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Tap and Vine -- Lee Hwy in North Arlington

  • b
  • BRL Oct 4, 2008 06:59 PM
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It appears the new Tap and Vine wine/beer/restaurant opened within the last few days. This is in the jinxed location that most recently was an Italian placed named Restaurant Milan or something like that.

Tap and Vine is apparently owned and operated by the Restaurant Vero folks on the same block of Lee Hwy.

Has anyone been yet? How was it? How was the food, beer and wine selection?

Thanks,

BL

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  1. thanks for the heads up. they might as well name the restaurant "jinx", and just go with the flow....

    interesting buzz: http://www.zagat.com/Blog/Detail.aspx...

    owner joy reinhardt says this on donrockwell.com: '"Our goal is to open Tap & Vine by the middle of September. It will be family friendly with a dedicated childrens menu along with seasonal fare for the adults to enjoy. We will also feature a variety of craft beer on tap and food friendly wines."

    here is what they expect from their servers: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nv...

    i hope they have COLD grolsch on tap. if they have a good beer selection on tap, they will do well. maybe beer and wine can loosen the grip of the jinx.

    it does seem rather odd that they bill themselves as a family-friendly "restaurant," yet place the focus on "tap" and "vine" in the choice of a name. just a bit ironic. if i were driving by and just saw the name, i would think, "oh, another drinkin' joint." query: will they have televisions?

    1 Reply
    1. re: alkapal

      place is ok, Vero offers better food. Its a family joint, but wierdly. They have a decent beer selection, and the wine is hardly unique by a drinkers standards. Its nice to see it here though, so soon after Thirsty Bernie opened. With both these places in the area its looking good for foodies in Arlington. While i think Bernies has significantly better food and drink choices, the style of the cousine is notably different and they wont have to compete much, win win for the eaters

    2. Had dinner at Tap & Vine Saturday night with my family. It was busy without being too crowded. My husband and I had Stone IPA and Hoegaarden on tap. The four of us ordered different things and sampled each other's meals. Lamb/hummus, flank steak, hamburger, flat bread pizza were all fantastic. The truffle fries were AWESOME and the desserts fun and unusual (cracker jack sundae!) I really liked the art on display (local artists) and the atmosphere was warm and cozy. Can't wait to come again and try different menu items.

      3 Replies
      1. re: njwelch

        please tell us about the truffle fries!

        1. re: alkapal

          I asked about the super-thin, super-crispy fries...they are sprayed with truffle oil. subtle and delicious. I am a big fan of not too much potato in my fries.

          1. re: njwelch

            thanks, njwelch.

      2. We live near Tap and Vine, and have eaten at the other, now defunct, eateries that were there. Today, we went up to Tap and Vine to try it out. First off, the decor is a major improvement over the previous incarnations. The place used to feel like a wide shoe-box, but the changed color scheme, along with the wine storage and the adjoining long bar in the front opposite the door, makes it a much warmer place to enter. For the folks that asked, yes, there are 2 flat screen TVs over the bar, and they have separate Verizon FIOS HD feeds. I think that's well done. There were quite a few people there, even though we arrived late for lunch on a federal holiday. The kids menu, along with a mix of families, couples, and groups of 3-4 people proved to us that this was a neghborhood eatery, which perhaps the name Tap and vine may not suggest. However, I think word will get out.

        The food was good, and the truffle fries are worth a try, although I think I'll stick to regular fries in the future. My pulled pork sandwich was tasy, not drowning in sauce, and the cole slaw was creamy without being drippy, and wasn't dominated by mayonnaise. My wife's organic burger was good as well, with flavorful beef, nice toppings, and a toasted bun.

        We were there for lunch, so we didn't sample the beer, and I am familiar with their wines because most (if not all) are available at Grape Juice, the affiliated wine shop located in the shopping strip 100 yards away.

        At any rate, we'll be back. I hope other patrons will say the same.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rushlover

          thanks, RUSH lover. dittos!

        2. we had lunch here today and were very satisfied, although had to skip the drinks thanks to an election-night evening shift. everything was good and very reasonably priced. i had the green chile pork stew (very good and quite filling, which is not always the case with stews and soups) and the bf had fish tacos which also were quite good. and like everyone says the truffle fries are wonderful — they come out in a huge bowl and we still ate the whole thing. interesting menu. we will definitely be back. the bar looks promising. good atmosphere, too ... nice enough to be a date but also great place to take the kids. i hope this place breaks the locational curse!

          1. here is a little more info on their new (evolving) website: http://tapandvinerestaurant.com/about_us

            1. googling for the menu on the resto's site, i came upon this photo of a delicious-looking open faced grilled veggie sandwich at tap and vine: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cizauska...

              i want some good fried calamari, too. did someone say this place has good calamari?

              i don't know why google doesn't bring up the resto's own site near the top of search results....

              1. My wife and I ate for the first time on a recent Tuesday and the place was nearly full the entire 2 hours we were there (6:30 to 8:30). We will definitely be back but the place is far from perfect.

                The good: updated/remodeled decor has vastly improved the feel of the restaurant. The beer selection on tap and by bottle is excellent. And the truffle fries are to die for!

                The bad: we also tried the green pork stew which was bland and cooked to a mush of pork flesh without a single distinuguishable chunk or spice. The short rib sliders were also very bland - basically boiled beef without the richness and flavor you would expect from a braised short rib.

                Bottom line - a nice addition to the neighborhood just for the beer and fries but the food looks like it needs significant work.

