Modena

4.4
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79 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 79 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
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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C
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had a fantastic birthday dinner at Modena! The food was absolutely delicious and everyone who worked there was knowledgeable and friendly! We will definitely be back!

LL
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

We walked into the restaurant at 7:30 with a 7:30 reservation. Our friends were sitting at the bar and we were encouraged to go over with them so they could finish their drink - they did not rush us to sit down - very unusual but great. The room was warm which is an unexpected treat in a city that loves to make sure their restaurants are cold be it winter or summer. Our waitperson was ok but a little abrupt - they were trying to be funny by being a little rude but it really was not funny. Overall it was a great experience and the food is delicious.

t
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went to celebrate our anniversary the day after Thanksgiving. We were greeted immediately by the host wishing us a happy anniversary, a wish that was reiterated by our wait staff person. The food was terrific and the octopus appetizer was so good and tender. We had a great bottle of wine, recommended by the sommelier, a wine I would not have selected without help. The pacing of the meal was also excellent; we never felt rushed, but rather relaxed the entire time. We will definitely return.

KH
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

This was a 50/50 for me. The service, ambiance and overall effort were great. The food portions were what you would expect for an upscale place - small. The octopus and lamb were delicious - again -small three slices of lamb and one piece of octopus. For the fees charged - not happy. The Chitarra pasta was very disappointing. Two people at the table got it and one was cold and had top be sent back but both had maybe three flecks of jumbo crab - that's it - not pieces - flecks. The service was very attentive and the ambiance is great. We were able to hold a conversation and enjoyed that.

OT
Tahoe
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food5service3ambience4

No complaints about the server and overall waitstaff. The food was delicious but unfortunately I was very clear about the fact that I was celebrating my anniversary. This was a very special night and all I wanted was something brought to the table as an acknowledgement or recognition of our special night. I made it clear to please add it to my bill as I would never expect the restaurant to give away product.
Not a single thing was done... the host opened up our notes and i must share that I have worked with open table before... I understand that you can clearly read all of the notes the guest leaves... I will not bother celebrating another special occasion here as it’s clear that hospitality is not something this restaurant focuses on. What a shame as there are many other restaurants that will go above and beyond to ensure you have a memorable experience.

AK
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We dined at Modena for Thanksgiving 2019 when they were serving a three-course, prix fixe menu for $60. We arrived early and they were able to seat us right away; I had foie gras mousse, seared duck, and amaretti bread pudding. We drank a 2000 Italian red blend that the sommelier recommended not only for its flavor profile, but also its value compared to similar wines. Each dish was delicious in its execution, appropriately portioned, and beautifully plated. We thought that the prix fixe was a good value for the excellent dinner we received and it left us wanting to come back to try the regular menu!

ML
Atlanta
24 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great waitress, Petra, we were there for Thanksgiving so different menu. Hard to find ( it’s on H and 12 not New York).

C
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful experience.

NR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I’ve already recommended Modena. We had a wonderful experience. From my arrival to the time we left, we felt welcomed, we didn’t feel rushed, and the food was amazing.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent service and food!

AL
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Bad service.
Drinks took forever to get
Ambiance ☹️. Not what I had hoped.
Dinner portion too small.
One dinner great. One terrible.
Fed too fast .
Special night was rushed :(
Very disappointing to us

e
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

I had asked for a quiet table as one of the guests has severe hearing loss......I don't think they gave this any thought and it was one of the noisiest experiences we have had which certainly takes away the pleasure of good food.. I also mentioned that the two couples were celebrating very special anniversaries and there was not even a mention of that.

TB
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

This was our first time at Modena changed from Bibiana (one of our favorite local restaurants). Modena did not disappoint, with a really good veal rib eye with fried sweetbreads, my wife had TTagliatelle Bolognese and we shared octopus for an appetizer. Really wonderful meal, service was attentive, all around very well done.
Only problem was we sat next to the kitchen door and this noise that sounded like a vacuum cleaner kept running until it stopped after about 10 minutes. A little aggravating but minor in comparison to the evening.

z
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

ok. not special. food was good service was friendly but slow.

FP
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My new favorite DC restaurant. The lamb was extraordinary... it was so tender and tasty. Also loved the gnocchi with truffles The chef really puts a creative touch on everything coming out of the kitchen. Restaurant was packed.

TL
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Maître d' was as helpful as any we have experienced. Bar service was spot on, and Our waiter helped make our dining experience exceptional.

OT
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Plating is not over-the top which is a nice change. The food actually is the star, not the art around the food. We thought there wasn't enough pasta for the amount of sauce.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Anniversary

S
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We had a lovely time. Would go back.

MK
New England
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
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 on November 15, 2019
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 on November 15, 2019
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
64 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
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 on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

E
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on November 14, 2019
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
141 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
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!

F
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
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.

DC
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

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