Great Takeout: Liberty Tavern

Unlike many to-go operations in bustling Clarendon, the tiny takeout behind the Liberty Tavern has a couple of parking spaces dedicated to carryout customers. But the draw is the inventive fare from chef Liam LaCivita’s kitchen. Salads are a high point—apple-and-frisée with spicy pecans, Great Hill bleu cheese, smoked bacon, and buttermilk dressing or duck confit with fennel and cress and lemon-pomegranate marmalade (both $9). Starters such as crisp pork belly au poivre ($10) and roasted mussels in smoked-tomato broth ($8 for one serving, $14 for two) could double as entrées.

Ample portions make many of the main courses sharable: house-made maccheroni with short-rib gravy ($9 small, $18 large); half an Amish chicken with carmelized-onion gravy, mashed potatoes, and rapini ($20); pork shank with cheddar grits and horseradish jus ($21). Add a side such as sautéed greens of the day or roasted-squash purée ($4 each) and you’re set. Or you can go the pizza route. The Vermont ($14) is a work of art with Cabot white cheddar, prosciutto, Granny Smith apples, sage, and caramelized onions.

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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.