Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi
  1. Distance: 0.05mi
  2. Distance: 0.46mi
  3. Distance: 0.60mi
  4. Distance: 0.63mi

About Al Dente

Al Dente is serving Italian Cuisine by Chef Roberto Donna near American University.

3201 New Mexico Ave. Suite E NW
Washington, DC 20016
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian

Hours of Operation:
11:30AM to 10:00PM Daily

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(202) 244-2223

Website:
http://www.aldentedc.com/

Parking Details:
Free Parking weeknights from 5:00PM and all day Saturday & Sunday.
50% OFF weekdays before 5:00PM.

Executive Chef:
Roberto Donna

Additional:
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Al Dente Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.1

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

3.8

ambience

3.9

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

84% would recommend it to a friend

Neighborhood Gem (18)
Casual (15)
Fit for Foodies (13)
See All
Creative Cuisine (11)
Great for Outdoor Dining (10)
Authentic (9)
Good for a Date (7)
Kid-friendly (6)
Comfort Food (5)
Tasting Menu (5)
Happy Hour (5)
Bar Seating (4)
Great for Brunch (4)
Special Occasion (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Great for Lunch (3)
Quiet Conversation (3)
Seasonal (3)
Sunday Lunch (3)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Notable Wine List (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Good for Groups (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Good for Anniversaries (1)
Business Meals (1)
Worth the Drive (1)
Fun (1)
Handcrafted Cocktails (1)
Healthy (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Romantic (1)
Good Vegetarian Options (1)
Cozy (1)
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805 reviews
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vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined 4 days ago

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!

Tags: Authentic, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 28, 2017

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!!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience3
service4
value4

vip
 (Atlanta)·Dined on November 25, 2017

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.

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food2
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 19, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience4
service3
value1

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 18, 2017

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.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on November 17, 2017

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.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy, Good for Birthdays, Romantic, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on November 7, 2017

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)

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food3
ambience2
service2
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Terrific as always. The family style menu is a must. The chef makes the best selections.

Tags: Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Good for a Date, Seasonal
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 17, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

vip
 (Orange County)·Dined on October 14, 2017

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!!!

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food3
ambience3
service1
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 13, 2017

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.

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food4
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on October 4, 2017

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.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Fit for Foodies, Casual
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food5
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (Baltimore)·Dined on September 30, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience2
service2
value2

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 29, 2017

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.

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food3
ambience1
service1
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 29, 2017

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.

Tags: Kid-friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Happy Hour
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food4
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 29, 2017

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.

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food2
ambience4
service2
value3

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on September 20, 2017

Reliably delicious and interesting food!

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food5
ambience4
service5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 20, 2017

We went for the Campania Dinner after many years ago living in Naples for two years. We were so impressed with the food and wines that we invited a friend to the tasting menu at lunch. She too had lived in Naples with us many years ago. All three of us greatly enjoyed lunch. We will be back! Thank you for cooking authentic Italian meals.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Creative Cuisine, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 19, 2017

The zucchini blossom appetizer is fantastic.

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food4
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 17, 2017

Always love Al Dente, dinner is always fantastic along with the service. However The Brunch food was nothing special, service was great!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Authentic
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food1
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 9, 2017

The food was okay, but not good enough to justify the high cost. The service was among the worst we've encountered in many years.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on September 4, 2017

While we have frequently dined at Al Dente, this experience will have us staying away for a long, long time, maybe forever. The service was sooo bad we left after receiving the wrong order after an hour. The server, apparently, was clueless. We ordered drinks and they never came. Our salads did. OK, we will live. Wine ordered was produced, and then we waited, and waited. The couple next to us who had arrived and ordered after us were served. Requests to the server went nowhere. Talking to the (apparently temporary)manager finally (after over an hour) got us served. We had requested the gorgonzolla pizza and we got something else entirely. Finally, in disgust and hunger, we left. Appalling experience. Do not go!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience1
service1
value1

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 31, 2017

Al Dente is a nice neighborhood Italian restaurant. As such, the food, service and friendly environment are key. The high turn-over of servers and runners is one aspect very disappointing of this restaurant though.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 26, 2017

I think it's a terrific place. Food is great and authentically Italian and the atmosphere is versatile and lovely. Perfect for groups and couples and families.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Good for Groups, Good for a Date, Kid-friendly, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on August 17, 2017

Al Dente serves interesting and delicious food and the waitstaff are friendly and efficient. We'll be back!

