100 Best Restaurants 2008: Liberty Tavern

No. 62: Liberty Tavern

Cuisine: Upscale comfort food enlivened by smart, distinguishing details—a good bread basket, a crock of butter topped with fleur de sel, house-made tartar sauce and malt vinegar for the fish and chips, and appetizers and entrées dressed up with local produce.

Mood: The bar scene downstairs at this restored Masonic lodge can get raucous, but up the cherry-wood staircase is a handsome dining room where a cross-section of Clarendon enjoys a neighborhood restaurant that consistently exceeds expectations.

Best for: Its versatility. You can come for a drink, a nibble, and conversation at the bar, a light and simple meal of salad and pizza, or a three-course repast.

Best dishes: Watercress salad with fresh figs, bleu cheese, and bacon; gnocchi so tiny and light they resemble spaetzle, with a succotash of fava beans, corn, pear tomatoes, and shiitakes; a well-cooked Arctic char with salsa verde and heirloom tomatoes; juicy Amish roast chicken and mashed potatoes.

Insider tips: You can skip the desserts, but don’t miss the coffee service—a French-press pot of coffee from nearby Murky Coffee, complete with a timer that tells you when your brew is ready.

Service: ••

Don’t Miss Another New Restaurant—Get Our Food Newsletter

The latest in Washington’s food and drink scene.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!