Al Dente Restaurant

★★★★☆
  • 109 Salem St

    Boston, MA 02113

    Map & Directions
  • 617-523-0990

About Al Dente Restaurant

Hours
Monday To Thursday From 11:30 AM To 10:00 PM Friday To Saturday From 11:30 AM To 10:45 PM Sunday From 11:30 AM To 10:00 PM
3.8421 19
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STAY AWAY!! The food is horrendous. Some dishes were incredibly bland (fettuccini alfredo) while others were incredibly salty (stuffed chicken dish, the name escapes me). This place is the biggest tourist trap. Servers were nice enough but

3
★★★★★

STAY AWAY!! The food is horrendous. Some dishes were incredibly bland (fettuccini alfredo) while others were incredibly salty (stuffed chicken dish, the name escapes me). This place is the biggest tourist trap. Servers were nice enough but

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We really enjoyed Al Dente. It was very crowded as it was the night before the marathon, but the place had a great vibe. Mike at the door was very congenial and Lisa was a wonderful waitress. We packed in the place and were served delicious itialian food! Al Dente is very casual and is not fussy!

2
★★★★☆

We really enjoyed Al Dente. It was very crowded as it was the night before the marathon, but the place had a great vibe. Mike at the door was very congenial and Lisa was a wonderful waitress. We packed in the place and were served delicious itialian food! Al Dente is very casual and is not fussy!

Pros: fair prices, great food and service!

Cons: bad bread and butter in packets!

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Pretty good restaurant on Salem Street in the North End. Not a fancy restaurant but a good place to go with the family. Much more reasonable than some of the restaurants in the area. Not the most authentic Italian nor the best food but it is really good and a great night out for the money.

3
★★★☆☆

Pretty good restaurant on Salem Street in the North End. Not a fancy restaurant but a good place to go with the family. Much more reasonable than some of the restaurants in the area. Not the most authentic Italian nor the best food but it is really good and a great night out for the money.

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Al dente is the type of Italian restaurant where the jovial, large Italian waitresses treat you like their own children. Our conversation with Donna, a passing hostess, about the Osso Busco soon led into an open and honest assessment of her oldest son moving out and her desire to let loose and return to downtown Boston. The familiarity was as comforting as the pork tenderloins were savory.

In the pantheon of food choice, we decided to take one familiar and one less traveled culinary path. One can weigh the quality of an Italian restaurant by the weight of its eggplant parmigiana and one can be surprised and satisfied by the simple additions. In this case, it was what lies beneath. For under the softly layered comfort food was a hidden trove of gnocchi. Those round gummy creations, which are often a meal to themselves, lay nestled, dare I say cradled in a puddle of sweet red sauce.

Taking a most radical route, our second entree was a distinctly colorful and segregated dish of pork tenderloin, spinach and mashed potatoes. Each flavor, while proudly distinct in its own right, was a willing companion to its neighbor. While the rival factions vied for dominance of our palate, it was the merger of tastes which ultimately won the dish. The sweet prune sauce tenderloins were in distinct contrast to the bitter garlic spinach, and the buttery potatoes played mediator between the two.

While not the highlight, the wine flowed easily and did not distract from the more memorable aspects of the meal. We chose a moderately priced Sauvignon Blanc from the limited but sufficient wine menu. The overeager wine pouring from our motherly server was slightly intrusive.

Al dente is pleasant for both the out of town guest, large gatherings and the casual diner. The warm atmosphere will be a welcome retreat from any cold New England evening--always enjoy with friends and olive oil dipped bread.

Google "palateers" for other entertaining reviews and food related rants

2
★★★★☆

Al dente is the type of Italian restaurant where the jovial, large Italian waitresses treat you like their own children. Our conversation with Donna, a passing hostess, about the Osso Busco soon led into an open and honest assessment of her oldest son moving out and her desire to let loose and return to downtown Boston. The familiarity was as comforting as the pork tenderloins were savory.

