Ristorante La Perla of Washington

3.9
1351 Reviews
$31 to $50
Italian
The restaurant of choice of many distinguished diners and restaurant critics, Ristorante La Perla of Washington, located near Georgetown at the tail-end of the historic Pennsylvania Avenue, takes its diners on a culinary journey through Italy with elegant decor surpassed only by authentic mouth-watering Italian masterpieces. During Lunch and Dinner hours, pastas and flavorful sauces simmer while prime meats, poultry, seafood and vegetables roast to treat diners to a little bit of heaven, with a long lasting memory for your taste buds, thanks to the vision of famous chef Vittorio Testa, who has kept alive the Italian culinary tradition for over three decades.

Chef-Owner Vittorio Testa will make you feel like you're dining in his house. The waiters exceed expectations, and the space is garnished with painted tiles and Venetian glass to make every dining occasion a memorable one. There's also Private dining and Outdoor seating when the weather permits.
What 1351 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.9based on recent ratings
4.0
food
3.8
service
4.0
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Moderate
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vipjennt
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2021
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Risotto was salty and the seafood was overcooked; salmon with pesto sauce appetizer was good; rest of the food was nothing special; for the price We’ve had better quality and better taste; there was nothing wow with the food like what we were expecting because of the price and location

RM
RuthM
1 review
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Really enjoyed our meals at this restaurant. The pasta carbonara was excellent. Liked that bread was an option, not automatically put out there. Desserts were good, the Tiramasu was excellent.

N
Nicole
Richmond
4 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Service was good, food was excellent! I had the lobster ravioli and my husband had the lasagna. Also their gelato is legit! It’s not cheap, but for Italian food in DC they are actually not too pricey. I also really liked the decor; it’s eclectic but homey. Reminds me of my Italian grandparent’s house with all the random Italian knick knacks! I would definitely go back.

A
Alicia
Richmond
3 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The service was exceptional! Food was delicious! Had the best time.

RA
RobertA
Richmond
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Beautiful restaurant, wonderful food, excellent service. Good price point for the quality. What more could you want?

MF
MernaF
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our first visit with friends and all of our meals were fantastic. The ambiance was wonderful. We will definitely be back.

c
vipclevelandparkguru
Washington DC
527 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful Dinner as always. Nice to see the Chef in great spirits visiting ALL the Guests. Started of course with wines and Baccala and shrimp! Dinners were fabulous pastas and fishes. Great Kiss of Naples to close the evening!! Great Staff and Service. Thank you Chef!!

ED
vipExperiencedDiner
Dallas
23 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Christmas Eve dinner. Appetizers expensive. Entrees reasonable. Recited the dessert menu and found out when got the check tiramisu was $14!!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Christmas Eve dinner. Everything was perfect.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2021
Overall2food1service1ambience2

The waiter was not wearing a mask.

I asked for the arrabiatta sauce on the spaghetti but hot regular sauce. The waiter then brought pepper flakes to compensate.

The veal cutlet (rectangular shape) was soaked with watery marinera sauce. And a square piece of mozzarella thrown on top. No flavor.

When it was time for the check, the waiter added a bottle of water that I never ordered and overcharged for the veal/pasta dish. When I asked for the check to be corrected, he never apologized, took the check and disappeared for about 10-15 minutes. Came back with an adjusted price claiming that the reason I was overcharged is because of the market price of the veal. The menu had a clear price- not a MKT price. No apology what so ever.

Also, there were kids fussing and crying around at a late hour.

CP
vipCPipkin
Jacksonville
10 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

It pains me to leave this feedback, but sadly, we were very unimpressed. I feel like La Perla's is living completely off of a reputation earned decades ago. The service was about the same as you might expect from every city's Italian restaurant in a strip mall. If you're looking for high class service, with high class wait staff and a touch of any sort of elegance, you should consider somewhere else.

PS: The next page will ask me what I recommend La Perla's for, and Opentable won't allow me to leave that field blank, but I definitely would not recommend them to others for fear they would be disappointed as well.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Cleveland
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Has an old world feeling…

MB
vipMichaelB
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very friendly atmosphere. Great food. Highly recommend for a great meal.

