Nestled on Goodge Street in the heart of Fitzrovia is Al Dente; a traditional Italian restaurant who call themselves ‘The House of Fresh Pasta’. If you’re longing for an Italian getaway, but those purse strings are pulling tight, this is the perfect Central London dinner trip. As a self confessed pasta fiend, I took a visit to Al Dente to give my honest review.
Al Dente Italian restaurant review
The atmosphere at Al Dente is sleek, modern, but unpretentious, with minimalist black and white interiors and jazz playing in the background. While on the cosy side, the floor-to-ceiling windows give the room lots of natural light, and with the longer days in spring, this means you can catch a nice bit of evening sun.
To really get in the pretending-you’re-on-holiday-in-Italy spirit, we recommend ordering an Aperol Spritz (or two) to go with the warm olive focaccia and olive oil for dipping. If you’re feeling hungry, order a couple of starters to share; the sizeable portions make them good value for money. Start with an assortment of six hot, crispy, melt-in-the-mouth arancini, which come in three flavours: cacio e pepe, amatriciana, and beef ragu, followed by some creamy, cool and decadent burrata that sits on a peppery bed of rocket and parma ham.
Then comes the mains. Like the starters, the varied selection of pasta mains were not lacking in size. The special of the day – Paccheri alla Boscaiola – was full of flavour, packed with truffle, creamy cheese, soft mushrooms and hearty sausage, while the Spaghettoni all’Amatriciana was well balanced, with smoky guanciale, sweet tomato sauce and a kick of pepper.
The dishes were beautifully presented on black crockery that gave them an elegant feel. Like its namesake, the ribbony pasta itself was cooked to a nice al dente firmness, and was fresh, soft and generously coated in delicious sauce. If you have room, the tiramisu is the creamiest I’ve tasted, and assembled in house every morning. I definitely recommend.
In summary, I give Al Dente a great review: five minutes walk from Goodge Street station and close to the hustle and bustle of Soho, Al Dente is a perfect spot for some authentic Italian dining that won’t break the bank.