100 Best Restaurants 2010: Liberty Tavern
No. 75: Liberty Tavern
Reviewed By Todd Kliman, Cynthia Hacinli, Ann Limpert, Kate Nerenberg, Rina Rapuano
Comments () | Published January 1, 2010
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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: 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: Robust American comfort cooking with Italian accents. Much is made in-house, from the sweet rolls in the bread basket to the egg noodles on the pasta menu to the marshmallow atop an upscale take on s’mores. Note to the waist-conscious: Nearly every dish celebrates duck fat, bacon, butter, or cheese, and portions are hearty.

Mood: The walk-in-friendly Clarendon restaurant has a split personality. The loud downstairs bar swarms with young people noshing on grilled cheeses and drinking up a storm. The second-floor dining room, with its cozy striped banquettes and open kitchen, feels more civilized.

Best for: A casual date or pizza with friends downstairs, a quieter meal upstairs.

Best dishes: Arctic char, smoked in-house and folded over johnnycakes; apple-and-endive salad, heavy on the blue cheese and bacon; fiery fra diavolo macaroni with fresh lobster; autumnal gnocchi with celery root and blue cheese; Vermont pizza with white cheddar and apples; skirt steak covered in tangy steak sauce; schnitzel-style skate, its richness cut with lingonberry sauce; homey roasted half chicken with lemon marmalade; light but decadent Black Forest cake; s’mores pot de crème; Masonic cocktail, a citrusy take on a mint julep.

Insider tips: Liberty is among the better takeout options in the area, particularly for a fine-dining establishment—a dedicated window in the back of the restaurant makes it convenient.

Service: ••½

Open Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate to expensive.

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