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“Fantastic Italian bistro/restaurant!”
Review of Al Dente

Al Dente
Ranked #91 of 1,045 Restaurants in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic, Special occasions, Business meetings
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

The very Best food reminded me of Nana's growing up! Delicious, great atmosphere, good service very attentive!! Easy to locate in old town.

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Thank VEarls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 - 328 of 646 reviews

Reviewed December 27, 2012 via mobile

Went there for dinner with my kids and wife, after a brief 5 minute wait we were seated at a table indoors. The atmosphere was casual and relaxed. We got pumpkin ravioli penne pasta, and spinach salad all were superb! The owner of the restaurant ( whose wife's artwork is on display at the restaurant) came over and engaged our 6 year old in a conversation, also told us about various themes in the paintings, enquired about our stay in San Juan etc. all this made for a very pleasant time at the restaurant -- I've found this a rare occurrence even among very high end restaurants in the us (have seen it in Europe more often) and find that it makes for a better overall dining experience.

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Thank Rsa_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

We walked into this restaurant for dinner tonight and it was empty at ~18:30, so I was a little skeptical at first. But the decore and atmosphere was great and the service was fantastic... Even after it began to get busy and fill up, service was still incredibly attentive, friendly and outgoing.
Food was fantastic! The soup de jour (pumpkin ginger) was verty tasty, as was the calamari. The various pasta dishes my group tried (veal-stuffed tortellini, fettuccini alfredo, carbonara, and others were all delicious! I would highly recommend this place.

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Thank Keith-B-Robinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

First of all, the service is excellent! Anyone who come would feel well taken care of. I travel solo and most of the time, I'm the least taken care of--economically speaking, I'm less of a revenue than groups. So I'm very happy about the service here.

Second, the food is excellent. I had calamari and chicken pesto pasta. I'm not a pasta person but I ate the whole thing. The calamari is my favorite, it's lightly battered so you get squid vs. other things.

Overall, I'll go back when I'm in old san juan.

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Thank Mic C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

What can I say, I love steak and I'm crazy enough to order it, at lunch, even at a highly recommended Italian restaurant called Al Dente in San Juan. Go for lunch as it's $12-$14 an entre' compared to $20+ for dinner. Whatever you do, order a skirt steak, doesn't matter how hungry you are, just do it.

Let me back up, for starters, the bread with vinegar & oil was excellent. Rivaled any U.S. version we've had. As mentioned, I had the Skirt Steak with Chimichurri sauce while my girlfriend ordered the Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Linguini.

For all you land locked pasta lovers out there, rest assured that the Linguini didn't disappoint. It looked amazing, it smelt amazing, it WAS amazing. But the Skirt Steak!!! Wow. To back up this claim, this was my 3rd Skirt Steak in only 2 days, with the other 2 coming from the acclaimed Barrachina and Mojitos. What kind of man eats skirt steak for dinner lunch and then dinner over 2 days you ask? A Texan man of course. Perhaps the Puerto Ricans should take notes on the Italian way of doing things. This piece of meat was so juicy and flavorful that I could barely contain myself. And the Chimichurri sauce is definitely the best I have had anywhere, period. Chimichurri consists of parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and vinegar which on second thought seems very Italian indeed. Hopefully it's starting to make sense why this was so stinking good. What the Argentines created, the Puerto Ricans made famous, Al Dente has perfected. I love sauce and I love THIS sauce, and it was perfect with their perfectly cooked Churasco. Even the mofongo on the side was excellent. Checkout the pictures if you don't believe it and then be prepared to wipe your chin.

The ONLY bad thing to say about Al Dente at all is unrelated to food or even service! In their attempt to set a relaxed appetizing mood for diners, they inadvertently played the same song on infinite repeat. Yes, a single solitary song over and over and over again. It was basically a Kenny G saxophone type version of Silent Night playing on January 3rd. A Dystopia fiction Hunger Games-esque author could have made stopping this music worth killing for, or at the least this could have been the soundtrack to Dante's Inferno. Well meaning or not, by the 10th time I heard it, all I could think about was punching Kenny G square in the face if I ever met him. I'm sure I'm the only music snob in there that even cared to notice, as everyone else seemed oblivious. Perhaps they were too busy carb loading on pasta? When they should have been protein loading on the best Skirt Steak in all of San Juan? The world may never know. Regardless, it made the meal that much more memorable and provided some humor along the way (which is always a good thing). Siskel and Ebert would give this place 2 Chimichurri soaked thumbs up.

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Thank Len_in_Texas80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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