100 Best Restaurants 2009: Liberty Tavern
No. 58: Liberty Tavern
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Cynthia Hacinli, Rina Rapuano, Eve Zibart
Comments () | Published February 1, 2009
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 Best Breakfasts 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2010)

Liberty Tavern
Address: 3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201
Phone: 703-465-9360
Neighborhood: Arlington, Arlington, Clarendon/Courthouse
Cuisines: Modern, Pizza, American
Opening Hours: Open for lunch Monday through Saturday 11:30 to 2:30, Sunday brunch 10 to 2. Open for dinner Monday through Thursday 5 to 10, Friday and Saturday 5 to 11, Sunday 5 to 9.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
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
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly

Cuisine: Chef Liam LaCivita’s never-straining sensibility, informed by his Italian heritage and stints in kitchens in New England, drives this likable gastrotavern.

Mood: The downstairs bar is a nightly party. Upstairs, the atmosphere does a 180—the mood in the handsome dining room is low-key and sophisticated, geared to couples and families and right for conversation.

Best for: A rollicking night out; a laid-back dinner with a pal; a family confab.

Best dishes: House-smoked trout with johnnycakes; crisped pork belly au poivre with LaCivita’s offbeat take on “split pea” soup; succulent Amish half-chicken with caramelized-onion gravy; fried smelts with escarole; house-made maccheroni with short-rib gravy; wood-fired pizzas, particularly the Vermont and a version with smoked linguiça; modern-retro beef stroganoff at lunch; meatball sliders on the bar menu.

Insider tips: You can order pizzas, meatball sliders, and other plates to take home from Liberty to Go, a separate operation in the back of the restaurant.

Service: ••

Open Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner; bar menu available daily. Moderate.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurant

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 02/01/2009 RSS | Print | Permalink | Washingtonian.com Restaurant Reviews