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“Always come back”
Review of Al Dente

Al Dente
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Ranked #57 of 3,307 Restaurants in Boston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: North End
Reviewed December 9, 2013

We have been coming to the North End for years and eaten at many of the restaurants, but we always seem to come back to Al Dente. I have never had a bad meal or experience here. The waitstaff is not stuffy but very friendly. They make you feel at home here. The dining room is a little cramped but that is not uncommon in the city. The wine by the glass is very reasonable and the food portions are enormous. This last visit we ordered the mussels served in a garlic tomato sauce. They were spectacular. I have had the cheese lasagna on past visits and It tastes just like mine, a very nice marinara sauce. Make reservations as it can get busy and like many other restaurants in the North End, there is no indoor waiting area, but you can go next door and sit at the bar once you have checked in, as we have done in the past. We always go to Caffe Vittoria on Hanover street for espresso and dessert after dinner. Al Dente is a great place to sit down, relax and have a terrific meal.

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3  Thank mmdg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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492 - 496 of 872 reviews

Reviewed December 8, 2013

Made reservations the day before and they sent an email confirmation as well as called the next day to confirm. Arrived early and was greeted by the owner who was very accommodating. From the time we sat until the time we left this place it operated like a well oiled machine. Everyone was so friendly and at least four staff members stopped by to chat on this very busy Saturday evening. This place is small but homey. The menu is great with something for everyone including the little kids. We split the Ceasar salad for two, it was large enough for more. Fresh pasta cost a couple dollars more but is definitely worth it. I had the Al Dente Special with chicken, veal, shrimp and veggies over pasta. Flavorful and not over killed with garlic, it was cooked to perfection. Other plates for the family included an Eggplant Parmesan over pasta, fresh fusilli pasta with vodka sauce and the littlest had plain pasta with butter sauce. Everything was delicious (I tried them all) and portions are very generous. The price was extremely reasonable for the North End and explains why this place is so busy. Our family would rather eat in a restaurant like this than any chain. Price for the family of four with cocktails was under a $100. Check out there menu than compare it with other restaurants in the North End and you will be surprised at how reasonable this place is for Authentic Italian food.

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1  Thank TheMunsters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2013

This was my first meal out in Boston ever, and it was incredible. The server was incredibly friendly and made jokes with us all night. She made us feel like family, which made the evening more fun.

The food was impeccable. I can't remember the name of what I had, but it was some sort of special chicken dish ("chicken al dente," maybe?) that melded all the flavors together perfectly.

Service was also pretty quick, but not overly so. We ate dinner at a leisurely pace but were always checked on when we needed to.

I feel like I got the true Italian North End experience. I'll be back.

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Thank TXCowboy911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

We arrived early for our 7.30 reservation but had to wait about 20 minutes before we could get our table. It is quite a small restaurant with lots of tables packed in so it's pretty cosy but I liked it. Food was really tasty, came in very generous portions and was reasonably priced. Word of warning for those with a sweet tooth, they don't do desserts but Mike's pastry shop is just round the corner and if you're in Boston I'd sat that it is a must do!

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Thank tigger2oo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2013

My friends and I chose Al Dente by good reviews. We arrived for a 7:30 reservation and were surprised to find the host carrying on a very loud but private phone conversation in the small entry. He pushed us out the door to finish his call before he came out to ask why we were there.

We ordered lobster ravioli for the table, which my friends liked. I only sampled it as I am very sensitive to seafood tastes. I enjoyed it but couldn't find any lobster flavor - great for me, but probably not what the restaurant is going for.

I was impressed with the portion sizes and the entree. Chicken Buona Bocca was delicious, and my friends enjoyed the gnocchi. We each ate about a third of our meals, and packed the rest to go.

This restaurant is very small and was packed to the gills and the host pushed our tables closer together to make room for more people. The room gets extremely loud and is difficult to carry a conversation. The service was exceptionally slow, and I noticed the other tables near us also working hard to flag down a server. We were left with our meals for a good 45 minutes before we were checked on or given the bill, and we were not offered a dessert menu.

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

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