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Two Arlington Restaurants Score RAMMY Nominations

by ARLnow.com March 23, 2011 at 10:01 am 2,545 72 Comments

The 2011 RAMMY award finalists have been announced, but only two Arlington restaurants made the list.

Clarendon’s Liberty Tavern was nominated for Best Upscale Casual Restaurant and Lyon Park’s EatBar was nominated for Best Neighborhood Gathering Space.

In a fractional victory, Tiffany MacIsaac of Neighborhood Restaurant Group — which operates EatBar, Tallula and Rustico in Arlington, along with restaurants in the District and Alexandria — was nominated for Best Pastry Chef.

Five nominees were announced in each of 14 categories. Among the categories in which Arlington did not have a nominee were Best New Restaurant, Best Mixology/Beverage Program and Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene.

Last year Arlington had four RAMMY nominees. Each went home from the award ceremony empty-handed.

Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief

  • borf

    In other news, Arlington won every category in the PBCFY awards — Pizza-Burger-Cupcake-Frozen Yogurt.

    • To be fair, the District has some great restaurants in all of those categories.

    • JamesE

      I am enjoying brgr shack, blue fever burger by far the best.

      • DudeGuy

        I agree… the Fire Me Up burger is also very good.

    • SkinSuit

      You seem to be taking “mixologist” from cute slang for a bartender to using it as a legit title – seriously? What was wrong with just saying someone is a “good bartender”?

      And if that title really isn’t good enough anymore and needs yuppified, then couldn’t people do better than “mixologist”? That’s like saying a waiter is a “serveologist” or a cabbie is a “driveologist”. How about “libationist” – at least that sounds a little less stupid.

      • V Dizzle

        You are arguing against a term that has been around since the 19th century. My advice would be to get over it. Yes, it’s unnecessary here, but it isn’t wrong.

    • SkinSuit

      Sorry borf – that post was meant to be a reply to “PotentialSlacker”…

    • Suburban Not Urban

      +++1

  • PotentialSlacker

    Yes, it’s true there’s nothing in this area for mixology, have to go into the city for that. We can’t all drink Jagerbombs…

    Eatbar serves what – the Washington boulevard neighborhood? Don’t get me wrong, not a bad area but who calls that a neighborhood. Rocklands FTW!

    • Anon

      Eatbar serves Lyon Park – and used to be home to the mixologist Gina whose now at PS7s and is considered one of the best in DC. Eatbar still has some of the remnants of her program. Eventide also dabbles in mixology if you ask, although their more well known bartender recently left too. Rocklands is great for BBQ, Bourbon and Beer, but if you want mixology you should ask the bartenders at Eventide and Eatbar.

      • CW

        You guys are all joking about Rocklands, right? Or does your definition of BBQ consists of opening up a can of Bush’s beans and throwing some frozen burger patties on the gas grill?

        • borf

          Rocklands is not the best ever, but it’s far better than that.

        • PotentialSlacker

          We’re not talking about the food at Rocklands. But no, I wouldn’t go to Ray’s Hell Burger for their BBQ if you get what I mean. And they don’t use gas 😉

        • Hamburgers and beans? Just goes to show how much you know about BBQ.

        • CW

          Uh, I think you guys are missing the point. I grew up in the South and have eaten good BBQ all over the country. Rocklands is terrible. Their meat has no smoke flavor and they do things like grilling their sliced brisket over a gas flame after cutting it. They side dishes taste like they came out of a box. So my previous comment, which I didn’t realize could be misinterpreted by anyone with any semblence of intelligence, was that one must have a really ignorant concept of BBQ to believe that Rocklands is any good.

          • CW

            (Side note – borf, your response is agreeable to me, in that it at least addresses the intent of my post. I guess it’s “not that bad” in that they do use actual cuts of meat and I think wood might actually be involved. But I’m not giving them more credit than that.)

          • PotentialSlacker

            Excuse me but if you had any “semblence of intelligence” you would realize the context of this article and the comments below do not mention FOOD. So you’re just hating on your own will. I too am from the south and know what great BBQ is but I don’t intend to leave the area for it so I’ll take one of the best the area has to offer.

