100 Best Restaurants 2008: Willow
No. 54: Willow
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Dave McIntyre
Comments () | Published January 1, 2008
Happy Hour 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Address: 4301 North Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: 703-465-8800
Neighborhood: Arlington, Arlington, Ballston
Cuisines: Modern, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 to 2:30. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 to 10, Friday and Saturday 5:30 to 10:30.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Ballston-MU
Price Range: Expensive
Noise Level: Intimate
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Fried veal sweetbreads; lobster agnolotti; lemony fried chicken; flatbread pizzas, including the signature Willow, with fontina, thyme, lemon, and truffle essence; a perfect-for-sharing fisherman’s platter with fried shrimp, scallops, lobster, calamari, p
Price Details: Lunch appetizers, $6 to $13; entrees, $8 to $16. Dinner appetizers, $7 to $14; entrees, $18 to $32.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Cuisine: Contemporary American cooking with classical French and Italian detours and a less-is-more philosophy that lets the quality of ingredients shine through.

Mood: Shades of burgundy, plum, and gold and textiles in the Vienna Workshop style impart the feel of a 1920s European supper club. Tables in the spacious main dining room are well spaced; the snug bar usually hosts a lively neighorhood crowd.

Best for: Couples and parents on “date” night in the dining room, a quick pre- or postmovie repast in the bar.

Best dishes: A napoleon of golden beets with Vermont Bijou cheese, candied walnuts, and arugula; an offbeat fritto misto platter with prosciutto fritters, fried chorizo-stuffed olives, and bleu-cheese-filled dates; flatbreads, especially the Willow with wild mushrooms, lemon, thyme, fontina, and white-truffle oil; mini-rack of pork with flavorful ham-hock jus, served with creamed salsify; pepper-crusted rib eye with potato-and-smoked-Gouda tart; cookie-and-ice-cream plate; apple-Florentine torte.

Insider tips: Ask for a table in the main dining room—the back room is Siberia. There’s live jazz Thursdays from 6:30 to 9:30. Park in the building lot—Willow validates the ticket for free.


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