                1 Reply
                1. re: like_food

                  I went again for lunch. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner. I tried the fish tacos which aren't bad but nothing to write home about. My lunch companion had the burger which was good. As per the last visit the beer and fries were still great. I like having a place in the neighborhood and will return to try the last few entrees but it is looking like this is a place to go to for good beer and fries but not the rest of the menu. It is a shame the food isn't up to the standards of its sister restaurant, Vero. For pub dining in the neighborhood Thirsty Bernies is clearly in the lead on food and nearly as good on beer and fries.

                2. Just an update. Went with a friend for dinner Mon night. GREAT malbec by the glass, truffle fries were excellent. She had the bolognese... wonderful. I ha the mac and cheese with chicken and broccoli, very creamy but not that sharp bite of cheddar I was looking for. Still, very good. Portions were large, we both took home ours for a lunch the next day (Altho, somehow we made room for all the truffle fries :)) With tax and tip it as $54 for two. I thought it was a great value and will be back.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: anchor

                    I think Tap and Vine fits a great niche. We can take our three kids and not have to worry about finding things for them to do or eat. We can also get some great beers and wine. And the food is good, too. Some of it is is too expensive for what it is (the hamburger comes to mind) and some of it is better than what you would expect for the cost (the $14 flank steak is one example). We'll come back.

                  2. We have gone to Tap and Vine twice now, once for lunch and once for dinner. It is very kiddie friendly, maybe a little bit too much. I would not have wanted to be there if I did not have kids. When we went for dinner there were multiple kids running around and it was very loud. They have a good selection of wine and beer. The food is okay but nothing great. The truffle fries and the mac and cheese seem to be the highlights of the menu. It is a good place to go if you have kids and also want to have some good beer and wine, but I would not go there just for the food. Overall, A good addition to the neighborhood for what it is.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: rappel75

                      >>>multiple kids running around<<<<

                      a deal-breaker for me!

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Wow, kids at a family restaurant, what a surprise. (From their web site: Bring the entire family for a relaxing and delicious dining experience in our newest addition to the neighborhood.) If you don't like kids, then don't go to a neighborhood family restaurant. I've seen several posts on this board bashing kids at restaurants--are families supposed to just stay in their houses and not mingle with the rest of society? I don't really enjoy kids "running around" a restaurant either, but short of beating the child into submission, kids will be kids and a anyone who goes to a restaurant that caters to families should know and expect that. If you don't like it, then choose a different restaurant.

                        1. re: mln1968

                          kids will be the kids their parents train them to be. i have five nieces and nephews with their own children. NONE of them allows their kids to "run around" the restaurants. and they don't "beat them into submission."

                          yeah, as i just said, i don't like kids running around, and so i won't be going. thus, i don't get your "response" to me -- i mean, other than lecturing me and telling me not to come to a restaurant that i won't like and don't intend to patronize because of the fact of multiple, loud, running children? d'oh!

                          oh, wait just a minute. are we talking about *your* little crumb-crunchers running around and being loud in restaurants?
                          ~~~~~~
                          in any event, i hope the tap and vine succeeds, and beats the jinx.

                    2. Location of Doom No More!!

                      It was hard to get a parking space at Tap and Vine on Friday night. The place was really hopping. There were some families, and the whole place was bustling, but no kids running around.

                      Flank steak ($13) was perfectly cooked and served with a good chimichurri sauce. Fries are very thin and addictive. Sesame salad dressing was too sweet and no sesame flavor. Merlot ($7.50) was adequate.

                      The place is spiffy looking yet casual. They have found quite the successful formula for this location. Obviously, it was sorely needed.

                      1. Update: This place is still good and solid, I hope it stays that way. Whoever said great malbec by the glass is right, it was perfect. My boyfriend who spent a year in Bologna, Italy said my oriechette bolognese was the most authentic he's tasted in DC. Trust me, I was shocked to hear that of all places this one hits the nail close to the head, but he's got a pretty discerning palate. At $10 for a huge serving, it's a definite steal. The truffle fries are great as usual. The short rib sliders were on the dry and bland side — let's hope they do something to kick that one up a notch soon.

                        1. Update: Just went there tonight and they have Closed! There were a few people inside and when we peered in, someone came out and gave us a $10 gift card to Restaurant Vero (which has incorporated some of the kids menu). We went to Vero instead, and it was a lovely dinner with attentive service, but it definitely doesn't have the same family friendly vibe as Tap and Vine (i.e. my daughter drank her milk from a stemmed beer glass lol). The waitress said they just closed yesterday. I really enjoyed Tap and Vine, and am very sorry to see it gone. The curse continues!!!

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: suebebe

                            dammit! i loved this place. i guess i'm partially to blame for its closing, as i wasn't a regular patron, but it was almost always on my radar whenever i was in that part of town. such a shame. i wonder if they'd give me their bolognese recipe...

                            1. re: suebebe

                              That's a shame. I thought the Location of Death had been beaten but it looks like the Grim Reaper has won again.

                              1. re: suebebe

                                Wow! I really thought that the owners had broken the curse! I had eaten there and the food was pretty good and the beers were very good, as was the service. I am sorry to see that place go.

                                1. re: Ziv

                                  I thought the place was doing well, at least for dinner. I was mildly addicted to their mac 'n cheese.

                                  1. re: cabster

                                    I have heard of people REALLY liking the mac and cheese both there and at Boulevard Woodgrill. I can't get my head around actually liking mac and cheese, so I have got to try it. Obviously, this isn't the Kraft kind of mac n cheese I ate when I was broke at university.
                                    Hmmm... Using the words 'broke' and 'at university' is kind of redundant, but you get my drift.