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Apr 16, 2011 07:51 PM

Ruffino's in Arlington is back in business -- anyone been???

They just reopened a few days ago and was wondering if anyone has been back in for a meal??

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  1. I was there was once, years, ago, and I am still wondering why.

    1. I had an Italian GF long ago and she asked me to take her there once. I asked her if it was authentically Italian and she looked at me like I was missing the point. But she kind of liked it as a comfort food of sorts. It wasn't bad, it was just flat somehow. There was neither the depth/layered flavors of other italian resto's in the two dishes we had, nor the simplicity of the dishes her Father prepared.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ziv

        I haven't been there in perhaps 30 years because I can do just as good a job at home with that kind of food. But I liked it back then because at the time, grocery store pasta was Mueller's spaghetti and Ruffino's was at least flat and home-made-looking. And 30 years ago, spaghetti house sauce was nothing special.

        Now, Alpine, which used to be about across the street from Ruffino's, was good Italian food, but I never had spaghetti there except as a side (and I never had anything but spaghetti at Ruffino's).

        I've been out west for the last week, and tonight I'm going to The Spaghetti Factory to let my food budget get caught up. Now THAT'S utilitarian spaghetti, but it tastes OK, good value for little money, and certainly an interesting building full of relics (mechanical objects, not people ;) )

        1. re: BRL

          exactly! ;-).

          to answer your question: not yet, but we intend to, because obviously someone has spent $$$ to renovate (real copper awnings, fer goodness sake), maybe new owners and new life? the window tables (at least) were busy earlier in the week when we drove by there.

          anyhow, do i recall correctly that someone posted that the alpine, ruffino's and a third place were being "grouped" by a new owner/investor group that wanted to create a sort of "foodie row" beginning around thirsty bernie?

          1. re: alkapal

            I would be the guilty party that mentioned that. I spoke to a Cowboy Cafe server who said that they would be setting up a great food pub area, with Thirsty Bernie's, the new Cowboy Cafe and the Alpine was supposedly bought by the owner of Spider Kellys or Liberty Tavern. But I have seen no movement to reno Alpine, and now the new Ruffinos is open which wasn't even on the radar last year. I wish them well, and I will stop by after I hear if they have any decent dishes. The last few times I went, it was thoroughly ok, with an emphasis on bland.
            And BRL is still waiting for someone to actually go there...

            Thirsty Bernie
            2163 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207

            The Liberty Tavern
            3195 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201

            1. re: Ziv

              yes, i realize that brl is waiting.....

              nobody want to dive in? well, i've lived not too far from there in arlington since 1982 --- and i have never been there, though a work colleague way back when seemed to like it as their little "neighborhood italian."

              mr. alka and i will take one for the team and try it!

              and yes, ziv, absolutely zippo on the alpine, although they did take down the barriers to parking in their lot -- so that helps cowboy cafe parkers.

              just checked their lunch menu, and i can get camrones diablo with linguine for $10, or a meatball sub with fries for $6.

              1. re: alkapal

                Went with my cousin who was asking for 'non-spicy' italian. And that is definitely what we got. The Calamari Diablo was mild though it was nicely prepared and just chewy enough to give it texture without making it into a workout. The chicken al fredo was relatively rich but mild. Breads were chewy but tasty and the olive oil could have used a twist of pepper, which they didn't offer and we forgot to ask for.
                Portion sizes were good, the interior was nicely updated, there were 4 other occupied tables so they are doing ok not great, and the service was attentive but not obtrusive.
                Then we hit Thirsty Bernie's for an overpriced, flat, slightly skank Staropromen and a flat Sierra Nevada. If Ruffino's serves Sam Adams I would rather drink there, but the outside deck was chill at Thirsty Bernie's.

                Thirsty Bernie
                2163 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207