Modena

4.3
icon/ic_reviewCreated with Sketch.
61 Reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$31 to $50
icon/ic_cuisineCreated with Sketch.
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.
avatar copy

Private Dining

Book your next event with us

View details
What 61 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
Sort by
Filters
S
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We had a lovely time. Would go back.

MK
New England
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Service was outstanding. Wine was great. Sadly, The food fell flat for us (tuna crudo, antipasti cart, 3 pasta dishes). It was too bad...it had a lot of promise!

G
Phoenix
76 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall3food4service5ambience4

The menu that I viewed online was so different than the menu that was presented to me. I was diappointed as it was a limited menu. I had the loin of lamb, which was very delicious. The description didn't say there was a sauce on the lamb, which I would have told them to leave off. The waiter should have expressed that. I don't think I would go again. It was a different Italian restaurant.

SR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Service was impeccable --everyone was not friendly and customer focused but incredibly accommodating to special dietary needs. Food was delicious --pasta homemade and al dente, crispy octopus and fish dishes were delish. Would certainly go back!

j
Washington DC
62 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service1ambience4

Our first visit. The restaurant is well appointed and our dinner very good. Our waiter, however, was sullen to the point of being rude. Half-way through dinner I was surprised that we never received any bread. When I asked the waiter if the restaurant offered bread , he said "Yea, we have bread. You want some?" At that point I wasn't particularly interested and said "No." But he then proceeded to tell me that the restaurant makes it own focaccia, which DID interest me. I asked for some and it was plopped down on the table. I then noticed that other diners were receiving bread immediately upon being seated as well as olive oil. I then had to ask for olive oil which was also plopped down with no apology. Unfortunately my husband is a generous man and he left a tip the waiter did not deserve.

f
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great recommemdations and food. The lemon pear tart was am amzing combo - my new favorite dessert!

E
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a wonderful lunch and was really happy they had white truffles - served with tagliatelle, butter and Parmesan - one of my favorite dishes in the world. Wonderful waitress too.

t
Washington DC
140 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Went to Modena for the first time for lunch with a friend. Everything was absolutely perfect...the food, the ambiance and the service. We'll definitely be back!

DC
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place. I’m pretty much a regular there.

F
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall4food5service5ambience2

I love everything about this restaurant except the noise level. It is not a pleasant dining experience when one must shout to be heard by one’s dining partners - what’s the point? It is not a relaxed dining experience. The best bet here is to dine at the bar where it is not as noisy as the dining room.

I
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

This was the second time we have eaten at Modena. The food is very good and it is a nice atmosphere, although one of the dining rooms is a much louder than the other. Unfortunately, however, the service was very poor -- 30 minutes to receive our cocktails and extended waiting time between courses. It was only after we informed the host about our frustration did we receive any recognition. Note moreover that the food is very expensive particularly given the size of the portions. $35 for three small pieces of lamp. Pastas in the $25+ range -- although the quality was excellent.

R
Washington DC
69 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

The appetizers were good, the tagliatelle was excellent, the clams with linguini was too salty and the very attentive waiter thanked me for letting him know. The bobolini and ricotta ice cream were excellent and the freshly prepared black coffee with a touch of espresso was outstanding.

d
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience3

I had had two lunches at Modena that were fabulous, so took an important business contact there for a third lunch. Unfortunately, my important guest and I were seated in the second dining room, which lacks the charm and the flair of the main dining room (I didn't even know there was a second room, or I would have specified that I wanted to avoid it). And the service was over-friendly -- lovely for a small local place, but not up to the standards of a high-end establishment. The food was still very good, but the whole experience didn't have the spark that had made me initially so excited about this restaurant.

SH
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Refreshed menu. Nice ambiance. Server seemed a bit stretched. Hard to get attention to get a second round of wine. Entre came before antipasti was done so they just stood near the table with food. And we were not lingering - in and out in 90 min.
But food is 5 star and the other bumps can be worked on.

SB
Washington DC
53 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service. We especially enjoyed the stuffed calamari starter, iberico pork cheeks and duck breast. And the bread!

m
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall2food2service4ambience4

As a non-pork eater I had difficulty finding any lunch entrée that I could eat. I ended up with very, very rich gnocchi--something I wouldn't have eaten had I had a choice of dishes.

