friendly under stain of crowded conditions, food personally overseen by Chef Donna. Beautiful experience.
Feast of Seven Fishes was a huge success. Roberto Donna is an elite, elite chef making amazing food in a neighborhood retail center. I wish I had Al Dente in Old Town, I would go very week. Back to Feast...we saw a post on Eater about Feast of Seven Fishes so we booked a table. Every single course was the best thing I had ever eaten...everything. Excellent affordable wine selection. I will be back for sure.
They lost our reservation in the system and even after showing them our open table confirmation acted like they were doing us a favor by seating us.
The Feast of Seven Fishes was beyond our wildest expectations. Bravo!
We went for the annual Christmas Feast of Seven Fishes. It was our second time and this time we brought a friend. All the food was excellent. The chardonnay we chose was out of stock, but the restaurant sold us a pricier one and charged us the lower price of the one we had selected. Service was impeccable, and every dish was delicious.
We had the Feast of the 7 Fishes, which was delicious and the service was excellent.
It's nice to have one of the country's top chefs at the helm of what most would think is just a neighborhood restaurant. The American University students may view it as a pizza joint, but it's far better than that. We most enjoy it when Roberto Donna fires up for one of his prix fixe meals (often around holidays) featuring some wonderfully creative dishes. The most recent of these was the Christmas season menu, the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Al Dente is definitely worth a visit.
The service is always slow during lunch. The food is good but it should not take an hour of my day with only 3 tables seated at the restaurant.
Started with she, the butternut squash soup, me, lentil soup....both perfecto! We shared a large Caesar Salad that was fresh, crisp, properly dressed with real anchovies and hard-boiled egg. Our pizza was superb, thin crush, not soggy with an excellent sauce and garnished with mozzarella and Romano cheese. Two glasses of Montepulciano wine and two martinis made for a great evening.
The food was excellent on the Seven Fishes special holiday menu, but the service had many disturbing lapses that were too odd and numerous to detail fully here. We had to insist on being served the menu we had reserved for, nearly every wine we asked for on the list was out (including all sparkling wines except Champagne), the pacing of the courses was irregular, our fresh silverware was consistently laid out before our dishes were cleared, and our lead server seemed to have absolutely no idea what she was doing. The service issues constantly interrupted our conversation and made a distinctly bad effect on our evening.
Nice menu and great and attentive wait staff. We go there frequently! The pizza guy who was there when we first started going has left. He did a nice job!
Feast of seven fish, an old Italian tradition was really good, done by Roberto Donna. And the dessert was wonderful too.service and ambiance were good. We go there every year, it is either good or very good, like this year. We’ll be back again next December.
Beet Pasta was weird. Apparently had no real beets in it and tasted and looked odd. Service was just OK. Place wasn't busy but still not very good.
Just fabulous. We love this place. Never disappointing, Always good, from bread, to appetizers, to main dish to dessert, and... the wine!
Everything was great. We would have given an outstanding if not for the salmon being a tad over cooked- too dry.
It’s a bit cold and noisy in the restaurant.
Went for specialty wine dinner. The food was wonderful and wines were good, but they didn't always match each other. My only gripe is that the place is too noisy.
We organized last minute for a girls birthday night out and were really happy! Attentive wait staff, great options for our pescatarian, vegetarian group! Slightly pricey - but certainly not crazy. Bonus - it was a new find for lots of our group and everyone left happy and will return!