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“Delicious!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Al Dente

Al Dente
Ranked #65 of 929 Restaurants in San Juan
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Child-friendly, Kids, Romantic, Groups, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Level Contributor
531 reviews
187 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 375 helpful votes
“Delicious!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2012

We walked into this restaurant for dinner tonight and it was empty at ~18:30, so I was a little skeptical at first. But the decore and atmosphere was great and the service was fantastic... Even after it began to get busy and fill up, service was still incredibly attentive, friendly and outgoing.
Food was fantastic! The soup de jour (pumpkin ginger) was verty tasty, as was the calamari. The various pasta dishes my group tried (veal-stuffed tortellini, fettuccini alfredo, carbonara, and others were all delicious! I would highly recommend this place.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Keith-B-Robinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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584 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
119 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Excellent service and food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2012

First of all, the service is excellent! Anyone who come would feel well taken care of. I travel solo and most of the time, I'm the least taken care of--economically speaking, I'm less of a revenue than groups. So I'm very happy about the service here.

Second, the food is excellent. I had calamari and chicken pesto pasta. I'm not a pasta person but I ate the whole thing. The calamari is my favorite, it's lightly battered so you get squid vs. other things.

Overall, I'll go back when I'm in old san juan.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Echo924
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
38 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Best Churasco/Skirt Steak and Chimichurri in San Juan (I don't care if it's Italian)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 December 2012

What can I say, I love steak and I'm crazy enough to order it, at lunch, even at a highly recommended Italian restaurant called Al Dente in San Juan. Go for lunch as it's $12-$14 an entre' compared to $20+ for dinner. Whatever you do, order a skirt steak, doesn't matter how hungry you are, just do it.

Let me back up, for starters, the bread with vinegar & oil was excellent. Rivaled any U.S. version we've had. As mentioned, I had the Skirt Steak with Chimichurri sauce while my girlfriend ordered the Pesto and Sun Dried Tomato Linguini.

For all you land locked pasta lovers out there, rest assured that the Linguini didn't disappoint. It looked amazing, it smelt amazing, it WAS amazing. But the Skirt Steak!!! Wow. To back up this claim, this was my 3rd Skirt Steak in only 2 days, with the other 2 coming from the acclaimed Barrachina and Mojitos. What kind of man eats skirt steak for dinner lunch and then dinner over 2 days you ask? A Texan man of course. Perhaps the Puerto Ricans should take notes on the Italian way of doing things. This piece of meat was so juicy and flavorful that I could barely contain myself. And the Chimichurri sauce is definitely the best I have had anywhere, period. Chimichurri consists of parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano and vinegar which on second thought seems very Italian indeed. Hopefully it's starting to make sense why this was so stinking good. What the Argentines created, the Puerto Ricans made famous, Al Dente has perfected. I love sauce and I love THIS sauce, and it was perfect with their perfectly cooked Churasco. Even the mofongo on the side was excellent. Checkout the pictures if you don't believe it and then be prepared to wipe your chin.

The ONLY bad thing to say about Al Dente at all is unrelated to food or even service! In their attempt to set a relaxed appetizing mood for diners, they inadvertently played the same song on infinite repeat. Yes, a single solitary song over and over and over again. It was basically a Kenny G saxophone type version of Silent Night playing on January 3rd. A Dystopia fiction Hunger Games-esque author could have made stopping this music worth killing for, or at the least this could have been the soundtrack to Dante's Inferno. Well meaning or not, by the 10th time I heard it, all I could think about was punching Kenny G square in the face if I ever met him. I'm sure I'm the only music snob in there that even cared to notice, as everyone else seemed oblivious. Perhaps they were too busy carb loading on pasta? When they should have been protein loading on the best Skirt Steak in all of San Juan? The world may never know. Regardless, it made the meal that much more memorable and provided some humor along the way (which is always a good thing). Siskel and Ebert would give this place 2 Chimichurri soaked thumbs up.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Len_in_Texas80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Great Neck, NY
Level Contributor
51 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Just ok”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2012

I loved sitting outside...pretty setting. But the portions were small. The food was fair at best. The service was not very good at all. They never asked if we wanted drinks. They never even mentioned dessert.... We had to ask for water a few times. I would not recommend this place.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank DonsPromo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“I enjoyed my meal and would try it again”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 December 2012

Al Dente is a nice location in Old San Juan. I happened to find it during a twice per year annual festival celebrating the culinary choices of Old San Juan. Forteleza Street (restaurant row) was closed to traffic and restauranteurs took to the streets with music and crowds. So my time at Al Dente was not typical and I ate at outside tables. The meal, (a chicken dish with olives, capers and artichokes) was very good. The choice of wine was good also. As I walked through the restaurant I noticed a wall with wine choices and an ambiance that is upscale and servers that appeared to be very attentive. Sitting outside I had a good view of the action on the streets of San Juan on this bustling festive night. Overall I would try this restaurant again so that I can give it a more discerning review. But I enjoyed the food, the wine and the street scenery. The price was also reasonable for what I might have expected.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank cyberi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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