This was our first visit to Al Dente. We came for a Friday lunch. There was a reasonably priced three-course lunch tasting menu ... surprisingly, three of us decided on the exact same courses!
We were all quite happy with our meal! For our main, we all had the gnocchi bolonese. I was initially hesitant to order gnocchi, as it often has the texture of chewy dough. Thankfully, this gnocchi was soft in texture and complimented the sauce. The gnocchi was, by far, the best I'd ever had.
We thoroughly loved our lunch and applaud the fact that we could have a reasonably priced three course tasting menu for lunch!
Excellent food, varied menu, wood-fired oven for bread and pizza, nice wine list.
Great experience. A little pricey for the small portions but the food was very good. There could have been a bit more sauce. I was a little surprised that for the cost no bread or salad was included. THE WINE LIST IS TO DIE FOR!!!
I've been to Al Dente for lunch and for dinner. The pasta offerings are excellent. Helpings are fairly large. The service was good. The big advantage at lunch is it is nice and quiet - less so at dinner.
Most of the food was very delicious!
Waiter was very charming, but forgot the cheese plate, we ended up having it for dessert. He was very apologetic and offered to take it off bill ( and did)
I put on open table that this was a birthday (special occasion) but no mention of it at dinner. I also updated our reservation because one person canceled, restaurant did not get the message.
I know my review sounds a little negative, but I have eaten here many times and I think the food is always very tasty and the staff is very accommodating .
Awesome as always. Roberto is a master. Our go-to for authentic Italian. The duck sausage special was particularly good. And the Ribollita was better than my grandmother's.
We were pleasantly surprised on this visit although we have been there a while ago
The food quality and the value are just outstanding
Keep up the good work Roberto !
Al Dente has good authentic Italian inspired food. Well prepared and presented. Upscale ambience, somewhere between casual and formal. Courteous and well informed staff. We went last night for an early Valentine’s Day dinner. We ordered excellent appetizer with dates, prosciutto and goat cheese, pasta bolognese and gnocchi. The service was great, the food was excellent and the dining experience was well Taylored to our needs. We have fined here several times and have had similar experiences.
Excellent pasta, as usual. Love this place.
The food was great! We go out to dinner frequently throughout DC and our expectations were surpassed that evening at Al Dente . The pasta was fresh as was all the food. Even the gluten free pasta was fabulous. I highly recommend this restaurant as a fun and casual outing with very good food!
Roberto Donna, best Italian chef in town! Never misses.
We were seated neear the back wall a few feet away from the bar. There were some students at the bar who were so noisy that our could table could not hear each other speak and had to keep repeating things. I ordered the halibut and found there was only a small bit of actual fish in the dish - most of it was cipolli ans mushrooms, and fish that was there did not taste very good. The romaine salad was good, but otherwise the meal was disappointing.
Always a hit , never a miss at Al Dente. Starting from the fresh an succulent beet salad to the extra dry vodka martinis that were prepared to perfection, the evening was on divine dining experience. Her entrée was the veal shoulder and mine was the roasted Cornish hen with Italian sausage and rapini...both tasty and well presented. My meal was complimented by a very tasty Italian Montepulciano red wine. I am looking forward to my next visit and sample some of Chef Donna's exquisite home-made pasta.
First time to restaurant. Food interesting, pretty, and very tasty. Look forward to going back and trying more food and the wine offerings.
Fabulous, as usual. My wife commented that we really should come here more often. Very good, authentic Italian. And the place was jammed.
I am a regular at Al Dente because this restaurant is fabulous from their dinner to their brunch to their happy hours. My favorite pasta is the Mezzi Rigatoni, which also can be made gluten free.
Altho a New Year's Day Brunch menu appeared when I checked the restaurant's website, I was disappointed that brunch was not available at 1 pm on New Year's Day. When I looked more closely (after eating), I saw that the New Year's Day Brunch pdf that remains online was for 2016 or 2017. The restaurant was almost empty when we arrived. My guests and I shared a tasty eggplant dish (very little eggplant, lots of cheese). I had a meatball sandwich - a bit sloppy, but also tasty and cheesy. My friend had a large salad with 3 or 4 shrimp and her son a hamburger. I had an alcoholic drink that was nothing special, and the three of us shared a delicious dessert - a chocolate bomba - chocolate-covered ice cream and cake, with some raspberry sauce. Bottom line, not the brunch I was expecting, and close to twice as expensive, but we did have good-tasting food and decent service. Al Dente remains a pleasant place with good food.
