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“Awesome weekend brunch, standout in Shirlington” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Carlyle Grand Cafe

Carlyle Grand Cafe
4000 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206
+1 703-931-0777
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Ranked #2 of 692 Restaurants in Arlington
Price range: $10 - $30
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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.
Dakar, Senegal
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Awesome weekend brunch, standout in Shirlington”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

This is one of the best places to eat in Shirlington. I order the smoked salmon salad just about every time I go there on a weeknight, and I have been once on the weekend for brunch (the crab cakes were amazing). Service is delicous and fast.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 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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445 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    264
    127
    39
    9
    6
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“It's the little things”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

My husband and I have been going to Carlyle Grand Cafe for years, and have had some terrific food, service and dining experience and, at other times, only so-so. There are things that the restaurant can fix and we wish they wood, because this is basically a good place to go for any occasion.

The good is a nicely balanced menu, with seafood/fish alternatives, meat alternatives and a few (but only a few) vegetarian alternatives. Their nightly specials are always interesting and we've rarely been disappointed. Service is generally quite good.

On the other hand, from time to time our experience has been less enjoyable, and a recent night shows how there are easy fixes that we think are general fixes, that would make Carlyle Grand really stand out. First, there is too much salt in many of the dishes. We had the grilled salmon--nicely done fish but the topping was so salty that the fish was inedible. Second, although our waiter hovered and from time to time interrupted our conversation to ask if the food was fine (memo to waiter: don't do that!), he failed to notice the timing of our consumption of our appetizers, so that the main dishes were brought to the table before we'd finished the first course. They took the food back, but we all were not convinced that they'd not merely re-heated the original food, since both fish dishes were a bit more dry than ordered. Lastly, and by no means is Carlyle Grand the only restaurant to do this--please don't ask to clear the plates until everyone is finished. The servers at Carlyle Grand must have asked us 5-6 times if they could clear but each time we said we'd prefer to wait until the final one of us was finished. We felt as if they wanted to rush us out of there, or needed our plates because they'd run out!

As I said, relatively "little" things that the restaurant could fix that would make the dining experience there so special. All in all, good food and nice people, efficiently run, and the outdoor area is great in the warmer months. Carlyle Grand is an institution and a good choice in the Shirlington neighborhood--always has been and probably always will be.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“. A benchmark.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013 via mobile

Party of seven including three continents and two children. Servers had excellent meal recommendations and provided the kids drawing materials and attention. Eat upstairs if you wish to converse comfortably. Excellent crab cakes and very good presentation on all meals. A pleasure to showcase an American restaurant to our group. Consistent goodness !

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Good food, good service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband and I richly is covered the Shirlington Area and decided to try Carlyle for brunch as we are familiar with other restaurants in their family.
The service was excellent, the food was great. The bread basket- worth coming back for- luttle donuts, moist carrot banana bread
You must have the blue crab fritters!! Yummy
The salads are huge and full of good stuff..not just fillers and lettuce.
My husband had the French toast- way too sweet.
All in all, we will definitely be back to explore the menu further.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Pensacola, Florida
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Dinner at the Carlyle”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

My sisters and I recently ate at this restaurant. We ate outside and enjoyed the lights on the trees, the cool air, and the wonderful Lobster Roll for dinner. The menu was all tempting, and everyone enjoyed their selection. I tried the Lobster Roll and loved the grilled bun heaped with lobster. A bit more costly than other items, but delicious and filling.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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