First Look: Eventide

In Arlington, tasteful meets tasty.

By: Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano

Photograph by Stacy Zarin-Goldberg

Black chandeliers and a baroque-patterned carpet dress up Eventide.

A month after it opened, Eventide posted this on its Web site: “We strictly adhere to the occupancy limit set forth by Arlington County, so that frankly, we aren’t another spot in Clarendon that packs people into the bar like sheep!”

The crowds are flocking to the three-level restaurant for atmosphere that pairs rustic terra-cotta walls with black-crystal-studded chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling velvet drapes, and a baroque-patterned carpet. It’s romantic and hip without being trendy.

The trimmings might lead you to think the food will be as expensive as the vaulted ceilings are high. But in a neighborhood of twenty- and thirtysomethings, many of whom count dollars as diligently as they count calories, value matters—and chef Miles Vaden has constructed his menu accordingly.

A delicate veal-sweetbread appetizer and a rich chestnut soup, highlights of a recent meal, are both $9. A smoky twist on bouillabaisse—built around pan-seared cobia—is $22, while a tangy citrus panna cotta adds only $6 to the tab.

Not everything sings. A bone-in pork chop was lackluster, and the lobster in a bowl of tagliatelle was over-poached. The place needs a little more time to settle in.

But in a neighborhood awash in noisy, cramped bars, often with tired food, Eventide is an alluring newcomer.

Eventide, 3165 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-276-3165. Open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, Sunday for brunch. Starters $8 to $13, entrées $20 to $29.

This appeared in the May, 2009 issue of the Washingtonian.  

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder