Arlington, VA 22201
I remember reading something about President Obama visiting the Liberty Tavern sometime last year and I made a mental note to go and try the place since the sitting U.S. President went to visit. I thought this would be an easy proposition since it's on the way home from work and I could just stop by for a quick dinner. However, the place is always busy around inner time and the one time I tried to meet up with a buddy for dinner, it was packed and we had to eat somewhere else. I tried a different tact and went there for a late lunch when you figure that it may not be as busy for those hours.
As it turned out, it wasn't as busy as I usually see when I drive by but there was still a good amount of people in the place both inside and on the sidewalk outside seating. Luckily, a table by the window on the first floor opened up so there was hardly any wait to sit down. I didn't get a chance to see the second floor but the first floor was your typical wood paneled bar set up with high tables at the windows and a pretty extensive bar. I walked in intending on ordering food on the lighter side but that went out the window when I saw a foie gras burger on the menu which, of course, I had to order. For drinks I ordered a Great Lakes lager which was a nice clean crisp lager that wasn't too heavy and perfect for the weather.
Subconsciously, I think I ordered an "elevated" fried clams, burger & fries; and a brownie with chocolate pudding. I liked the meal but I couldn't help thinking that the Liberty Tavern may be trying a bit too hard with the food. It's evident that the restaurant is extremely popular and that they want to provide an alternative to run-of-the mill bar food while still maintaining a bit of a bar-like atmosphere. I think you can do that by just making good simple, food without having to introduce ingredients that may over-complicate the dishes. Regardless, it looks like the atmosphere and the food have a great appeal to the locals in Clarendon and I would definitely come back if I was looking for a filling meal and a pint.