Food & Drink
Best Restaurant (TIE)
Like so many of our area’s top toques, The Liberty Tavern’s executive chef Liam LaCivita believes that quality cooking starts with quality ingredients. He buys from local farms and oversees a team that makes pasta, bread, sausages and desserts (including ice cream) in-house. This attention to detail has kept Liberty consistently buzzing with happy diners since its opening in spring 2007. “We continue to work on sourcing. That’s the cost of entry for a serious restaurant,” says co-owner Stephen Fedorchak, who, with his brother Mark and fellow partner Brian Normile, also owns Lyon Hall and Northside Social.
Housed in a former Masonic lodge overlooking one end of Clarendon Central Park, the restaurant has a casual, unfussy atmosphere, with dark wood décor. Notable guests include President Barack Obama, who dined here with campaign supporters in the fall of 2011. Although best-known for his rustic, Italian-influenced cooking, LaCivita has recently dotted the menu with a few Southern-inspired dishes, including peanut soup, pork with fried green tomatoes, and scallops paired with cornmeal johnnycakes.
Pastry chef Bridie McCulla gathers raves for her bittersweet chocolate mousse cake. –W.N.
3195 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 703-465-9360, thelibertytavern.com