Photo: Tables at Al Dente.
Before Times Review:
Sharing patio space with another neighborhood favorite on New Mexico Ave, Al Dente serves up good Italian fare. It is more reliable than refined. The setting is casual with a big square bar at the center. The menu is long on options, plus daily specials (which were the best of the dishes on a recent visit). The kitchen is overseen by Roberto Donna, the former chef of Galileo legend, who turns this place into something noteworthy. The wine list is deep on Italian options at reasonable price points. There is also an option for a chef’s table type meal, called Roberto 8, at a counter off to the side. Call ahead to check availability – I have not tried it, but there are trustworthy voices that attest to its quality. Nestled into the residential swath behind Cathedral, Al Dente does right by the locals and is worth trying out if you are in that neck of the woods.
Rating: Worth Trying Out
Neighborhood: Glover Park/Cathedral/Spring Valley
Address: 3201 New Mexico Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016 (Search on MAP)
Washington Post: 2012 review from Tom was 2 stars – no longer online, but seemed positive. In 2013, he reviewed the chef’s table menu called Roberto 8 (then 4) and gave it 3 stars. Lack of attention is probably indicative of waning enthusiasm.
Washingtonian: Made the Top 100 in 2013. Fell off after.