Tempo Restaurant - Alexandria

4.6
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1012 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Nestled in the West End, Tempo Restaurant is one of Alexandria's best-kept secrets. This elegant, but unpretentious, neighborhood restaurant is where the locals dine. Tempo's menu displays a blend of northern Italian and French cuisine, featuring fresh seafood.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood, Italian, French
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Sunday – Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday – Saturday: 5:30pm – 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:30pm – 9:00pm
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Phone number
(703) 370-7900
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Serge and Wendy Albert, husband and wife chef team
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
North Gordon
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Parking details
Parking is available with 28 parking spaces in front of the restaurant. Street parking is also available in the residential neighborhood.
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Public transit
Nearest Metro Station: King Street Metro is 2.2 miles away within walking distance if you are in good shape otherwise take a cab.
Additional
Banquet, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1012 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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T
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tempo offers excellent food at a very reasonable price. Good choice for a night out for dinner. The restaurant has specials on Monday and Tuesday that are really wonderful with especially low price.

BS
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tempo is ALWAYS fantastic!

N
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best dinner out I have ever had. Servers were fantastic and Palma was a delight.

R
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Staff friendly and attentive as always

ID
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding Dinner and a very nice evening with friends.

R
Washington DC
124 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Very good food at reasonable prices with nice service. Noise level can be a little loud.

JT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It had been a long time between visits. I/we especially liked the presentation

DL
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Haven’t been to Tempo in years. It was wonderful as always. Can’t wait to go back!

C
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Monday and Tuesday night 3-course dinner special for two for $57 with a bottle of wine is the best dinner value in Alexandria!

JL
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food and the presentation was excellent. We are never disappointed with the Tempo !!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food, service, and ambiance was great!

OT
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Best server I’ve seen in a long time. Food was very good and the ambiance was quiet enough you could hear one another. We will definitely be back.

T
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s one of my favorite restaurants. The food is consistent, the staff always friendly and understanding of how their clients prefer to dine. Good wine selection and great variety of food options.

R
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a pleasure dining in a very traditional and high class establishment. No loud music, service is never rushed, food is first rate, you are valued, and remembered

K
Chicago
11 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Excellent seafood. Service was great. Good value for what we had.

JV
Atlantic City
6 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

We had lunch/brunch during Alexandria Restaurant Week and found ourselves encouraged to order from the special menu. The food was good but not up to the usual Tempo standards. The desserts, in particular, were disappointing -- too dry or too sweet. The service was average because, we were told, there were unexpected staff absences. I'll wait a while before I go there again.

c
Washington DC
12 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

We've been at Tempo several times for dinner and have enjoyed it....The food is always excellent....However, this time the service was quite rushed! We barely sat down and the waitress
was asking us what we wanted to drink etc. Then the waiter started to remove my husbands dinner plate before he was finished. Have never experienced this before and hope it doesn't continue.....the reason I chose Tempo was because it isn't as noisy as other restaurants and because I never felt rushed there.

Thank you.

AR
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cant say enough about what an excellent restaurant this is!

GB
Washington DC
28 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

The linguini with clam sauce is superb! The olive oil- vinegar dressing on the house salad is light and complements the salad well. I had the fried cheese as an appetizer;I wish it came with a marinara dipping sauce. I think it would make it taste even better.

TE
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Food was excellent. The service was very good. We had our toddler with us who was probably the loudest thing in the restaurant, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a place to bring your kids. We forgot that it was restaurant week and both ended up eating off that menu, which was really good for the price. We’ll go again when we have a babysitter.

BG
Washington DC
13 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Tempo has given great value to customers for years and continues to do so. One of the best dining options in NOVA

R
Washington DC
124 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Always a pleasure to dine here.
Very interesting dishes niceky prepared. Try it you'll like it.

CG
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great choice of meals and desserts, at a very reasonable price, and very friendly and obliging staff.

DR
Washington DC
74 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Consistently excellent!!