The Seven Fishes dinner offers wonderful food and the best bargain around at only $55. Every course was outstanding. Don't miss it next year!
The best homemade pasta in DC. Excellent wine list and the salads are large, crisp and well garnished and dressed. Do ask about their daily soup or their tasty and elegant minestrone.
We went to the Feast of Seven Fishes, which actually turned out to be nine varieties of seafood plus a yummy dessert! Loved every course, especially the grilled octopus, the ravioli, and the zuppetta. We plan to do this every December!!!
We had a fixed menu, "feast of seven fishes". Only linguini pasta was average, everything else was very good. Great value for the money.
Friends’ first time. We are regulars living within walking distance. Always great food, excellent choice of wines, and not too loud but loud enough you don’t hear others’ conversations. Can’t find better pasta anywhere.
The food was ok, the service was poor. We dined at this restaurant in the past and had wonderful food and attentive service, this time we were treated as an afterthought.
Splendid dinner at Al Dente! Having dines there before we decided this trip to try their pizza...magnificent! I started with a bowl of lentil soup which was seasoned and perfectly prepared. Dated had salad that was crisp and lightly dressed with house dressing. The pizza was exactly as ordered, marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and anchovies on a perfect thin, yet crispy, non-greasy crust. Red wine complimented the meal and yes Chef Donna has done it again!
Absolutely delicious...from the appetizer - stuffed, delicately fried squash blossoms, to the main - pillowy tender gnocchi, to the dolce - decadent, chocolate gelato....I was very pleased with all 3 courses. Truth be told, I was not really expecting the gelato to be anything extraordinary, but I was wrong - it is special enough to warrant a visit of its own. All in all - a VERY delicious and satisfying meal.
Super satisfied with every aspect of dining at Al Dente. The red wine complimented our meal intentions, was priced reasonably and was truly a great Italian wine to compliment our meal. I began with an exquisite lentil soup that was a meal unto itself. My date enjoyed a salad of crisp Romaine lettuce, grated cheese and anchovies. Her entrée was homemade pasta in a light red sauce with seafood; shrimp, scallops, tiny clams. My to-die-for entrée was duck in a light red sauce with homemade pastas. The pasta at Al Dente is light, made to perfection and compliments any of their entrees. Being 100% Italian I can testify that the pasta is not dried or frozen but made on the premises. I shall return!!
Party of five celebrating two birthdays. Had 11 AM reservation. No wait staff on property until 11:30. Didn't have all advertised brunch beverages. No birthday dessert not even a candle. Overall Disappointing.
We have been long time lovers and supporters of Al Dente but unfortunately our most recent meal left us reconsidering our admiration. We arrived early for our reservation, and rather than disrupting their schedule we opted to have a drink or two at the bar before sitting down to eat. However once it was time for our meal the hostess insisted that we either sit at a table right in the middle of the restaurant traffic and right by the bathroom. Granted the restaurant was nearly empty (not even half of the tables were filled), and when we asked to move (before we sat down) she offered another table tightly squeezed next to a young family and we did not want to encroach on their space. While we were quite annoyed we knew that the food was good and we stayed. We ordered a pizza to start and then pasta for our entrees within 5 minutes our pasta was at our table but the pizza (our appetizer) was no where in site. My lasagne was a piping hot soupy mess with barely any pasta and to be honest looked disgusted. When the pizza finally arrived we were nearly done and asked for it to be boxed up so we could take it home. After all that our meal was over $100 and we left annoyed and unsatisfied with the experience. (Myself and one other person)
Unfortunately we are seriously second guessing our love and patronage of this restaurant. It is frankly overpriced in terms of service, food, and atmosphere (there were tons of kids running around the whole place). Be warned that the food might be good at times but the prices are far too high. After the meal we wished we had gone elsewhere for the price.
We love Al Dente. The food is interesting, the service is great and the food is wonderful. It is a very reasonably priced restaurant. Chef Donna is a master.
Although we have dined at many restaurants in Palm Springs, including some of the most expensive in the valley, Al Dente is still our favourite. We find the atmosphere cozy and inviting, the food excellent, and the service of high quality. We always feel welcome and the staff genuinely care about providing customers with a excellent dining experience. In addition to the regular menu, the specials each night are also a treat. The ingredients are fresh and the dishes exemplify creativity. We always look forward to seeing what the chef has created.
