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“The perfect venue for lunch with friends.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carlyle Grand Cafe

Carlyle Grand Cafe
4000 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206
703-931-0777
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Ranked #1 of 686 Restaurants in Arlington
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Bar scene, Large groups, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night, Dessert
Description: High energy, American bistro with seasonal outside dining and year round classic fare. A perennial brunch favorite.
Springfield, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The perfect venue for lunch with friends.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

Superb menu, service and atmosphere -- outstanding as always. The Carlyle Grand Cafe is the perfect venue for lunch with friends.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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390 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    230
    111
    36
    7
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“One of the better experience at Carlyle.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

Got there after 7p on Friday night for 2 and amazingly were seated upstairs right away. We ordered daily special thai spicy mussels- perfectly cooked, perfectly spicy with Thai peppers. For main course, Jambalaya and Roasted pork tenderloin with peach chipotle sauce. Both dishes were absolutely delicious. We've had Jambalaya from all other Carlyle group restaurants, Sweet Water Tavern, Arties, Coastal Flat. By far, this was cooked perfectly. We decided to really go all out and finish our so far perfect night with their special dessert, Lemon Maraign pie. Oh my gosh, it was beautifully prepared and delicious. Our server, Jason was a genuine and professional server. He was courteous and attentive. What a surprise! Definitely coming back. On our way downstairs, we were feeling very lucky as we saw mob of people waiting for tables.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beavercreek, Ohio
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Excellent, eclectic food! Gorgeous atmosphere!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

Wow - Such Delectable Food! We Loved the Blue Crab Fritters! The Seared Rare Tuna was excellent too. Plates are beautifully presented and the food is fresh and perfectly prepared.
The ambiance is absolutely delightful - especially upstairs. The lighting, colors, design, etc., was truly stunning!
Service was pretty good on this trip but my friend said it had been impeccable on her previous visits. Our server did apologize for forgetting to bring our wine, and explained that he was coaching a new server, and got distracted.
It is a popular place, and the pacing of our meal was a little fast for my taste -- I guess they try to turn tables. However, we were not rushed to leave, and they did offer dessert and coffee before bringing the check.
This had been my first visit, and I do hope to return! What a gem!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, VA
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
63 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Much improved again!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

They have the original Manager back that opened the restaurant!
He has made great improvements to bring it back to its top level
They have a mussel appetizer that is on special right now, it is awesome.
Teh wine service has improved and asking you before leaving the bill has been done on our last three visits!
So I am hoping that the improvements last!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Washington, DC
Top Contributor
319 reviews 319 reviews
212 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
106 helpful votes 106 helpful votes
“Pretty good food; but service issues interferred”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We've eaten here several times over the years, and the food has generally been good. This visit was no exception. Salads were fresh, creative, and tasty. Main courses were good. The nonflour chocolate waffle dessert was outstanding. The four star rating is based on the food, and that's what counts the most. The bread, which was baked locally and hyped, was oddly not that good. But that's minor.

The service was sloppy and, oddly, excessive. The staff made a mistake (twice!) in meeting a stated allergy need. It wasn't that unusual a request, and two mistakes were inexcusable. Oddly, it didn't seem to be the result of the team approach to service, as each of the three or four servers knew of the special request.

Everyone was apologetic for the mistake, and the problem was fixed. But we must have had 15 or more interactions with waiters and the maitre d'. Even simple things like refilling iced tea took multiple interactions. "Want more iced tea?" and then "We're brewing it fresh; up in a minute". Better service would have produced the tea without comment. All the interactions were disruptive and wearying. It was a case of trying way too hard. Not the worst thing in the world, but unwelcome nevertheless.

In the end, we got a free dessert AND a gift card for our next visit. The dessert was sufficient pennance/compensation. The gift card (which we took and will use) was a bit over the top. And another interaction with the staff, although it's hard to complain about it.

We consider this meal to be a "bad sample" for service. A series of missteps cascaded into excess. Separately, service was a bit slow to get started, but once it did, it never stopped.

If you are a prospective dinner, I suggest you consider our experience an aberration and eat here because the food is good. And the promise of correction for flaws is generally a plus too. We just got too much of a good thing.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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