anyone been to La Buona Vita, Arlington?
Heading into Arlington Center tonight to do an errand right next door to this place. High recommendations from the business owner beside it. Says it does great business, is family run and most importantly, has great food. Just wondering what you have to say. If we don't go there, other choices are Sweet Pepper, Punjab, or Tryst which is offering a $5 burger on Tues and Thurs nights in Jan/Feb.
re: hazel ambrose
Tryst has had some mixed reviews here, but I have enjoyed my two visits there. The one thing I would say is that while the bar is welcoming, the dining room layout is just weird.
La Buona Vita is not my favorite, so I haven't been in a long while. It certainly gets a decent amount of traffic and there is nothing wrong with it, I just preferred Bistro5 for something fancier and Guiseppe (which has since changed owners/dishes) for red-sauce type dishes. Tango is also next door, so I tend to go there first.
I actually really like Buona Vita. My husband is dedicated to the gnocchi, I've liked everything I've tried there, especially the eggplant/chx parm. I find their service to be very friendly, their prices reasonable, the house wine a good deal, and it's family owned (which makes it a top neighborhood resto for me). I totally recommend it.
Tryst is yummy, but kinda pricey, and though I love the atmosphere in the bar, I am not a fan of their dining room. I dunno... too cavernous or something. You won't get a bad meal there though, so if you want something more upscale, I certainly wouldn''t recommend against it.
If you want something unusual, try Kathmandu Spice -- it's nepalese food. Kinda meat-heavy, and quite unlike other stuff around there.
We tried Buona Vita once and it was OK but nothing we felt compelled to return to. I've liked Tryst, and have heard good things about the $5 burger. Also think Kathmandu Spice is very interesting, and I didn't order any meat there. It is spicy though, so you have to be ready for that.
Instead of Sweet Chilli, I think Thai Moon --also in the Center--does much better Thai.
Buona Vita was decent as far as food, service, and reasonable price when I ate there on 2 occasions, but their policy regarding reservations was vague and inconsistent (I was told over the phone that they didn't take them, when I arrived people were being seated with reservations). It's on a par with Ristorante D'Olivio, which is pricy, but decent. We had a very nice experience at Scutra, but I've seen mixed reviews on the Chowhound board.
The new Punjab, a couple of doors out Mass Ave on the same block as the old one, is very good. We ate there on Thursday and the Punjab rack of lamb was outstanding!!! The new place is much bigger than the old one, but nicely broken up with curtains and walls so it doesn't feel vast. The menu is similar to the old one, with some specials.