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Lamplighter restaurant in Fairfax

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Any comments about this place? Friends are interested in going this weekend and I was hoping to get some feedback from the chowhound crowd. Thanks.

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  1. I just drove by there the other night. I've lived here for 15 years and I still know nothing about this place.

    They do have a web site. http://thelamplighterrestaurantva.com/

    1. My parents have eaten there a couple of times and have always enjoyed it. According to them it's the AARP crowd that eats there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: viperlush

        I love the AARP comment. I know the restaurant's been around for a while and something gave me the sense it was a place for the older folk. Their online menu looks pretty standard and not cheap for what it is.

      2. I work around the corner from it and wonder the same. Though I've always read good things about it, but mainly in those NoVA independent "best of" magazines that appear in our mailbox a couple times a year. So if you go, please report back. Would feel safer with a Hound's recommendation.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Meg

          My friends suggested Lamplighter for dinner Saturday evening and I'm trying to gently steer them elsewhere. I'm always a bit wary of places that "advertise" in those types of magazines and also offer coupons on their websites.

          1. re: Meg

            You always read good things about everyplace those magazines mention, because those articles are written in exchange for the purchjase of advertising (ever read one that said "eating from the dumpster is much better than what you get here?")

          2. The AARP comment hits the nail on the head... *chuckling because my husband loves the place*. ..the food is just so-so in my opinion.

            1. Definitely a place for the older set. My parents like it (in their 50s). My grandfather (he's 84)LOVES it. It's not bad, but definitely not memorable...

              3 Replies
              1. re: Peyton

                Well I'm in my 50s (gasp) but I don't really like to identify with the AARP crowd. I talked my friends into going to Carlyle in Shirlington instead of Lamplighter.

                1. re: cabster

                  can't go wrong there. aside from quality food, i suspect the atmosphere is much "hipper" than lamplighter.

                  1. re: cabster

                    That's a good choice -- very dependable. Plus the bread is really good and as a great man once said, "Good restaurants may serve bad bread, but bad restaurants will never serve good bread." I can't figure out where I heard that, but I certainly believe it. I'm sure I didn't make it up, but according to Google I'm the only person who ever says it. 8>D

                2. I think it's hard to go to wrong with any of the "Great American Restaurants," although some of them get awfully noisy. Carlyle is probably the classiest of them all. Our friends like it and it's about halfway between our houses so it will work. I thought Lamplighter's prices looked awfully high considering the entrees looked pretty basic.

                  Great quote, BTW, Bob W., and very true.

                  1. I don't know about the "AARP crowd." The restaurant is elegant, yes, with white tablecloths and candles and without screaming teenagers in cutoff jeans. The piano player provides a pleasant background music that enables you to hold a conversation at your table, instead of a loud disco-style noisy ambiance. The food (mostly central European) is excellent, as is the service.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Robbi

                      Hahaha, "screaming teenagers in cutoff jeans" I don't think I have seen cutoff jeans in ages. You must eat at the lamplighter a lot. I think the Carlyle is a good option, it has solid good food that really seems to have something for everyone.

                    2. I've been to the Lamplighter a few times with my family, including my grandfather who loves it. I'm almost 32, years away from the AARP crowd, and I think the place is worth visiting. It has the best weinershnitzel (sp?) that I've ever had, and I've had a few in Germany. The schnitzel comes draped over the plate with lemon, capers, and butter. Very good! Now, the rest of my family has had there ups and downs with their dinners. I'd stray away from any seafood and try to stick to the German fare.

                      1. I have been going there infrequently for the past 20 years- I just hit the AARP age, although to their chagrin I won't join (That doesn't mean they don't send me junk mail practically every day! Gad it's a b**** getting old!). As a true chowhound I recommend the place- food and service are good+, atmosphere is good+, price reflects the good+. Beats going to a chain any day.