The kitchen was slightly off: the first course came immediately but the pasta course took 20 minutes and clearly had been sitting under heat lamps. Service was inattentive including a big error on the bill (changed without an apology)
Terrific as always. The family style menu is a must. The chef makes the best selections.
I was very disappointed by my experience at Al Dente. I planned a dinner date to catch up with a friend and by the time I arrived, I was starving. There was no one at the concierge to take me to my table which was unprofessional.
I also had to ask the waiter to bring us with bread...which was being provided to everyone else around us. This was 15 minutes after seating and the restaurant was basically empty so this should not have been a problem. The bread was very mediocre as well as the olive oil.
About 15 minutes after ordering, my friend receives her meal, brought out by a server. The server put her plate down and said nothing at all to me to assure my food was on its way. Then we proceeded to wait another 25 minutes for my pizza to arrive BUT this was only after my asking the waiter if my food was coming out anytime soon. The other tables around us received their food in a timely manner.
Overall, as the only person of color in the restaurant and amongst the staff, I felt that my skin color certainly played into the quality of service and respect provided to me. I do not recommend Al Dente and will never again spend my money there.
server was not properly trained and did not know much about the menu.
Food was not prepared as requested and had to be sent back .
No one cared about the delay and bad service!!!
We had eaten at Al Dente before for lunch and at early dinners with grandchildren and enjoyed our meals. The food is good, but the service Friday night was absent minded (drinks only came a very long time after being ordered and only after we flagged down a nearby server) and slow. I’d go back for an early dinner, but never again at 7pm or later. Way too noisy and the the service was not adequate for the crowd.
Service was OK and the music was a weird pop montage, but he food was very good.
We were there for an early dinner with our daughter who attends AU, which is practically across the street. We were seated promptly and drinks taken quickly but not delivered promptly. Same with the order, we even received the appetizers in reasonable time, but he entrees then took close to 40 minutes. We ordered three deserts with one of them to be boxed, but the kitchen boxed all three.
Good area/local restaurant. Food is prepared fine so if I was visiting a friend close by I might come back.Entrees are priced too high for what you get. I will not look to frequent so often, if at all, if I was not visiting a friend who lived in that neighborhood.
It seems to have gone down in value since you first opened, when we used to come more often.
We had a 6:30 PM Friday reservation for 3 and were 5 minutes early. Restaurant was busier than I had ever seen it. Party of 3 in front of us who did not have a reservation were seated at a table in the "dining" area. We were seated at an "extra" table put in the entry outside of the dining area, next to the hostess "desk" and near the bar and door. Asked for another table but was told there were none. Result: cold night with open door so we- especially child in our party - were very cold. People who wanted to make cell phone calls and couldn't in the dining area just stood next to our table to make them. Staff even stood around our table talking. Before our food was served the table next to us opened up; when I asked if we could move to it I was told it was reserved at which point the hostess went to her "desk" and took a RESERVED sign to put on the table. I reminded her we had a reservation but then our food came and I gave up since it was clear she wasn't going to do anything anyway. On top of this, service was terrible. E.G. two of us ordered a pizza to share. They put the entire pizza in front of me with no plates. I asked for two plates. They handed me the two plates but did not move the pizza leaving no place to put the plate so we had to do the table rearranging. More water? Forget about it. Separate checks asked for twice - are you kidding? What should have happened from the start? The hostess should place people without a reservation in the less desirable tables - not people with reservations. If she made a mistake in not doing this and it was too late, she should have apologized. Will I go back? I live next door to Al Dente but I doubt I will return. This was a really bad dining experience for a decent amount of money. So if you have a reservation - be forewarned. It may not make much of a difference about where you sit or how you are treated or served.
We used to eat there a lot, but were disappointed with this latest experience. They were
extremely disorganized and understaffed. They really need to have 2 bartenders and more service staff. Drinks and food took forever and they did not bring out the courses in the right order. They profusely apologized, but it ruined the evening.
Might have been an off night for the Chef but the halibut was not very good and the lamb chops were burnt. My family who ordered pasta said the pasta was fine. It also took forever for the food to come. Our waitress apologized several times -- still no excuse for how long it took.