D
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Nice neighborhood restaurant with good Italian seafood. Service was not up to the level in our previous visits but it was okay. Food arrived promptly. Very slow getting dessert and check.

BS
Washington DC
24 reviews
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tempo is always great! 50+ visits, it’s always great!

JF
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 30, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

The restaurant was as good as it always is, but I have been going there for about 20 years and the menu has not changed - shouldn't it?

V
Richmond
13 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful as always.

JM
Washington DC
27 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Monday-Tuesday night three course specials are delicious and a great value. The restaurant is always serving great food at moderate prices. Cheers

j
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Tempo is always great! Good food, good service. Good value. This is the restaurant we always go back to when we want to have a good meal.

FD
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall3food5service1ambience3

My wife and I have been going to Tempo for 40 years. The food and service have always been excellent. We went there with guests recently and, although the food was excellent, the service was HORRIBLE. Maitre d' blamed it on a new waiter and being shorthanded that night. Our orders were not taken for over 10 minutes, water glasses were not kept full, we were not asked how everything was after our food arrived, and crumbs were not cleared off the table before we ordered dessert. All in all, a very disappointing evening.

MM
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Once we got to know Tempo and the people who work there, we made it one of our regular stops. They are always very nice to us and the service is just right for the pace of dining I like. On this trip we really have to say something about the Gaspacho and the Mussels. they were wonderful! The Beef Medallions were excellent, but the other dining elements were just outstanding. It was early (6:30) and the noise was really under control, unlike many of the newer places we go. that was nice as well. No parking problems, easy access, good food, nice staff, what is not to like.

D
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

We love Tempo...great food and I love their soft shell crab in the summer. We went out with some friends and had a lovely time. We made reservations of course in Open Table and when we arrived we were thankful that we had reservations since the place was packed!

CF
Washington DC
32 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Dining at Tempo is stepping into the past, when one could find intimate French bistros or restaurants with classic French dishes and a French aesthetic. This is charming to rediscover! Some of the dishes at our table were good, and the fish was particularly tasty and well cooked. But the plates suffered the same kind of "sides" , that is you could order one thing or another as a centerpiece (fish, meat) but receive the same kinds of not too interesting side accompaniments. The dessert tray was impressive!
We would try it again, but if the second time wasn't a step up, might not try a third. The chef clearly has skills, the kitchen just needs to step up their game!

PH
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall3food3service1ambience4

Have been a regular customer for years and it was a favorite restaurant. However, at a recent lunch it was not good. They were terribly understaffed - appeared to have one waiter (who was not pleasant ) in charge of the dining room. I had calves liver which was overcooked and we had to wait and wait for anyone to see if we wanted desserts. We asked 4 times for coffee and finally had to ask the owner for help. An hour lunch took two hours and twenty minutes. I sincerely hope this was just a bad day for them as it is normally a great place.

DS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Enjoyed a celebratory dinner for six. Everyone was happy with their meals and drinks. Loved the dairy free crab soup. Delicious. I had the calves liver and onions, which was tender and delicious. Service was good, nothing lacking. Would definitely recommend Tempo. This was a Monday night.

L
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall5food5service3ambience5

As always, the food was excellent. Wonderful entrees from a varied menu, with good wines, Desserts were exceptional, with many to choose from and all baked on-premises. The only downside was slow service when we initially arrived; they were clearly short-staffed this evening. As things got moving the service improved and there were no complaints.

J
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My favorite restaurant

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N
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

The hostess is a bit cold. The restaurant is a bit small and with tables very close to each other. Though I put the request to be seated a quiet table, which can be in the glass dining room, they still sit me in the general dining area. Not sure if they read the comments on opentable reservations. Though there are only 4 tables when we were dining, it was very loud. The food itself is fine, but pretty expensive. Chicken meal $18 and veal $22, the portion is small. The mussel appetizer was too oily so cannot taste the freshness of the mussel. We also ordered a soft drink and side salad, it was almost $70 without tip. Sorry for me not a good experience so will not go back.

MA
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Reliably delicious food and attentive service.