In the pantheon of food choice, we decided to take one familiar and one less traveled culinary path. One can weigh the quality of an Italian restaurant by the weight of its eggplant parmigiana and one can be surprised and satisfied by the simple additions. In this case, it was what lies beneath. For under the softly layered comfort food was a hidden trove of gnocchi. Those round gummy creations, which are often a meal to themselves, lay nestled, dare I say cradled in a puddle of sweet red sauce.

Taking a most radical route, our second entree was a distinctly colorful and segregated dish of pork tenderloin, spinach and mashed potatoes. Each flavor, while proudly distinct in its own right, was a willing companion to its neighbor. While the rival factions vied for dominance of our palate, it was the merger of tastes which ultimately won the dish. The sweet prune sauce tenderloins were in distinct contrast to the bitter garlic spinach, and the buttery potatoes played mediator between the two.

While not the highlight, the wine flowed easily and did not distract from the more memorable aspects of the meal. We chose a moderately priced Sauvignon Blanc from the limited but sufficient wine menu. The overeager wine pouring from our motherly server was slightly intrusive.

Al dente is pleasant for both the out of town guest, large gatherings and the casual diner. The warm atmosphere will be a welcome retreat from any cold New England evening--always enjoy with friends and olive oil dipped bread.

Google "palateers" for other entertaining reviews and food related rants

.

Made a reservation, which they apparently had no intention of honoring. Kept telling us we'd be seated in aother 5, 10 or 15 minutes, while we waited, and waited, and waited. Polite efforts to get a realistic estimate about setaing were rebuffed with surprising rudeness.

There are too many good Italian restaurants in the North End to waste time on this one.

0
★☆☆☆☆

Made a reservation, which they apparently had no intention of honoring. Kept telling us we'd be seated in aother 5, 10 or 15 minutes, while we waited, and waited, and waited. Polite efforts to get a realistic estimate about setaing were rebuffed with surprising rudeness.

There are too many good Italian restaurants in the North End to waste time on this one.

Cons: Reservations are apparently worthless

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I love Al Dente. Seriously. I recommend this place to everyone, including the hot-shot execs at my office (a bank). It's one of the gems of the North End, I've been going there since I was a freshman in college (have since graduated). I've tried many other places but I just keep coming back. The service is always great, the food is top-notch and generously portioned (I love the home-made raviolis--the best you will find anywhere, and believe me I have looked! Also try the pumpkin ravs if they have them on special, or the risotto, but anything you get will be fabulous. Love the alfredo!) I also love the atmosphere here--it's a small place, well decorated and with proper lighting. The only bummer is that the menu never changes...good thing it's all great food!!!

Good for: evening out with friends, romantic dinner date
Not good for: large parties (although 18 of my friends went together one time and it was fine, but we didn't all get to sit together because the place is just too small to accommodate that kind of size), small children

2
★★★★★

I love Al Dente. Seriously. I recommend this place to everyone, including the hot-shot execs at my office (a bank). It's one of the gems of the North End, I've been going there since I was a freshman in college (have since graduated). I've tried many other places but I just keep coming back. The service is always great, the food is top-notch and generously portioned (I love the home-made raviolis--the best you will find anywhere, and believe me I have looked! Also try the pumpkin ravs if they have them on special, or the risotto, but anything you get will be fabulous. Love the alfredo!) I also love the atmosphere here--it's a small place, well decorated and with proper lighting. The only bummer is that the menu never changes...good thing it's all great food!!!

Good for: evening out with friends, romantic dinner date
Not good for: large parties (although 18 of my friends went together one time and it was fine, but we didn't all get to sit together because the place is just too small to accommodate that kind of size), small children

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this is a small restaurant off the beaten path of Hanover street. It's cozy and you need reservations. THe food is excellent! Service is great because of it's small size.

4
★★★★☆

this is a small restaurant off the beaten path of Hanover street. It's cozy and you need reservations. THe food is excellent! Service is great because of it's small size.