JH
JudithH
1 review
Dined on December 10, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Disastrous service, they did not have enough spoons glasses and the waiter paid no attention to the table. He did not offer bread nor was he attentive in any way. He did not belong in a restaurant of supposed that caliber. Food was cold and it came out in two stages four people first and two people 10 minutes later. The food was grotesque not edible by a dog. The clams casino and the calamari fritta tasted like it came out of a frozen food section of a grocery store. The calamari was frozen rings that were in a pre-dip batter it was gross, the clams had no clams in it, it was 90% bread filler. The veal chop was covered in Campbell's mushroom soup with a slice of cheese over it. Need I say more. The branzino filet was covered with small bones and was cold. I ordered the pappardello seafood pasta that was supposed to come with lobster shrimp crab meat and scallops but what it did come with was gummy pasta and two shrimp. I don't know how the restaurant gets the reviews it gets it must be paying people to review them. The experience was devastating because it was a birthday dinner and the stupid waiter Fred needed to be reminded to bring out the birthday dessert which he slapped on the table and stuck a sparkler in it, poor presentation. Never again and I would say to all of you there are better Italian restaurants out there. This one is running on an old reputation or people that go there to dine simply don't have any taste. I am well traveled and have eaten in some of the best restaurants in the world so when I take the time to make a comment like this, which is something I have never needed to do before. I have to say stay away and I'm not even going to talk about price. Because we knew the restaurant was going to be expensive however we expect it the price to be commensurate with the experience. McDonald's would have been a better choice lol

BO
BrentO
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Clean establishment. Had early dinner at 4:30pm and server, bartender and chef was very nice.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
London
4 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Very traditional Italian. Mostly well-dressed clientele, many men in jackets. They accommodated our larger group very graciously, and the very kind owner stopped by to chat after our meal. Broad menu with all the traditional Italian favorites, and a solid selection of Italian and american wines.

GA
vipGaryinAlexandria
Richmond
50 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time at LA Perla. Very nice. Chef/owner visited every table. Nice touch.
Outstanding service. Extensive wine list. Pricey but worth it.

MF
vipMarkF
Tampa
43 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite restaurant in the District!

GG
GastroGuy
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Wonderful venue, great classic Italian ambiance. The meals were excellent. The history of this restaurant is impressive. Would definitely go here again!

S
vipSharon
Denver
10 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

My gnocchi were mush, like mashed potatoes. Very disappointed.

ES
EmmaSue
Milwaukee
2 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience3

Very disappointed. Service was terrible. Very rude and inattentive waiter. Food was lukewarm. Hostess, owner, and some wait staff did not wear masks at all or they were worn only around the neck like by our waiter. Chicken Parm was $25 on the menu but waiter said "market price" was $35 even though comparable chicken dishes like Marsala were $25. Food took forever to come and getting a check required considerable effort. Prices are very high for the quality of the food and service. We live right in the neighborhood but won't be back.

LV
LaVilla
Washington DC
41 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience3

Unfortunately, we are very dissatisfied with the service - there seems to be a shortage of trained waiters who know when to offer water and how to make suggestions regarding the menu (e.g. reminding the clients that they have to choose a side dish if they opt for a veal main course). The service was also very slow. Overall, despite the high quality of food we left very disappointed.

DN
DaveN
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Super great food and the service was spectacular!

f
vipfood
Washington DC
34 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Dining experience in an old fashioned setting with classical music playing in the background. Varied menu and wine choices. Food excellent making for a lovely evening. Will return!

AC
AudreyC
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This was my first time eating at La Perla. It was excellant. The service was good & timely. We had a 7:30 show to attend. We got there by 5:00 & were out by 6:30. I would highly recommend. Food was really great.

JP
JohnP
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been coming to this establishment for the last 13 years. It always pleases and is one of my favorite restaurants in DC. Great service, wonderful food, pleasant atmosphere...perfect for a special occasion or a business dinner.