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 11, 2017

This is an excellent restaurant and I my view the food is the best Italian in DC. The service is rather less reliable and could be much better.

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food5
ambience4
service2
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on August 3, 2017

Nice lunch

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 29, 2017

Waitress couldn't care less about us. She kept getting our order mixed up. Two of the four main dishes came 20 minutes later. We had to bring manager over twice. He offered a free glass of wine or dessert, which we weren't interested in. Waitress never apologized. Would never go back.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 25, 2017

I have not had such an over-priced lunch in a very long time. My order of an arugula salad plus salmon, iced tea, and coffee (and a similar order by my dining companion) came to more than $60 including tip. The salad was simply a large quantity of arugula, a few chips of parmesan, and a very small piece of salmon. No wonder this restaurant is always empty at lunch.

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food2
ambience3
service2
value1

vip
 (Miami)·Dined on July 23, 2017

We attended the monthly wine dinner (4 courses with wine pairing which was superior.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Great for Brunch, Tasting Menu, Seasonal, Neighborhood Gem, Kid-friendly, Disabled Access, Fit for Foodies, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on July 23, 2017

Great food every time I've been! Their Wine Dinner this month was absolutely fantastic. Highly recommend!

Tags: Fun, Good for Groups, Special Occasion, Comfort Food, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, Romantic, Business Meals
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on July 21, 2017

Always good food and service. The portions are generous too.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Great for Lunch, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Sunday Lunch, Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 15, 2017

Decent price for bottomless brunch. New(?) staff was a bit over-attentive and needed clarification on orders. Quiet brunch spot, good food. Good spot for a weekend brunch without all the craziness of AdMo.

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food4
ambience3
service3

 
 (Atlanta)·Dined on July 9, 2017

Very quiet -- only a few other brunchers. Food was quite good, as was the service. Will be back.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Worth the Drive, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on July 3, 2017

First off, we were here early at about 545 on a Monday night. Not crowded at all. But then we try to avoid the prime time. Good selection of wines and across all price points. After a nice bottle of wine we tried the meatball appetizer that we all enjoyed. Family thoroughly enjoyed the prosciutto rucola pizza and the scallops which were cooked perfectly. The veal scallopine was excellent. Ending with an excellent chocolate cake and lemoncello. Amanda was excellent as our server, attentive and efficient. Park in the large parking lot in back, get your ticket validated by the hostess as its free from 5 on weekdays and all day saturday and sunday. Think they validate 50% if there on weekday before 5 for lunch. Seems as if they have a younger happy hour crowd and then it turns over for dinner. A little pricey but it's worth it.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Happy Hour, Fun, Special Occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Groups, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 30, 2017

Excellent meal at Al Dente. Fabulous waitress Amanda. Great bottle of wine, Montepulciano from a very extensive wine list. Appetizer we shared the white lentil soup and a board of sliced Italian hams, bread olives. Entrees I had the Rissotto with shrimp, lobster and crab meat. Date date the grilled, large sardines. Great food, prices!

Tags: Authentic, Fun, Local Ingredients, People Watching
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food4
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 25, 2017

Food was very good, while not inexpensive. However, one special, lobster with black linguine, was served with the shell still on the lobster, which made a very messy meal. The menu or waiter should have described the meal better.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Casual
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food3
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 18, 2017

Good food.
Pleasant, casual atmosphere.
Service good and attentive, but during our recent visit very slow kitchen

Tags: Comfort Food, Casual
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

vip
 (Tampa)·Dined on June 13, 2017

The service was great but we felt there were fewer options for those who don't eat pork, beef or lamb. The chicken panini with tomato sauce is a holdover from last year and is very messy and the tomato sauce overwhelms it. Perhaps offer a nice, simple chicken sandwich with a tomato slice and a little mayo or pesto on good bread or roll? But the desserts were great.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Special Occasion, Good Vegetarian Options
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food3
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (Washington DC)·Dined on June 3, 2017

Always wonderful. Roberto Donna is a genius! Consistently amazing food and very fun ambiance.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching, Great for Brunch, Authentic, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Seasonal, Kid-friendly, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Hot Spot, Comfort Food, Paleo Friendly, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Happy Hour, Good for a Date, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Birthdays, Disabled Access, Business Meals, Fun, Neighborhood Gem, Sunday Lunch, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Tasting Menu, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

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