100 Best Restaurants 2008: Liberty Tavern
No. 62: Liberty Tavern
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
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Liberty Tavern
Address: 3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: 703-465-9360
Neighborhood: Arlington, Arlington, Clarendon/Courthouse
Cuisines: Modern, Pizza, American
Opening Hours: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Clarendon
Price Range: Moderate
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Arctic char, smoked in-house and folded over johnnycakes; apple-and-endive salad; fiery fra diavolo macaroni with fresh lobster; autumnal gnocchi with celery root and blue cheese; Vermont pizza with white cheddar and apples; skirt steak; schnitzel-style s

Cuisine: Upscale comfort food enlivened by smart, distinguishing details—a good bread basket, a crock of butter topped with fleur de sel, house-made tartar sauce and malt vinegar for the fish and chips, and appetizers and entrées dressed up with local produce.

Mood: The bar scene downstairs at this restored Masonic lodge can get raucous, but up the cherry-wood staircase is a handsome dining room where a cross-section of Clarendon enjoys a neighborhood restaurant that consistently exceeds expectations.

Best for: Its versatility. You can come for a drink, a nibble, and conversation at the bar, a light and simple meal of salad and pizza, or a three-course repast.

Best dishes: Watercress salad with fresh figs, bleu cheese, and bacon; gnocchi so tiny and light they resemble spaetzle, with a succotash of fava beans, corn, pear tomatoes, and shiitakes; a well-cooked Arctic char with salsa verde and heirloom tomatoes; juicy Amish roast chicken and mashed potatoes.

Insider tips: You can skip the desserts, but don’t miss the coffee service—a French-press pot of coffee from nearby Murky Coffee, complete with a timer that tells you when your brew is ready.

Service: ••

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