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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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You must make reservations at least 5 minutes in advance of the time at Al Dente.
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Booked 6 times today

Al Dente

4.4
840 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Authentic
Al Dente is serving Italian Cuisine by Chef Roberto Donna near American University.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
11:30AM to 9:00PM Sunday - Thursday
11:30AM to 10:00PM Friday - Saturday
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Phone number
(202) 244-2223
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Roberto Donna
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Neighborhood
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Parking details
Free Parking weeknights from 5:00PM and all day Saturday & Sunday.
50% OFF weekdays before 5:00PM.

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Gift Card
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 840 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
4.2
service
3.9
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined 5 days ago

Great food-never disappoints! Excellent cuisine, service, and wine/s.

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4.0Dined on April 13, 2018

Wanted to have a good chat with an old friend and it was the perfect spot for that.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Great value at one of DC’s most underrated restaurants! Chef Roberto still has it going on. Delicious food, terrific wine values and attentive service at really reasonable prices. We always enjoy it!

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4.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Great pasta and even better service. A bit loud. But, nice place with neighborhood feel

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Pasta and Pizza were just the right fit for a early spring Friday evening. We were seated just across from the wood-burning fire and it was a very cozy evening. Food was robust and tasteful. Would definitely recommend this restaurant to others for a enjoyable evening out.

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4.0Dined on March 30, 2018

Al Dente keeps raising its prices and, with the exception of its fixed price option and family style dinner, risks pricing itself out of the market. Some inconsistencies: halibut just fair while cuttlefish risotto outstanding. Web site is ridiculously out of date.

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5.0Dined on March 23, 2018

We enjoyed a fabulous dinner. It started with fried calamari, Yummy salad with anchovies,pasta With shellfish, pizza, and delicious hazelnut ice cream. This place is truly a gem.

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4.0Dined on March 20, 2018

Great value and consistent great food we always love coming there.

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5.0Dined on March 9, 2018

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!

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4.0Dined on March 7, 2018

Excellent food, varied menu, wood-fired oven for bread and pizza, nice wine list.

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4.0Dined on March 6, 2018

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!!!

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on February 18, 2018

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 .

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2018

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.

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

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 !

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4.0Dined on February 13, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on February 10, 2018

Excellent pasta, as usual. Love this place.

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5.0Dined on February 10, 2018

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!

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5.0Dined on February 9, 2018

Roberto Donna, best Italian chef in town! Never misses.

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3.0Dined on February 9, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on February 3, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on January 27, 2018

First time to restaurant. Food interesting, pretty, and very tasty. Look forward to going back and trying more food and the wine offerings.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2018

Fabulous, as usual. My wife commented that we really should come here more often. Very good, authentic Italian. And the place was jammed.

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5.0Dined on January 17, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on January 1, 2018

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.

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4.0Dined on December 22, 2017

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!

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4.0Dined on December 20, 2017

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.

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5.0Dined on December 20, 2017

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!!!

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4.0Dined on December 18, 2017

We had a fixed menu, "feast of seven fishes". Only linguini pasta was average, everything else was very good. Great value for the money.

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2017

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.

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1.0Dined on December 8, 2017

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.

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4.0Dined on December 7, 2017

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!

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4.0Dined on December 1, 2017

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.

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4.0Dined 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!!

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1.0Dined 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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3.0Dined on November 18, 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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5.0Dined 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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5.0Dined 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.

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3.0Dined on November 6, 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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5.0Dined on October 27, 2017

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

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