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Neighborhood Rest. for New York Visitor - Arlington

Help! Have a good friend coming in from NY for the weekend. He lives in Soho and is accustomed to high quality food at neighborhood places.

Please help me find a comparable restaurant for this Friday night. I want to stay out of the city, so need something in NoVa. My first thought was Bazin's in Vienna, but the only reservation options are too early or too late. Second thought was Mediteranee in Great Falls, which is still an option but would rather not go that far.

I'm not that familiar with Arlington and am thinking that there have to be places there that fit the bill. Nice, comfortable ambience, not stuffy, casual enough to linger, with terrific food. Suggestions??

It's good Friday, so my folks will need seafood options.

TIA

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  1. try eatbar ... it's just outside clarendon... i went a few weeks ago and loved it... and there was just a write up in the Post about it this past weekend...

    1. I think Tallula's fits the bill very well (or EatBar, which adjoins it).

      Also, Lebanese Taverna or Layalina's are both wonderful, casual, and have good Lebanese/Middle Eastern food.

      Another good choice would be the Village Bistro, which is next door to Ray's the Steaks (between Rosslyn and Courthouse). Excellent food (particularly seafood) in a casual but nice environment.

      If you're willing to drive ~15 minutes, I would also suggest Blacksalt for seafood. Yes, it's technically in DC, but it's in a quiet, residential area and is an easy drive from Arlington.

      6 Replies
      1. re: jaydreb

        Glad to hear you mention Village Bistro, I've always wondered about that place.

        Is Tallula and EatBar a good choice for someone who doesn't drink? I've heard alot about their wine selection and less about the food.

        1. re: Meg

          I'll admit that my main motivation for going there is for the wine and atmosphere. But the food is generally pretty solid, in particular the small plates.

          Note that Eat Bar and Tallula have different menus, but if you're in Tallula you can request something off the Eat Bar menu. For example, Eat Bar's menu offers oysters; Tallula's does not. But our waiter at Tallula was able to meet our request for oysters.

          1. re: Meg

            As for Village Bistro: we badly wanted it to be our "neighborhood" go to place -
            it is convenient (and Rosslyn doesnt have much to offer) -
            BUT in our opinion, the prices are too high for what they offer and for the somewhat dreary atmosphere. The food is decent, the mussels excellent.

            1. re: leah

              I agree it's not cheap but we've found the food (over many years) to be much better than "decent". Especially if you order one of the specials.

              1. re: jaydreb

                I agree, the food is excellent, particuarly the seafood. I love the scallops over linguini with pesto sauce. Each time I've had it the scallops have been perfectly cooked and the sauce never overwhelms. It is a bit pricey but not overly so considering the quality of food, IMHO. I also like that it's not the least bit pretentious. It's become one of mine and my husband's favorites.

                1. re: cabster

                  OK Thanks ya'll. I will continue to give it a try and look forward to trying the scallops!

        2. I like Sette Bello. It is chic in a NY kind of way. Seafood-wise, they are terrific. Try their fried calamari and their seafood linguini with clams, mussels, shrimp and squid.

          1. One can eat extremely well at Old Hickory in Falls Church if you choose wisely. Both the cajun egg rolls and the fried oysters are exceptional, aand go for anything served with the stoneground grits.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Steve

              Live right down the road from Falls Church and have never heard of Old Hickory. Where is it, and how's the atmosphere?

              1. re: Meg

                Old Hickory Grille is on Rte 50 in the Loehmann's Plaza. (Annandale Rd?) Next to Punjab Dhaba, and a few doors down form Celebrity Deli.

                It's a nice place, Southern meets New Orleans meets BBQ. The food is very idiosyncratic. A very lemony veal piccata, an angel hair pasta dish that is spicy. Lots of personality to the food, but it's not always correct. Aside from the dishes (which are truly great) I mentioned in my post above, they have good ribs and po boys.

                1. re: Steve

                  Does Old Hickory still have the all the ribs you can stand special on Wednesday and Thursday? They do a pretty good job if you like your ribs messy.

            2. Tallulah, mentioned above, is a good choice. Eatbar is more of a wine bar and seating is limited. Willow (at Ballston) is good for a neighborhood restaurant; Ray's the Steaks, Guaillo (Mexican next to Ray's), several fine Viet Namese restuarants in Eden Center (also Minh's on Wilson). I used to like Harry's at Clarendon but I have heard that it has deteriorated.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Dakota Guy

                Let me also add Farrah Olivia and Vermillion in Old Town Alexandria. There are many "neighborhood" restaurants in DC, but I tired to stay within VA.

                1. re: Dakota Guy

                  I've had mixed results at Willow, so I would exercise caution. Actually, I probably won't go back there again because the prices are too high to take a risk.