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I ate there last night with my boyfriend. The staff were so nice and the portions were generous; so was the pouring of the wine! Lovely vodka sauce...not heavy like some. Bread was fresh. House wine was pretty good for a house wine and the wine list offered some great other options for less than $30 a bottle. It's not a fancy place, nor a big place: just good food in a friendly atmosphere. I am enjoying the leftovers today. My boyfriend ordered chicken marsala which was really good...on angel hair pasta. The sauce was lovely...again not too heavy like some can be. The pasta was cooked perfectly: al dente! The caesar salad was fantastic: they offered the anchovies, which I love, and they came generously spread across the top of the salad. Delicious. Easy for my boyfriend to avoid and great for me!
Try this place for a easy-going, not too fancy night out.

2
★★★★☆

I ate there last night with my boyfriend. The staff were so nice and the portions were generous; so was the pouring of the wine! Lovely vodka sauce...not heavy like some. Bread was fresh. House wine was pretty good for a house wine and the wine list offered some great other options for less than $30 a bottle. It's not a fancy place, nor a big place: just good food in a friendly atmosphere. I am enjoying the leftovers today. My boyfriend ordered chicken marsala which was really good...on angel hair pasta. The sauce was lovely...again not too heavy like some can be. The pasta was cooked perfectly: al dente! The caesar salad was fantastic: they offered the anchovies, which I love, and they came generously spread across the top of the salad. Delicious. Easy for my boyfriend to avoid and great for me!
Try this place for a easy-going, not too fancy night out.

.

I ate there last night with my boyfriend. The staff were so nice and the portions were generous; so was the pouring of the wine! Lovely vodka sauce...not heavy like some. Bread was fresh. House wine was pretty good for a house wine and the wine list offered some great other options for less than $30 a bottle. It's not a fancy place, nor a big place: just good food in a friendly atmosphere. I am enjoying the leftovers today. My boyfriend ordered chicken marsala which was really good...on angel hair pasta. The sauce was lovely...again not too heavy like some can be. The pasta was cooked perfectly: al dente! The caesar salad was fantastic: they offered the anchovies, which I love, and they came generously spread across the top of the salad. Delicious. Easy for my boyfriend to avoid and great for me!
Try this place for a easy-going, not too fancy night out.

5
★★★★★

I ate there last night with my boyfriend. The staff were so nice and the portions were generous; so was the pouring of the wine! Lovely vodka sauce...not heavy like some. Bread was fresh. House wine was pretty good for a house wine and the wine list offered some great other options for less than $30 a bottle. It's not a fancy place, nor a big place: just good food in a friendly atmosphere. I am enjoying the leftovers today. My boyfriend ordered chicken marsala which was really good...on angel hair pasta. The sauce was lovely...again not too heavy like some can be. The pasta was cooked perfectly: al dente! The caesar salad was fantastic: they offered the anchovies, which I love, and they came generously spread across the top of the salad. Delicious. Easy for my boyfriend to avoid and great for me!
Try this place for a easy-going, not too fancy night out.

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My husband and I have eaten here twice and enjoyed it both times. We will be going back and we recommend this italian eatery to everyone. We have been to other places such as Mother Anna's, familial G... I cannot spell it nor pronounce it, and another place that only takes cash or American Express. The first visit we both ordered the traditional chicken parmiagana. We enjoyed it and took the leftovers home.
The sauce is wonderful and flavorful. The pasta is ok.

2
★★★★★

My husband and I have eaten here twice and enjoyed it both times. We will be going back and we recommend this italian eatery to everyone. We have been to other places such as Mother Anna's, familial G... I cannot spell it nor pronounce it, and another place that only takes cash or American Express. The first visit we both ordered the traditional chicken parmiagana. We enjoyed it and took the leftovers home.
The sauce is wonderful and flavorful. The pasta is ok.

