Modena

4.5
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122 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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Specials

Valentine's Day Special Menus & More

Chef John Melfi's Special Valentine's Day 3 Course Pre-Fixe Menu $85 per person

Friday, February 14, 2020

What 122 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
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KG
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent!

YD
Washington DC
34 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
119 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
21 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
14 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.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the food and atmosphere.

L
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious lunch. Arctic char was perfectly cooked, served with purple potatoes and vegetables. Dessert was an affogato--not too sweet, espresso and vanilla flavors blending fabulously. Servers took care of the details, like clean flatware for a new course.

2
Washington DC
75 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Brand new restaurant (rebranded from the formerly Bibiana) with attractive and elegant decor. RW menu limited so might not be quite representational of everything the place has to offer.

SM
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A truly spectacular dining experience. Everything, from start to finish, was creative and reflective of the "Modern Italian" theme. We started with a sampling of antipasti, which were all delicious. Highlights were the tart (the lemon flavor made this dish), the beet salad (and I don't typically enjoy beets), the citrus and fennel salad, and the prosciutto. The octopus was one of the best preparations I have ever eaten and the salmon tortellini was also outstanding.

For our pasta course, Modena is phasing house ground flour into its house made pastas. The tagliatelle was to die for! Gnocci with truffles was pillowy and melted in your mouth.

Finally, the lamb loin with black garlic and fairy tale eggplant was eye candy and tasted as good as it looked. If anything, the accoutrements were unnecessary, as the meat was tender and flavorful on its own. But it allowed me to change up the flavoring with each bite.

Yes, this restaurant is on the pricey side, but the kitchen is clearly using both top quality ingredients and labor-intensive technique. The flavor makes up for it. For now, Modena is still a bit under the radar, but I expect that to quickly change.

L
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A pleasant surprise. Wonderful evening with great service. We know it's not exactly a kid place but they were wonderful and attentive with our toddler.

OT
New Orleans
6 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience4

We really enjoyed the waitress as well as the Somalie.

CM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food, a little cramped with small tables. A little hard when you have multiple courses arriving.

M
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food with prompt, helpful, and friendly service. Already looking forward to going back.

WS
Washington DC
55 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Excellent!! Much better than its predecessor. Menu had many hard-to-pass-up choices and food was wonderful. There is a nice appetizer cart but too many good appetizer menu choices so we passed on the cart in favor of crispy octopus, fois gras, grilled calamari, and tuna crudo. Then we feasted on truffled gnocchi, pheasant and mushroom pasta, pork cheeks...Bravo!

r
London
3 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Excellent Italian option in D.C. The crusty bread is delicious. Am noting this b/c many restaurants offer bread, but most are not quite right. Chicory salad is substantial and fresh. Octopus is tender. Little appetizers of peppers, olives, and other little tastes are strong starters. Pastas have been excellent and kitchen will accommodate those requesting no added salt or vegetarian options that may not be listed on the menu.

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Lovely evening and the food was outstanding. There was a hiccup during our service between the 2nd and 3rd course which is why I gave the service 4 out of 5.

Despite this we will def be back

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

This place was PERFECT! From the moment we walked in the door, from the aperitif to digestif, we were well taken care of by all staff. Stefania was a delight and a dream as a server. She was fun to talk to (in English and Italian :)), gave expert recommendations, and was wonderfully attentive. The food was perfect. Every bite burst with flavor, the ingredients complemented each other well, and I enjoyed every single morsel. My only fault was with myself for eating way too fast!!

We will definitely return and we highly recommend this place!

DB
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a superb meal on New Years Eve -- it was amazing -- delicious and creative; we usually don't expect much more than basic on New Years Eve but this was outstanding for ANY day of the year. Service was great, atmosphere lovely. Chef Melfi is at the top of his game!

E
Baltimore
27 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Food ranged from very good (e.g. fried artichoke hearts and pasta amatriciana) to over-spiced (e.g. linguini and clams) to mixed mediocre (e.g. selection of appetizer samples). Overall, okay, but food quality and service still needs improvement to justify the prices.

OT
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was our first time dining there and everything was excellent. We had a wonderful table and the waiter was knowledgeable about the menu. All of our choices were delicious and well-prepared. I would highly recommend it.

9
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter Michael was extremely knowledgeable about Italian cuisine, wine etc. Food was exceptional in preparation, taste, not over-salted, etc. classic dishes prepared by a top chef and kitchen crew. The Chicory salad was outstanding and the pasta was perfect just-made al dente.

F
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

Christmas Eve... it was fine but not up to Rasika standard of food or service

F
Jackson Hole
47 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food was delicious: the appetizer cart is amazing and shouldn't be missed. The calamari with sausage was wonderful and all the pastas we tried were terrific. Like all of ashok's restaurants, the service could not have been better.

M
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The food like the service was uneven. Some dishes were outstanding, some good, and desserts mediocre. Our server was fine initially but was scarce after we got entrees. Never checked if all was OK and whether we wanted more Prosecco. After the table was cleared, we waited 10 minutes before our server reappeared to see if we wanted dessert. She seemed inconvenienced. At this price level, one expects more consistency.

OT
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of the very best meals and dining experiences in DC in a long time! Our server, Maia, was friendly, helpful, attentive while never hovering or intruding. She made suggestions and, most importantly, listened: to what we were in the mood for, what we wanted to spend on wine, etc. and always made us feel at ease. The food was outstanding! The foie gras, the duck egg, the gnocchi should not be missed. Chef Melfi is the most talented and under appreciated chef's in the region. Skillful, deliberate, whimsical and truly delicious - Modena should be on everyone's list for 2020. I can't wait to go back!

L
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great place for lunch. Food was AMAZING. The bread and vegetables were especially fresh. My only recommendation is that they provide more vegetarian and vegan options; whether on or off the menu, this is needed given their location (major city) and national trends (major shifts toward plant-based diets). They accommodated my request for a vegan pizza and what they came up with was adequate (flatbread with tomato sauce and fresh basil) but they should be doing so much more.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Everything was excellent! Food and service outstanding!

T
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a wonderful experience overall. The people were all so accommodating and our waiter, Antonio was fabulous! A little pricey, but we would definitely go back if in the area!

SH
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Still Great. We loved Bibiana and we were not disappointed. The lamb loin and venison were spectacular. Service was friendly and professional creating a happy and open atmosphere.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Holiday dinner

JL
Washington DC
266 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Modena has quickly become one of my go-to Italian restaurants in DC! The food is outstanding. You need to try the pasta Amatriciana--it is the best I've had anywhere, and far surpassed versions I've had in Italy! Also had a fantastic venison loin with a berry reduction. The chef is clearly on top of his game!

KC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Modena was fantastic. The service was outstanding, and they provided individualized attention to make our meal special. The food was incredible - especially the pastas, which were homemade and delicious - and the gianduja mousse dessert. I highly recommend Modena, and can't wait to dine there again soon!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, food it’s delicious!!!!