          • CW

            Umm, maybe you should learn what “context” is then. This article is about awards presented by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. Even if a place is going to be in the “gathering place” category, it still needs to be a restaurant, with good food.

            I was also referring to the comment: “Rocklands is great for BBQ…”.

          • PotentialSlacker

            Well that comment is technically correct, if you had guests in town that wanted BBQ, then that’s what Rocklands is good for. So you were just stating the obvious that Rocklands isn’t as good as true southern BBQ..I agree with you, just could’ve been said in a more productive way.

          • CW

            If I had guests in town and they wanted BBQ, I’d tell them flat out that they’d come to the wrong place…and then take them out for pizza and cupcakes! 🙂

            Ok, we can agree to differ. It just makes me incredibly angry that we can still be in the South and have no good BBQ to be found around here. Sorry for directing that anger at yourself and others…

          • Anon

            “Rocklands is great for BBQ…”.

            Should have clarified, its great bc its nearby and free on Mondays with beer purchase. Standards are lowered for geographic location and price.

          • Cas

            Couldn’t agree more. Rocklands is awful. BBQ tastes like cardboard covered in sauce.

        • V Dizzle

          Yeah, you don’t have to like it (I happen think their food is swell), but that’s not at all an accurate depiction of the preparation process.

          • CW

            Again, see above, sarcasm…

          • V Dizzle

            It would be sarcasm if you meant that you really enjoyed Rockland’s, or if you said “Rockland’s is soooo great and doesn’t taste like it’s from a can at all”. I didn’t pick up on that from your posts.

          • CW

            I believe that asking if you guys were joking when I knew that you were not would qualify as sarcasm. The second sentence would be more of a hyperbole, since I was going to the extreme example of BBQ ignorance.

    • JamesE

      I am an expert at mixology, Jack and Coke.

      • PotentialSlacker

        @SkinSuit – Craft Bartender describes the word you’re looking for. Not many of us are aware that there used to be a way of making drinks without sprite and grenadine. I know I wasn’t aware until I went to a MIXOLOGY event last night. And I didn’t use the word “mixologist.”

        @Anon – You’re right, Eatbar does dabble in some infusions and other cool things, point. Although it isn’t the warm communal meeting spot I think of when I hear “Best Neighborhood Gathering Place” at all. That’d be…you guessed it: Rocklands 🙂 Oh and they have one awesome asset which hasn’t been mentioned – Bourbon!

  • Rebecca

    Liberty Tavern also wins the award for “best place to pick up a middle aged white man cruising for 23 year olds stumbling out of Clarendon Ballroom”

    • Tabby

      Ewww

    • MAWM

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that 🙂

    • JamesE

      “middle aged white man from Maryland”

    • KalashniKEV

      Haters gonna hate.

    • notahoo

      Right – that’s what we call a “MEAT MARKET”.

      • borf

        “MEET market.” It’s a pun.

        • notahoo

          Negative – it *sounds* like a pun, but when the marylanders are at a bar like Liberty Tavern, they are out looking at the “Meat” ergo Meat Market….unless you are the piece of “Meat” the marylanders are looking for, then I can see why you might (kid yourself into thinkging) that you are at a “Meet” market.

          • KalashniKEV

            I actually go there a lot and there aren’t a lot of Marylanders. Maybe none.

          • borf

            So you’re saying that “meat market” is a pun on “meet market” which is a pun on “meat market.”

            Whatever.

          • Rebecca

            There are a lot of losers there. I know they are losers because they have flip phones in 2011

          • V Dizzle

            Wait, I have… oh.

  • MB

    I like EatBar*, but having a hard time seeing it as a “neighborhood gathering” place.

    *Not as much as I liked Whitey’s.

    • Tabby

      I used to live in that neighborhood and the bar staff at EatBar were very unfriendly, not “neighborly” in the least.

      Haven’t set foot in the place since I got norovirus after eating at Tallulah.

      • V Dizzle

        Norovirus symptoms typically manifest 1 to 2 days after exposure. Usually tough to zero in on the cause.. just sayin.

        • CW

          MMMMM vaporized feces!!!

        • Tabby

          I know–my friend who also became violently ill is a scientist who works for NIH in their infectious disease unit.

          😛

          • borf

            Your friend works in a unit full of infectious diseases? Well, there’s where it came from.

