Modena

4.6
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150 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Modena presents Italian-inspired cuisine that takes heavy cues from seasonal and regionally sourced ingredients. Modena balances classic cuisine with a modern approach, all enhanced by Chef John Melfi’s passionate and creative touch.

Everyone who visits Modena will want to partake in the trolley of antipasti served family-style with six to eight selections available daily until they run out. Items will range from chilled Octopus Salad, Artichoke Scafata, Marinated Peppers, and other local seasonal items like fresh beets. One will explore Pasta Fagioli with pipe pasta, local Coco Rubio beans and Piennolo tomatoes, a dish from Melfi’s grandmother’s collection.

For a sweet ending, Amaretti cookies will be offered as they are a mainstay throughout Italy and a wonderful finish to the meal.
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Private Dining

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What 150 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you for a great meal. Everyone and everything was wonderful!

m
San Francisco
43 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food3service4ambience4

I wish I could give 3.5 stars. The food was fine, but I was expecting better. The grilled artichokes were quite tasty, with a good texture. However, the carbonara, while fine, had pasta that was just meh.

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delightful dinner with amazing service!

MA
Washington DC
68 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have a lovely meal. The food is excellent especially the tuna crudo! Can't wait to go back.

BK
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everyone tried to win the “nice” award. John was a star, even planting himself on the corner in frigid weather to hail a taxi for me. Great place. I’d go again.

R
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time at Modena, and we were pleasantly surprised. Charming and engaging wait staff, delicious food, beautiful atmosphere... it was a lovely experience. We were seeing a film at Galleryplace so dined on the earlier side and it was pretty quiet when we arrived. Had two delicious apps, the burrata and the grilled octopus. Tiny basket of fresh bread was also scrumptious. For primi, we had clam spaghetti (yum!), and for secondi, lamb (yum yum!!). We didn't have dessert but server snuck us some delicious tiny almond cookies that were heavenly. I really loved the modern twist on classic Italian dishes and look forward to coming back!

OT
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nothing I could find to criticize. Absolutely perfect! Worth every penny.

SM
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Spectacular in every way! Every course was full of flavor and creativity - can't wait to go back!

FI
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chef Melfi is an amazingly talented chef and artist. He leads a team of true professionals. A dinner there is always a treat! AMAZING!

T
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Modena is a gem. Fit for foodies. All of the courses we tried were delicious, with great ingredients and skilled preparation. Their pasta is not only home made, they also grind their own flour! And the sauces had wonderful herbs adding aroma and flavors. A trio of appetizers we tried was wonderful. The seafood and bolognese were outstanding, as was a pear tart for dessert. Our waiter was knowledgeable, helpful and friendly without being obtrusive. Overall, even better than some of the very good reviews we have seen in print.

OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very fun and delicious lunch.

OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent experience.

KN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely astonishing meal and service...I will 100% be back for more soon!

K
New England
51 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I’m giving 4 stars to the food because the bolognese pasta was way too salty! Someone needs to taste that sauce before mixing with the pasta.. the restaurant is very nice! The wine was great.

OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lunch was lovely. Grilled calamari was just perfect.

D
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Long weekend stay in DC resulted in my wife and I going twice to Modena (by choice) as the food and service were superb! Wait staff made you feel like long time friends and we left knowing we experienced Italian dining in DC at its best. The antipasto cart was a great idea and all courses were high quality with great portioning. Wine was expertly chosen for us after a brief discussion of what we like. We set out to get different dining experiences while visiting DC but after our first night at Modena we knew we had to go back. Well done to the team at Modena and looking forward to coming back next time we are in town...

s
New York Area
28 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Extremely good food and service. We ordered a variety of appetizers and small plates and the pork chop (iberico de bellota, I think. Really nice. Great service. Reasonable wine.

OT
Washington DC
36 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I absolutely love dining at Modena. I try different dishes every time I go and am never disappointed. It is a gem of a restaurant! Great job!

OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful!

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SK
Washington DC
152 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

The food was great and the server was very helpful and professional. My only real complaint was that there was a very large group (12-14) seated right next to us and, as it goes with large groups, they were very boisterous making it very difficult for us to converse.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I celebrate my 30th bday at this restaurant and it was wonderful. Service was amazing, food was delicious and the complete experience was 5 stars. I would recommend to anyone that was a nice dining experience.

