To experience a true taste of Italian cuisine in Edinburgh, take a trip down Easter Road where you’ll find Al Dente, a traditional trattoria serving up rustic Italian dishes. Tucked away over in Leith, this popular restaurant is well worth the trip, attracting diners from all over the city and maintaining its status as a favourite among local aficionados of Italian cuisine. In order to guarantee a table at Al Dente, booking ahead is advised.
Decorated in a simple, traditional style, Al Dente’s no-frills approach to things really lets the food speak for itself. Hailing from Lake Garda, Al Dente’s chef has a passion for bringing regional specialities from his homeland to the people of Edinburgh, serving up authentic, home-style cuisine – you won’t find any pre-cooked pasta on the menu at this Leith restaurant. Begin with some seafood like the fresh Scottish mussels seasoned with pepper or chilli or the deep-fried calamari on a bed of rocket with lemon and tartar sauce before moving on to a traditional Italian main.
You’ll find dishes like pollo ripieno prosciutto e asparagi (chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella, parma ham and asparagus served with roasted potatoes and vegetables) as well as Al Dente’s infamous pastas on the restaurant’s lengthy menu. Try one of the chef’s specialities like the paccheri al branzino (fresh pasta tube filled with a sea bass puree served with mussels and king prawns in a light seafood sauce) or keep it classic with the spaghetti alla carbonara. For a genuine Italian experience in Edinburgh, book a table at Al Dente over on Leith’s Easter Road.
We were early for our reservation but the chef welcomed us warmly. He chatted with us, served wine and cooked dinner. Extremely nice guy and his food was wonderful. We were the only guests for a while so the chef had time to talk and explain the menu and his food philosophy. Cannot recommend Al Dente enough. Will certainly be going back!
Al dente is small but appealing. The menu is a pleasant diversion from the standard Italian menu, the food was beautifully cooked and the staff were very helpful, with a personal chat with the owner thrown in. We will be going back.
Another lovely meal in Al Dente. Food fresh and delicious. Lovely wine, all very reasonably priced. As always, warmly welcomed too. You couldn’t ask for more!
Very good food, and pleasant staff. We could hear speaking Italian in the kitchen, which made us feel like we were in Italy, it was lovely. Chef came to ask us if our food was okay as well! Will defo go back :)
What a discovery!!! This little gem is situated on Easter Road, not exactly in the centre, but it is well worth the travel. They offer authentic Italian dishes (mostly starters and pastas) made with passion and love. The quality is extremely high and every dish tasted wonderful. I am Italian and I have tried several Italian restaurants in town, and in my opinion, Al Dente offers the best pastas in Edinburgh. The service is also very good. The owner is the host of the restaurant and he clearly cares about it, as he goes around tables talking to customers and asking their opinions on the dishes. I highly recommend this place. Will go back for sure.
Fantastic way to celebrate our wedding anniversary. The food was excellent. Even though we had 3 courses, we left with smiles on our faces, feeling pleasantly full, but not overfull. We were made to feel special. Just the right time left between courses. We had an expensive bottle of wine, but it was well worth it. Al Dente is a little gem in Easter Road, and far exceeded our expectations. Although we were only visiting Edinburgh, we would love to return next year when we're in Edinburgh again.
We had a wonderful meal at Al Dente last night. Excellent attention to detail and catered for my gluten intolerant guest by offering a personalised range of choices. Very attentive service and welcoming atmosphere made for a very enjoyable dining experience. Will definitely return soon and recommend to everyone.
We were given a warm welcome to this cosy little restaurant. The specials were all explained and some fresh fish dishes added also. The menu was so tempting with a good variety . Nothing was a trouble, a real desire to give you a great meal. We were given a little plate of amaretto biscuits with our coffe and also a chilled limoncello . No rushing. Most attentive and friendly. A family business which is well worth a visit. I am sure we will return.
Al Dente was recommended to us by an Italian friend, so our hopes were high. It didn't disappoint. It's a small, homely environment with good friendlly service. Great (and reasonably priced) wine. Generous portions and fresh great-tasting food. Will definitely visit again.
We were a little hesitant because it does not look like much on the outside, but the food is absolutely delicious. We ordered the veal ravioli (special at the time), ricotta and spinach cannelloni, and gnocchi in a pesto sauce (originally a tomato/mozzarella, but they accommodated my request for pesto instead). All were amazing and came out hot! The staff were also very friendly and did not rush us. Best Italian food we had in Scotland. Great eats for a reasonably priced menu!!