          • Tabby

            Yea, funny how he goes to work every day and doesn’t get sick, but eats at Tallulah and becomes ill 30 hours later, the same way I did–and we dined together! What a coinky-dink.

          • V Dizzle

            I guess I eat out several times in any given 48hr period, so I’m skeptical about being so certain of the guilty party (except when it happens to me!).

      • Interpol

        Agreed. I went there once when I was living in Lyon Place and it was very unfriendly (staff and clientele). Once was enough.

      • SB

        I went to Tallula for restaurant week last summer and threw it all up just hours later. Haven’t been back since either.

    • Tre

      I saw a red Ferrari F430 spider parked out front of the EatBar a few weeks ago and ever since my opinion of the place went up 3 points. Still haven’t eaten there though.

      • winner

        Umm, my opinion just went down…a bunch. Need for a showy car: overcompensating for something?

        • KalashniKEV

          That’s what LOSERS always say. Check the scoreboard, winner…

          • winner

            HE-HE- your comeback is what the people who need to overcompensate say!!! 🙂

          • V Dizzle

            My car far from makes up for my average looks or grating personality, but it does however encourage women to put out… or maybe it’s the carbon monoxide leak, hard to tell.

          • Rebecca

            I saw the guy parking that Ferarri. He had to have his girlfriend get out and help him parallel park. Oh and he wore a Ferarri hat. It was red and leather. Oooooosed sexy.

          • V Dizzle

            That’s pretty awesome. To be fair, I’m guessing he just got the car and was showing it off (hence the hat). I’d hire a guard to watch it if I had one.

          • JamesE

            Wearing clothes with your cars logo is never awesome.

          • V Dizzle

            …and a spy to watch the guard.

          • V Dizzle

            It’s cool to sport the gear if you have a Taurus, or some other awesome car.

          • KalashniKEV

            Dude sounds like he’s got it going on- an F430, a GF who would actually get out and help him park, and probably doesn’t care at all what you think of his leather hat. That’s BALLER!!! As I said earlier- haters gonna hate!

          • KalashniKEV

            The scoreboard doesn’t lie. You’re clearly green with envy.

      • CW

        Caribbean Breeze must be like the epitome of fine dining for you then.

        • JamesE

          that is exactly what I thought when I read his post.

          • JamesE

            Although all I ever see is that one yellow lambo, the c5 corvette with fancy wheels doesn’t count.

      • borf

        Wow, my opinion of the place just went way down.

  • JimA

    Poor Rocklands, their BBQ really isn’t too great – lacks flavor and somehow the meat always seems too soggy – like it’s been hanging out in the warming trays for too long. Backyard Barbeque on Sycamore in East Falls Church neighborhood has REAL, good BBQ – pretty much only takeout and no alcohol, but damn good BBQ, best in Arlington.

  • KL

    Congrats Liberty!

  • I tried Liberty Tavern once and will not go back. As an appetizer I ordered a pork dish that I planned to split with my husband. It arrived in a huge white plate with 3 cubes of pork – each the size of dice. All this delicious pork was sitting in a lovely tablespoon or two of sauce. Can’t remember the price, but it was way too much for 3 teeny-tiny pieces of meat.

    Then came my salad – a bunch of greens with a salad dressing that was way too sour. Nothing special – nothing.

    The rest of our meal was just as disappointing.

    As I said at the time, I could have prepared that meal at home for a fraction of the price. Yes, I do know how to cook.

    • Tabby

      Aw, I like Liberty. Now they are definitely friendly there–and I like the food, service, and wine.

      • SB

        Depends who you get. There’s one waiter who I’ve had on several occasisions (back last summer, so hopefully he has been let go since)who was always rude, forgot to put in our appetizer order, then brought it out after our dinners and didn’t apologize. Actually acted like it was our fault. And generally ignored our table every time I have been. I almost requested someone else the last time I had him.

  • Ess-Dog

    I am not sure what a RAMMY is, but I’m surprised Summers Grill & Sports Bar didn’t get nominated for Very Mediocre Neighborhood Gathering Space, or at the very least a Passable Neighborhood Gathering Space That Still Has An Indoor Smoking Section Serviced by a Mediocre Mixologist.

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