DA
Baltimore
4 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Service excellent. I didn't like my entree and they replaced it for me without question.

NY
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

This restaurant is very upscale. Loved the ambiance. Dimly lit, romantic setting. maî·tre d and server were extremely pleasant, talkative, and helpful. The server explained items in the menu in detail, he was very knowledgeable and friendly. The parking situation want to bad. I was able to find street parking a half a block away after circling twice but there is a parking garage on the same block.

OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thank you!

DC
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best business lunch ever. Very reasonable price for 3 excellent courses, in an upscale room with impeccable service. Will definitely be back.

OT
Washington DC
39 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal celebrating a big birthday. The food was delicious and the staff was fantastic. We will be back!

JP
Dallas
9 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service

OT
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Went to Modena to celebrate a birthday with family. The service was outstanding — attentive and friendly, yet not overbearing or intrusive — and made the birthday celebration really special. Food, drinks, and ambiance were good as well.

KG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent!

YD
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Food was lovely —delicious and beautiful in presentation-but service was spotty. My main course was served lukewarm. We were disappointed having expected to have a great overall experience.

ER
New York Area
122 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Restaurant week menu was delicious and affordable we look forward to returning @!!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went for restaurant week and loved every choice! Nice and quiet, not too dark, excellent service

d
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Greatly enjoyed our meal at Modena. Took advantage of Restaurant week. Food was excellent, service was strong. Highly recommend.

OT
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall4food5service1ambience4

Came during restaurant week for Friday lunch. May have been a mistake. My date was 10 min late(that delay was our fault) but our order, which we gave to the server right away, was also quite late. Our first courses were a soup and a salad, which arrived 25 min after we ordered (and after our server tried to bring me a polenta dish I didn’t order). When the entrees arrived, I indicated I was pressed for time and asked for the bill, which was then presented with an apology and promise to bring the dessert course immediately when we finished. Put down a card, ate my delicious Arctic char (perfectly seared, beautiful presentation, delicious savory artichoke accompaniment), clean plates were removed from the table, and still the card remained uncharged and no dessert. Ultimately had to leave before dessert arrived. Hope my date enjoyed his double affogado.

The food was so good I was disappointed in the service; not a good representation of the quality of the restaurant.

I’d come back but not on a ticking clock.

Z
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went there for 2020 Winter Restaurant Week. The food and service were outstanding. All service attendants were very friendly and attentive. Would go there again.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Good food. Most dishes were exceptional (all entrees), but a few were a miss (appetizers and desserts).

HC
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Recently renovated and reopened with a new name and chef, Modena is a great place for upscale Italian cooking at moderate prices. The bar lunch is my year-round favorite, but I wouldn't miss the Restaurant Week special menu.

TO
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

The food was yummy. My colleague was offered truffles on her meal, but It was not disclosed that it would cost the same as an appetizer or dessert. Maybe patrons who frequent Italian restaurants know the deal, but I was shocked by the added expense.

JD
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Fantastic dining experience and the complementary tiramisu in honor of the anniversary was a great touch. Even with Restaurant Week the service was wonderful. I would recommend making sure the servers know enough about the wine selections to be confident when they are asked for help about the wine. Also our white wine needed to be further chilled when it came out of the restaurant's cooler so it was kept on ice and not on our table I'm not sure if the restaurant was having an issue with their cooler but it would have been nice to have the wine on the table for us to pour on our own...

SF
Washington DC
35 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A friend and I went for Restaurant week, a time of year that I normally avoid since many restaurants serve sub par food or the service is irritable. To my pleasant surprise, both the service and the food were excellent. The bar also looked like a great place for a drink with friends or colleagues. The burrata first course was served on crisp greens with a lemony vinaigrette that perfectly complemented the creaminess of the cheese. The main courses were just the right amount of food. The tagliatelle was served with a rich bolognese and the ricotta cavatelli with a light tomato sauce. For dessert, the budino was rich and chocolatey and the olive oil cake was light and served with a deliciously tart grapefruit sorbet. The service was warm and inviting. I look forward to returning.