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This place is great. Try the Chicken Venensia...the gorgonzola cream sauce is out of this world. This place is on Salem, so it does not fight the same crowds that some of its Hanover counterparts do. Plus this place, unlike most north end restaurants, is open all day for lunch. The servers are all extremely friendly. Try this place; its a nice north end alternative

2
★★★★☆

This place is great. Try the Chicken Venensia...the gorgonzola cream sauce is out of this world. This place is on Salem, so it does not fight the same crowds that some of its Hanover counterparts do. Plus this place, unlike most north end restaurants, is open all day for lunch. The servers are all extremely friendly. Try this place; its a nice north end alternative

Pros: Delicious food, accomodating menu, no wait

Cons: Plain ambiance, no dessert

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The food was OK. The calamari was chewy as well as the squid rings in the seafood dish. The eggplant appetizer was absolutely amazing on the up side! The worst part of the night had to do with what happened before we were even seated. The hostess told us to go to the Pushcart Pizza place a few doors down to wait. They would call us when the table was ready. Well, they did call about 10 minutes after our reserved time, which is not bad for a Saturday in the North End. What she neglected to tell us was that we HAD to order drinks there. We sat down and got some waters, figuring that it was 5 minutes til our reserved table should be ready. We were basically told that if we did not buy drinks we would be asked to leave. Even when we ordered drinks, we continued to be eyed by who I presumed to be the owner because the waitress told us that she was just relaying a message from the owner. Apparently they have no affiliation with Al Dente yet that is what we were led to believe. I don't think I'll return to Al Dente or Pushcart Pizza.

1
★★☆☆☆

The food was OK. The calamari was chewy as well as the squid rings in the seafood dish. The eggplant appetizer was absolutely amazing on the up side! The worst part of the night had to do with what happened before we were even seated. The hostess told us to go to the Pushcart Pizza place a few doors down to wait. They would call us when the table was ready. Well, they did call about 10 minutes after our reserved time, which is not bad for a Saturday in the North End. What she neglected to tell us was that we HAD to order drinks there. We sat down and got some waters, figuring that it was 5 minutes til our reserved table should be ready. We were basically told that if we did not buy drinks we would be asked to leave. Even when we ordered drinks, we continued to be eyed by who I presumed to be the owner because the waitress told us that she was just relaying a message from the owner. Apparently they have no affiliation with Al Dente yet that is what we were led to believe. I don't think I'll return to Al Dente or Pushcart Pizza.

Pros: Fantastic eggplant appetizer

Cons: No place to wait other than outside, Very cramped

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I know it's not hard to screw up bruschetta, but Al Dente definitely has the best I've ever had anywhere. Their minestrone soup is also filled with veggies and a tasty broth. The pasta is great; the vodka sauce is excellect. The waitstaff are always so nice. I've been there lots of times and never had a bad experience! It's a great place to take a date.

2
★★★★★

I know it's not hard to screw up bruschetta, but Al Dente definitely has the best I've ever had anywhere. Their minestrone soup is also filled with veggies and a tasty broth. The pasta is great; the vodka sauce is excellect. The waitstaff are always so nice. I've been there lots of times and never had a bad experience! It's a great place to take a date.

Pros: great ambience, great bruschetta

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I've been here once, and with all of the other Italian options in the North End, I will not be back. The only reason I would go back would be to order the eggplant rollatini appetizer, which was actually quite amazing. But besides that, the other appetizers and entrees my party ordered were less than inspiring, and can only be described as average Italian fare. The Al dente gnocchi, supposedly a house specialty, was bland and could taste better if made from frozen gnocchi and a jar of sauce from Shaw's. Even the chicken buona bocca, which sounds packed full of flavor, was anything but tasty. With other affordable options nearby such as La Familia Giorgiono, Pomodoro, or others, I see little reason to return here.

