Al Dente

4.5
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987 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Al Dente serves theItalian Cuisine by Chef Roberto Donna. Guests can enjoy fresh house-made pasta, risotto, fresh fish and meat offerings along with Italian desserts and a selection of gelato. Al Dente also showcases Neapolitan pizza from the restaurant’s centerpiece oven.
Al Dente is located next to American University

Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Al Dente offers a five course menu for $55 per person curated by Executive Chef Roberto Donna.

Friday, February 14, 2020

What 987 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
3.9
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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N
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love the menu - even when we try new things they are wonderful! Terrific service - a happy setting!

s
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Food so so. 7-yr-old was served a plate too hot to touch. FROZEN rock hard tiramisu. Won’t be back.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Ottimo cibo e bella atmosfera, consigliato vivamente.

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F
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We went with friends on New Year’s Eve and ordered the fixed price 6 course dinner. Every course was excellent, but standouts included the scallops carpaccio, the lobster soup and the risotto. The $50 per person price, which included a champagne aperitif, was a bargain! The ambience was rather too casual - perhaps a table cloth for such a festive occasion and such special food? It was nice that the noise level was low and we could converse easily. The service was polite and non-intrusive. What a delicious, enjoyable evening!

j
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food is delicious and flavorful. The bean soup is out of this world. Our salmon delicious. I requested more bread to swipe the tomato based sauce as well as the anchovy-olive our flavored cauliflower side dish. I try to eat here once a month!

CA
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The seven fishes special Christmas menu was superb! Great to see Roberto Donna in action.

LL
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall4food5service2ambience3

Food and wine for the seven fishes Christmas Eve dinner with wine pairing was excellent except for the service. Server didn't tell us about the availability of wine pairing (we learned about it on their website), two courses and wine were brought before the prior course was finished, (had to ask them to slow down).

k
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed the Christmas Eve Seven Fishes Dinner at Al Dente. Everything was wonderful. We love starting the Christmas celebration at Al Dente.

B
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

A nice Seven Fishes dinner. Modest portions but quite satisfying. They offer the Seven Fishes dinner for a full week prior to Christmas.

MS
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Roberto Donna is still the Best Chef in DC. The 7 Fishes 7 Course dinner was fantastic. Every course was excellent & unusual. He’s always creative. @ &55 this was a bargain compared with the downtown Italian restaurants. We’ve never been disappointed with a meal prepared by Roberto & his kitchen crew. They’re poetry in the kitchen 👍👍👍😘

SW
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Tasty food, good service, nice ambience - who could ask for more?

JC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As always the food was delicious and the service was at tentative. The menu is varied and food preparation outstanding

JL
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We love the food at al dents. One of the best Italian restaurants in the city by far.

JT
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Pizza was excellent. The food here is always very good and I always have a pleasant dining experience.

GS
Washington DC
144 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

Chef Donna makes the best pizza in DC. Being 100% Italian I can say this without any hesitation. Started with Romaine salad and two martinis. She ordered the Romano pizza and I the Napolitano. They crust was cooked to perfection, the toppings and the sauce complimented the crust. Two glass of Montepulciano red wine and cappuccino complimented our meal. Great location and great food!

RM
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal and great service for my moms 85th birthday. Thank you.

k
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Excellent food, service, just a lilt noisy! Good value for quality.

MH
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We had two entrees and a pizza. We specifically requested the pizza be "well done" as a thin crust should be; and not soggy... as many tend to be. The server asked if we wanted the food brought all at once-- I asked for the pizza to be brought first if possible. The server said something like that wasn't going to happen... I thought this was because of the time it might take to bake the pizza. However, when all our food was brought to the table... the entrees where piping hot the pizza was tepid and soggy. 🤦🏽‍♀️

c
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

All very good as usual

GG
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Food was excellent - great selection. Atmosphere was a bit spartan - reminded me a little of a fast food restaurant. Tablecloths would have been a good touch.

f
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Food was ok, nothing special. The Ceaser salad was great, the salmon, just ok, Our waiter was very attentive. Would I go back? Yes, next time I am in the mood for Italian.

KH
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The food is always outstanding at Al Dente. The service has been spotty in the past but at this visit it was excellent. The wine list is also superlative. The only change the restaurant could make is to dim the bright lighting a bit.

