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“A great find”

Al Dente Restaurant
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Ranked #279 of 2,460 Restaurants in Edinburgh
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $13 - $32
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Families with children, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Leith
Description: Secreted away on one of the quieter stretches of Easter Road is a sparkling jewel of Italian dining – Al Dente is quite simply glorious. The walls are covered with pictures of Italian movie stars and picturesque vistas and these evocative images, along with the tiled floor and simple wooden tables, imbue Al Dente with the earthy simplicity of old Italy. But do not be fooled by this rustic interior or the attractively affordable prices; this restaurant offers the finest food and the friendliest service. A roast pepper overflows with fat grains of arborio rice, subtle but vibrant flavours elevating homely fare to five-star standards. A similar trick is played with immaculately presented mains such as porcini mushroom risotto and chicken breast stuffed with asparagus and parmesan. The set lunch is fantastic value; that diners can enjoy two courses of locally sourced, seasonal food, beautifully cooked for only £7.50 seems almost preposterous, if wonderfully so.High point: Beautiful, affordable foodLow point: The shop front is not as welcoming as the staff within
Level Contributor
166 reviews
85 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“A great find”
Reviewed November 17, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I went to Al Dente for the first time as we had a voucher however voucher or not we would recommend this lovely place. The food was to die for I did not want to finish my main course it was so lovely. Some reviewers comment on the portion size well this is high class rich Italian food therefore you should not need a large portion to be satisfied.

We found the service good and the atmosphere is lovely as it is not to big a restaurant. We would not normally of to this end of town as it was quite far from home but it was well worth it.

If you are looking for an Italian that is a bit different then this is the place for you. Give it a go

Thank pickyAberdeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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443 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Edinburg, Texas
2 reviews
“Thursday evening visit”
Reviewed November 15, 2012

Have just returned from our visit (my wife and I) to this restaurant through a deal but a second visit this time. This is an Italian restaurant as you would want it to be. The food is excellently prepared and presented and alongwith the service cannot be surpassed. I would say to all Hibees on your way to or from the Stadium do not pass this place of delight. We will be back a
and thank you.
Eleanor and Bill Brown.

  • Visited November 2012
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Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Never to be repeated!”
Reviewed November 14, 2012

We used a Living Social voucher for two and family joined us without a voucher to make up a four. The food was quite possibly the worst I have ever had served to me in a restaurant. No garlic bread! unbelievable, The lasagna came as one small portion served in a dish, no sauce, no trimmings, no heat and definately no taste. The carbanara was undercooked, although the chef maintained that it was al dente, we on the other hand all agreed that it was hard pasta, again no heat., an incredibly small portion poorly presented. The Sea bass came in foil, it was incredibly small and was not cooked through. The chef agreed it wasn't cooked and didn't charge for it. Obviously from other reviews we chose the wrong night to use our voucher, however, they will never be given another oppotunity to show us that they can cook and present a plate of traditional italian food!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
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2 Thank DorsetFreckles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lovingtravel32, Owner at Al Dente Restaurant, responded to this review, November 16, 2012
Dear Living Social customer,

I am sorry to hear that and to see your disappointment in a visit at my restaurant,

I ma glad that you have enjoyed your starters.

As explained on the night, the only fault on the meal was the sea bass which wasn't thourtarly cooked but definitely of standard size and not small.

we have apologized an offered something else instead.
As the gesture wasn't accepted we took the sea bass off the bill.

AL DENTE Restaurant provide fresh, high quality food prepared with the best ingredient.
Big portion of pasta cooked in the microwave with plenty sauce on it , it's not the style of AL DENTE.

The pasta is cooked at the moment of order and it is served AL DENTE which means "on the tooth"

Carbonara was cooked AL DENTE and on a proper traditional way (with egg yoke) and not with double cream like other Italian restaurant do.
Although it was not on the menu, we made it on request.

On the night I was told that the Lasagna were frozen and now I read even tasteless.
I have shown the lady the tray of lasagna JUST MADE and the first two portion taken to be served for their meal!

Furthermore, that evening I have sold 8 more portion of Lasagna (one of which to an Italian dentist customer of mine) and he said it was delicious!

Fortunately, AL DENTE try to be an alternative to the Italian cuisine as known to the Edinburgh public.

As Italian cuisine is much more than what has been offered so far, we are proud to provide seasonal menus with exiting regional dishes from all over Italy and be different from all other Italian restaurant offering all the same menu.

I am very sorry not to have met your criteria as probably AL DENTE is not the usual Italian restaurant you were looking for.

Thank you for taking the time to review my restaurant.

garlic bread know boring Itala
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
131 reviews
97 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
“Old fashioned Italian eaterie with basic but tasty food.”
Reviewed November 6, 2012 via mobile

Two glasses of reasonable dry white wine set us off in the right direction.
Bruschetta next. This wasn't very good and I wished I had ordered something else. My wife enjoyed her tortina though - basically a small cheese tart.
My main of seafood spaghetti was cooked to al dente perfection, my only comment would be that clams and calamari are fine, but a prawn or two would have enhanced the dish significantly.
My partner says her vegetarian lasagna was delicious. All this, washed down with a bottle of pleasant house red.
All in all, a good meal, in an excellent little restaurant served by friendly waiters. Only final comment would be, turn off the radio playing in the background, the music selection was grim!!!

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1 Thank Ian057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“The best small Italian in Edinburgh”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

My wife and I recently visited this restaurant. The place is small but very homely and feels just like a small trattoria from Italy . The owner was extremely friendly and made sure he spoke to everyone in his restaurant at some time during their meal. The food was excellent and the pasta dishes were exquisite. This is a must for all Italian food lovers.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
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Thank Alan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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