Al Dente

4.4
1027 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
Guests can enjoy fresh house-made pasta, fresh fish and meat offerings along with Italian desserts. Al Dente also showcases Neapolitan pizza from the restaurant’s centerpiece oven.


Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

Featured specials

Select a special by choosing a date, time and party size

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Dine in
Starting Dec 24, 2020

Enjoy our annual Feast of the 7 Fishes menu this Christmas Eve for $49.95 with an additional wine pairing upon request.

What 1027 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
vipJanoux
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outdoor dining for lunch on election results day was the perfect respite for any Saturday. We usually pick Al Dente for inside dinner dining, but lunch worked out very well. We had salads to start that were really good, but much to big as a first course; we recommend you order them as a solo dish. Our main course was the veggie/cheese omelet for each of us, which we both highly recommend. We declined the potatoes as a nod to our diets, so cannot comment. We had such a lovely time, we will certainly return to the outdoor seating of this neighborhood fave. PS: The bubbly was perfect!

SK
vipSKelly
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An excellent meal. Outside patio has nice ambiance.

CC
CarolineC
1 review
Dined on October 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun to go for happy hour and remain - heaters work

KE
vipKEArion
Washington DC
58 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience3

I really liked this restaurant! This was my first time eating there. I thought they did a great job with safety protocols related to COVID-19; even though we were eating outside, we were very far away from other patrons. The pizza is delicious and reasonably priced. The pasta is handmade, but it is very expensive, particularly for lunch.

CL
vipCLFoodieNoVA
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Nice neighborhood restaurant. Attempted brunch with friends - a la carte menu was uninspired and overpriced. Chose Family Style menu instead. Very limited choices, but enough courses to make a rainy day in COVID season fun. "Jonny," our server went along with the jokes and kept smiling.

g
vipglover
Washington DC
84 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Sat outside during Pandemic time. Cool, but we were dressed for it. Would be nice if the got more heat lamps. They appeared to have only one. Food and service were both good, but not outstanding like our visit a few weeks ago.

JR
vipJamesR
Atlanta
3 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Lots of well spaced outdoor tables. They’re taking this seriously.

D
Decoamie
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience3

This was my second venture eating outside during the pandemic. Al Dente (and its neighbor Chef Geoff's) have large terraces set back from the street that gives them a tremendous advantage for outside dining, especially during the pandemic. I arrived with a friend at two fifteen for a late lunch and we were the only ones there, though Chef Geoff's tables, with its casual American offerings, were mostly full. I ordered my usual branzino and a glass of pinot grigio. The branzino was a bit overcooked, though the accompanying pesto made it more palatable. The bed of sauteed spinach was fine. My dining companion did not care for his eggplant or zucchini blossoms, but I did not try them. The staff were gracious and the food came out quickly. It was quiet and relaxing, with an umbrella overhead. The prices are rather high for what was offered for mains, in my opinion, and they are offered all day, no variation depending upon timing. Would I go back? yes, for the terrace, mostly. But I was disappointed with the fish, which I'd had last fall/winter with better experience.

GS
vipGSCMJOE
Washington DC
163 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience3

The best pizza in DC, and the salad and stuffed zucchini blossoms were fantastic. Great martinis...mastered to perfection and an superb wine list.

e
vipeatwell
Washington DC
50 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Terrific as always! Very good food at reasonable prices. A great neighborhood favorite.

D
vipDavid
Washington DC
89 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Big disappointment! Roberto Donna no longer there!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
6 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Great food, service a little slow

N
vipNoel
Washington DC
223 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Excellent food with all of our dishes, very nice (COVID-compliant) outdoor seating, and a fantastic waiter. It all added up to a great dining experience.

4
4201cathedral
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

I always like Al Dente. It always has excellent food and service. Now with the pandemic they have accommodated people outdoors and it is quiet and the tables are properly distanced. I recommend it for lunch, drinks, or dinner and always tell people about it. From the first time I have eaten there until just the other day, I have never been disappointed by the food or service.

Please continue to do what you are doing.

DR
vipDonR
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

good food, good service, good ambiance. A little on expensive side, but worth it.

MS
vipMontgomerySlim
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience2

The pizza was good, but the rest of the food was mediocre (eggplant parm, chicken parm, fried calamari). The service could have been better. The server was a nice guy and doing his best, but we didn't get the level of attention we had expected. Overall it was a disappointing first visit to this restaurant.

JT
vipJohnT
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a delightful restaurant, a real gem for our area. We have been fans for years, and always look forward to returning. The menu is innovative while also including old favorites, and everything is just wonderfully prepared. Always delicious. Their patio seating is wonderful now, and should be so for many months to come. Don't miss Al Dente!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
77 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2020
Overall5food4service4ambience4

We always enjoy going to Al Dente, and this time during restaurant week was no exception. The Aperol spritz was one of the best that I have had, and the tomato sauce that came with the chicken parmigiana was divine! We also appreciated the well-spaced tables.