GS
Washington DC
144 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Always enjoy dining at Al Dente. The homemade pasta is a hidden treasure in DC. I had pasta with wild boat and a red sauce and vegetables that was superb. My date enjoyed a pasta Bolognese. We shared a large, fresh Romaine lettuce salad with homemade croutons, anchovies, hardboiled egg. Started the evening with two expertly crafted martinis and during out meal a superb red wine.

SN
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We came around 1pm and it had been raining in the morning so we figure that is why it was not busy. Service was great and attentive. We had the bottomless brunch which I highly recommend. Food and drinks were delicious . Would recommend to anyone.

a
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We had an amazing dinner for my birthday. We shared the family menu, ate delicious, abundant food! Excelent quality for the money, worth visiting!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Of our party of 6, two were served their entree and the other four had to wait 15 minutes to get theirs. Totally unacceptable.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So great! Amazing food. Great ambiance. Check it out when you can!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience3

Really good Italian food made with inspiration!

T
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience2

The food is always good but they were very busy Friday night and the service was very slow and the noise level was at shouting.

ED
Orlando
4 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Service was a bit slow and servers seemed frantic. Food was good. Was a bit too noisy to have a conversation with my elderly mother, but she liked the ambience nonetheless.

OP
Washington DC
86 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall4food4service2ambience3

We have been here many times. It was very busy. Server detached and overwhelmed. Very noisy. Food was good. Surprisingly ungracious experience.

E
Tampa
161 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

We always enjoy Al Dente. The food is very good and the service is very good as well. We'll be back!

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience3

We enjoy the food and the laid back environment. The service is always excellent.

RB
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A beautiful evening to sit outside...pizza was among the best in DC and the fig appetizer was delicious!

G
Washington DC
30 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef Donna's wine dinners are amazing. The food and wine pairings are just exemplary. If you've never attended on of Roberto's wine dinners, you are missing a culinary wonder.

SF
Washington DC
18 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall3food2service5ambience4

We frequent Al Dente for its excellent pizzas. The al fresco dining is especially pleasant in good weather. But indoor dinner on this rainy night was subpar. The artichoke was swimming in vinaigrette and was tough and fibrous. The soft shell crab penne pasta dish was a salty mess. While the single deep fried crab was OK, the sauce consisted of water, dozens of capers and dozens of black olives, as well as scattered boiled pieces of crab. A very poor creation. We will stick to the pizzas.

R
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

I dine here often with my wife and friends. Typically the food is great but I’ll get back to that in a minute. The ambience is to my liking, there’s a nice big woodfired oven that serves as the focal point of the restaurant. It may actually be fueled with natural gas, but it makes a great pizza, although I rarely order that because there are so many other great choices on the menu. The noise level will vary depending on the number of patrons that are in the place this was a Sunday night and it was pretty quiet. I ordered one of the specials described as red snapper and I felt that the fish was unusually tough it tasted almost like a rock fish to me. I commented to the waitress and she immediately offered to take the entrée back. The chef conceded that it did seem to be an unusually tough piece of fish and they prepared me a brand new entrée. It too was strangely tough although a noticeable improvement over the first cut. I was so puzzled by this that I had to go and doublecheck what I thought a red snapper was. What I discovered, albeit on the Internet, was that there is such a thing as pacific red snapper that is in fact a member of the rockfish family. So if that’s true, I guess I can’t really fault the restaurant for calling it red snapper, but for those of us on the East Coast we are familiar with rockfish and we are familiar with red snapper and those two fish are not the same thing not in texture, taste or appearance. While my entree on this evening was below what I typically expect I still have to rate them hi for doing their level best to please me. I will definitely be returning to this restaurant. I will just need to be a bit more inquisitive about what the heck I’m ordering.

E
Tampa
161 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent and our waiter Peter was excellent too.

WD
Washington DC
61 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great service, very good variety of Italian dishes all at very reasonable prices.
A neighborhood gem.

M
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We went on Sunday for the Tuscan Wine Dinner. It was fantastic. Great food and wonderful wine pairings. Food is always fresh and delicious. Homemade pastas and tasty ragus. Their pizza is always excellent as well.

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