Liberty Tavern opens in Clarendon

Last night was the official opening of Liberty Tavern, the much anticipated new restaurant in the historic building that used to house the Clarendon Alliance. I’ve been eager to try the place, in part because I really want to like a restaurant with that name, and also because it’s located right at the center of my neighborhood. A few friends and I dropped in last night for drinks and dinner and left very happy.

From the restaurant’s website:

Opening in a historic building in the heart of Clarendon in April 2007, The Liberty Tavern will feature modern American cuisine in its upstairs dining room and downstairs bar, along with a diverse wine list, creative specialty cocktails and a great selection of premium draft and bottled beer. The Liberty Tavern’s comfortable ambiance will be enhanced by warm, hospitable service, and whether you’re joining us for a round of drinks in the bar, a casual midweek supper with your children, or a special evening with friends and family, you’re sure to feel at home.

Liberty Tavern gets two things right that lots of restaurants mess up: beer and coffee. I must have missed their bottled beer list, but they have about ten on draft and most of them are pretty good. A spicy Belgian ale of some kind would be great in place of Miller Lite or Pabst, their two low end beers, but other styles are well represented. The coffee comes from the always excellent Counter Culture. Neighboring Murky Coffee is helping them with a French press program, while a single group La Marzocco handles the espresso. I didn’t have any coffee last night, but it’s great to see a restaurant taking it so seriously.

The menu is mostly salads, pizzas, grilled meats, and fish. The meats sounded great, but since I just quit my job last week pizza was a little bit more in my price range. I ordered a duck confit, blue cheese, pear, and arugula pizza that was delicious alongside a bubbly Bell’s Oberon wheat ale.

Dessert sounded too good to pass up. There were some intriguing ones on offer, but I went for the indulgent devil’s food cake with house made chocolate ice cream. A little small, but very decadent, especially paired up with a rich pint of Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout.

Liberty Tavern is a great addition to the neighborhood and I’m looking forward to many return trips. Along with recently opened EatBar, it’s turning Clarendon into a sweet place to be for people who like great food and drink in a relaxed, laid back atmosphere.

[Cross-posted at EatFoo.]


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