JM
vipJMoore
Denver
9 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall1food3service4ambience4

COVID failures!
Blue Windex is not a disinfectant and should not be used to sanitize tables! Don't reuse paper menus as it is disgusting in a time of COVID. And If I point out to my server that my menu was obviously used before (wrinkled with a grease spot), he should immediately bring me a new one (which he didn't). If a party walks in and asks for a table but some aren't wearing masks, it is your responsibility to ask them to put them on, especially when they are standing right next us seated at a table. Our date night was less than positive because of these failures.
The food was just ok. the calamari appetizer was cooked well but extremely bland. We both through the dipping sauce was terrible To sour. Not sure what it was. We also had the fried ricotta stuffed zucchini blossoms and they were excellent.
I personally prefer butter with my bread. They served whipped ricotta with olive oil. I would prefer they ask.
I had the seafood pasta but there were no clams in it as advertised. Kinda skimpy on the seafood. The tomato sauce was very sour for my preference. The sourness hid any other seasoning they might have put in it. I guess there is a fine line between al dente and hard pasta. I am a cook and I think it was a little hard for my taste.
My wife had the salmon with crab filled mashed potatoes. It was tasty although the salmon was overcooked unfortunately.

s
vipsrussell3
Denver
17 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

We went here for restaurant week-- mainly due to the fried zucchini flowers stuffed with Ricotta. The choices for appetizers and entrees are extensive. The outdoor seating area is great. Service was good overall- impeccable from the waiter focused on refilling drinks and clearing plates, so-so from the waiter who took the orders and brought out the food (sometimes someone from the kitchen brought the food out).

Details on our order:
The fried zucchini flowers stuffed with Ricotta were fantastic. The baked eggplant Parmesan and Gnocchi- Housemade Pork Sausage Ragu Gnocchi were a bit disappointing because the sauce was too liquidy and a bit flavorless and there was less eggplant than desired (but very good cheese). The salmon was good and there was a lot of crab meat in the smashed potatoes, but I would recommend the lemon vinaigrette on the side. The house made gelato was fine but nothing special.

M
vipMmmm
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good place for an outside meal on the patio. Tables are well-spaced. Our waitress was excellent and accommodating. Food, as always, was quite good. Fresh salads, excellent pasta and pizza.

n
vipnonickname
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

for outside dining a real find - great service, comfortable seating

j
jjcohen
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience5

This was our second visit to Al Dente in the past couple of months during the Covid period. We have had delicious meals in the past few years. During the first recent visit we understood that the kitchen had just reopened and it needed time to adjust. Still, the pizza lacked any flavor and tasted like a boxed pizza. Yesterday, we shared the beet, arugula salad with salmon and the cheese burger platter. In general, our dinner yesterday was not up to par with our past dining experience in the past few years.The salmon was dry and the greens and beet felt like a packaged product. The cheeseburger was tasty, but felt this was not an important dish that celebrates Al Dente. Drinks and wine were good. The server was friendly and efficient and assisted in our wine selection.

We hope to visit Al Dente in the future once we hear that the food is back up to the par with the passion that it once had.

JT
vipJoeT
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food is always excellent.

f
foodluver
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Our experience was terrific with excellent service and the option of sitting outside in comfortably. I do certainly recommend Al Dente as a very special Italian restaurant.

SW
vipSamW
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Good service; excellent food; pleasant surroundings. A great place to eat!

n
newk53
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great to be back after all this time!!

MJ
MJanee
1 review
Dined on May 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wanted to try out a new place and also had limited options during these times as restaurants began to open for patio/outside dining. It was a beautiful day- menu is very limited, did not see anything on the menu that I would’ve typically ordered. This place is Italian at core. I requested a custom basic Alfredo pasta with chicken shrimp and spinach ft. Fettuccine noodles and the chef was able to accommodate. The portion size was amazing and dish was full of flavor. I also ordered the spinach salad with shrimp...with a little extra dressing, it would’ve been great. A friend had the steak entree and said it was excellent. Would definitely visit again for a quick outside dining And get the same custom dish if I were in the area. Don’t think I would ever go for the inside dining experience, not many menu options. Service was absolutely amazing- waiter and staff were all friendly, quick and attentive! 10 stars for service!

AH
AndrewH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The safety precautions among the servers were excellent.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outdoor patio lunch.

C
vipChevalier
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Chef Roberto presents the most authentic Italian cuisine on the east coast.

S
vipSchaf
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Al Dente is a neighborhood restaurant that serves up a good variety of Italian food. They concentrate on doing a few things well. That keeps me coming back!

HN
vipHNG98
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Service was inattentive. Every request was received with difficulty. My date is allergic to shellfish and changing the accompaniment of the salmon to spinach was made to seem difficult, though I have done that many times.

j
jacoba
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall2food2service1ambience4

Service was below par, food was decent at best. We will not come back.

SR
StevenR
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice Valentines Dinner!

K
vipKooltiger
Washington DC
80 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We always enjoy the delicious pizza and calamarata pasta during Happy Hour - great value, and service by Alena is excellent. We stayed this time with our guest for dinner in the dining area, and that too was excellent value, and perfect for conversation. Will return. Chef Donna is a great Executive Chef.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was very tasty

Fixed price menu for valentine was great

Service by the Asian waitress was impeccable and attentive

m
vipmridulav
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The menu on open table didn't match the restaurant brunch menu at all. It was completely different. After arriving at the restaurant, we decided not to eat there. What's the point if menus don't match?

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Outstanding food that is among the most Italian of all local approximations. High quality ingredients and lovingly prepared. Service has improved over the years, I'm happy to say.

R
Reynella
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Ambiance is bright and cheery...re food, the menu presents a generous variety of choices..entrees, pizzas, pastas and a separate menu of today’s specials...a signal of an alert and caring chef in the kitchen. The portions were abundant..and the food was DELICIOUS. The server was pleasant and attentive but not a helicopter...Both my partner and I are older but, at our request, we were seated at a table against the wall so we were able to converse despite a robust noise level ( Hey, it was a Friday night in well-heeled NW DC). Al Dente is not inexpensive..I think the pastas may be a bit overpriced...but the freshness of the ingredients, the skill with which they were prepared, and the faultless service all combined to make a delightful, satisfying evening.

FAQs

Al Dente does offer delivery in partnership with Caviar, Postmates and Uber Eats. Al Dente also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (202) 244-2223.

Al Dente is rated 4.4 stars by 1027 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

Tweets by Al Dente