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“Really good neighborhood Italian find” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Al Crostino

Al Crostino
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Ranked #795 of 3,189 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: $16 - $32
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer
Neighborhood: U Street Corridor
Description: Family-operated, Al Crostino is an intimate Italian restaurant located in Washington D.C. That exudes a 'la famiglia' atmosphere. This Neapolitan family offers a collection of flavorsome dishes, priding themselves on their homemade pasta, desserts, and their assortment of exquisite Italian wines.
DC
Level Contributor
75 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Really good neighborhood Italian find”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 25, 2012

It doesn't get the buzz of some of the other places in the 14th and U corridors, but Al Crostino is a really good casual Italian find. Service is friendly, and the food has always been very good, and some times bordering on great. The kitchen doesn't always play it safe, but it succeeds far more often then not. Family-friendly, although probably not a great place to come with kids. It is small, so large groups should probably call ahead.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    18
    14
    1
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
“Find another restaurant”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2012

I went on Friday night at 7. We sat in the back hallway to avoid the door draft. Unfortunately, it was like an echo chamber and we heard ever word uttered by the guy behind us. After taking a sip if wine, we realized our wine glasses were linty; one on the inside. The waiter did fix it promptly but you would think he might at least top it off or take it off the bill. Worse yet, my salmon was raw and had to be sent back. I shared my spouse's ravioli (which was fine) until my plate was returned w no apology for the inconvenience. The bread was also stale. I am really surprised it is rated 3.5.

    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Liz G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Delicious food, good wine list, and friendly staff!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2012

This place is a gem. You can get great Italian food, good wine, and the staff are always very friendly. It is a great local place where you can always get a great meal.

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Kaluah23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A hidden gem - must go to Al Crostino!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2011

As always, very very happy with my most recent meal at Al Crostino. Went there with three others for a special occasion, and we were all blown away by the amazing food Juliana cooks up in this "hidden gem" on U Street.

Started off with a few antipasti, because of course we couldn't choose just one! The calamari was beautiful. Grilled perfectly, and so tasty. The Portobello mushroom caps were served with crispy prosciutto and gorgonzola...wow. Asparagi gratinati - asparagus wrapped with pancetta and baked with fontina cheese - was out of this world, a little golden, but still had a great crunch to it and was a nice balance of rich, salty, and savory. And the meatballs...I'm Italian, and I never order meatballs, because they never come close to my family's cooking. But these were amazing. Glad I didn't shy away from ordering them!

For dinner, one ordered the short ribs, the special of the day. Looked and smelled fabulous. Another had the veal scaloppini, and with lemon and capers, and it was fantastic. The third tried the ossobuco, served with a great polenta...of course, it was cooked great and tasted as wonderful at it looked. I had the brasciola, which my grandmother sometimes makes (rolled, braised, stuffed steak) and it was filled with pine nuts and raisins and served with Juliana's almost-addictive tomato sauce. I think I made the best choice of them all!

We ignored reason and followed our eyes to dessert, and enjoyed a delicious tiramisu and torta di ricotta. Yum. Washed it all down with some fantastic Montepulciano, and for the special occasion, they even comped 4 glasses of processo with our dessert.

As great as the meal was, I would be remiss not to mention the service. We felt like we were at home at Al Crostino. Friendly, warm people, a cozy and intimate dining room, and service above reproach. I can't wait to go back, and I can't thank Juliana and the team at Al Crostine enough for the fantastic evening.

  • Visited November 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Washingtonian87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Level Contributor
57 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“wouldn't go back”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 30, 2011

I went to Al Crostino with a group of friends for a birthday celebration. The organizer had set up a prix fixe menu and we estimated costs with wine per person (including covering the birthday girl) to be $80. It came out to be $120 per person and was a rip off.
The menu was thin on cost items: appetizers of bruschetta (nice flavor), arugula salad, secondi of two types of pasta (delicious), primi options of salmon, veal or chicken (veal was just ok), and dessert (tiramisu and cannoli which was actually awful). We had chosen some wine - a toast to start with prosecco (it was dubbed champagne, an insult to both vintages) and a nice red (montepulciano d'abruzzo - good) and a white which I did not try. There were ten of us sitting at the table - but two of us were for sure facing long drives home and not drinking more than a glass. The bill showed 4 bottles of prosecco and 4 bottles of red - nearly a bottle per person! The pouring was every five minutes and I felt like they were padding the bill with alcohol. The glasses would be filled before they could be emptied which is not good for many reasons. I almost got wine poured on my hand when I put it on top of my glass to signal "basta!"

Lastly, at the end of the meal, with dessert, they brought glasses of grappa - un-requested - and charged them to the bill!!! I have never experienced that - where a restaurant brings something voluntarily and then charges for it. No one really wanted the grappa as they had too much wine.

While the atmosphere seemed nice and the restaurant has potential in the U street area, the food was not up to snuff on quality and the bill was outrageous because of what seemed like forced alcohol. I would not recommend.

  • Visited September 2011
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank leslievansant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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