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“Expected More” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Willow Restaurant

Willow Restaurant
4301 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 465-8800
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Ranked #124 of 650 Restaurants in Arlington
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Bar scene, Doing business, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Utah
Transit: Public Transit Stops Two blocks from the Ballston Metro.
Virginia USA
Level Contributor
88 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“Expected More”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

Even thought some of the reviews caused us some concern, we were looking forward to our visit to Willow last night. My wife and I and another couple met there for dinner. They were still offering a special fixed price menu that they had featured the week before and we all decided to try that since the selections seemed pretty interesting. We each had a different appetizer and three out of four (bisque, mussels, and flatbread) were hits; the chorizo was disappointing. It turned out that we ended up selecting just two of the main courses and while none were bad, they were only good and therefore a little bit of a let down. We each went a different route on desserts and all were excellent. The wine and beer list was extensive and the wait staff was attentive and professional. It took a while to get our drinks, but the pace of the meal was leisurely and what you would expect and want from a classy restaurant. The noise level was a little loud even though we had asked to be re-seated three twice to find a “quiet” corner. We did enjoy our visit, but were expecting more from the Willow.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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170 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    69
    59
    28
    9
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Nice surprise in Arlington”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

Willow Restaurant sits on a rather busy street but its spacious outdoor patio offers comfortable shaded seating on a sunny summer afternoon. During restaurant weekend, Willow displays its versatility with many of its regular menu items rolled into a reasonably priced three course meal. I started with a refreshing watermelon, tomato, feta cheese salad with a spike of chipotle lime dressing. My companion opted for a fragrant smelling clam and bacon flat bread. I followed with stuffed squash blossoms on a bed of julienned zucchini; she with a deconstructed salmon taco on a skewer with tortillas and guacamole on the side. We sipped our way through a lovely Chilean sauvignon blanc and polished off the meal with a chocolate layer cake and sticky toffee pudding with salt caramel ice cream. It was a relaxing way to while away an August summer day while catching up on each other's news. Service was good and we were both happy that we tried Willow.

  • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington
Level Contributor
104 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Good Restaurant week menu”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

Willow’s Restaurant Week menu provided plenty of choices—seven appetizers and eight mains. We both had the clams casino flatbread as an appetizer—thin crispy crust with savory toppings. The generous portion was nearly a meal in itself. My wife had salmon with corn ravioli and I had pork medallions with pork ravioli. Flavors were intense, although perhaps the meal was heavy on salt Shortbread with berries made a good dessert. Our waiter was busy and had to move fast, but we did not feel neglected. Room was noisy

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Falls Church, Virginia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Excellent food - compensates for blah service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2013

Met at Willow with friends for lunch outside. The sign said to ask the hostess inside for seating. Went inside to find no hostess so we asked the waiter outside. He said OK sit where you want. Another waiter came and said - did the hostess seat you? Think he was hoping no more people would come. We had to ask him to take our drink order. Thank goodness the food was excellent - calamari salad and fried fish and seafood were very well done - not overwhelmed by the batter. Another had fillet mignon cooked to perfection with interesting sides.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Tucson
Level Contributor
132 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Great Food so-so Service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Four of us ate here our last night in northern Virginia. Every dish in every course was excellent. Short rib flat bread, poached lobster, Willow spinach salad, crab cake over tempura soft shell crab, were all excellent. The wine list is small, but nice and way over priced. The server was either really inexperienced or just plain bad. Never once filled a glass of wine. Didn't come back to check on the meal. Didn't clear plates until I fussed at her...twice!

I was going to talk to the manager, but when he couldn't look up from his reception desk while saying good bye I figured it would be a waste of time. too bad. Service can kill a restaurant, even one serving such well prepared creative dishes as found at the Willow.

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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