S
Sorento
Hawaii
63 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall3food4service1ambience3

Really slow service. The staff was friendly but there wasn’t enough of them. Took forever to get a cocktail and the food took even longer. The soft shell crab was great when it finally came.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall1food3service2ambience4

Was meeting my son’s girlfriend for the first time so I thought a nice dinner was appropriate. Unfortunately the lack of interest in our presence rapidly sent the mood of the meal spiraling down.
We weren’t greeted warmly which started the evening off. We were seated and sat for close to an hour before being recognized. The busboy must have been new, but clueless. He served bread and butter then disappeared. While waiting for water and menus I noticed another couple seated. They were served and finished before we received our check. After ordering we sat for another 45 minutes before they realized they never brought our Prosecco. At that time they did comp us for the drinks and refilled my guests empty water glasses after being asked. 2 hours and 10 minutes in we were served. I understand due to Covid-19 that restaurants may be lacking in help, but management could have avoided or diffused the situation by speaking with us rather than ignoring my party or restricting the number of tables booked until the problem is corrected. Unfortunately I can’t and wouldn’t recommend dining here. Unfortunate to receive this type of experience from what was billed as a restaurant with excellent food, offering a dining experience.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Sacramento
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience2

Horrible service. Incompetent bartender. Avoid this place.

G
Gerald
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience4

I’ve been here several times and it was excellent. This time all of our meals were lukewarm and lacked the tastiness we had in the past. We won’t be back.

A
Anonymous
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great evening with friends - pasta is fresh, wine pairing was good and a good time was had by all!

ST
SusanT
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

We had an enjoyable evening with colleagues, great service and a very nice meal!

HT
HollyT
Tulsa
1 review
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We made a reservation for 4:45 pm, 30 minutes before we were supposed to be there they changed our reservation to 9 pm per an email. When I called the restaurant to say that wouldn’t work, the person the phone said they could not help me, my reservation was changed, abruptly said goodbye and that was it. We did not go to the restaurant due to the rude way we were treated.

SM
vipSMRoth
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

I recognize that prices are up and that service is slow in these times. But when you go to a very expensive restaurant, you can expect, even these days, that your food will come out hot (the cheese on my veal wasn't even melted from cooking so it had to go back to the kitchen for another 15 minutes to be heated while everyone else ate their dinners) and that when you ask three times to have a glass of iced tea with dinner, that you will receive it. I didn't. Notwithstanding the problems of inflation and short staffs, there is no point blowing a lot of money if the service and food preparation are so poor as to spoil an evening. Our wedding anniversary dinner was ruined last night.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

La Perla was extremely crowded with the tables very close together and the diners closely spaced. We were seated between two tables. One table had a group of four, energetic and loud people. The other had only two people, but the man was sniffing and began sneezing. We waited 20 minutes for the waiter to bring us menus. After waiting for him to return to take our order for what seemed a long while, the man at the next table sneezed again and began wiping his nose. By now we felt very uncomfortable and so we left. As we left we observed numerous customers coughing and sniffing. It will be a miracle if we do not come down with something - cold, flu or Covid. We drove to DC and this is the first restaurant in 7 cities in 5 states (a total of 9 restaurants so far) where the diners were packed together and we felt so unsafe we had to leave.

ID
IndyDiggs
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food was delicious! Service was lacking due to not enough resources to support the number of tables and bar. Servers were doing double or triple duties for the most part. I witnessed several patrons leaving because service was not optimal!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience2

I read all the reviews saying the service was terrible and decided to chance it based on the good reviews saying the food was great. I was extremely disappointed to find out that the service was in fact as terrible as the reviews advertised, and the food was moderate, not amazing. I had to get up multiple times to get someone’s attention because we didn’t get place settings, anyone to take our order, or anyone to bring the check at the end of the meal (I had to ask twice for that one). I will not be returning.

EL
EricLarsen
1 review
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Waited forever for food. They are understaffed. Avoid this place at all cost.

4
4fordinner
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Service was abysmal, exceedingly long wait for food. Order not completely filled, food cold, so-so quality, (canned tomato sauce tasting; vegetables soggy and greasy) and way overpriced.

JP
JP21
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2021
Overall2food3service3ambience2

We waited for an hour and a half before our dinner was served and the restaurant was half empty when we arrived. All we ordered was a small side salad, soup, and 2 pasta entrees. We have always had a great experience here but not tonight. It seemed that their kitchen staff had quit and it took forever for food to come. People at the tables around us were also complaining of the food taking forever. My husband and I were there to celebrate a big anniversary and it was very disappointing compared to what we’ve come to expect here. When the food did come, mine was not as good as usual. I could barely find any crab or lobster in the pappardelle del presidente. The waiter was trying hard but they were clearly understaffed in the kitchen and with the wait staff. Not sure we will be coming here for special occasions going forward. :(

FAQs

Ristorante La Perla of Washington is rated 3.9 stars by 1351 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.