Eat, Bar, Love
In observance of JP’s departure to Denver, CO for a conference, we dined at EatBar in Clarendon.
EatBar is part of a family of restaurants including Evening Star Café, Vermillion, Tallula, Rustico, and Buzz Bakery. I have now been to all but Tallula, the posh neighbor of EatBar. Rustico is one of my absolutely favorite, reliable spots. I go for their wood-fired pizzas and beer assortment, such as the Wheaties Breakfast of Champions hefeweizen flight. Buzz, as mentioned here, is one of my favorite bakeries and dangerously located across the street from Rustico. You can usually get an impromptu buy-one-get-one-free pastry deal there in the evening.
So, I’m raving about Rustico and Buzz but ignoring EatBar. I had high hopes to like EatBar as much as I like these other two restaurants, and it had long been on my to-try list. The interior is supremely lush and cozy. It has a romantically medieval ambiance with high ceilings, copper-topped tables, velvet draperies, chandeliers, and a maroon/eggplant color scheme. Specials are handwritten on chalkboard menus above the bar and windows are framed with shades of green and blue glass bottles.
But the food wasn’t as interesting as the decor. EatBar would be good for happy hour because they dispense various wines on tap and it draws a trendy crowd, but I wouldn’t invite family or suggest that someone plan a date there. It’s far too loud; awkwardly, there isn’t a hostess to seat you(we held up the wall for several minutes before realizing this…); and the food, though whimsical, is forgettable.
Washingtonian magazine lists the restaurant as one of its recommended Cheap Eats, and by DC standards it probably is. Much of the menu is comfort food – indulgent in theory, greasy in reality. We got a carafe of wine for $16, kale and shiitake pasta for $9, and steak and cheese frites for $15. I didn’t leave satisfied or impressed with the meal itself, but I might give it a second chance for brunch. On weekends, EatBar plays a “cartoon bonanza” and other family friendly movies. I just missed their showing of The Goonies last Sunday! A must-rent.
Again, I overheard some fascinating chatter from the booth behind me, “Never, in 17,300,003 years, will you ever be a smug married person.” Guess all bets are off after 17,300,004 years.
I asked JP to help with some blog research by comparing DC to Denver. He indicated that Denver is colder, more mountainous, and at a higher altitude which makes breathing more difficult. Can you tell that he has the observational skills of an engineer? ;) Well, if ease of breathing is a factor in rating cities, DC triumphs for me.
Filed under: Arlington, Restaurants | 7 Comments