1
★★★☆☆

I've been here once, and with all of the other Italian options in the North End, I will not be back. The only reason I would go back would be to order the eggplant rollatini appetizer, which was actually quite amazing. But besides that, the other appetizers and entrees my party ordered were less than inspiring, and can only be described as average Italian fare. The Al dente gnocchi, supposedly a house specialty, was bland and could taste better if made from frozen gnocchi and a jar of sauce from Shaw's. Even the chicken buona bocca, which sounds packed full of flavor, was anything but tasty. With other affordable options nearby such as La Familia Giorgiono, Pomodoro, or others, I see little reason to return here.

Pros: Eggplant rollatini appetizer, friendly wait staff

Cons: Terribly average Italian food.

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Great little restaurant. What you expect for a typical north end restarant - small, and cozy (or crowded and noisey). No dessert is served so plan on hitting one of the numerous coffee places for your afterdinner coffee. There food is great and inexpensive, but expect long lines on weekends as its popularity seems to be increasing!

1
★★★☆☆

Great little restaurant. What you expect for a typical north end restarant - small, and cozy (or crowded and noisey). No dessert is served so plan on hitting one of the numerous coffee places for your afterdinner coffee. There food is great and inexpensive, but expect long lines on weekends as its popularity seems to be increasing!

Pros: food

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Al Dente restaurant is one of the most popular restaurant's in Boston's Italian neighborhood- the North End. Here they serve up a menu full of old favorites- like various pasta dishes, chicken parmesean, meat, fish, and vegetables prepared with traditional Italian recipes. The menu is modestly priced, with most dishes ringing in under $20. They also have pretty good marinara sauce.

Al Dente takes reservations, but do not expect to be seated at the time you are given. They don't have a bar to wait at and they often have a line of people on the street. This made it not my favorite North End dining experience. Inside the dining area seems cramped and a bit noisy- but the homey feel is nice for a casual dining experience.

PROS: Good Food
CONS: Long Wait

3
★★★☆☆

Al Dente restaurant is one of the most popular restaurant's in Boston's Italian neighborhood- the North End. Here they serve up a menu full of old favorites- like various pasta dishes, chicken parmesean, meat, fish, and vegetables prepared with traditional Italian recipes. The menu is modestly priced, with most dishes ringing in under $20. They also have pretty good marinara sauce.

Al Dente takes reservations, but do not expect to be seated at the time you are given. They don't have a bar to wait at and they often have a line of people on the street. This made it not my favorite North End dining experience. Inside the dining area seems cramped and a bit noisy- but the homey feel is nice for a casual dining experience.

PROS: Good Food
CONS: Long Wait

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What a find! My family and I love this little italian restaurant. The service is fantastic -especially if you have Renee as your waitress. The food is delicious - try the veal...to die for! When you are looking for fantastic italian comfort food that is priced just right - head over to Al Dente. You won't be disappointed!

2
★★★★★

What a find! My family and I love this little italian restaurant. The service is fantastic -especially if you have Renee as your waitress. The food is delicious - try the veal...to die for! When you are looking for fantastic italian comfort food that is priced just right - head over to Al Dente. You won't be disappointed!

Pros: food, service, inexpensive

Cons: small restaurant

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From the great tin ceiling to the cozy dining, this restaurant is wonderful. The food is excellent. From classic italian to dishes with a subtle italian influence, everything is top notch. The fettucine is as the wait staff described, "love in a bowl".

1
★★★☆☆

From the great tin ceiling to the cozy dining, this restaurant is wonderful. The food is excellent. From classic italian to dishes with a subtle italian influence, everything is top notch. The fettucine is as the wait staff described, "love in a bowl".

Pros: food, atmosphere

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After having dinner at over eight of the North End's restaurants, Al dente is on my top three list! My girlfriend and I have always found their food to be excelent, especially for their resonable costs!

2
★★★★☆

After having dinner at over eight of the North End's restaurants, Al dente is on my top three list! My girlfriend and I have always found their food to be excelent, especially for their resonable costs!

Pros: Pasta w/ Bacon!

Cons: Cramped

 

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