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Nice but casual place to take parents in NoVa

I owe my parents a belated nice dinner and they appear to have called it in on Saturday since they'll be in the area. I'm in Falls Church, so I'm between Fairfax and Arlington, assuming we don't want to go too far. Caveat being that since they'll be doing things during the day and it's gonna be friggin' August, they'll probably be wearing, at best, nicer shorts, so we're not looking for fancy. My dad threw the word "steak" out there but I don't really have occasion to take out people for "nice" dinners so I don't know.

Any thoughts?

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  1. How about Talulla's casual rear room, EAT BAR. They have some nicer dishes, it is a fun place, and it certainly casual. Also, it is in Ballston so it would be just a few minute drive.

    5 Replies
    1. re: daves_32

      Talulla is actually in Clarendon - right on Washington and Pershing.

      You might also consider Ray's the Steaks, your folks probably won't feel out of place in shorts. If your dad wants a steak you can't do much better, and the price is certainly right. You could also try the Village Bistro in the same strip mall.

      Another nice choice would be Liberty Tavern. It's become a go-to for my wife and I.

      1. re: GyroBall

        You should def go to Ted Turners Grill (location in Ballston and Crystal City)....everyone will enjoy and well priced for great quality.

        1. re: dominationinc

          Just FYI - That's called Ted's Montana Grill. They have buffalo burgers and a whole array of steaks.

        2. re: GyroBall

          I second Ray's the Steaks, shorts would be fine, and have never had a bad meal there.

          I would also second Liberty Tavern, Fiance had a great steak dish there the other night and their trout is really good too. The downstairs is very noisy bar, but the upstairs has young people to families, to older people, it is really a nice fix with huge portions of really well prepared food, for not way to expensive price tag.

          1. re: JAC13

            Second Del Merei. Gotta get the frickles if you go. Would also throw out a GAR, such as Sweetwater.

      2. you certainly can go to the Palm in Tysons in shorts and get a great meal. Big steaks, the lobster special they are running, all the other great food and appetizers. Big cocktails and great waiters and bread, Your parents will love it.

        1. Another option might be Artie's in Fairfax. It's casual, but they have very good food -- excellent steaks. They don't take reservations but if you call ahead they'll put you on the seating list. I've found this usually means we have a seat waiting when we arrive.

          8 Replies
          1. re: chriscatva

            I second Artie's. It's one of my husband and mine's favorite places and I'll guess that we are in the age range of your folks. :)

            1. re: anni

              I'll third Artie's. Dad can definitely wear shorts and the food is always good. Plus, very good bread, and the 'rents always like the bread, right?

              1. re: Bob W

                Question - how flexible is a place like Artie's in terms of subbing like, a vegetable or something for the loaded potato, since that seems to come with most of the steaks? Also, since the site doesn't show it - what am I talking about price range for there?

                1. re: joshdacane

                  I've found the service at the Great American Restaurants (small local chain that includes Artie's) to be very good and flexible. I don't think you'd have any problem with the substitution you're looking for. I don't recall exact prices, but I'm thinking entrees are in the $10-$20 range -- steaks probably on the high end. Maybe someone else can provide better data. I'd consider it in the moderate range -- not cheap eats, not high-end. For the price, the food and the atmosphere are both very good. I do think your folks would enjoy it.

                  1. re: joshdacane

                    They're flexible - did just that two weeks ago. I got the ribeye and switched out to the mashers. Forget the exact price, but it was in the neighborhood of $20-25

                    Get the fritters if you go.

                    1. re: joshdacane

                      As far as subbing or special requests....I always ask for my fries without salt...no problem. My son doesn't like baked potatoes and asks for fries...again, no problem.

                      I'm sure your folks will like it.

                      Please make sure they seat you in the main part of the restaurant. It's cozier and much more quiet than the space to the right..up a step or two.

                      Also, if they don't offer the bread...ASK for it. It's wonderful, as Bob said.

                      1. re: anni

                        I've never had a problem subbing a starch for a starch at any of the GAR properties. There is sometimes an upcharge if you're subbing a cooked veggie for a starch, sometimes not. Sort of depends on your luck that day, I think.

                        Oh, and you can ask for a whole basket of Ozzie rolls (sort of like a warm donut hole but without the glaze/sugaryness).

                        1. re: weezycom

                          I love the GAR restaurants, but they can be quite noisy, which is why their places don't work well when we're having dinner with my 84-year-old father.