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Tricky Birthday Dinner - Fairfax

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I am looking for a place to take my wife for her birthday - this Saturday night. There's a catch- the 90 y.o. mother who not disposed to being adventurous food-wise (Arties is a favorite). The place also has to be easy to move around in, and not too raucous so we can have a conversation. My wife is a vegetarian, but is usually able to negotiate a menu without difficulties.

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  1. You don't specify a budget, but 2941 would be a great option if you're willing to spend more than a meal at Artie's.

    1. What is the budget? Also, when you decide, call the restaurant. Tell them it's your wife's birthday and she's vegetarian. See if they can do something special as opposed to her having to negotiate the menu.

      1. I had a great dinner at Willow in Ballston last week. I was very impressed by the choices on the menu, and the quality of the meal. There are many vegetarian choices, and it's a large restaurant with many quiet corners. I think your mother-in-law would find the food very accessible- especially the flatbread menu. I also thought the prices were very good for the level of food they are preparing. Check out their website. And it's certainly elegant enough to make your wife's birthday feel special.

        1. Any of the Great American Restaurants do solid food. Coastal Flats in Fairfax might work. Also, Reston Town Center has so many good options, Jackson's Mighty Fine Foods has a wide menu. Also, maybe PassionFish? Which I think would be more sedate.

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          Coastal Flats
          7860 Tysons Corner Ctr, Mc Lean, VA 22102

          1. If you want to have conversation, avoid Coastal Flats. We were just there a couple Saturday nights ago and you could hear the roar from the outside. We had to keep repeating stuff as it was so difficult to hear across the table. From now on we'll only do lunch at Coastal Flats. The food at PassionFish is wonderful (but I haven't been there for dinner yet so don't know about the noise level).

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            Coastal Flats
            7860 Tysons Corner Ctr, Mc Lean, VA 22102

            1 Reply
            1. re: anova

              I would say the same for Jackson's. And while I love GAR in general, I don't really like Jackson's menu and would think someone older would really have a time with it.

              Sweetwater or Artie's, yes.

            2. The Ice House in Herndon is a possibility, but I haven't been in awhile and I'm not sure about whether there are many stairs to negotiate. I know they have a first-floor dining area (but maybe several steps up into the resto?) and it was easy to converse the night I went, which was mid-week.

              1 Reply
              1. re: weezycom

                Good idea. I've been twice in the past 10 months or so. Saturday nights have the jazz band, so watch out for that - you can also sit in the back room or go early.

                No stairs that I know of, but the food has been good as well as the service.

                Oh, and also El Manantial in Talls Oaks in Reston.

              2. Clydes in Tysons or Reston might fit the bill, with options for vegetarians (and it's still lobster special month).