An exploration of things to do in Arlington

Monday, April 09, 2007

Arlington's Best Food, Part II: Dinner

A while back Eric asked what we thought were Arlington's best restaurants. I posted my favorite brunch spots last week, and today, the best places to get dinner.

The Green Girlfriend and I recently visited Oyamel, reopened in its new location in DC a couple of blocks south of the Verizon Center. It was a major disappointment, mediocre food at high prices. It was doubly depressing because Oyamel's Crystal City location had been one of Arlington's bright spots.

So what's left? Plenty of great restaurants that people don't know about. For some reason, you can't get a seat at Cheesecake Factory, but you can walk into several of the places below on a Friday night and get a table with no wait.
    • Ray's the Steaks: Halfway between Rosslyn and Courthouse on Wilson Blvd., Ray's the Steaks is consistently rated as the best value among all DC area steakhouses. I went once and noticed a Secret Service agent at the door. Dining inside? Then-White House Chief of Staff Andy Card.

    • Boulevard Woodgrill: I've never had a bad meal here. Arguably the best fish in Arlington, and their ribs might be better than those at Hard Times. A great selection of beer, too. One drawback: it's REALLY LOUD.

    • Carlyle: Gotta give some love to South Arlington, right? Located in Shirlington, Carlyle has the added bonus of being 100% smoke-free! Great dinner, great brunch, fantastic dessert. Hard to get a table on busy nights, though.

    • Tallula's EatBar: One major caveat -- I have not actually eaten the food here yet. But after stopping by for a drink last weekend, I'm dying to go back to dine. The menu is divided into "small plates" and "large plates," but both lists are very affordable, certainly much more so than Tallula's main dining room. I wanted to come back just to try the fries -- they smelled fantastic! EatBar also has a wide selection of beer (including an organic one), lots of interesting drinks (I had my first Hurricane). The bar has a projection-screen TV for game watching, and they even had dinner and a movie scheduled for Sunday at 8pm, though the info isn't posted on their website (if Tallula is reading: hint, hint).

    • Lost Dog Cafe: Literally hundreds of beers available and some of DC's best sandwiches at lower prices than the bland chains (Cosi, Au Bon Pain, etc.) that we office drones are usually stuck with. I recommend the Hound Dog (BBQ chicken with cole slaw melted swiss) with a Gouden Carolus Triple from Belgium. Plus the owners are longtime supporters of animal rescue causes, so you know the profits aren't going back to some corporate headquarters, at least part is being reinvested in your community!
One drawback of dining in Arlington -- the above restaurants aren't available at, my favorite way to make dinner reservations. It's fast, easy, and you earn points towards gift certificates.

So what's your favorite dinner spot in Arlington?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:24 PM

Blogger Eric said...

I thought this was a joke at first, but it's for real - I guess some people really do go all out for their pets

8:26 PM

Blogger Googla Monster said...

Carlye has a "phone ahead wait list" system, so you can avoid long waits. I just picked up one of the instruction cards:" *Please call us before you leave for Carlyle. *We'll be happy to estimate your wait time & add your name to our wait list. *Let our host know when you arrive. *Your call will reduce your wait in the restaurant."

10:00 PM

Blogger Eric said...

Great tip! Thanks!

1:51 AM


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