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“Much more noise than flavor”
Review of Al Crostino

Al Crostino
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Ranked #832 of 3,724 Restaurants in Washington DC
Price range: US$ 16 - US$ 32
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighbourhood: 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, fresh fish, desserts, and their assortment of exquisite Italian wines.
Reviewed 27 January 2018

Seated in the largest dining area at the back of the second floor for our first (and last) visit to Al Crostino, we managed to endure the assault of an outrageous din that halted conversation as the room filled, only to be rewarded by utterly bland food. Everything was served fresh and promptly and the presentations were good, but we clearly will not return.
The octopus with arugula salad was perhaps the most flavorful dish at our table. It was good, but not wonderful. Thereafter, everything was bland and uninspired: the touted beef meatballs, the rigatoni with pork sausage and "wild" mushrooms as well as the maltagliati with "wild" mushrooms and ricotta and the pan-fried chicken Parmigiano with San Marzano tomato sauce. I wish I could say that the offerings were at least subtle, but they didn't even reach that level. The salmon in parchment paper was good itself, but the surrounding vegetables added nothing. The chocolate biscuits were small but quite good, while the orange sorbet lacked intensity. Curiously, neither after-dinner drinks nor espresso were even suggested.
I have no reason to believe that somehow our visit came on an off night, which can happen to any restaurant. The food was probably as good as the restaurant can produce. I cannot believe how some 86% of the Tripadvisor reviewers rate Al Crostino as excellent or very good. Al Crostino would deserve no more than one star if I considered only the noise level. Disregarding the impossible noise, three stars is more than generous for the attentive staff and the general appearance of the place. Readers should not construe three stars as a recommendation.

Date of visit: January 2018
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Thank longtimefoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (53)
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7 - 11 of 53 reviews

Reviewed 10 October 2017 via mobile

This was a casual dinner with our out of town friends. I have to say I haven't had this good pasta since we have returned from Amalfi Coast in Italy last year.

Well done!!!

All four of us enjoyed our dishes. I had the beef and veal ravioli, and my hubby had the gnocchi entree. It was amazing!

The tiramisu dessert was tasty as well. I was only disappointed from the cappuccino we ordered. We are coffee connoisseurs, and the cappuccino had a foam on top instead of the required crema.
Unfortunately this is how it is served in many places in the USA, and many people don't know the difference.

OVERALL:

The food was great, and we will be back.

Date of visit: October 2017
Thank Mimakoky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2017

Super nicely decorated restaurant. We had the window table. Service was great. Food was delicious. Pricey: $150 with tip for three people with one glass of wine, one beer, one bottled water, no dessert or appetizer.

Date of visit: October 2017
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Thank OceanAndy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2017

My party of 5 had an amazing evening celebrating 2 birthdays at Al Crostino. We have been frequenting this restaurant for many years and consider it to be the best Italian restaurant in DC. Owned by a mother-daughter team, they consistently deliver fresh, authentic dishes such as homemade pastas, meat and fish specialties and homemade desserts. On Tuesdays, all pastas are $14; on Wednesdays they have 30% off all wines; and they also have a great Sunday brunch with bottomless mimosas or Bloody Mary's. For appetizers we had caprese, oven-roasted octopus and meatballs. For dinner we had an assortment of pastas and pollo alla milanese. All great! And for dessert we had a special dark chocolate salami roll -- unique and flavorful. They also have a great wine list. Worth a visit! -- in the popular Shaw section of town.

Date of visit: September 2017
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Thank jtmurrayrealtor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2017

This place has great food and excellent pasta and competent service. I recently had parpadelle with lam ragu which was excellent.

Date of visit: July 2017
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Thank chrisV9772TA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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