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Jan 6, 2011 07:02 AM

Shirlington Restaurants

Going to Signature Theater for Sunday matinee and looking for place for dinner after - the existing thread for Shirlington is over 6 months old - current recommendations sought - thanks

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  1. Are you carless? Since this is for after the theatre, I imagine you are not limited to eating right in Shirlington.

    If you are limited, then Carlye is part of the Great American Restaurant group and is an ok choice. There is no #2 choice in Shirlington. If you'd like to try other things, then there are lots of great things to eat in NoVa. Where are you coming from?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      We are all driving from (and heading home to) different places so would prefer to remain in Shirlington for dinner - last time I went to Carlyle (for brunch) it was truly awful - are there really no choices?

      1. re: nytdct

        I like Aroma the little Indian place in Shirlington. Not super fancy, but they do the basics well. Most places there are pretty casual. Busboys and Poets isn't bad, very casual, but they have good salads and etc. Not like inventive food or anything, but not bad.

        The Thai place also isn't that bad, again not inventive, but they cover the basics. But I also like the Carlyle.

        1. re: nytdct

          The other places are not going to be better. Other than that, then just choose whatever place strikes your fancy. There's Middle Eastern, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, Italian, and two or three places for bar food. I would definitely avoid Bistro Bistro if it's still there.

          It would not to take you long to hop on over to Bombay Curry Company in Alexandria and have one of DC's best dishes: the Tandoori chicken wings. They are worth a trip around the beltway. All of their chaat is very, very good.

          Bombay Curry Company
          3102 Mount Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22305

          1. re: nytdct

            My wife and I went to dinner at Carlyle in August and we enjoyed the food and service was great. It is not "adventerous foodie" food by any stretch, but it is good. One thing I don't love about Great American Restaurants is the limited wine-by-the-glass selection, but in this case even the glass of wine recommended by the server was very good. (Plus they let me sample two wines before making my choice, which always wins me over.) I'd say it's worth another shot.

        2. Aladdin's (middle eastern) is okay but a bit bland. It tends to be on the quiet side, though, so I find it's a good place to chat with a friend after the show because you can hear one another. There's a Vietnamese place that has been pretty good the couple of times I've gone, sort of tucked behind the movie theater, but I don't recall the name. Carlyle is usually my go-to for a nicer spot; sorry to hear you had a bad experience. It's usually a solid place.

          1 Reply
          1. re: weezycom

            Thanks - Carlyle may just have had an off day - this is not an adventerous foodie bunch so that wouldn't factor into making a choice

          2. I've never been, but a friend who lives in Shirlington goes to Extra Virgin for special meals. If you want something a bit more casual, they do have pizzas there.

            3 Replies
            1. re: katecm

              We ate one dinner at Extra Virgin before going to a performance at Signature Theater. My take on the place is that the food is acceptable but hardly worth the upscale price. If I'm going to eat merely acceptable food, I'd rather pay Aladdin's, Aroma's, or Guapo's prices.

              Also, at Extra Virgin we had service problems towards the end of the meal. When we sat down, we alerted the server about our curtain time and he began the meal efficiently enough. However, at the end of meal he literally disappeared. Not only did he not come to our table to deal with the bill, we didn't see him anywhere on the floor serving others. We asked another server to find our waiter, again, carefully explaining the time concerns. When server #2 didn't produce results, we located the manager and dealt with him to pay the bill.

              Guapo's Restaurant
              4515 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

              1. re: Indy 67

                This restaurant is a terrific find for me. At lunch they offer a number of specials, such as the Endless Pasta Lunch which offers a choice of six pastas, five salads, and five desserts, all for $13. My friend chose the portobello ravioli, the caesar salad, and the lemon sorbet and pronounced all excellent. I chose the Quattro Stagioni "Morinello" with
                tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, artichokes, ham, and olives, The toppings were generous and the crust was nice and crisp. Offered with the meal was crusty bread with a olive oil dipping sauce. Be careful not to eat too much of this delicious "appetizer" and spoil the rest of your excellent meal. The surroundings are comfortable, the staff friendly and attentive, and parking is available in a nearby garage (free). I will be going back often.

                Extra Virgin Modern Italian
                4053 Campbell Ave, Arlington, VA 22206

                1. re: Indy 67

                  Your experience pretty much exactly mirrors mine. We won't be going back. Mediocre food, poor service...

              2. The sushi place (Bonsai??) is pretty good.

                1. i just recently got this in my email inbox from thrillist and my curiosity was piqued a bit.
                  anyone been? any thoughts?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: monpetitescargot

                    I was there on opening day and liked the space and the vibe. Here is a full report posted by someone who was there at the same time:

                    I went on Saturday (opening night). Here are my impressions:

                    Ambiance: A. It's a big space, and was packed when I arrived a little before 6:00. At the same time, it was not impossible to move around, and there was no inordinate jostling and/or dirty looks when brushing past people (can't say the same for every crowded bar I've been to around here). The crowd was a mixture of young and not-so-young; roaming around the place, I determined that it would be less crushing at the smaller upstairs bar. Once I got a seat, I found it to be very comfortable. Patrons at the bar were friendly, and everyone seemed to be in a good mood.

                    Service: A++ . The attractive, friendly, knowledgeable young staff exuded a feeling of “I really want to be here right now and serve you”, and were obviously very well-trained. Both bartenders (a guy and a gal) were Irish. As I approached the crowded bar, the female bartender immediately made eye contact and asked me what I would have. Later on (while I was still hanging around the crowded bar waiting to get a seat), a server who had responsibility for tables also greeted me and asked if I needed anything. By my observation, things went unbelievably smooth for opening night; if anyone got flustered, they sure didn't show it.

                    Food: A+. The Lamb Burger (order cooked medium) was superb – the lamb flavor was quite intense, and the burger was topped with bleu cheese crumbles, shredded lettuce, and a slice of tomato on a nicely toasted bun. The accompanying fries (chips) were nothing to write home about; not bad, but not quite what I expected. They were not crisp; more like slivers of baked potato or home fries (maybe that's how they do them Ireland; don't know, never been...)

                    Beer: B-. The draft selection is just not quite my style, although they do pour a proper pint of Guinness. I tried the Beckett's Ale, Guinness, and Smithwick's, none of which really did it for me; would be nice to see them add some local stuff, like maybe Dogfish Head 60 Minute. I noticed Sierra Nevada and Newcastle Brown in bottles in the cooler behind the bar. It was amusing to hear a customer being chided (in a good-natured way) by the male Irish bartender for ordering a Bass: “This is an Irish bar!”

                    In summation, Beckett's certainly appears to be a viable addition to the relatively slim quality food and drink options in Shriington. I expect the crowds will remain for some time to come; it will be interesting to see if they can maintain the same level of service.