100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Liberty Tavern
Lasagna Bolognese at Liberty Tavern. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published January 28, 2014
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

The greatest rewards in dining out are generally to be found at the extremes—the gastronomic temples on the one end and the ethnic mom-and-pops with their never-changing, value-laden menus on the other. This always-swarmed Clarendon spot makes a compelling case for in-between, delivering some of the refinement of the former while remaining approachable and free of pretense. Liam LaCivita’s menu borrows from a variety of traditions (Italian-American, Amish) and regions (the American South, New England), all united by his desire to deliver comfort on the plate and give diners plenty of options for every occasion. You can come for a good wood-fired pizza or a hearty bowl of pasta—LaCivita is supremely at home in the Italian-American vein—or you can drift into finer dining; he’s a whiz with terrines and pâtés, and his more composed plates, such as seared scallops with johnnycakes, blend rusticity and sophistication.

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Garlic bread; fritto misto; country-ham-and-foie-gras terrine; Classico (with tomato, mozzarella, and basil) and Vermont (with cheddar and prosciutto) pizzas; spaghetti alla chitarra amatriciana; gnocchi with house-made ricotta; pan-roasted dorade; lasagna Bolognese; triple-chocolate tart; apple dumplings.

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