P
Washington DC
374 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Our evening was greatly enhanced by one of the servers we knew from a past restaurant. And I would say the menu is excellent and one can see the hand of a very talented chef

W
Baltimore
32 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent wine list, The food is beautiful. A truly great meal.

a
New England
99 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Wonderful dining experience! Food very good and service was amazing...our waiter very accommodating!
We started with a Charcuterie board which was amazing! Three out of four of us had pasta dishes which were all delicious. The sommelier was extremely helpful in aiding us with our wine selection. We topped the meal off with decadent desserts....we will be back!

DD
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Pleasant surprise at every turn- especially since the initial interaction with the hostess (Kat) was awful. She was too busy talking with bar guests to help - and then did so with such rudeness we nearly left... That having passed, the rest of the dinner was wonderful. Looking beyond the waitstaff tendency to recommend the most expensive wine, we found the wine list solid, the menu varied and the service strong. Our food was excellent, even if a tad over-sauced and garnished. We’ll return. Will try to skip the hostess (maybe we should ask the bartender to seat us next time)...meow.

JF
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. A first class experience from start to finish and I eat out a lot !!!

OT
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Anniversary

S
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Lunch was a great value! Very modern, but accessible flavors. Recommended.

JM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Table was not great. Food and service were very good. Especially the calamari

LW
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fine food. Expensive wine. Pleasant time there
Had a very engaging server she seemed to be interested in us l and birth celebration

U
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Excellent, attentive service. Chicory salad was beautiful and a delight.
However, the chitarra pasta (while tasty) was very heavily over-sauced and the pasta got lost, and the monkfish stew was good, but overly salty and the clams were rubbery. So, a few kinks to work out on the food (especially given the high prices) but overall, it was good. We still enjoyed the food and the evening and would probably consider a return trip in the future.

OT
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was one of the best dinners I’ve had in DC in a while. The food is fresh, creative, and executed perfectly. If you appreciate Italian food and simple, ingredient driven dishes, you will love it!

MS
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience3

The food taste wasn’t pleasant at all. On top of that I left a not when I made the reservation that I have a birthday and wanted happy birthday written on the dessert and the whole thing was completely ignored. I will never go back there. Not worth it!

OT
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the new makeover with Modena. Bibiana was good but Modena is great. Thank you for a wonderful evening I am still enjoying.

AT
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was wonderful, the service was great, but it was, unfortunately, way too loud!

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was extremely attentive- wait staff very knowledgeable and the food was outstanding! We all ordered various pastas and did our own family style tasting and sharing- everything was delicious! One of our group ordered the pork cheek with the polenta- I wanted to drink the polenta it was so yummy!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

I requested a slice of cake be brought out for my mom’s birthday at the end of our meal and did not receive one. I would’ve ordered dessert had I known the cake was not going to be prepared. That is why I gave it 4/5 stars.

FN
Charleston
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience3

we will go back for sure. antipasti was very good. main course good , not outstanding. waiter tony (i think) was outstanding and the rest of the staff was great. large table off main dining room was very loud and annoying.

DJ
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall2food3service1ambience2

The food was mostly ok but the service was the worst we’ve ever experienced at an upscale restaurant. The waiter messed up every aspect of the dinner. When we told the manager he merely said “sorry about that”.

g
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Very new and has hit a good stride already. First class menu with excellent food, + good service and good ambiance.

OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely service and incredible food.

EF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent restaurant in every way. Look forward to returning and will certainly highly recommend to others.

JT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The maitre d John was super accommodating. I had a reservation for 4 people that turned to 5 and then 7 and he couldn't have been more helpful. Modena will be my new go to when I have important clients to entertain.

l
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall3food1service3ambience4

Osteria Bibiana was my local restaurant for lunch during the week. Their business lunch menu was a hit. Great cost-benefit. In my last visit to the new MODENA the experience was very disappointing. Despite the new addition of the antipasti selection at the business lunch menu the food was very disappointing. I was excited they have added branzino in the main course but to my disappointment the fish served was something else but not Branzino, and I am a pescatarian so I know my fish. My lunch arrived cold and the portions overall were considerably reduced. The business lunch includes a desert but after the main course experience we declined desert to avoid other (bad) surprises.
The new Modena was an overall disappointment. Also noted that the new menu was pricier. Much improvement needed or bring Bibiana back!

S
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service. I definitely want to go back. It was hard to hear my friend speak without leaning closer. Decor and small rooms are wonderful.