100 Very Best Restaurants 2013: Liberty Tavern
The Sunday brunch spread at Liberty Tavern in Arlington, Virginia. Photograph by Chris Campbell.
Comments () | Published February 19, 2013
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: 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

Some restaurants are all about grand statements. Others, like this sophisticated Clarendon bistro, communicate in striking details.

The bread basket not only resurrects a forgotten piece of Americana—anadama bread, a wondrous union of cornmeal and molasses—but comes with butter bearing perfectly deposited flakes of fleur de sel.Ethiopian coffee is served French-press-style—with a timer to let you know when it’s properly steeped.

The menu is informed by the dual identities of chef Liam LaCivita’s education as an Italian in New England—wood-fired pizzas, garlic bread with provolone, lots of seafood. His smart embellishments vault his dishes above mere comfort food: Mussels are ramped up with smoked-tomato broth and fennel pollen, onion rings are fried in duck fat, and branzino is made sumptuous with cauliflower purée and creamed oranges. Don’t miss: Pasta fagioli soup; smoked salmon with potato fritters; crispy shrimp and Ipswich clams; Vermont pizza (cheddar, prosciutto, caramelized onions, and apples); tagliatelle with beef-veal-and-pork ragu; roast chicken with mashed-potato gratin; potato champ (Irish mashed potatoes) with bacon; Coca-Cola cake. Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner. Moderate.

100 Very Best Restaurants 2013
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