Ristorante La Perla of Washington

4
1321 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 1321 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.0
service
4.0
ambience
3.7
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined 16 hours ago
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.

G
Gerald
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
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.

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
9 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
6 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. :(

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Houston
10 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Service is AWFUL! It took 10 min to be seated, and once I was seated I waited 20 min and nobody ever came to take a drink order. Everybody in the restaurant was upset with the service. The table next to me, there food was dropped off but they didn’t have any forks. They were walking all over the restaurant trying to find someone to get them forks. Others waited 30 min for drink orders. Multiple tables got up and left. I’ve never seen anything like this.

MG
vipMichG
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

The best part about the meal is that we dined in the lovely rose garden. It was a busy night and our food was left under the heating lamp for so long that our seafood dishes were dried out by the time they arrived. We arrived around 7:30pm and our entrees didn't arrive until after 9:00pm - we were warned that the kitchen was overwhelmed. Several times we asked the waiter and busboy for another glass of wine, but it never arrived. The $22 salad was modest in size and unimpressive in construction and taste. This has been one of DC's storied restaurants, we were excited to dine there. Hopefully our experience is not typical.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orlando
4 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

We never got to food as we sat outside for 20 and we’re never waited on!!

MK
MaryKaye
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Had dinner at my favorite La Perla Ristorante in DC recently. The food was excellent as usual but the service is not as prompt as how it used to be in the past. This is an area that needs beefing up and hopefully things will be back to normal so that I can continue to enjoy the excellent cuisine without waiting too long to be served. Hope this restaurant this will be around for many years to come as the ambience is so homely, classy and beautiful and one of the best in the DC area. Thank you.

L
vipLovegreatfood1
Raleigh
31 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great atmosphere
Great food
Very slow service.

TM
TomM
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic food in an elegant but casual environment. Great to speak with Vittorio

MT
vipMissToni
Washington DC
51 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My 2nd time here. The service is great and the food & drinks impeccable. I enjoyed myself and so did my date. The staff is so kind and welcoming. I definitely see why they have such a steady clientele. I'm about to be in that number!

JP
vipJohnP
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall3food5service2ambience3

The quality of the food was excellent. The service was not. We felt neglected.

n
vipnone
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful as always.

JB
JoshB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2021
Overall4food5service2ambience5

Very disorganized but food is fresh and amazing. We were seated at table with no menus, glasses or utensils. After getting menus took at least 30 mins before we could place order. When we went to hostess to find our waiter she had no idea who was our waiter. Total experience took 3 hours but food was exquisite

SH
vipShaneH
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Ristorante La Perla had been on my "must try" list of DC restaurants for a while when I finally got around to eating here. Let's just say I wish I'd come sooner. The prices are very good for the quantity of food (and wine) you get. I ordered the chicken parm and think it was one of the better ones I've gotten at DC Italian restaurants. Would definitely recommend.

f
friends4dinner
Naples
2 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience3

Expensive, considering small portion sizes. Terrible bread. Left hungry.

TM
TomM
Washington DC
21 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible food; delicious pasta dishes and fantastic salad. Great service. Beautiful venue.

MT
vipMissToni
Washington DC
51 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

First time visiting here as many times as I have ridden past it throughout the years. It did not disappoint. From the moment we walked in the door, the service was impeccable. I had the shrimp cocktail for an appetizer and they were huge. The cocktail sauce had the perfect balance of horseradish. My friend had the Oysters Rockefeller and he said they were amazing. For dinner I had the stuffed snapper which was a little bit overcooked for me on the outside. Inside was absolutely perfect with crabmeat and spinach. The lemon and mint flavors balanced out the fish well. My friend had the seafood pappardelle which was great. The red cream sauce was subtle but good. For dinner I had the tiramisu and it was nothing short of amazing. My friend had the white chocolate cake which he loved. The portion sizes were not so large that they over shadowed the meal or made you feel stuffed. I can't wait to go back and try other entrees. This will be in my regular rotation of restaurants going forward.

RT
RobertT
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful time as always... Victor was fantastic as always... always a great time

OT
OpenTable Diner
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

The service was not pleasant. We asked for a table outside and when we saw a rat nearby, the sever was hesitant to move us inside even with the restaurante being empty. The food flavor was good but it was not enough portion size. I am definitely not going again. I took my mom and my nephew that were visiting me here and they were not happy with the service nor the food. The servers inside the restaurant did not even say hello or thank you when we left. It was a bizarre experience.

DO
DaveO
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 7, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We started with the clams casino and burrata. The clams were tasty, but a small species and so much smaller than I typically see served. The burrata as a bit too stringy and firm and not as creamy as you'd expect. Overall, I wouldn't order either of those appetizers again. For the mains we ordered the tortellini, the eggplant parm, and the house specialty veal. All three were very good. We'd definitely all of those again in the future.

The service was very good and very attentive. The waiter told us up front that the the prices may be a bit higher than shown on the menu due to recent increases in costs, and he apologized that the new menus were not available yet, but to just ask him for the pricing if we were concerned about anything.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nice place to hangout. We went at 9:30 pm and hanged around until 12:30. Service is bit slow, they served good food.

GH
GordonH
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on August 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff was short handed, but were very engaging and gracious!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on July 31, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

We were excited to dine here, but the service was incredibly poor. Food was ok, but overpriced & took forever. Really disappointed overall but willing to try one more time to see if this was just an off night. If we decide to return, will hope for something much better

FR
vipFrRAS
Grand Rapids
14 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Great and authentic restaurant. I’ve eaten there many times and always enjoyed it. This visit the air conditioning was unfortunately out but the staff made accommodation on the terrace which, except for the mosquitoes was fine.

j
vipjefft
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Arrived for our reservation on time. Discovered the A/C wasn’t working. I think that it disgraceful that the restaurant staff didn’t contact their customers ahead of time letting us know that it was 90 degrees in the dining room.

DT
DavidT
Philadelphia
4 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous food
Service is second to none!!!!!

JR
JeffreyR
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall3food5service3ambience1

The ac was broken and we ate outdoors in the jest and excessive winds

JL
JaniceL
Richmond
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The best Italian restaurant in Washington, DC. Absolutely wonderful. Truly authentic, too.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great ambiance. Great food. Great people and history.

AC
AlexisC
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall2food3service2ambience4

Not the best experience. We went here for an anniversary dinner looking for something special. There seemed to be a lot of confusion about who our sever was for the first hour and a half, despite there being only 9 seated tables and it being a Sunday. It took almost an hour for or order to be taken and another 45 minutes for our food to come out. Between waiting for someone to take our drink and dinner orders, waiting for the food, and waiting for the check, we were there for over three hours. Re the food and drinks, they didn’t have the bottle of wine we ordered. The food was good but nothing spectacular, the sauce definitely did not taste like it was made from scratch. We had the gnocchi with red sauce and parpadelle presidente. We had leftovers which we asked to be boxed which got thrown out. The server who eventually ended up with our table was very nice and tried to make up for the missing leftovers with a free dessert, but this was definitely not the experience we were hoping for.

JW
vipJenniferW
Columbus
6 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great food and charming owner who stopped by each table to ensure we enjoyed the experience

F
Franco
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Old school Italian and dated interior. Prices were higher than they should be for the quality.

M
vipMsgr
Washington DC
49 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the service was outstanding, every time i go it only gets better!!!

FAQs

Ristorante La Perla of Washington is rated 4 stars by 1321 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.